Tag Archives: 1987 rewind

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty-seven


Date:  Friday, June 14.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 3-for-5 with a double.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5 with a triple.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching star:  LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Tyler Houston was 3-for-4 with a double.  Matt Stairs was 2-for-3.  Jeffrey Hammonds was 2-for-5 with a double.

The game:  Hunter doubled home a run in the top of the first to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Brewers came right back with three in the bottom of the first, getting an RBI double by Hammonds, a run-scoring single by Stairs, and a ground out that scored the third run.  The Twins got three of their own in the top of the second, as Luis Rivas delivered a run-scoring double, Jones singled home a run, and Guzman had an RBI triple, putting the Twins up 4-3.  A. J. Pierzynski homered leading off the fourth to make it 5-3.  The lead held until the sixth, when Stairs came through with another run-scoring single and another productive ground out tied the score.  It remained tied until the eighth.  Singles by Houston and Jose Hernandez were followed by a sacrifice bunt that moved men to second and third.  Ronnie Belliard then produced a two-run single that made the difference in the game.  The Twins put men on first and third with two out in the ninth, but Doug Mientkiewicz struck out to end the game.

WP:  Ray King (2-2).  LP:  Mike Jackson (2-2).  S:  Mike DeJean (13).

Notes:  There was no DH, so starter Rick Reed batted.  He went 1-for-3.  He pitched 5.1 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and no walks and striking out one...MIlwaukee starter Glendon Rusch struck out seven in five innings, also giving up five runs on eight hits.  He walked two...Jones raised his average to .317...Hunter was hitting .300...Dustan Mohr was 1-for-4 to make his average .308...Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was batting .330.  The home run was his third...The Twins were now 3-4 in interleague play...Memory says that Matt Stairs used to wear out the Twins, but in fact he didn't.  In 362 at-bats against them, he batted .262/.332/.478.  Not bad numbers, certainly, but right around his career averages of .262/.356/.477.  He did hit twenty-two home runs against the Twins, the highest total he had against any team.  On the other hand, he had more at-bats against the Twins than he had against any other team, too.  Stairs got an awfully late start to his career, not getting a full year in the majors until 1997, when he was twenty-nine.  He came to stay, though, sticking around until 2011, when he was forty-three.  In nine of those seasons he had an OPS of over .800 and in four of them he had an OPS of over .900.  He is in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (born in St. John, New Brunswick), being elected in 2015 in a class that included Corey Koskie.  He will be the batting coach for the San Diego Padres in 2018.

Record:  The Twins were 37-30, in first place by four games over Chicago and Cleveland.

1987 Rewind: Team Leaders



Kirby Puckett, 157
Tom Brunansky, 155
Gary Gaettie, 154


Puckett, 668
Gaetti, 628
Brunansky, 614


Puckett, 624
Gaetti, 584
Brunansky, 532


Puckett, 96
Gaetti, 95
Kent Hrbek, 85


Puckett, 207
Gaetti, 150
Brunansky, 138


Gaetti, 36
Puckett, 32
Greg Gagne, 28


Gagne, 7
Al Newman, 5
Puckett, 5


Hrbek, 34
Brunansky, 32
Gaetti, 31


Gaetti, 109
Puckett, 99
Hrbek, 90


Dan Gladden, 25
Newman, 15
Puckett 12


Hrbek, 84
Brunansky, 74
Randy Bush, 43


Puckett, .332
Hrbek, ,285
Roy Smalley, .275


Hrbek, ,389
Puckett, .367
Smalley, .352
Brunansky, 352


Hrbek, .545
Puckett, .534
Brunansky, .489


Hrbek, .934
Puckett, .900
Brunansky, .841


Puckett, 333
Gaetti, 283
Hrbek, 260
Brunansky, 260


Puckett, 6
4 tied at 4


Gagne, 10
Lombardozzi, 9
Newman, 7


Puckett, 6
Bush, 5
Hrbek, 5


Hrbek, 12
Gaetti, 7
Puckett, 7



Frank Viola, 17
Bert Blyleven, 15
3 tied at 8


Juan Berenguer, .889
Viola, .630
Keith Atherton, .583


Viola, 2.90
Berenguer, 3.94
Blyleven, 4.01


Reardon, 63
Atherton, 59
George Frazier, 54


Blyleven, 37
Viola, 36
Les Straker, 26


Reardon, 63
Atherton, 29
Frazier, 26


Blyleven, 8
Viola, 7
Straker, 1


Blyleven, 1
Viola, 1


Reardon, 34
Berenguer, 4
Atherton, 2
Frazier, 2


Blyleven, 267
Viola, 251.2
Straker, 154.1


Viola, 197
Blyleven, 196
Berenguer, 110


Blyleven, 1122
Viola, 1037
Straker, 656


Berenguer, 3.33
Viola, 3.66
Reardon, 4.23


Viola, 1.176
Reardon, 1.220
Blyleven, 1.311

1987 Rewind: League Leaders

Just to put a bow on the 1987 season, here are the Twins who were on the league leaderboards.  We'll look at Twins team leaders tomorrow.


