All posts by Jeff A

Random Rewind: 1968, Game One Hundred Four

DETROIT 6, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, August 2.

Batting stars:  Ron Clark was 3-for-4 with a home run.  Rod Carew was 3-for-4 with a double.  Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-5 with two doubles.  Rich Reese was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer (his third) and two runs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Al Worthington pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up only a walk and striking out two.  Ron Perranoski pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Don McMahon pitched four shutout innings of relief, giving up four hits and striking out three.  Bill Freehan was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.  Dick McAuliffe was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Tigers jumped on Twins starter Jim Merritt early.  McAuliffe led off with a single and Mickey Stanley walked.  With one out, Willie Horton walked to load the bases.  Freehan then doubled in two runs, Jim Northrup hit a sacrifice fly, and Don Wert delivered an RBI single.  It was 4-0 Detroit before the Twins even came up to bat.

The Twins tried to battle back.  They threatened in the first, when uhlaender hit a two-out double, and in the second, when Carew hit a one-out double and Frank Quilici walked.  Clark then singled, but apparently Carew rounded third too far and was thrown out, taking them out of the inning.

The Twins finally broke through in the third.  Reese hit a one-out single, Uhlaender doubled, and Bob Allison walked, loading the bases.  John Roseboro hit a sacrifice fly and Carew had an RBI single, cutting the margin to 4-2.  They took the lead in the fourth.  Clark led off with a home run.  With one out, Tovar singled and Reese hit a two-run homer to put the Twins up 5-4.

It wouldn't last.  The first two Tigers went out in the fifth.  Then came consecutive singles by Stanley, Al Kaline, Horton, and Freehan, resulting in two runs and a 6-5 advantage for the Tigers.

The Twins had consecutive singles to open the fifth, but nothing came of it.  They did not get a man past first base after that, and the score remained 6-5.

WP:  McMahon (3-1).  LP:  Bob Miller (0-2).  S:  Daryl Patterson (5).

Notes:  Tovar was in right field in place of Tony Oliva, who was out for about ten days, presumably with an injury.  Reese was at first base in place of Harmon Killebrew, who you may remember was injured in the all-star game.  Frank Quilici was at third base.  Clark was at shortstop.

Merritt was the starter for the Twins, but he lasted just two-thirds of an inning, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks.  He struck out one.  The Detroit starter was Joe Sparma.  He lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks and striking out one.  Mickey Lolich was used in relief, one of seven times he relived for the Tigers in 1968.  The Tigers really didn't have a closer that year--I guess with a rotation of Denny McLain, Earl Wilson, Lolich, and Sparma, they really didn't need one.  Patterson was tied with Pat Dobson for the team lead with seven.

Clark's home run was the only one he would hit in 1968.  He would hit five in his career.

Reese did not have much power early in his career.  He would hit four home runs in 1968, the same amount he had hit in 1967 in about a third as many at-bats.  He would set his career high, 16, the following year of 1969.

Of the players in the starting lineup this day, Uhlaender led the team in batting (at this point of the season) at .299.  Carew was second at .296.

Record:  At this point of the season, the Twins were 49-55, in seventh place in the American League, sixteen games behind first-place Detroit.  The Tigers would go on to win the American League pennant.  The Twins would finish 79-83 and in seventh place.

Happy Birthday–April 1

Hugo Bezdek (1884)
Jeff Heath (1915)
Vern Hoscheit (1922)
Bo Schembechler (1929)
Giulio Glorioso (1931)
Ron Perranoski (1936)
Ted Sadowski (1936)
Phil Niekro (1939)
Rusty Staub (1944)
Willie Montanez (1948)
Mike Bacsik (1952)
Mike Kinnunen (1958)
Rich Amaral (1962)
Frank Castillo (1969)
Matt Herges (1970)
John Axford (1983)
Daniel Murphy (1985)

Hugo Bezdek is the only man to manage a major league team and coach an NFL team.  He was the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1917-1919 and the coach of the Cleveland Rams in 1937.  He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Vern Hoscheit was a long-time minor league manager, scout, and major league coach.  He was also the president of the Three-I League from 1960-61.

