1991 Rewind: Game Two


Date:  Wednesday, April 10.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4.  Brian Harper was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and a hit-by-pitch.

Pitching stars:  Allan Anderson pitched 7.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits and six walks and striking out two.  Rick Aguilera struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Bob Welch pitched a complete game, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk and striking out five.  He threw 107 pitches.  Mark McGwire was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  The Twins opened the scoring in the second when Davis led off with a single and Harper followed with a two-run homer.  With one out in the third Knoblauch singled, Kirby Puckett reached on an error, and Kent Hrbek walked to load the bases.  Davis then delivered a two-run single to make the score 4-0.

The Athletics twice got a man to second in the fourth, but did not score.  Rickey Henderson walked and stole second, but was cut down trying to steal third.  With two out Jose Canseco walked and stole second, but Terry Steinbach struck out to end the inning.  Oakland got a one-out double from McGwire in the fifth, but did not advance him.

The Athletics got on the board in the eighth.  McGwire led off with a walk.  With one out, Walt Weiss singled and Mike Gallego walked to load the bases.  That was it for Anderson.  Aguilera came in and gave up a run on a ground out but otherwise escaped.  Oakland threatened in the ninth, as a Canseco single was followed by a Steinbach double.  But Harold Baines was caught looking, McGwire fouled out, and Ernie Riles was caught looking to end the game.

WP:  Anderson (1-0).  LP:  Welch (0-1).  S:  Aguilera (1).

Notes:  In this game and in the previous one, Shane Mack was in center field and Puckett was in right.  It would not stay that way all season.  It'll be interesting to see when they switched.

Davis was batting .429 (3-for-7).

Who remembered that Anderson started the second game of the season?  Not me.  Part of the reason was that TK wanted to hold Kevin Tapani out for the home opener, which would be game four.  Even so, I'm not sure I remembered that Anderson was even still on the team in 1991.  He wasn't very good (4.96 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), but he did have a few very good games, including this one.

Aguilera would only have six appearances all season that were longer than 1.2 innings.  Four of those were extra inning games.

Before I did yesterday's game, it had been many years since the name "Ernie Riles" had crossed my mind.  He actually had a solid career, playing nine seasons for Milwaukee, San Francisco, Oakland, Houston, and Boston.  He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1985, behind Ozzie Guillen and Teddy Higuera (long-time Twins minor league pitching coach Stew Cliburn finished fifth in the voting, and Twins catcher Mark Salas finished ninth).  He batted .286 that year, and I'm sure people expected that he would just get better, but that would be the highest average he would get.  For his career, he batted .254/.319/.365.  He was an infielder, mostly playing short and third, but also getting 88 games at second, 10 at first, and 5 in the outfield.  He's the uncle of major league outfielder Willie Harris.

Record:  The Twins were 1-1, tied for fourth, a game behind California and Chicago.

12 thoughts on “1991 Rewind: Game Two”

        1. I believe I'm the one that's uploaded the most park photographs for game logs, so I've tried for three per park. Central Division opponents get four or more because of the number of games in a season. That way each game in a series can have a unique image plus it's rare for there to be three games in the 12-post front page so it rotates quickly. A very long way to say after five, it at least looks fresh on the front page.

  1. In my 1991 World Series recap I did back in 2014, I opined that Allan Anderson should have made it as the bullpen lefty over Mark Guthrie. Allan was still death to lefties (225/265/315 in 117 plate appearances).

    1. For whatever reason, I think of Guthrie in a much more positive light than I do Gary Wayne, who was also a lefty specialist for the Twins in those years. Guthrie’s strikeout rate was significantly higher and his walk rate a touch lower, but Wayne allowed a much lower OPS and BABIP, to go with a slightly lower HR rate. Guthrie pitched 98 innings in ‘91 to Wayne’s 12, though, so that might be why.

      Allan Anderson threw his last major league pitch at age 27, which flies in the face of everything we know about lefties, particularly at the time. He bounced around in the minors, from A+ to AAA, for a couple more years, but 1991 was the end of the road for him.

      1. I remember Anderson's amazing year in 1988 (2.45 ERA). He was solid in 1989, but then his star faded quickly. He had a great change up, if I remember correctly and I wonder if he picked that up from Frankie Viola.

        1. Sweet Music seems likely, or perhaps Ray Miller, who was the manager when Anderson made the jump to Minnesota. Johnny Podres was gone by then, and I’ve never heard anybody accuse Dick Such of teaching anyone a thing about pitching.

        2. Not a lot of love for Anderson from Dazzle (or was that Jack?) for sitting out the last start to preserve the ERA leadership.

          I always remember Wayne's funky delivery -- I always remember it as kinda stiff-armed. That and the birthmark.
          Here he is in action (his delivery is more exaggerated during the Twins clips):

          and he could hit...at least once

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