2019 ALCS Game 5

Verlander vs Paxton

Three must win games for the Yankees. Prior to yesterday's game, Szymborski calculated the Astros winning game four followed by three Yankees wins at 5.9% chance of happening following the rainout. Not quite the least likely but very close. The Astros meanwhile had a 70.1% chance.

Fast forward through a pleasingly error-filled Yankees loss and that probability is now 92%. They also have an improbable 65% chance at winning it all. That unfortunately means another short series and lots of waiting until the World Series.

1991 Rewind: Game Ten


Date:  Friday, April 19.

Batting stars:  None.  The Twins had just two hits.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Chuck Finley pitched a complete game shutout, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out nine.  Wally Joyner was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Junior Felix was 2-for-3.

The game:  For the first six innings only one man got as far as third base.  That happened in the third, when Felix singled, was bunted to second, and advanced to third on a ground out.  The game stayed scoreless, however, until the seventh.  The first two Angels went out that inning, but singles by Donnie Hill, Jack Howell, and Felix made the score 1-0.  California added a run in the eighth when Joyner led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch.

The Twins did nothing on offense the entire game.  The only man to reach second base was Greg Gagne, who hit a one-out double in the sixth.  He did not advance.

WP:  Finley (3-0).  LP:  Morris (0-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Dan Gladden was back in the lineup in left field.  Shane Mack remained in center and Kirby Puckett in right.

Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .359.  Brian Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .333.  Gagne was 1-for-3 and was batting .304.

Gladden was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .037.  Kent Hrbek was 0-for-3 and was batting .108.  Mack was 0-for-3 and was batting .143.  Scott Leius was 0-for-2 with a walk and was batting .154.  I did not remember that so many regulars started off the season in batting slumps.

Morris had a fine game, but his ERA was still a very high 6.38.  Also, while again it was a fine game, it was not even in his top ten for the season as judged by game scores.

Not only did each pitcher throw a complete game, but neither team substituted at all.  The same ten players started and ended the game for each team.  That's pretty much unheard of today, but I suspect it was rather unusual even then.

It was the sixth straight loss for the Twins, in their last five games, they had scored just eleven runs and had been shut out twice.

Record:  The Twins were 2-8, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, 5.5 games behind Oakland.

Happy Birthday–October 18

Due to personal time constraints, this is a reprint from last year which has not been updated.

Candy Cummings (1848)
Cliff Carroll (1859)
Walt Wilmot (1863)
Boileryard Clarke (1868)
Hans Lobert (1881)
Burt Shotton (1884)
Charlie Berry (1902)
Skeeter Newsome (1910)
Roy Cullenbine (1913)
Andy Carey (1931)
Bobby Knoop (1938)
Willie Horton (1942)
Ed Farmer (1949)
George Hendrick (1949)
Andy Hassler (1951)
Jerry Royster (1952)
Mike Walters (1957)
Alan Mills (1966)
Doug Mirabelli (1970)
Alex Cora (1975)
David Murphy (1981)
Yoenis Cespedes (1985)

Alex Cora was drafted by Minnesota in the twelfth round in 1993, but he did not sign.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to AMR.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 18

1991 Rewind: Game Nine


Date:  Wednesday, April 17.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Brian Harper was 2-for-5 with two doubles.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani struck out seven in seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and no walks.  Steve Bedrosian pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Edgar Martinez was 3-for-5.  Ken Griffey, Sr. was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jay Buhner was 1-for-4 with a home run (his second) and a walk.  Scott Bankhead pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on nine hits and two walks and striking out three.  Mike Jackson pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up only a walk.

The game:  The Twins put two on with two out in the first, but nothing came of it.  In the second, Haper doubled and scored on a Mike Pagliarulo single.  Pagliarulo was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double, but Shane Mack doubled, went to third on an error, and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.  The Twins added to their lead in the fifth.  Chuck Knoblauch singled, took second on a ground out, and scored on a two-out single by Kent Hrbek to make it 3-0.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it would get for Minnesota.  Buhner led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run.  With one out, Dave Valle singled, Jeff Schaefer doubled, a ground out made it 3-2, and Griffey, Sr. singled to tie the score.

The Twins had chances.  They got a two-out double from Randy Bush in the seventh and a one-out double from Harper in the eighth, but neither man advances past second.  Seattle loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but a strikeout and a fly out turned them aside.

Neither team threatened again until the eleventh.  Davis led off with a single and was pinch-run for by Henry Cotto, who stole second.  Buhner walked, Pete O'Brien struck out, and Scott Bradley delivered an RBI single to win the game for the Mariners.

WP:  Jackson (1-1).  LP:  Rick Aguilera (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Bush was again in left in place of Dan Gladden.  Gladden pinch-ran for Bush in the seventh and remained in the game in left field.  Mack was again in center and Kirby Puckett in right.

Harper raised his average to .381.  Puckett was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .371.  Knoblauch was 1-for-4 and was batting .313.  Greg Gagne was 0-for-3 and was batting .300.  Tapani had an ERA of 1.64.  Bedrosian had an ERA of 2.84.  Aguilera pitched 1.1 innings, giving up a run on two hits and two walks and striking out two.  His ERA was 2.25.

At the other end, Carmelo Castillo was 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter and was batting zero.  Gladden was 0-for-1 and was batting .042.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Gagne, went 0-for-2, and was batting .111.  Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .118.  Mack was 1-for-5 and was batting .160.  Scott Leius was 0-for-1 and was batting .182.

It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Twins and gave them sole possession of last place.  They had the worst record in all of baseball.  Given that they had finished last in 1990 this probably wasn't a huge surprise, but it must have been a disappointment.  They added Jack MorrisChili Davis, and Steve Bedrosian, they still had Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek, and yet they seemed to be the same old last-place Twins.

This was only the third game for Aguilera.  He had saved the Twins' first win, and was used in a mopup role in one of their losses to California.

If you're wondering, this is the same Mike Jackson who would pitch for the Twins in 2002.  He was twenty-six at this time, and would play until he was thirty-nine.

Record:  The Twins were 2-7, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, six games behind Oakland.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.