Better known as a college football coach, Bo Schembechler was the president of the Detroit Tigers from 1990-1992.

Giulio Glorioso won six ERA titles and four pitching triple crowns in Italy and is a member of the Italian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–April 1

1991 Rewind: Team Leaders

BATTING

GAMES

  1.  Chili Davis, 153
  2. Kirby Puckett, 152
  3. Chuck Knoblauch, 151

PLATE APPEARANCES

  1.  Puckett, 661
  2. Knoblauch, 636
  3. Davis, 634

AT-BATS

  1.  Puckett, 611
  2. Knoblauch, 565
  3. Davis, 534

RUNS

  1.  Puckett, 92
  2. Davis, 84
  3. Shane Mack, 79

HITS

  1.  Puckett, 195
  2. Knoblauch, 159
  3. Davis, 148

DOUBLES

  1.  Davis, 34
  2. Puckett, 29
  3. Brian Harper, 28

TRIPLES

  1.  Dan Gladden, 9
  2. Mack, 8
  3. Knoblauch, 6
    Puckett, 6

HOME RUNS

  1.  Davis, 29
  2. Kent Hrbek, 20
  3. Mack, 18

RBI

  1.  Davis, 93
  2. Hrbek, 89
    Puckett, 89

STOLEN BASES

  1.  Knoblauch, 25
  2. Gladden, 15
  3. Mack, 13

WALKS

  1.  Davis, 95
  2. Hrbek, 67
  3. Knoblauch, 59

STRIKEOUTS

  1.  Davis, 117
  2. Mack, 79
  3. Puckett, 78

AVERAGE

  1. Puckett, .319
  2. Harper, .311
  3. Mack, .310

OBP

  1. Davis, .385
  2. Hrbek, .373
  3. Mack, 363

SLUGGING

  1. Mack, .529
  2. Davis, .507
  3. Hrbek, .461

OPS

  1. Mack, .893
  2. Davis, .892
  3. Hrbek, .834

OPS+

  1. Davis, 141
  2. Mack, 140
  3. Hrbek, 125

TOTAL BASES

  1. Puckett, 281
  2. Davis, 271
  3. Mack, 234

GIDP

  1. Puckett, 27
  2. Hrbek, 15
    Gagne, 15

HIT BY PITCH

  1. Harper, 6
    Mack, 6
  2. Gladden, 5

SACRIFICE HITS

  1. Puckett, 8
  2. 4 tied at 5

SACRIFICE FLIES

  1. Puckett, 7
  2. Harper, 6
  3. 3 tied at 5

INTENTIONAL WALKS

  1. Davis, 13
  2. Hrbek, 4
    Puckett, 4

PITCHING

WINS

  1. Scott Erickson, 20
  2. Jack Morris, 18
  3. Kevin Tapani, 16

LOSSES

  1. Morris, 12
  2. Allan Anderson, 11
  3. Tapani, 9

WINNING PERCENTAGE

  1.  Carl Willis, .727
  2. Erickson, .714
  3. Tapani, .640

ERA

  1. Rick Aguilera, 2.35
  2. Willis, 2.63
  3. Tapani, 2.99

GAMES

  1. Aguilera, 63
  2. Steve Bedrosian, 56
  3. Terry Leach, 50

STARTS

  1. Morris, 35
  2. Tapani, 34
  3. Erickson, 32

GAMES FINISHED

  1. Aguilera, 60
  2. Bedrosian, 22
    Leach, 22

COMPLETE GAMES

  1. Morris, 10
  2. Erickson, 5
  3. Tapani, 4

SHUTOUTS

  1.  Erickson, 3
