1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-seven


Date:  Saturday, September 5.

Batting stars:  Tom Brunansky was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-eighth) and a stolen base (his eleventh).  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk.  Al Newman was 1-for-3 with a walk, a run, and a stolen base (his fifteenth).

Pitching stars:  Mike Smithson pitched eight innings, giving up one run on three hits and five walks with three strikeouts.  Keith Atherton pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk with one strikeout.

Opposition stars:  Juan Nieves struck out seven in 7.2 innings, giving up one run on seven hits and three walks.  Ernie Riles was 2-for-4 with an RBI.  Greg Brock was 0-for-2 with two walks, a run, and a stolen base (his fifth).

The game:  It was scoreless until the seventh, when Brock walked, stole second, and scored on a Riles single.  The Twins got the run back in the eighth when Newman singled and scored on Puckett's triple.  They won it in the bottom of the ninth when Brunansky led off the inning with a walkoff home run.

Of note:  This was the fourth straight Twins win, and the third straight game they won by a score of 2-1...Dan Gladden remained out of the lineup, with Mark Davidson in left field...Newman played second, replacing Steve Lombardozzi, and batted leadoff.  With Gladden out, Tom Kelly's choices for leadoff man were mostly Newman or Randy Bush.  While those may seem odd choices, the fact is the Twins didn't really have anyone who looked like a good leadoff batter, or even a good number two batter...Puckett raised his average to .331...Don Baylor was the DH, going 1-for-3.,,Smithson had spent the month of August in AAA Portland, coming back as a September call-up.  This was his first appearance since coming back.

Record:  The Twins were 73-64, in first place by three games over Oakland, which defeated Baltimore 7-2.

4 thoughts on “1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-seven”

  1. Bush seems fine as a leadoff man to me. Gets on base, can steal a base, and has some pop if the bottom of the order gets on.

    Incidentally, Newman hit lefties really well in 87. So not a bad leadoff platoon.

    1. Bush stole ten bases in 1987. That was his career high and thirty percent of his career total. He had other positives, but Lou Brock he wasn't.

      1. And, it's not like the 87 team had anyone besides Gladden who could reliably steal a base unless you count Mark Davidson

        1. That was kind of my original point. Bush and Newman weren't great choices for leadoff man (and really, Gladden and his .312 OBP wasn't a great choice, either), but the Twins didn't have any better choices.

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