1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred One

MINNESOTA 9, DETROIT 7 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, July 30.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 4-for-5 with two doubles.  Scott Leius was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-3 with two walks.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-6 with a triple, a double, and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Carl Willis pitched 4.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up three hits and no walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Lloyd Moseby was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs.  Mickey Tettleton was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Tony Phillips was 2-for-5.

The game:  It was wild early.  With one out in the top of the first, Scott Livingstone singled, Moseby doubled, and Cecil Fielder hit a two-run double to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.  The Twins came back with three in the bottom of the first.  Dan Gladden walked, Knoblauch singled, Puckett hit a two-run triple, and a wild pitch gave the Twins a 3-2 lead.  It went to 4-2 in the second when Greg Gagne doubled, went to third on Gladden's single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Detroit went back in front in the third.  Moseby and Tettleton singled, Travis Fryman had an RBI double, and Rob Deer hit a two-run single to give the Tigers a 5-4 advantage.  The Twins got the lead back in the bottom of the third.  Larkin singled and scored from first on Leius' double.  An RBI single from Knoblauch put the Twins up 6-5.  They added two more in the fourth.  Mack singled and went to second on a wild pitch.  With two out, Leius singled and Junior Ortiz tripled to make it 8-5 Twins.  There was no more scoring until the seventh, when Chili Davis walked and scored from first on a Mack double, putting the Twins up 9-5.

The Tigers tried to mount a comeback in the ninth.  Tony Phillips led off with a single.  With one out Moseby had an RBI double to make it 9-6.  A wild pitch moved him to third and he scored on a ground out to cut the lead to 9-7.  But the tying run did not come to bat, as Tettleton grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Willis (6-2).  LP:  John Cerutti (1-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Larkin was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Junior Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Leius in the eighth and stayed in the game at third base.

Puckett was batting .332.  Leius raised his average to .303.  Willis lowered his ERA to 2.16.

There were no Great Scotts in this game, as neither starter lasted long.  Scott Erickson pitched three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out one.  His ERA went to 2.34.  Detroit starter Scott Aldred went only one-third on an inning, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks and striking out one.

Willis was really an unsung hero for the 1991 Twins.  When we think of that team, we think of Morris and Tapani and Erickson.  We think of Puckett and Hrbek and Chili Davis.  But Willis had fifteen games in which he pitched three innings or more out of the bullpen.  In those fifteen games, he allowed one or zero runs in twelve of them, two runs in two, and three runs in one.  In other words, in those fifteen games in which pitched three or more innings, he had an ERA of 1.95.  Saving the bullpen, keeping the Twins in games, allowing them to win some games they would not otherwise have won.  I'm not saying he was the team MVP, but he was certainly an important contributor.

The White Sox defeated Toronto 8-7, so the Twins did not gain any ground.

Record:  The Twins were 60-41, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–January 17

Louis Santop (1890)
Hank Leiber (1911)
Lum Harris (1915)
Mayo Smith (1915)
Don Zimmer (1931)
Keith Lieppman (1949)
Antonio Munoz (1949)
Pete LaCock (1952)
Darrell Porter (1952)
Mark Littell (1953)
Jerry Turner (1954)
Doug Simunic (1956)
T. R. Bryden (1959)
Chili Davis (1960)
SBG (1965)
Tyler Houston (1971)
Rob Bell (1977)
Randy Dobnak (1995)

Catcher Louis Santop was a star in the Negro Leagues, hitting .349 over fifteen seasons.

Keith Lieppman has been Oakland's Director of Player Development since 1992.

Antonio Munoz was a long-time star in Cuba, winning eight home run titles and becoming the all-time leader in walks.

Doug Simunic was the manager of the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks from 1996-2017.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 17

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, July 29.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 2-for-3 with a triple, a double, a hit-by-pitch, and three runs.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  David West pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks and striking out seven.  Rick Aguilera retired all four batters he faced, striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Mickey Tettleton was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Tony Phillips was 2-for-5 with a home run (his tenth) and a double.  Rob Deer was 1-for-4 with a home run (his twentieth).

The game:  Phillips led off the game with a double but only got to third base.  In the bottom of the first Gladden singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Puckett single.  The Tigers tied it in the second on Deer's home run, but the Twins took the lead back in the bottom of the second when Mack doubled and scored on Gagne's single.

Detroit took its only lead in the third.  Phillips led off with a home run to tie the score.  Travis Fryman doubled and scored on Tettleton's two-out single to put the Tigers up 3-2.  The Twins tied it in the third on singles by Chuck KnoblauchPuckett, and Kent Hrbek.

It stayed 3-3, with neither team getting a man past second, until the bottom of the sixth.  Harper got a one-out single and scored on Mack's triple.  Gagne then delivered a two-out RBI single to give the Twins a 5-3 advantage.  The Twins added one more in the eighth when Harper singled, Mack was hit by a pitch, Scott Leius had an infield single, and Gladden drew a bases-loaded walk.

The only Tiger threats after the third were mild ones.  Tettleton hit a one-out double in the sixth but did not advance.  A pair of walks gave them men on first and second with two out in the eighth.  But that was it.

WP:  West (2-2).  LP:  Bill Gullickson (13-6).  S:  Aguilera (27).

Notes:  The Twins went with a standard lineup.  The only substitution was when Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth and remained in the game at third base.

Puckett raised his average to .332.  Harper went up to .321.  Aguilera's ERA was 2.72.

Gullickson pitched 5.2 innings, allowing five runs on twelve hits and a walk and striking out three.

Gladden was 10-for-24 with three doubles and a home run since coming off the disabled list.  He raised his average from .259 to .274.

The Twins had now won eight out of their last eleven games.

The White Sox defeated Toronto 12-4, so the Twins did not gain any ground on this day.

Record:  The Twins were 59-41, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–January 16

Jimmy Macullar (1855)
Art Whitney (1858)
Jimmy Collins (1870)
Ferdie Schupp (1891)
Buck Jordan (1907)
Dizzy Dean (1910)
Jim Owens (1934)
Ron Herbel (1938)
Joe Bonikowski (1941)
Tsuneo Horiuchi (1948)
Dave Stapleton (1954)
Steve Balboni (1957)
Marty Castillo (1957)
Dave Jauss (1957)
Jack McDowell (1966)
Ron Villone (1970)
Jack Cust (1979)
Albert Pujols (1980)
Matt Maloney (1984)
Jeff Manship (1985)
Mark Trumbo (1986)

Jimmy Macullar holds the career record for most games by a left-handed-throwing shortstop (325). Oddly, he batted right-handed.

Pitcher Tsuneo Horiuchi made nine all-star teams in Japan and won seven Gold Gloves.  On October 10, 1967 he pitched a no-hitter and also hit three home runs.

Dave Jauss is a long-time minor league manager, scout, and major league coach.

Marty Castillo was drafted by Minnesota in the twenty-first round in 1975, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 16

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.