  2. Morris, 2
  3. Tapani, 1

SAVES

  1. Aguilera, 42
  2. Bedrosian, 6
  3. Mark Guthrie, 2
    Willis, 2

INNINGS

  1. Morris, 246.2
  2. Tapani, 244
  3. Erickson, 204

HOME RUNS ALLOWED

  1. Anderson, 24
  2. Tapani, 23
  3. Morris, 18

WALKS ALLOWED

  1. Morris, 92
  2. Erickson, 71
  3. Anderson, 42

STRIKEOUTS

  1. Morris, 163
  2. Tapani, 135
  3. Erickson, 108

HIT BATSMEN

  1. Erickson, 6
  2. Anderson, 5
    Morris, 5

BALKS

  1. Tapani, 3
  2. Morris, 1
    Willis, 1

WILD PITCHES

  1. Morris, 15
  2. Guthrie, 7
  3. Paul Abbott, 5

BATTERS FACED

  1. Morris, 1032
  2. Tapani, 974
  3. Erickson, 851

ERA+

  1. Aguilera, 183
  2. Willis, 163
  3. Tapani, 143

FIP

  1. Willis, 2.92
  2. Aguilera, 3.00
  3. Leach, 3.11

WHIP

  1.  Willis, 1.07
  2. Aguilera, 1.07
  3. Tapani, 1.09

HITS PER NINE

  1. Aguilera, 5.7
  2. Willis, .7.7
  3. Bedrosian, 8.1

HOME RUNS PER NINE

  1. Leach, 0.4
    Willis, 0.4
    Aguilera, 0.4

WALKS PER NINE

  1. Tapani, 1.5
  2. Willis, 1.9
  3. Leach, 1.9

STRIKEOUTS PER NINE

  1. Aguilera, 8.0
  2. David West, 6.6
  3. Guthrie, 6.6

K/W RATIO

  1. Tapani, 3.38
  2. Willis, 2.79
  3. Leach, 2.29

Happy Birthday–March 31

Bill Hallman (1867)
Jack Stivetts (1868)
Big Jeff Pfeffer (1882)
Brick Owens (1885)
Tom Sheehan (1894)
Carson Bigbee (1895)
Mule Suttles (1900)
Marv Grissom (1918)
Dave Koslo (1920)
Moises Camacho (1932)
Moose Stubing (1938)
Balvino Galvez (1964)
Chien-Ming Wang (1980)
Jeff Mathis (1983)
Peter Bourjos (1987)
Josmil Pinto (1989)

There have been two players in the majors named Jeff Pfeffer.  They were brothers.  "Big Jeff" Pfeffer was actually Francis Xavier Pfeffer.  Plain old Jeff Pfeffer was actually Edward Joseph Pfeffer.  "Big Jeff" was 6'1", 185 pounds.  Plain old Jeff was 6'3", 210.

Brick Owens was a longtime major league umpire.  His first name was Clarence.  He got the nickname "Brick" after being hit by one while umpiring a game in Pittsburg, Kansas early in his career.

Mule Suttles is sometimes credited as the all-time Negro Leagues home run leader with 237.  He swung a fifty-ounce bat.

One of the top second basemen in the history of the Mexican League, Moises Camacho played  there from 1951-1975.  He was known as the Rogers Hornsby of Mexico.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 31

