Category Archives: Keeping Track

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Six

MINNESOTA 6, OAKLAND 2 IN OAKLAND

Date:  Sunday, August 4.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-fifth), a double, a stolen base, (his fourth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Shane Mack was 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch.

Pitching stars:  Scott Erickson pitched 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks and striking out two.  Carl Willis pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up on hit.

Opposition star:  Gene Nelson pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up two walks.

The game:  The first two Twins went out, but then Kirby Puckett doubled, Kent Hrbek hit an RBI single (taking second on the throw), Davis had an RBI double, and Mike Pagliarulo hit an RBI single to make it 3-0 Minnesota.  The Twins got another run with two out in the third.  Davis walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Mack's double.  The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the fifth, but Pagliarulo grounded out and the score remained 4-0.

The Athletics got on the board in the bottom of the fifth.  Jaime Quirk singled and scored from first on a two-out double by Brook Jacoby.  The Twins got the run back in the sixth when Junior Ortiz singled, went to second on an Al Newman single, went to third on a fly ball, and scored on Chuck Knoblauch's sacrifice fly.

Oakland got one more run in the seventh.  Harold Baines singled and was bunted to second.  Mark McGwire singled to bring him in and make the score 5-2.  The Athletics did not get a man past first the rest of the game.  Davis homered in the ninth to bring the final score to 6-2.

WP:  Erickson (15-3).  LP:  Dave Stewart (8-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  With Erickson pitching, Ortiz was behind the plate.  Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.

Scott Leius pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the ninth.  Gagne replaced him  in the bottom of the ninth and went to short, with Newman moving to third.

Puckett was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .330.  Mack raised his average to .300, the highest it had been all season.  Erickson's ERA was 2.36.  Willis dropped his ERA to 2.06.

Oakland was down 5-1 in the bottom of the seventh.  Baines led off with a single.  Dave Henderson then bunted him to second, with Jamie Quirk coming up next.  McGwire batted after him and did single the run home, but one run was all they got.  It just seems like a really strange strategy to have Henderson bunt in that situation.  If it had been Rickey Henderson I might have understood it, because he was a good bunter and had a very good chance to beat it out.  I don't know how good a bunter Dave was, but he wasn't exactly a speed demon, and he could hit for power.  Maybe he did it on his own, seeing the third baseman playing really deep or something.  Still, four runs down in the seventh inning is not a time to play for one run.

Dave Stewart had a poor year in 1991--he'd had four consecutive years of pitching over 250 innings a season from 1987-1990, and at age thirty-four that may have caught up to him.  Against the Twins he was 1-2, 5.61, 1.71 WHIP.  The Twins always handled him pretty well, actually--for his career he was 10-16, 4.37, 1.47 WHIP against them in 31 starts.

The White Sox defeated Baltimore 1-0, so the Twins' lead remained the same.

Record:  The Twins were 63-43, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–January 22

Ira Thomas (1881)
Amos Strunk (1889)
Art Ehlers (1897)
Prince Oana (1910)
Chris Pelekoudas (1918)
Dave Leonhard (1941)
Senichi Hoshino (1947)
Mike Caldwell (1949)
Leon Roberts (1951)
Jeff Treadway (1963)
Jimmy Anderson (1976)
Chone Figgins (1978)
Carlos Ruiz (1979)
Ubaldo Jimenez (1984)

Art Ehlers did not play in the majors, but he spent his life in baseball.  He owned several minor league teams at various times and was the general manager of the Philadelphia Athletics and the Baltimore Orioles.  He also was a longtime scout for the Orioles.

Prince Oana played in the minors for twenty-three years, batting .304.  He also had a pitching record of 80-54.

Chris Pelekoudas was a National League umpire from 1960-1975.  He is best remembered for his run-ins with Gaylord Perry over the latter's use of illegal substances on the baseball.

Senichi Hoshino is a long-time player, manager, and executive in Japanese baseball.

