1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-nine


Date:  Wednesday, August 28.

Batting stars:  Randy Bush was 3-for-4 with a double and a hit-by-pitch.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-3 with a double and two walks.  Brian Harper was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-5.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  David West pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk and striking out none.  Carl Willis pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mark Whiten was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his ninth.  Carlos Baerga was 2-for-4.  Eric King pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the first but did not score.  They opened the second with singles by Pagliarulo and Larkin but scored only once, on a double play.  They added a run in the third on back-to-back two-out doubles by Hrbek and Harper to go ahead 2-0.

The Indians put men on first and second with one out in the third and did not score.  The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and did not score.  In the sixth, however, Baerga singled and Whiten hit a two-out two-run homer to tie the score 2-2.

The Twins took the lead back in the seventh.  Bush was hit by a pitch to start the inning, went to third on a one-out single by Hrbek, and scored on Harper's single.  In the eighth, Larkin led off by reaching third on a two-error play and scored on Bush's two-out single to put the Twins up 4-2.  Cleveland got a two-out single in the eighth but otherwise did no damage.

WP:  West (4-3).  LP:  King (5-8).  S:  Aguilera (35).

Notes:  Bush was the DH in place of Chili Davis,  He batted second.  Chuck Knoblauch went to third spot.  Kirby Puckett was out of the lineup, with Shane Mack moving to center and Larkin playing right.

Harper raised his average to .314.  Mack was 1-for-5 and was batting .300.  Willis lowered his ERA to 1.89.  Aguilera's ERA went to 2.41.

This was one of only thirteen games in 1991 that Davis was not the starting DH.  Bush was the starting DH in six of those thirteen other games.

This was the last good start West would make in 1991.  He would start two more games and appear in relief three times.

Eric King came up to the Tigers in 1986 as a twenty-two-year old and went 11-4, 3.51, 1.24 WHIP.  He pitched much better out of the bullpen than as a starter, so Detroit put him in the bullpen for 1987 and probably thought they had a coming star.  Instead, he went 6-9, 4.89, 1.48 WHIP.  He did better in 1988, then was traded to the White Sox, for whom he was a rotation starter for the next three seasons.  He did pretty well in the first two, but in 1991 he was 6-11, 4.60, 1.39 WHIP.  He went back to the Tigers in 1992 and then was done, although he did make sixteen starts in the Pacific League in 1998.  His wikipedia entry says that he's best known for giving up Ken Griffey, Jr.'s first major league home run, which makes me feel better for not remembering him.

Oakland finally won a game, defeating Boston 9-3.  The White Sox lost again, falling 7-6 to Kansas City, so the Athletics moved into sole possession of second place.

Record:  The Twins were 77-52, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Oakland.