1991 Rewind: 1991 Twins League Leaders

BATTING

AVERAGE

  1.  Julio Franco, Tex, .341
    8.  Kirby Puckett, .319

SLUGGING

  1. Danny Tartabull, KC, .593
    8.  Shane Mack, .529
    10.  Chili Davis, .507

OPS

  1. Frank Thomas, Chi, 1.006
    7.  Davis, .892

HITS

  1.  Paul Molitor, Mil., 216
    7.  Puckett, 195

TRIPLES

  1.  Molitor, 13
    Lance Johnson, Chi, 13
    6 (tie).  Dan Gladden, 9
    8 (tie).  Mack, 8

HOME RUNS

  1.  Cecil Fielder, Det, 44
    Jose Canseco, Oak, 44
    8.  Davis, 29

WALKS

  1.  Thomas, 138
    5.  Davis, 95

SINGLES

  1. Franco, 156
    4.  Puckett, 145

INTENTIONAL WALKS

  1.   Wade Boggs, Bos, 25
    6 (tie).  Davis, 13

GIDP

  1.  Puckett, 27

STOLEN BASE PERCENTAGE

  1.  Henry Cotto, Sea, 84.2
    2.  Knoblauch, 83.3

PITCHING

ERA

  1.  Roger Clemens, Bos, 2.62
    7.  Kevin Tapani, 2.99

WINS

1 (tie).  Scott Erickson, 20
Bill Gullickson, Det, 20
4 (tie).  Jack Morris, 18
10 (tie).  Tapani, 16

WINNING PERCENTAGE

  1. Joe Hesketh, Bos, .750
    2.  Erickson, .714

WHIP

  1.  Nolan Ryan, Tex, 1.01
    4.  Tapani, 1.09

WALKS PER NINE INNINGS

  1.  Greg Swindell, Cle, 1.17
    3.  Tapani, 1.48

SAVES

  1.  Bryan Harvey, Cal, 46
    3.  Rick Aguilera, 42

INNINGS

  1.  Clemens, 271.1
    3.  Morris, 246.2
    5.  Tapani, 244

STRIKEOUTS

  1.  Clemens, 241
    10.  Morris, 163

STARTS

1 (tie).  Morris, 35
Clemens, 35
Gullickson, 35
Jack McDowell, Chi, 35
Dave Stewart, Oak, 35
Bob Welch, Oak, 35
7 (tie).  Tapani, 34

COMPLETE GAMES

  1.  McDowell, 15
    3 (tie).  Morris, 10

SHUTOUTS

  1.  Clemens, 4
    2 (tie).  Erickson, 3
    6 (tie).  Morris, 2

HOME RUNS ALLOWED

  1.  Rich DeLucia, Sea, 31
    5 (tie).  Allan Anderson, 24
    8 (tie).  Tapani, 23

WALKS ALLOWED

  1.  Randy Johnson, Sea, 152
    7.  Morris, 92

HITS ALLOWED

  1.  Walt Terrell, Det, 257
    8.  Morris, 226
    9.  Tapani, 225

K/W RATIO

  1.  Swindell, 5.45
    4.  Tapani, 3.38

HR/9

  1.  Tom Candiotti, Cle/Tor, 0.45
    9.  Erickson, 0.57

WILD PITCHES

  1.  Morris, 15

BATTERS FACED

  1.  Clemens, 1077
    2.  Morris, 1032
    9.  Tapani, 974

GAMES FINISHED

  1.  Harvey, 63
    3.  Aguilera, 60

Happy Birthday–March 30

Tom Burns (1857)
George Van Haltren (1866)
Ripper Collins (1904)
Dick Fowler (1921)
Dick Woodson (1945)
Grady Little (1950)
Jason Dickson (1973)
Jeriome Robertson (1977)
Josh Bard (1978)
Shairon Martis (1987)
Chris Sale (1989)

Grady Little was the manager of the Boston Red Sox from 2002-03 and the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2006-07.

Josh Bard was drafted by Minnesota in the thirty-fifth round in 1996, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 30

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Seven

MINNESOTA 1, ATLANTA 0 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Sunday, October 27.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 3-for-5 with two doubles.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched ten shutout innings, giving up seven hits and two walks and striking out eight.  He threw 126 pitches.

Opposition stars:  John Smoltz pitched 7.1 scoreless innings, giving up six hits and a walk and struck out four.  Lonnie Smith was 2-for-4 with a walk.

The game:  Obviously there was no score through nine innings, so we'll detail the threats.  In the second, the Twins got a pair of two-out singles.  With one out in the third, Rafael Belliard singled and Smith walked.  Gladden hit a one-out double in the bottom of the third but did not advance.

