1987 Rewind: Game Eleven


Date:  Saturday, April 18.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-3 with a walk and stolen base.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4.  Steve Lombardozzi was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Frank Viola got the Twins' second consecutive complete game loss, going eight innings and giving up an unearned run on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

Opposition stars:  John Candelaria pitched 7.1 scoreless innings, giving up four hits and two walks with three strikeouts.  Donnie Moore struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Doug DeCinces was 2-for-3 with a run.

The game:  The lone run came in the seventh, when DeCinces singles, Dick Schofield got an infield single, and Butch Wynegar got an infield single-plus-error to bring DeCinces home.  The Twins got a man to third with two out in fifth and to second with one out in both the eighth and the ninth.

Of note:  Dan Gladden was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .320.  Randy Bush pinch-hit and was 0-for-1, dropping his average to .303.  Puckett's average fell to .419.  Greg Gagne was 0-for-3 and was batting .313.

Record:  The Twins were 7-4 and in second place, a game behind California.

Notes:  Tom Brunansky was the DH in this game, with Mark Davidson playing right field and Roy Smalley out of the lineup.  Nieto remained the starting catcher...I assume you know the story of the suicide of Donnie Moore.  His biographies tend to say he was never the same pitcher after the blown save in the deciding game of the 1986 ALCS, but that's really not true.  He pitched pretty well in the first part of 1987, but then ran into injury problems.  He made only three appearances after May 24, struggled through a 1988 season again marred by injury, and was released in late August.  He made a few appearances in AAA for the Royals in 1989, was released in June, and died in July.  On the face of it, it seems like perhaps the Angels did not treat him particularly fairly, but I don't know enough of the circumstances to state that with confidence.

3 thoughts on “1987 Rewind: Game Eleven”

  1. This article from The Atlantic considers the myth surrounding Moore.

    This SI longform piece provides substantial detail about Donnie Moore's life, including his post-'86 ALCS trials. It's a sad tale with a dark ending.

    Lots of pitchers have messed around with the split or sprinkled it into their repertoires, but for guys like Sutter and Moore and Mike Scott and Hideo Nomo—pitchers who rely on it almost exclusively—no arm gets out intact.

    Which meant that Donnie’s career had been hanging by a thread for years by the time he faced Dave Henderson in the ’86 ALCS, or more accurately, his career had been hanging by a few threads of connective tissue. Fibrous strands, unseen by Donnie or anyone else, that finally started to give way that spring, when Moore felt a stabbing pain in his lower back at the Angels’ 1986 spring training.

  2. I remember reading that longform on Donnie when it came out. It sounded like baseball is the thing that held everything together.

Comments are closed.