1.  Roger Clemens, 9.5
4.  Frank Viola, 8.1


1.  Wade Boggs, .363
4.  Kirby Puckett, .332


1.  Mark McGwire, .618
9.  Kent Hrbek, .545


1.  Wade Boggs, 1.049
8.  Kent Hrbek, .934


1.  Ruben Sierra, 643
T6.  Kirby Puckett, 624


T1.  Kirby Puckett, 207
T1.  Kevin Seitzer, 207


1.  George Bell, 369
3.  Kirby Puckett, 333


1.  Paul Molitor, 41
9.  Gary Gaetti, 36


1.  Willie Wilson, 15
T9.  Greg Gagne, 7


1.  Mark McGwire, 49
T3.  Kent Hrbek, 34
T9.  Tom Brunansky, 32


1.  George Bell, 134
T7.  Gary Gaetti, 109


T1.  Dwight Evans, 106
T1.  Brian Dowing, 106
T7.  Kent Hrbek, 84


1.  Kevin Seitzer, 151
4.  Kirby Puckett, 142


1.  Don Baylor, 28


1.  Marty Barrett, 22
T8.  Greg Gagne, 10


1.  Wade Boggs, 19
T4.  Kent Hrbek, 12


1.  Jimmy Key, 2.76
3.  Frank Viola, 2.90


T1.  Dave Stewart, 20
T1.  Roger Clemens, 20
T8.  Frank Viola, 17


1.  Jeff Musselman, .706
T9.  Frank Viola, .630


1.  Jimmy Key, 1.057
6.  Frank Viola, 1.176


1.  Mark Eichhorn, 89
6.  Jeff Reardon, 63
10.  Keith Atherton, 59


1.  Tom Henke, 34
T2.  Jeff Reardon, 31


1.  Charlie Hough, 285.1
4.  Bert Blyleven, 267
10.  Frank Viola, 251.2


1.  Mark Langston, 262
7.  Frank Viola, 197
8.  Bert Blyleven, 196


1.  Charlie Hough, 40
T2.  Bert Blyleven, 37
T5.  Frank Viola, 36


1.  Charlie Hough, 1237
4.  Bert Blyleven, 1122


1.  Tom Henke, 62
2.  Jeff Reardon, 58


1.  Roger Clemens, 2.91
6.  Frank Viola, 3.66


1987 Rewind: World Series Game Seven


Date:  Sunday, October 25.

Batting stars:  Tim Laudner was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI.

Pitching stars:  Frank Viola pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on six hits and no walks with seven strikeouts.  Jeff Reardon pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Tony Pena was 2-for-3 with a double, a stolen base, and an RBI.  Todd Worrell pitched three innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts.  Steve Lake was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

The game:  St. Louis took the lead in the second inning.  They opened the inning with consecutive singles by Jim Lindeman, Willie McGee, and Pena to take a 1-0 lead.  The next two batters were retired, but Lake came through with an RBI single to make it 2-0 Cardinals.  That was all St. Louis would get, as Viola retired the next eleven batters and would give up only two more hits over the next six innings.

The Twins got one of the runs back in the bottom of the second.  Don Baylor was hit by a pitch and Tom Brunansky singled.  With one out, Laudner singled, but Baylor was thrown out at the plate.  Steve Lombardozzi followed with another single to make it 2-1.

It stayed 2-1 until the fifth.  With one out, Greg Gagne got an infield single.  It was the first hit the Twins had gotten since the second inning, but Whitey Herzog pulled starter Joe Magrane in favor of Danny Cox, who had started Game Five.  It didn't work, as Puckett drove his first pitch into deep left-center for a double, scoring Gagne and tying the game.  The Twins ran themselves out of a bigger inning.  Gary Gaetti walked, but Puckett was thrown out at third on the front end of a double steal and Gaetti was thrown out at home trying to score on a Baylor single.  Still, the score was tied after five innings.

The Twins took the lead in the sixth.  Cox opened the inning with walks to Brunansky and Kent Hrbek and was removed for Todd Worrell.  With one out, Worrell walked Roy Smalley to load the bases.  Dan Gladden struck out, but Gagne got another infield single, scoring Brunansky with the go-ahead run.  The Twins got an insurance run in the eighth, as Laudner got a one-out single and scored from first on Gladden's two-out double.  Reardon came in to pitch the ninth and retired Tom Herr on a fly to center, Curt Ford on a popup to third, and Willie McGee on a grounder to third to win the game and give the Twins their first World Championship.