The Braves had a significant threat in the fifth.  Mark Lemke led off with a single, was bunted to second, and went to third on Smith's infield single.  But Terry Pendelton popped up and Ron Gant struck out to end the inning.

The big threat came in the eighth.  Smith singled and Pendleton doubled, putting men on second and third with none out.  This was the famous Chuck Knoblauch deke play, where he fooled Smith by pretending to field a ground ball and throw to second.  Still, Atlanta had the middle of their order coming to bat.  But Gant grounded out, David Justice was intentionally walked, and Sid Bream hit into a 3-2-3 double play to keep the game scoreless.

The Twins had a threat of their own in the ninth.  Chili Davis and Brian Harper led off with singles.  Shane Mack hit into a double play, but pinch-runner Jarvis Brown was still on third with two out.  But pinch-hitter Paul Sorrento struck out and the game continued.

The Braves went down in order in the top of the tenth.  Gladden led off with a bloop double in the bottom of the tenth.  Knoblauch bunted him to third.  Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek were both intentionally walked, loading the bases.  With the outfield drawn in, pinch-hitter Gene Larkin then hit a fly ball to left-center, which fell for a hit and won the game and the series for the Twins.

WP:  Morris (4-0).  LP:  Alejandro Pena (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the eighth.  Al Newman then pinch-ran for Bush and stayed in the game at shortstop.  In the ninth, Brown pinch-ran for Davis and Sorrento pinch-hit for Newman.  Scott Leius came into the game in the tenth at shorstop.  Larkin pinch-hit for Brown in the tenth.

What a game.  If you've watched it, there's probably not much I can tell you about it that you don't know.  If you haven't, I probably can't do it justice.

Morris pitched about as good a game as you will ever see anyone pitch in that situation.

Gladden gets a lot of credit for aggressive baserunning in the tenth, and I guess he deserves it, but I remember thinking as I saw the ball dropping in that it should be a double.

I always think about how close Jarvis Brown came to being a World Series hero.  When he pinch-ran in the ninth, he came that close to scoring the deciding run.  But, of course, it didn't happen.

The Braves eighth was amazing.  Even with Smith's baserunning blunder, I still thought they would score at least once and probably win.  I can still remember how awesome that 3-2-3 double play was.

The only bench player the Twins had left was Junior Ortiz.  Had the game continued, there would've have been almost no moves for Tom Kelly to make beyond pitching changes.

I don't remember if the Twins had anyone warming up to come in to pitch the eleventh or if Morris would've gone back out there.

So, the Twins were World Series champions.  We'll do a couple of statistical wrap-up posts before we let go of 1991 Rewind.  Thanks for reading!

Record:  The Twins won the best-of-seven series four games to three.

Happy Birthday–March 29

Cy Young (1867)
Duff Cooley (1873)
Bill Dietrich (1910)
Tommy Holmes (1917)
Ferris Fain (1921)
Denny McLain (1944)
Bill Castro (1952)
Tom Hume (1953)
Domingo Ramos (1958)
Mike Kingery (1961)
Billy Beane (1962)
Laz Diaz (1963)
Eric Gunderson (1966)
Brian Jordan (1967)
Alex Ochoa (1972)
Danny Kolb (1975)
Pat Light (1991)

Laz Diaz has been a major league umpire since 1999.

Danny Kolb was drafted by Minnesota in the seventeenth round in 1993, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 29

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Six

MINNESOTA 4, ATLANTA 3 IN MINNESOTA (11 INNINGS)

Date:  Saturday, October 26.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-4 with a home run (his fourth), a triple, a stolen base, two runs, and three RBIs.  Scott Leius was 2-for-3.  Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Scott Erickson pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks and striking out two.  Carl Willis pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Rick Aguilera pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Steve Avery pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and one walk and striking out three.  Terry Pendleton was 4-for-5 with a two-run homer, his second.  Mark Lemke was 2-for-4.  Mike Stanton pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.  Alejandro Pena struck out two in two perfect innings.