We also want to wish a happy birthday to Rhubarb_Runner’s daughter.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 22

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Five

MINNESOTA 8, OAKLAND 6 IN OAKLAND

Date:  Saturday, August 3.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 3-for-5 with a home run (his thirteenth) and two runs.  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his sixth.  Chili Davis was 2-for-5.

Pitching star:  Rick Aguilera pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Dave Henderson was 3-for-5 with three home runs, his twentieth, twenty-first, and twenty-second.  Mark McGwire was 2-for-3 with a home run (his sixteenth), a double, and a walk.  Harold Baines was 1-for-1 with a home run, his fourteenth.  Jose Canseco was 1-for-5 with a home run, his twenty-ninth.

The game:  Henderson hit a home run in the first inning to give the Athletics a 1-0 lead.  They loaded the bases with two out in the inning but could do no further damage.  In the third Henderson struck again, making it 2-0.  Again Oakland threatened later in the inning, putting men on second and third with two out, but they again could not score.  Henderson hit yet another home run in the fifth, making the score 3-0.  In the sixth, McGwire hit a home run to increase the lead to 4-0.  In the seventh Canseco hit a home run to boost the lead to 5-0.

It looked bad, but the Twins came back in a big way in the eighth.  With one out Greg Gagne walked and Mack singled.  Chuck Knoblauch had an RBI double and Puckett delivered a two-run single, cutting the margin to 5-3.  Kent Hrbek walked and Davis had an RBI single to make it 5-4.  Harper then stepped up and hit a three-run homer.  It killed the rally, but it gave the Twins the lead at 7-5.

Baines hit a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to 7-6.  The Twins got the run back in the ninth on Mack's home run.  The Athletics got a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but Brook Jacoby flied out to end the game.

WP:  Steve Bedrosian (4-2).  LP:  Joe Klink (8-3).  S:  Aguilera (28).

Notes:  Mack was in left field in place of Dan Gladden, with Gene Larkin in right.  Mack also batted leadoff.  Gladden pinch-ran for Larkin in the eighth and stayed in the game in left field, with Mack moving to right.

Puckett raised his average back up to .331.  Harper went up to .315.  Terry Leach retired both batters he faced to make his ERA 2.82.  Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.64.

Mack's batting average went up to .296, the highest it had been to this point in the season.

The Twins were able to keep Rickey Henderson completely off the base paths this game, as he went 0-for-5.

Oakland had ten hits.  Six of them were home runs, all solo home runs.  They also had two doubles and two singles.  They stranded eight runners and went 0-for-5 with men in scoring position.  I don't know what the record is for having all of your runs come on solo homers (which don't hurt you), but I would have to think that six is at least in the ball park, so to speak.

David West started for the Twins.  He pitched well other than the home runs, but his line is 5.1 innings, four runs, seven hits, four walks, and six strikeouts.  The Athletics starter was Joe Slusarski.  He pitched well for seven innings, but unfortunately for him he also started the eighth.  That makes his line 7.1 innings, four runs, nine hits, one walk, one strikeout.

This was Slusarski's rookie season.  He's another guy who got chance after chance despite not doing anything.  In 1991 he made 19 starts and went 5-7, 5.27, 1.58 WHIP.  In 1992 he made 14 starts and went 5-5, 5.45, 1.47 WHIP.  He made only two appearances in 1993 and none in 1994.  He was with Milwaukee in 1995 for 12 appearances out of the bullpen and went 1-1, 5.40, 1.80 WHIP.  He next appeared in the majors in 1991 with Houston for 3 games.  In 2000 he had his best major league season, going 2-7, 4.21, 1.33 WHIP in 54 relief outings.  In 2001 he made 12 appearances for Houston and Atlanta, going 0-1, 9.00, 1.81 WHIP.  Add it all together and he was 13-21, 5.18, 1.53 WHIP.  He appeared in 118 games, 34 starts.  His AAA numbers are 34-36, 4.12, 1.36 WHIP, not awful but not particularly impressive, either.  It's yet another case of how some guys get chance after chance without ever showing they deserve it, while other guys star in AAA and at most get one brief major league shot.

The White Sox lost to Baltimore 6-3, so the Twins gained a game.

