1991 Rewind: Game Thirty-nine


Date:  Wednesday, May 22.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-6.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with two walks.  Brian Harper was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Allan Anderson pitched seven innings, giving up one run on seven hit and no walks and striking out two.  Steve Bedrosian pitched a perfect inning.  Rick Aguilera pitched three innings, giving up one run on one hit and three walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mario Diaz was 2-for-2 with a double.  Steve Buechele was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Brian Downing was 2-for-6.  Kevin Brown pitched six innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and two walks and striking out none.

The game:  Each team put men on first and second with two out in the first, and each team failed to score.  It stayed scoreless until the fifth, when Buechele singled, was bunted to second, and scored on Downing's two-out single.

The Twins had two on with none out in the fifth and did not score.  They got on the board in the seventh, but missed a chance for more.  They started the inning with singles by Chili DavisHarperPedro Munoz, and Shane Mack, tying the score and leaving the bases loaded with none out.  The Twins could only get one more out of it, though.  Randy Bush hit a short fly ball, Gladden walked to force in a run.  Chuck Knoblauch hit into a force at home, and Puckett fanned, giving the Twins just a 2-1 lead.

It looked like it might be enough, as the score stayed 2-1 going to the ninth and Aguilera came in to pitch.  He walked Ruben Sierra and struck out Juan Gonzalez.  Sierra then stole second, leading to an intentional walk to Kevin Reimer.  Buechele drew an accidental walk to load the bases and Jack Daugherty hit a sacrifice fly to tie it up.

It stated tied until the twelfth.  Daugherty singled and was bunted to second.  Downing singled to put men on first and third.  Rafael Palmeiro doubled home the go-ahead run.  Later in the inning, Gonzalez delivered a two-run single to make it 5-2.  The Twins got one man on in the bottom of the twelfth, on catcher's interference, but that was it.

WP:  Gerald Alexander (2-0).  LP:  Carl Willis (1-1).  S:  Jeff Russell (10).

Notes:  Munoz started in right field in this game.  Mack and Bush were used as pinch-hitters for Mike Pagliarulo and Greg Gagne, respectively, in the seventh.  Neither stayed in the game, as Al Newman went to short and Scott Leius to third.

Harper raised his average to .369.  Munoz was 1-for-4 and was batting .321.  Puckett raised his average to .316.  Gagne was 0-for-2 and was batting .302.  Knoblauch was 0-for-5 and was batting .300.  Bedrosian lowered his ERA to 2.96.  Aguilera's ERA went up to 1.83.  Terry Leach gave up no runs in two-thirds of an inning to make his ERA 2.40.

Leius went 0-for-2 and was batting .162.  Bush was 0-for-1 and was batting .180.

This was "the" Kevin Brown, the one who was a six-time all-star and finished in the top six in Cy Young voting five times.  1991 was actually one of his worst years.  He went 9-12, 4.40, 1.53 WHIP.  He was a fine pitcher for Texas, leading the league in wins in 1992 with 21, but really became a star when he went to Florida in 1996 and led the league in ERA (1.89) and WHIP (0.94).  He finished second in Cy Young voting to John Smoltz that year, even though Smoltz' ERA was more than a full run higher--one suspects the fact that Smoltz had 27 wins to Brown's 17 was a major factor.  He had some fine years with the Dodgers, too.  For his career he was 211-144, 3.28, 1.22 WHIP.  An excellent pitcher in a career that spanned nineteen seasons (1986, 1988-2005).

This was one of six career wins for Gerald Alexander.  He appeared in 36 major league games, thirty of them in 1991.  He also appeared in three games in 1990 and three in 1992.  He went 5-3, 5.24, 1.58 WHIP in 1991,  For his career he was 6-3, 5.79, 1.69 WHIP.  But he pitched three shutout innings in this game, giving up no hits and two walks.  It had to be one of the best performances of his career.

Since April 26 the Twins had not been more than three games above or below .500.  Since May 4, they had not been more than two games above or below .500.

Record:  The Twins were 19-20, sixth in the American League West, four games behind Oakland.  They were a half game behind fifth-place Chicago.

2 thoughts on “1991 Rewind: Game Thirty-nine”

  1. One of my favorite internet nicknames was when Yankme fans derisively nicknamed this Kevin Brown "Three-Inning" Brown.

    Rich Garces was still missing.

    The Rangers' winning streak was now at nine; the longest streak in franchise history and the longest for any team thus far in 1991. Would the Rangers extend their streak? Would any team have a longer streak that year? We'll have to tune in!

    Anderson hadn't won a game since the second game of the season. (Obligatory admission that pitchers' wins are silly).

    With the bases loaded in the seventh, Shane Mack hit a ball off the wall in left center. Brian Harper was tagging at second base, so he only advanced to third. Thus, Mack came within feet of a grand slam, but settled for a one-run single.

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