The game:  The Braves put men on first and second in the first inning but did not score.  In the bottom of the first, Chuck Knoblauch singled, Puckett had an RBI triple, and Mack hit a run-scoring single to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

In the fourth, Mack led off with a double.  A one-out error put men on second and third, but Junior Ortiz struck out and Greg Gagne grounded to second.  It cost the Twins, as in the fifth Rafael Belliard singled and Pendleton hit a two-run homer, tying the score 2-2.  The Twins did go back into the lead in the bottom of the fifth.  Dan Gladden singled, stole second, went to third on a fly ball, and scored on Puckett's sacrifice fly, putting Minnesota up 3-2.

The lead lasted until the seventh.  Lemke singled and went to second on a wild pitch.  Lonnie Smith walked and Pendleton got an infield single, loading the bases.  A forceout brought home a run, tying the score, but David Justice struck out to end the inning with the score tied at three.  In the eighth Puckett singled and stole second, but he was the only man to get past first in regulation, so the game went to extra innings.

Pendleton led off the tenth with a single but was erased on a line drive double play.  Sid Bream led off the eleventh with a single but pinch-runner Keith Mitchell was thrown out trying to steal second.

The Twins, meanwhile, had not had a baserunner since Puckett's single in the eighth.  Now, in the eleventh, Puckett came up again.  On a 2-1 count, he hit a pitch into the left-center field seats.  The game belonged to the Twins, and the series would go to game seven.

WP:  Aguilera (1-1).  LP:  Charlie Liebrandt (0-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  With Erickson pitching, Ortiz was once again behind the plate.  Despite the fact that it was an eleven-inning game, the Twins did not use much of their bench.  Brian Harper pinch-hit for Ortiz in the seventh and stayed in the game at catcher.  Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Leius in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.

I will always think of this as The Kirby Puckett Game.  He was involved in every run the Twins scored.  He drove in the first one with a triple, scored the second one, drove in the third one with a sacrifice fly, and of course provided the fourth one with a home run.  In addition, he made the tremendous catch of Ron Gant's fly ball in the third inning, going half-way up the plexiglass to come down with it.  We later found out that he had made the famous "jump on my back" statement, and then went out and actually made it happen.  He pretty much dominated the game as much as it's possible for a non-pitcher to dominate a game.  Just incredible.

Memory is a funny thing.  I remember a really good leaping catch of a line drive made by the Twins' third baseman.  Memory had said that it was made by Pagliarulo, and that it had come with men on base, saving at least one run.  As I look at the play-by-play, though, I only see one lineout to third base.  It came in the second inning, so the catch had to be made by Leius.  And it came off the bat of Brian Hunter leading off the inning, so it did not actually save a run in the traditional sense, although obviously we'll never know what would've happened had it been a double down the line.  I'm still pretty sure it was a good catch, though.

I have to feel a little sorry for Charlie Liebrandt.  He had a solid career--fourteen seasons, 140-119, 3.71, 1.32 WHIP--and yet the main thing he's remembered for is giving up Puckett's home run.  Such is baseball, and such is life, I guess.

Lemke was now 9-for-19 with a double and three triples.

It was an incredible game, and I really don't feel that I did it justice here.  But at any rate, the Twins had tied the series 3-3.  The next game would decide it.  The Twins would have Jack Morris on the mound, going against John Smoltz.

Record:  The Twins were tied 3-3 in the best-of-seven series.

Happy Birthday–March 28

Jimmy Barrett (1875)
August Busch (1899)
Lon Warneke (1909)
Vic Raschi (1919)
Garland Shifflett (1935)
Glenn Davis (1961)
Shawn Boskie (1967)
Craig Paquette (1969)
Mark Melancon (1985)

August Busch, owner of the Anheuser-Busch Company, bought the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953.

Craig Paquette was drafted by Minnesota in the 36th round in 1987, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 28