Category Archives: Keeping Track

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

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Five

ATLANTA 14, MINNESOTA 5 IN ATLANTA

Date:  Thursday, October 24.

Batting stars:  Al Newman was 1-for-1 with a triple.  Scott Leius was 1-for-2 with a walk.  Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Ron Gant was 3-for-4 with a triple, a walk, and three runs.  Greg Olson was 3-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.  Brian Hunter was 2-for-2 with a home run (his second), two runs, and two RBIs.  Mark Lemke was 2-for-4 with two triples, a walk, two runs, and three RBIs.  Terry Pendleton was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and three runs.  Rafael Belliard was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  David Justice was 2-for-5 with a home run (his second), a stolen base (his second), two runs, and five RBIs.  Lonnie Smith was 1-for-5 with a home run, his third.

The game:  It was scoreless for three innings, but that was shattered in the fourth.  Gant led off with a single and Justice hit a two-run homer.  Olson got a one-out single, Lemke tripled him home, and Belliard had an RBI double, making the score 4-0 Braves.  They added a run in the fifth when Pendleton and Gant singled and Justice had an RBI ground out.

The Twins rallied in the sixth.  With one out Knoblauch walked, Kirby Puckett singled, and Chili Davis walked, loading the bases.  Brian Harper and Leius each drew a bases-loaded walk, cutting the margin to 5-2.  A big hit would've gotten the Twins right back into the game, but all they could manage was a pair of ground outs.  One of them did score a run, making the score 5-3.

That was the end of the good news, though.  Atlanta put it out of reach with six in the seventh.  Smith homered, Justice and Hunter had RBI singles, Lemke drove in two with another triple, and Belliard had an RBI double, making the score 11-3.  The Twins got one back in the eighth, when Davis singled and scored on Newman's triple.  In the bottom of the eighth, however, Pendleton doubled, Gant tripled, and Hunter homered, bringing the score to 14-4.  The Twins got the final run of the game in the ninth when Dan Gladden tripled and scored on a ground out.

WP:  Tom Glavine (1-3).  LP:  Kevin Tapani (1-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  With no DH, Davis was in right field, with Shane Mack on the bench.

The Twins again made substantial use of the bench.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Tapani in the fifth.  Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Terry Leach in the seventh.  Also in the seventh, Al Newman went to second base as part of a double switch that took Knoblauch out of the game.  Jarvis Brown pinch-hit for Puckett in the eighth, as Tom Kelly conceded the game.  Also in the eighth, Randy Bush pinch-hit for Harper and Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Kent Hrbek.  Junior Ortiz came in to catch in the eighth, as Davis left the game as part of a double switch.  Sorrento went to first base, Brown went to center, and Bush went to right.

Tapani pitched four innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks and striking out four.  Atlanta starter Glavine pitched 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on four hits and four walks and striking out two.

The decision to put Davis in the outfield was much debated at the time, and is still a questionable move.  He had played only three innings of outfield all season, and all were in blowout games.  It seems like a desperation move, and the Twins weren't in a position where they needed to make a desperation move.  Did it make a difference in the outcome?  Probably not, although we'll never know for sure.  I seem to remember him misplaying one ball in the outfield, but I can't tell from the printed play-by-play when it happened or whether it would've made any difference.

The Twins bullpen pretty much melted down in this game.  Leach gave up one run in two innings, David West gave up four runs and didn't retire anyone, Steve Bedrosian gave up two runs in one inning, and Carl Willis allowed three runs in one inning.  The Twins were still in the game until the seventh inning, so if the bullpen had come through, the outcome might have been different.  Of course, if either Hrbek or Greg Gagne could have come up with a hit in the sixth, when the Twins were rallying, the outcome might have been different, too.

There were five triples hit in this game.  I wonder what the record is for most triples in a World Series game.  My guess is that it was set back in the dead ball era, but I really have no idea.

Mark Lemke was now 7-for-15 with three triples and a double in the series.

So the Twins would head back to Minnesota, with the Braves needing to win just one of two there to take the Series.  The Twins had lost two tough games, but now had been blown out and pretty much embarrassed.  Could the Twins rally?  Would someone step up and take the burden of leadership?  We'll see.

Record:  The Twins trailed the best-of-seven series two games to three.

