1991 Rewind: Game Four


Date:  Friday, April 12.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Scott Leius was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4.

PItching star:  Kevin Tapani struck out nine in a complete game shutout, giving up seven hits and no walks.  He threw 113 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Luis Sojo was 2-for-4.  Floyd Bannister pitched two perfect innings of relief.

The game:  The Twins took the lead in the first inning.  With one out, Chuck Knoblauch walked, Puckett doubled, and Davis had an RBI infield single, putting the Twins up 1-0.  In the second, back-to-back triples by Leius and Greg Gagne made it 2-0.

The Angels put me on first and third with one out in the third, but Sojo lined to second and Wally Joyner struck out.  The Twins opened the bottom of the third with singles by Puckett and Davis, who went to second on an error.  Brian Harper hit a sacrifice fly which also advanced Davis to third, and a ground out made the score 4-0.  The Twins added two more in the fifth.  Knoblauch and Puckett singled, a one-out intentional walk to Harper loaded the bases, and with two out Kent Hrbek delivered a two-run single, increasing the Twins lead to 6-0.  California never threatened to get back into the game.

WP:  Tapani (1-0).  LP:  Jim Abbott (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Shane Mack remained in center with Puckett in right.

Leius was batting .400.  Davis was batting .385.  Gagne was 1-for-3 and was batting .375.  Puckett was batting .333.

On the other end of the scale  Dan Gladden and Mack were both batting zero.  Harper was at .125.  Hrbek was at .143.

Floyd Bannister was near the end of a pretty good career.  He broke in with Houston in 1977 and finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting (behind Andre Dawson, Steve Henderson, and Gene Richards).  He was traded to Seattle after the 1978 season, and in four seasons there he went 40-50, 3.75, 1.29 WHIP.  He made the all-star team in 1982, when he led the league in strikeouts with 209.  He became a free agent after that season and signed with Chicago, where he played for five seasons.  He was 66-60, 4.05, 1.29 WHIP in those seasons.  The 1983 season was probably his best:  16-10, 3.35, 1.21 WHIP.  He had another good year in 1987, but was traded to Kansas City after that season.  He had a poor season in 1988, missed more than half of 1989 due to injury, pitched in Japan in 1990, then came back to pitch for the Angels.  He again missed time with injuries, although he did okay when he was able to pitch.  He had a poor year with Texas in 1992, then was done.  For his career, he was 134-143, 4.06, 1.33 WHIP in 2388 innings (431 games, 363 starts).  His son, Brian, was a major league pitcher from 2006-2010.  At last report, Floyd Bannister was managing Brian's professional photography studio in Phoenix.  He was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, a Hall of Fame class that also included ex-Twin Eddie Bane.

Record:  The Twins were 2-2, in fifth place in the American League West, 1.5 games behind the White Sox.

2 thoughts on “1991 Rewind: Game Four”

  1. This was the first time in the regular season that the Twins — and Minnesotans — encountered Gary Gaetti on the opposing team. Rat had signed a four-year contract with California on 23 January. This was also Chili’s first game against his most-recent former team. I imagine there might have been some mixed feelings at the Dome that day.

    Despite things not going well for him with the Angels, G-Man was ultimately the last active regular from the ‘87 Twins; I believe Jeff Reed was the last active ‘87 Twin, period. It seems at least possible that, if not for glaucoma, Kirby might have played until 2000; he was just under two months older than Tony Gwynn.

    1. I don't remember, but I suspect the G-Man probably got a pretty warm reception from the Metrodome crowd. You can see why the Twins didn't re-sign him--he'd had a poor year in 1990 and he was thirty-two years old. But he sure fooled them. He didn't do a lot for the Angels, but he bounced back when he went to Kansas City and helped both St. Louis and the Cubs get to the post-season. A fine career.

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