1991 Rewind: World Series Game One

MINNESOTA 5, ATLANTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, October 19.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two RBIs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a double.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and four walks and striking out three.  He threw 100 pitches.  Rick Aguilera pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition star:  Ron Gant was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

The game:  In the bottom of the third Dan Gladden walked, stole second, and scored on a Knoblauch single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  They took control in the fifth.  Hrbek doubled, Leius singled, and Gagne hit a three-run homer to make it 4-0 Twins.

The Braves got on the board in the sixth.  Jeff Treadway hit a one-out single and Dave Justice singled with two out, putting men on first and second.  Gant then delivered an RBI single to make it 4-1.  The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the sixth when Hrbek homered, increasing the lead to 5-1.

In the eighth, leadoff walks to Lonnie Smith and Treadway ended Morris' night.  Mark Guthrie came in and got Terry Pendleton to hit into a double play, but then he walked Justice.  Aguilera came on and gave up a single to Gant, cutting the margin to 5-2, but Sid Bream flied out to end the inning.  Atlanta went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Morris.  LP:  Charlie Liebrandt.  S:  Aguilera.

Notes:  The lone Twins batting substitution came in the sixth, when Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Leius.  He remained in the game at third base.

Liebrandt started for the Braves and lasted just four innings.  He allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk and struck out three.

The Twins continued to run, going 3-for-4 in stolen bases.  Knoblauch was 2-for-2 and Gladden was 1-for-2.

Gagne was one of the least likely Twins to hit a home run, as he had just eight on the season.  But that's how baseball works, and it's especially how the World Series works.  You never know who the hero will be.

In 1991 home field advantage simply alternated between the divisions and the leagues each year.  It worked out that the Twins had home field advantage in both the league championship series and the World Series.  What people forget, though, is that had they gone by best record, the Twins would still have had home field advantage.  They were 95-67.  Toronto was 91-71 and Atlanta was 94-68.

Record:  The Twins took the lead in the best-of-seven series, 1-0.

2 thoughts on “1991 Rewind: World Series Game One”

  1. I know they got away with it, but putting Morris out for the 8th was obviously a mistake. He obviously gets tired the longer a game goes on, and you might still want to get 3 or 4 innings from him in a game 7 if it goes that far.

    1. He did well in the regular season when he faced batters a fourth time. There's selection bias however. He's worse at the third time through the order overall, but if he's doing well, letting him continue on isn't unwise.

      Split G PA BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS tOPS+ sOPS+
      1st PA in G as SP 35 315 19 50 .258 .306 .337 .643 94 87
      2nd PA in G as SP 34 306 32 40 .235 .318 .347 .665 101 88
      3rd PA in G as SP 34 285 29 48 .264 .337 .384 .721 118 97
      4th+ PA in G as SP 28 126 12 25 .195 .278 .292 .570 72 51

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