Notes:  The quick hook for Magrane appears to have been based solely on the fact that he was a rookie.  He was pitching well at the time, and appears to have been the Cardinals best starting pitcher in 1987 (best ERA, best WHIP, best FIP, most strikeouts per nine innings).  Bringing in Cox, who was pitching on two days' rest, had not pitched in relief all year, and had a WHIP of 1.48 in 1987, does not appear to have been a smart decision...This was the only start of the postseason for Steve Lake.  Tony Pena, the regular St. Louis catcher, was used as the DH...I remember thinking at the time that I would have left Viola in to pitch the ninth.  He had thrown 105 pitches, which was not considered as high a total then as it is now, and was pitching well.  I couldn't argue with the results, however...Reardon had an excellent World Series, pitching 4.2 innings over four games and giving up no runs on five hits and no walks with three strikeouts...Puckett batted .357/.419/.464 for the World Series...Baylor batted .385/.467/.615 in fifteen plate appearances...Tim Laudner batted .318/.444/.500...Lombardozzi batted .412/.474/.647 in nineteen plate appearances.

Record:  The Twins won the best-of- seven series 4-3.


1987 Rewind: World Series Game Six


Date:  Saturday, October 24.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 4-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base, scoring four times and driving in one.  Don Baylor was 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk, scoring twice and driving in three.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a grand slam and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Juan Berenguer pitched three shutout innings, giving up three hits and no walks with one strikeout.  Jeff Reardon pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Tom Herr was 3-for-5 with a home run.  Terry Pendleton was 2-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases, scoring once and driving in one.  Willie McGee was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

The game:  Herr homered in the first inning to put the Cardinals up 1-0.  The Twins came back with two in the bottom of the first.  Dan Gladden led off with a triple and scored on a single by Puckett.  He went to second on a ground out and scored on a Baylor single.  Jose Oquendo singled in a run in the second to tie it 2-2.  In the fourth, Dan Driessen led off with a double, went to third on McGee's single, and scored on an infield single by Pendleton to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead.  That ended the day for starter Les Straker, as Dan Schatzeder came in.  He gave up a sacrifice fly to Oquendo to give the Cardinals a 4-2 advantage.  It went to 5-2 in the fifth on McGee's RBI single, and Twins fans could be forgiven if they started to think their magical season was coming to a close.

The Twins were not to be denied, however.  Puckett led off the fifth with a double and scored on Gary Gaetti's single to cut the lead to 5-3.  Baylor followed with a two-run homer, tying the game 5-5.  The home run did not kill the rally, as Tom Brunansky singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Steve Lombardozzi single, giving the Twins a 6-5 lead.  In the sixth, Greg Gagne led off with an infield single and Puckett walked.  A passed ball advanced the runners.  With one out, Baylor was intentionally walked.  With two out, the Cardinals brought in Ken Dayley to face Hrbek.  Hrbek greeted him by slamming his first pitch over the center field fence, putting the Twins ahead 10-5.  Berenguer and Reardon slammed the door on St. Louis, the Twins added a run in the eighth, and the stage was set for a deciding game seven.

Notes:  I had forgotten how much the Twins used Dan Schatzeder in the post-season.  He pitched in five of their twelve post-season games, throwing 8.2 innings.  Other than game four of the World Series, he did pretty well, too...Straker pitched only three innings, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts...St. Louis starter John Tudor didn't do much better, pitching four innings and giving up six runs on eleven hits and one walk with one strikeout...Hrbek's grand slam was the only run Ken Dayley gave up in the 1987 post-season.

Record:  The World Series was tied 3-3.  The Twins would send ace Frank Viola to the mound against Cardinals rookie Joe Magrane.  One game would decide the world championship.  How would it go?  We'll see tomorrow.

1987 Rewind: World Series Game Five


Date:  Thursday, October 22.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 1-for-3 with two walks and a stolen base, scoring once.  Gary Gaetti was 1-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.  Steve Lombardozzi was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts.  Jeff Reardon struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up three hits.

Opposition stars:  Danny Cox pitched 7.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts.  Ozzie Smith was 2-for-4 with two stolen bases, scoring once and driving in one.  Vince Coleman was 1-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases, scoring twice.