Happy Birthday–March 27

Miller Huggins (1878)
Effa Manley (1897)
Wes Covington (1932)
Bill Sudakis (1946)
Lynn McGlothen (1950)
Dick Ruthven (1951)
Dave Hostetler (1956)
Jaime Navarro (1967)
Tom Quinlan (1968)
Dee Brown (1978)
Michael Cuddyer (1979)
Brian Slocum (1981)
Buster Posey (1987)
Ryne Harper (1989)
Matt Harvey (1989)
Jake Odorizzi (1990)

Effa Manley was the owner of the Brooklyn Eagles and the Newark Eagles in the Negro Leagues.

Dick Ruthven was drafted by Minnesota in the first round in 1972, but did not sign.

Brian Slocum was drafted by Minnesota in the fourteenth round in 1999, but did not sign.

We would like to wish a very happy birthday to Can of Corn.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Milt on Tilt.  Gone but not forgotten.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 27

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Four

ATLANTA 3, MINNESOTA 2 IN ATLANTA

Date:  Wednesday, October 23.

Batting stars:  Mike Pagliarulo was 3-for-3 with a home run (his second) and two RBIs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched six innings, giving up one run on six hits and three walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  John Smoltz struck out seven in seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits no walks.  Mark Lemke was 3-for-4 with a triple and double.  Terry Pendleton was 2-for-4 with a home run and a double.  Lonnie Smith was 2-for-4 with a home run and a stolen base, his second.

The gameChuck Knoblauch hit a one-out double in the first, but nothing came of it.  In the second Harper led off with a double and Pagliarulo had a one-out RBI single to put the Twins up 1-0.

The Braves put two on with two out in the second but did not score.  They tied it in the third when Pendleton hit a two-out homer.  They put men on first and third later in the inning, but the score remained 1-1.  The Twins missed a chance in the fourth when, with men on first and third, Shane Mack was thrown out at the plate on a double steal.  Atlanta missed a chance in the fifth when they got two runners thrown out at the plate (not on the same play).

The Twins took the lead in the seventh when Pagliarulo hit a one-out homer.  It didn't last long, though, as Smith hit a two-out homer in the bottom of the seventh to tie it 2-2.

The Twins did not get a hit after that.  With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Lemke tripled, Jeff Blauser was intentionally walked, and Jerry Willard hit a sacrifice fly to right to end the game.

WP:  Mike Stanton (1-0).  LP:  Mark Guthrie (1-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  With no DH, Chili Davis was again out of the lineup.

Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Morris with two out and none on in the seventh, no doubt much to Morris' consternation.  He had thrown 94 pitches.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.  Al Newman came in to play third as part of a double switch later in the ninth inning.

The double steal in the fourth becomes more understandable when you realize that the Twins had Greg Gagne up to bat and Morris on deck.  They weren't going to pinch-hit for Morris in the fourth inning, so it really becomes a question of how confident you are that Gagne can drive in the run.  With one out, of course, it didn't necessarily take a hit, but it's also not like Gagne was a big RBI man.  As it happened, Gagne struck out.  It's hard to know, this many years later, whether the double steal was the right move, but it's not an obviously wrong one.

Mark Lemke was 5-for-12 with a triple and a double so far in the series.  For the season he batted .234/.305/.312.  He hadn't even started the first game, as Jeff Treadway played second base.  But, as they say, that's baseball.

The Twins bullpen, which had been so strong, let them down in this game.  Not horribly, but enough.  Carl Willis gave up just one hit, but it was the home run to Smith to tie the game.  Guthrie gave up just one hit as well, but it was the triple to Lemke that ultimately led to the deciding run.

The series was now even and would definitely go back to Minnesota.  Would the Twins return home one game ahead or one game behind?

Record:  The Twins were 2-2 in the best-of-seven series.

Happy Birthday–March 26

Jack McCarthy (1869)
Bill Zuber (1913)
Ben Mondor (1925)
Harry Kalas (1936)
Mel Queen (1942)
Kevin Seitzer (1962)
Jarvis Brown (1967)
Shane Reynolds (1968)
Jose Vizcaino (1968)
Jason Maxwell (1972)
Brendan Ryan (1982)
Eric Hacker (1983)

Ben Mondor was the owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox from 1977-2010.  He is a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame and the International League Hall of Fame and won numerous minor league Executive of the Year awards from various organizations.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 26