1991 Rewind: World Series Game Two

MINNESOTA 3, ATLANTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, October 20.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer.  Scott Leius was 1-for-3 with a home run.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out three.  Rick Aguilera struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Tom Glavine pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks and striking out six.  Terry Pendleton was 2-for-4.

The game:  In the first Dan Gladden reached on an error and Chuck Knoblauch walked.  Kirby Puckett hit into a double play, but Davis picked him up with a two-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 2-0.  The Braves came right back in the second.  David Justice led off with a single and Sid Bream followed with a double, putting men on second and third with none out.  Brian Hunter hit a sacrifice fly, getting Atlanta on the board, but a ground out and a strikeout kept the Twins ahead 2-1.

Neither team got a hit in the third or fourth.  In the fifth, Greg Olson led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Rafael Belliard's sacrifice fly to tie it 2-2.

In the eighth, Belliard led off with a bunt single, was sacrificed to second, and went to third on a Pendleton infield single.  A foul out and a fly out kept them off the board, though, and it cost them.  The Twins entered the inning having gotten only one hit since the first, but Leius led off with a home run, putting them up 3-2.  Hunter got a one-out single in the ninth but did not advance past first base, and the Twins came away with their second win of the series.

WP:  Tapani (1-1).  LP:  Glavine (0-3).  S:  Aguilera (5).

Notes:  The Twins went with a standard lineup and did not make any substitutions.

The Twins had just four hits in the game, but two of them went over the fence.  The home runs accounted for all the Twins runs.

The Braves were 1-for-6 with men in scoring position.  Both of their runs scored on sacrifice flies.

The Twins did not steal any bases in the game.

Leius was another unlikely home run hero, having hit just five during the season.  His career high was fourteen in 1994.  That was the only season in which he hit more than five home runs.

This was the game with the famous play where Ron Gant overran first base and was tagged out by Hrbek.  It happened in the third inning.  Lonnie Smith was on first with two out.  Gant singled to left, and Smith went to third.  Gladden's throw went past third base and was fielded by Tapani.  Tapani threw to first and Gant, trying to get back to first after rounding it, went past the base.  Atlanta complained that Hrbek had pulled Gant off first base, but we all know that was just sour grapes on the part of the Braves.

The Twins were looking good through two games.  Atlanta would have to take at least two at home to send the series back to Minnesota.

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series 2-0.

7 thoughts on “1991 Rewind: World Series Game Two”

      1. I maintain he overran the bag. Not to go full Zapruder, but if you go slow from 0:44–0:48, Gant's left leg doesn't plant until his right leg is lifting off the bag. Hrbek is nice & low, but Gant, trying to straddle Hrbie's right leg to plant his own left foot, isn't tall enough to do it cleanly. His right foot isn't solid on the bag, either, and begins rotating, either from the force of the tag, or to compensate for his own movement to plant his left foot. Gant's center of gravity starts toppling him over Hrbek's right leg like a teeter-totter. Hrbek starts straightening up (presumably trying not to fall onto his butt), but his feet don't move until Gant's right foot is way off the bag and Gant his falling over him. The whole play, Hrbek's glove hand wouldn't have been in position to exert lifting force on Gant's right leg, and his left hand is pinned between Gant's right leg and his torso, so it's not clear to me how he was pulled off as McCarver claimed.

        Gant probably would've been safe if he'd slid back into the bag.

        1. I was obviously having a little fun in the rewind, but I've never thought it was all that clear-cut that Hrbek pulled him off the bag. He helped, but I'm not sure Gant wouldn't have come off the bag anyway. Of course Hrbek, being Hrbek, was more than happy to take credit for and talk about it being a pro wrestling move and such, and so it just became a "known fact" that Hrbek pulled him off. But I don't think it's that clear.

        2. When I watch Herbek's feet, he's taking these small balancing steps to keep from, as you say, falling onto his butt. If he was pulling, he'd have widened his stance and likely wouldn't have lost his balance. The way I've always thought of it is that the two of them made contact because Gant didn't slide. That contact resulted in both of them losing their footing, and what looks somewhat like a pull, but is certainly not an intentional pull.

        3. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm saying that McCarver wasn't just making it up, his take on the play was just as valid. He said "I think the Braves have a legitimate complaint right here." and "I think that's a bad call right there" -- both opinions. I don't have a problem with that, it's his job, and it was not a clear cut play. Hawk would have said "That's a HORRIBLE call." and then pouted.

          I've played it over and over with my bobbleheads, and I still think the call could fairly have gone either way.

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