The game:  The game was scoreless until the sixth.  Coleman led off with an infield single and Smith followed with a bunt single.  With one out, the two pulled off a double steal, leading to an intentional walk of Dan Driessen.  Willie McGee was caught looking, but Curt Ford singled home two and an error by Greg Gagne allowed a third run to score.  Smith's RBI single in the seventh made it 4-0.  The Twins got back into it in the eighth.  Gladden led off with a single and Gagne followed with a bunt single.  The next two batters flied out, but Gaetti hit a two-run triple to make it 4-2.  The Twins got the tying run on base in the ninth, as a one-out walk to Roy Smalley and a two-out walk to Gladden put men on first and second, but pinch-hitter Don Baylor popped up to short right field to end the game.

Notes:  The Twins used five pinch-hitters in the game:  Gene LarkinAl NewmanSmalleyRandy Bush, and Baylor.  They combined to go 0-for-4 with a walk.  These days, there aren't five position players on the bench...The Twins had knocked Cox around pretty well in game two, but couldn't do much with him in this game...Coleman's two stolen bases gave him six for the series so far...In the non-DH games, Twins pitchers were 0-for-4 with four strikeouts...Reardon pitched 1.2 innings and threw 35 pitches in a game where the Twins were behind.  In fact, they trailed 4-0 when he entered the game.  That was presumably in part to get him some work, as he hadn't pitched since game two and the next day would be an off-day.  It also may show, however, that Tom Kelly was going to do everything he could to give the Twins a chance to come back.

Record:  The Twins trailed the best-of-seven series 3-2.  They would now go home, needing to win two games to take the series.  They would send rookie Les Straker to the mound.  Could he come through for them?  We'll see tomorrow.

1987 Rewind: World Series Game Four


Date:  Wednesday, October 21.

Batting stars:  Greg Gagne was 1-for-4 with a home run.  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch and an RBI.  Al Newman was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Joe Niekro pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.  George Frazier struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Tom Lawless was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer.  Willie McGee was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Jim Lindeman was 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch, scoring once and driving in two.

The game:  Gagne homered in the top of the third to give the Twins a 1-0 lead, but Lindeman singled in a run in the bottom of the third to tie it 1-1.  For the third time in four games, a big fourth inning made the difference.  This time it was the Cardinals who broke the game open in the fourth, scoring six runs.  Tony Pena walked, Jose Oquendo singled, and Lawless delivered a three-run homer to give St. Louis a 4-1 lead.  Frank Viola retired St. Louis pitcher Bob Forsch, but after walking Vince Coleman he was replaced by Dan Schatzeder.  He struck out Ozzie Smith, but Coleman stole second, leading to an intentional walk to Tom Herr.  Lindeman came through with another RBI single and McGee followed with a two-run double, making the score 7-1.  The Twins got a run back on Puckett's RBI single in the fifth.  They had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh, but Ken Dayley came in to strike out Gary Gaetti and retire Tom Brunansky on a foul popup.  The Twins did not threaten again.

Notes:  As those of us who were around will recall, Lawless was the least likely of any player on either team to hit a home run, possibly including the pitchers.  A seldom-used reserve infielder, he was playing third base because of an injury to Terry Pendleton.  He had played in only 19 games in 1987 and had only 25 at-bats, with a line of .080/.179/.120.  He had hit one major league home run in his career up to that point, in 1984 when he was with Cincinnati.  He would hit only one more, in 1988.  Over a nine-year career, he batted .207/.263/.258 in 531 at-bats...Tom Kelly elected to bring Viola back on short rest rather than go with Niekro.  Viola lasted only 3.1 innings, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts.  Niekro pitched two scoreless innings of relief.  I don't remember if that led to second-guessing, but I remember that at the time I thought TK made the right decision and it just didn't work out...Lindeman's two hits made him 4-for-8 in the series to this point...St. Louis starter Greg Mathews came out after just 3.2 innings, giving up one run on two hits and two walks with three strikeouts.  I suspect he was injured--if not it was a really quick hook--but I could not quickly find out and did not have time to research the matter.

Record:  The best-of-seven series was tied 2-2.  Would Bert Blyleven be able to stop the Cardinals momentum and give the Twins their first road World Series win?  We'll see tomorrow.

1987 Rewind: World Series Game Two


Date:  October 18, 1987.