Record:  The Twins were 62-43, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–January 21

Mike Tiernan (1867)
Lew Fonseca (1899)
Sam Mele (1922)
Danny O'Connell (1927)
Johnny Oates (1946)
Bill Stein (1947)
Mike Krukow (1952)
Dave Smith (1955)
Mike Smithson (1955)
Jose Uribe (1959)
Andy Hawkins (1960)
Darryl Motley (1960)
Chris Hammond (1966)
Tom Urbani (1968)
Rusty Greer (1969)
Jason Ryan (1976)

Tom Urbani was drafted by Minnesota in the twenty-ninth round in 1989, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 21

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Four

OAKLAND 3, MINNESOTA 1 IN OAKLAND

Date:  Friday, August 2.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-4.  Brian Harper was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out nine.

Opposition stars:  Bob Welch pitched a complete game, giving up one run on seven hits and two walks and striking out five.  Rickey Henderson was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his thirty-fifth.  Terry Steinbach was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  There was no score through two.  Harper led off the third with a double.  He was still on second with two out, but Chuck Knoblauch delivered an RBI single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  Unfortunately, that was the only run the Twins would get.

In the bottom of the third Mike Gallego singled and Rickey Henderson walked, putting men on first and second with two out.  Dave Henderson then singled to tie it 1-1.  In the fourth Steinbach doubled and scored on a two-out single by Mark McGwire to give the Athletics a 2-1 lead.  The Twins had a chance to tie it in the seventh when Davis led off with a double.  Harper drew a one-out walk, but a strikeout/throw out double play ended the inning.

Oakland got an insurance run in the eighth without getting a hit.  With one out, Jose Canseco was hit by a pitch and stole second.  Harold Baines was intentionally walked.  A wild pitch moved the runners up and led to another intentional walk, this time to Steinbach.  Brook Jacoby then hit an RBI ground out to make it 3-1.

The Twins got a two-out single from Davis in the ninth, bringing the tying run to bat, but Shane Mack flied out to end the game.

WP:  Welch (9-6).  LP:  Morris (13-8).  S:  None.

Notes:  It was a standard lineup with no substitutions.  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .328.  Harper raised his average to .312.

Both pitchers threw a complete game and neither team used a substitute.  The ten players on each side who started the game finished the game.  I don't know how unusual that is, but it's definitely unusual.  Morris threw 132 pitches, Welch 121.

Morris had ten complete games in 1991.  He was 6-4 in those games.

The Twins were 0-for-4 in stealing bases in this game.  The players caught stealing were Dan GladdenHarper, Davis, and Kent HrbekHrbek was caught trying to steal second on a strikeout/throw out on a full count with one out in the second. Harper was caught trying to steal second with one out in the fifth.  Davis was caught trying to steal third on a strikeout/throw out on a full count with one out in the seventh.  Gladden was caught trying to steal second with two out in the eighth.

Welch was coming off his Cy Young season in 1990, when he went 27-6, 2.95.  He struggled in 1991, going just 12-13, 4.58.  He would bounce back to have a solid season in 1992, but then fell apart, struggling through two more poor years before calling it quits.

The White Sox lost to Baltimore 3-0, so the gap between the two remained the same.

Record:  The Twins were 61-43, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–January 20

Everett Mills (1845)
C. I. Taylor (1875)
William Eckert (1909)
Jimmy Outlaw (1913)
Joe Dobson (1917)
Gene Stephens (1933)
Camilo Pascual (1934)
Dave Boswell (1945)
Cecil Espy (1963)
Ozzie Guillen (1964)
Kevin Maas (1965)
Marvin Benard (1970)
Brian Giles (1971)
David Eckstein (1975)
Matt Albers (1983)
Geovany Soto (1983)

Everett Mills holds the record for most at-bats in a season without drawing a walk (342).

 C . I. Taylor founded the first African-American professional baseball team, the Birmingham Giants, in 1904.

General William Eckert was the commissioner of baseball from 1965-1968,

Marvin Benard played in the major leagues for nine years and could never get announcers to stop calling him "Marvin Bernard".

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to FTLT’s firstborn and to Twayn's younger daughter.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 20

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Three

NEW YORK 8, MINNESOTA 3 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Thursday, August 1.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 2-for-3 with a home run (his twelfth) and a walk.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4.  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-fourth) and a walk.

Pitching star:  Terry Leach pitched three shutout innings of relief, giving up three hits and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Greg Cadaret pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks and striking out six.  Bernie Williams was 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs.  Matt Nokes was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his nineteenth and twentieth) and three RBIs.

The game:  Williams led off the bottom of the first with a walk and Don Mattingly got a one-out single, putting men on first and third.  Mel Hall hit a sacrifice fly to score one run and Nokes hit a two-run homer to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.  It went to 6-0 in the second.  An error, a bunt, and a walk put men on first and third with one out.  Williams had an RBI single, and error scored another run, and a sacrifice fly brought home a third.

The Twins got on the board in the third as Greg Gagne led off with a double and Dan Gladden singled.  Gladden was caught stealing for the second time in the game, however, so the two singles that followed did not produce another run.  In the fourth Alvaro Espinoza singled, Williams walked, and Steve Sax singled to make it 7-1.  Nokes homered again in the fifth to make it 8-1.

The Twins got a couple more runs on solo homers to make the final score look a little better.  Davis homered leading off the sixth and Mack homered leading off the ninth.  At no point did it look like the Twins might get back into the game.

WP:  Cadaret (4-4).  LP:  Paul Abbott (3-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  It was a standard lineup.  Al Newman went into the game at shortstop in the seventh inning, replacing Gagne.

Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .331.  Brian Harper was 0-for-4 and fell to .311.  Leach lowered his ERA to 2.86.

Gladden stole fifteen bases in 1991, but was caught nine times.

Abbott lasted just 1.1 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on two hits and two walks and struck out one.  Tom Kelly gave him a really quick hook.  Yes, he gave up three runs in the first, but it's not like they were smacking him all over the yard--the homer by Nokes is the thing that hurt him.  Then in the second, an error, a sac bunt, a walk, and he's gone.  It was the last start of the season for him.

Mack had an eight-game hitting streak.  He was 16-for-32 with three doubles, two triples, and three home runs.  He raised his average from .264 to .294 and his slugging average from .455 to .528.

Gladden also had an eight-game hitting streak.  He was 14-for-36 with three doubles and a home run.  He raised his average from .259 to .276.

This was Bernie Williams' rookie season.  I'd forgotten that he often batted leadoff when he first came up.  He wasn't all that good at it, batting just .219.  He did, however, draw a lot of walks, giving him an OBP of .328.  He would, of course, go on to have an excellent career.

Chris Berman's time has come and gone, but I did always like Greg "life is a"  Cadaret.

The White Sox defeated Texas 13-2 to move closer to the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 61-42, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–January 19

Chick Gandil (1888)
Lee Head (1899)
Rip Radcliff (1906)
Chet Trail (1944)
Jon Matlack (1950)
Rich Gale (1954)
Brad Mills (1957)
Rick Adair (1958)
Chris Sabo (1962)
Jim Morris (1964)
Orlando Palmeiro (1969)
Jeff Juden (1971)
Phil Nevin (1971)
Chris Stynes (1973)
Amaury Telemaco (1974)
Byung-Hyun Kim (1979)
James Beresford (1989)
Nick Burdi (1993)

Lee Head played in the minors for twenty-one seasons.  He batted .304, but he was best known for his ability to avoid striking out.  In 1933 he struck out three times in 468 at-bats.  In 1935 he did even better, striking out once in 402 at-bats.

Chet Trail is the only player to have been on a World Series roster who never appeared in a major league game, regular season or post-season.  He is also the last man to make an out against Satchel Paige in an organized baseball game while playing in the Carolina League in 1966.  After baseball, he became a pastor and eventually a bishop in the Church of God in Christ.

Third baseman Brad Mills was drafted by Minnesota in the 16th round of the 1977 January draft, but did not sign.