Batting stars:  Tim Laudner was 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk, scoring twice and driving in three.  Gary Gaetti was 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk, scoring twice.  Randy Bush was 1-for-3 with a double, scoring once and driving in two.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven struck out eight in seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk.  Jeff Reardon pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Curt Ford was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run.  Dan Driessen was 1-for-4 with a double, scoring once and driving in one.  Tony Pena was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

The game:  The Twins once again jumped on the Cardinals with a big fourth inning.  They took a 1-0 lead in the second on a home run by Gaetti.  In the fourth, singles by Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek and a walk to Gaetti loaded the bases with one out.  Bush then hit a two-run double to give the Twins a 3-0 lead.  An intentional walk to Tom Brunansky loaded the bases.  Steve Lombardozzi hit a short fly ball for the second out, but Laudner had a two-run single and Dan Gladden followed with an RBI single, making it 6-0 and chasing St. Louis starter Danny Cox from the game.  Greg Gagne greeted reliever Lee Tunnell with a run-scoring double to make it 7-0 and the Twins were in control the rest of the way.  The Cardinals got on the board in the fifth on an RBI ground out, but Laudner got the run back for the Twins with a home run in the sixth.  St. Louis got one in the seventh and two in the eighth to make the final score look better, but the Cardinals never even got the tying run to the on-deck circle.

Notes:  Tim Laudner was another unlikely batting hero for the Twins...Doing this series has made me realize how important Randy Bush was to the 1987 team.  Not that he was the team MVP or anywhere near it, but he was a solid contributor as a part-time player...I don't remember if this was the game where Whitey Herzog started whining about Blyleven not coming to a stop in his stretch, but it probably was.  For a great manager (and he truly was--six time in the LCS, three times in the World Series, one world championship), it seems to me that Herzog whined an awful lot...Dan Driessen was the Cardinals first baseman and fourth place batter in this game.  At the end of a fine career, Driessen had gone unsigned until June, when the Cards signed him and sent him to AAA, bringing him to the majors in September.  He batted .233/.309/.317 for them in sixty at-bats.  Losing Jack Clark was obviously a major blow to the St. Louis championship hopes...Ford was the Cardinals primary right fielder, but he only played in 89 games and had 228 at-bats.  They never really did find a right fielder that year, playing David Green, Lance Johnson (at age 23 and in his first season), Tito Landrum, Jim Lindeman, and John Morris at the position.

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series 2-0.  Now, however, the series would move to Busch Stadium in St. Louis.  Would the Twins be able to win a World Series game on the road?  We shall see.

1987 Rewind: World Series Game One


Date:  Saturday, October 17.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a grand slam, a double, and a stolen base, driving in five.  Steve Lombardozzi was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and a walk, scoring three times.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-2 with two walks, scoring twice and driving in two.

Pitching stars:  Frank Viola pitched eight innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks with five strikeouts.  Keith Atherton pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Jim Lindeman was 2-for-4 with a double and a run.  Willie McGee was 2-for-3.

The game:  The Cardinals got on the board in the second inning, as Lindeman led off with a double, went to third on a fly ball and scored on Tony Pena's ground out.  In the fourth, however, the Twins took control.  Singles by Gary GaettiTom Brunansky, and Don Baylor loaded the bases with none out and Hrbek hit the fourth consecutive single to drive in two and put the Twins ahead.  Lombardozzi walked to again load the bases, which got St. Louis starter Joe Magrane a trip to the showers.  Bob Forsch came in and immediately gave up an RBI single to Tim Laudner and a grand slam to Gladden.  The slam killed the rally, but no one cared as the Twins had a 7-1 lead.  Lombardozzi hit a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 9-1.  The Twins scored their final run in the seventh when Lombardozzi singled and Gladden doubled him home.

Notes:  Gladden and Lombardozzi were probably the least likely Twins to hit home runs, as each hit only eight during the season...Magrane was in his rookie season in 1987 and was just twenty-two years old.  He had done well for the Cardinals, going 9-7, 3.54, 1.27 WHIP in 26 starts (170.1 innings).  There was controversy about going with a pitcher that young in Game 1, but he had the lowest ERA and the lowest WHIP of any of the St. Louis starters.  Danny Cox and John Tudor were unavailable due to their use in the NLCS, so the only other real choices were Greg Mathews and Forsch, who came on in relief in this game...Lindeman played first base and batted fourth for St. Louis.  I have zero memory of him.  He was a part-time player for the Cardinals from 1986-89 and was in the majors for at least parts of seasons through 1994, playing for Detroit, Philadelphia, Houston, and the Mets.  He played corner outfield as well as first base.  1987 was the year he saw his most major league playing time, appearing in 75 games and getting 207 at-bats.  He batted .208/.253/.386 that season.  For his career, he appeared in 351 games, got 676 at-bats, and batted .244/.289/.391.  His best season was 1991, when he batted .337/.413/.389 in 95 at-bats for Philadelphia.  The Cardinals' regular first baseman in 1987 was Jack Clark, who was unavailable in the World Series due to an ankle injury.

Record:  The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.