Rick Adair was in baseball from 1979-2013.  Most recently, he was the pitching coach of the Baltimore Orioles.  He is the nephew of former Twins pitching coach Art Fowler.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 19

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Two

MINNESOTA 12, NEW YORK 3 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Wednesday, July 31.

Batting stars:  Mike Pagliarulo was 4-for-5 with two runs.  Shane Mack was 3-for-5 with two home runs (his tenth and eleventh) and three RBIs.  Kent Hrbek was 3-for-5 with a grand slam (his eleventh), two runs, and five RBIs.  Randy Bush was 2-for-2.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4.  Chili Davis was 2-for-5 with a home run, his twenty-third.

Pitching star:  Kevin Tapani pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Steve Sax was 2-for-4 with a double.  Pat Sheridan was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  It was scoreless in the first inning, but the Twins' offense exploded in the second.  With one out Davis hit a home run.  With two out Mack hit a home run.  There followed singles by PagliaruloGagneGladden, and Chuck Knoblauch, the latter two RBI singles.  Kirby Puckett walked to load the bases and Hrbek then hit a grand slam to make the score 8-0.

It was never close after that.  Alvaro Espinoza and Steve Sax doubled in the third to cut the lead to 8-1.  In the sixth, Puckett reached on a three-base error, Hrbek singled him home, and Mack hit a two-run homer to make it 11-1.  The Twins scored once in the top of the ninth and the Yankees got two in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  Tapani (8-7).  L{P:  Scott Sanderson (10-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  It was a standard lineup.  Gene Larkin pinch-ran for Puckett in the sixth, something that probably didn't happen very often.  He then went to right field, with Mack moving to center.  Al Newman went to short in the sixth, replacing Gagne.   Bush pinch-hit for Gladden in the seventh and then went to left field.  Junior Ortiz replaced Brian Harper at catcher in the eighth.

Puckett was 1-for-3 with a walk and remained .332.  Harper was 0-for-5 and dropped to .315.  Tapani's ERA fell to 2.97.

Willie Banks made his major league debut in this game, pitching the last two innings.  He allowed two unearned runs on three hits and two walks and struck out three.  Banks would go on to pitch in nine major league seasons.  He was with the Twins through 1993, pitching in the starting rotation for two months of 1992 and all of 1993.  He also pitched for the Cubs, the Dodgers, Florida, the Yankees, Arizona, and Boston.  His best major league season was his last one, 2002, when he went 2-1, 3.23, 1.18 WHIP in 29 games (39 innings) pitching out of the Red Sox bullpen.  He pitched in AAA in 2003 and in the Atlantic League from 2004-2005 and 2009-2010.

There was no great Scott in this game, either.  Sanderson lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits and a walk.  Sanderson had a fine year in 1991, going 16-10, 3.81 and making the all-star team for the only time in his career.  By game scores, this was his worst game of the year, but just barely.  This one was a six.  He had a seven on April 27, when he allowed seven runs on eleven hits in two innings.

The White Sox won again, beating Texas 10-8, so the Twins again did not gain any ground.

Record:  The Twins were 61-41, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–January 18

Eddie Moore (1899)
Danny Kaye (1913)
Mike Fornieles (1932)
Chuck Cottier (1936)
Satch Davidson (1936)
Curt Flood (1938)
Carl Morton (1944)
Billy Grabarkewitz (1946)
Sachio Kinugasa (1947)
Scott McGregor (1954)
Dave Geisel (1955)
Brady Anderson (1964)
Mike Lieberthal (1972)
Wandy Rodriguez (1979)
Michael Pineda (1989)

Entertainer Danny Kaye was one of the original owners of the Seattle Mariners.

Satch Davidson was a National League umpire from 1969-1984.

Sachio Kinusaga played in 2,215 games in Japan from 1970-1987.

Six players born on this day made their major league debuts in 2017:  Jaycob Brugman, Max Fried, Jarlin Garcia, Kyle Martin, Alex Mejia, and Gift Ngoepe.  I don't know, but I suspect this may be a record.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Scot's oldest son.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 18