Tag Archives: 1987 rewind

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-five

CHICAGO 8, MINNESOTA 2 IN CHICAGO

Date:  Monday, September 14.

Batting stars:  Don Baylor was 1-for-2 with two walks and a run.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run.  Randy Bush was 1-for-1 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Roy Smith pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Dave LaPoint pitched 8.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and six walks with three strikeouts.  Greg Walker was 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.  Ivan Calderon was 1-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-fifth) and two walks, scoring three times.

The game:  Calderon homered leading off the second to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.  Carlton Fisk and Walker led off the fourth with back-to-back doubles to make it 2-0.  Chicago took control in the fifth.  Their first two batters went out, but a single, a walk, and a single loaded the bases and Walker delivered a three-run double to make it 5-0.  The Twins did not score until the ninth, when three walks loaded the bases and Bush drove in two with a two-out single.

Of note:  Dan Gladden started the game in left field, but batted second, with Al Newman leading off and playing second base in place of Steve Lombardozzi...Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 to drop his average to .327...Gene Larkin again played first base, with Kent Hrbek again out of the lineup...Frank Viola started and pitched five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Record:  The Twins were 77-68, in first place by 3.5 games over Kansas City, which overtook Oakland for second by beating California 8-5 while the Athletics lost to Texas 2-1 in eleven innings.

Player profile:  Ken Williams was the starting centerfielder for the White Sox, going 2-for-5.  He's best known now for his years as the Sox' general manager, but he actually had a substantial playing career.  He was drafted by Chicago in the third round in 1982, reached the majors as a September call-up in 1986, and was the White Sox' most-regular center fielder in 1987, starting 105 games there.  He had a decent season, batting .281 with 11 homers and 21 stolen bases.  He walked only 10 times, though, so his OBP was only .314.  He was only twenty-three, though, so he certainly looked like a good young player on the rise.  Instead, he never had a good year again.  He had a horrible 1988, batting just .159 in 220 at-bats and losing the center field job to Dave Gallagher.  He was traded to Detroit before the 1989 season, batted just .205 as a reserve, and was batting .133 in June of 1990, when he was waived and taken by Toronto.  He did little for them, too, and was waived again in June of 1991, this time claimed by Montreal.  He did okay for the Expos as a reserve, batting .271 (in 70 at-bats), but was released after the season.  He had a good year in AAA Denver (Milwaukee organization) in 1992, but he did not get a call-up and his playing career was over.  He became a scout for the White Sox after that and gradually worked his way up, holding various positions before becoming the general manager in November of 2000.  He left the GM job in 2012 and became the team's executive vice-president, a job he continues to hold.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-four

MINNESOTA 7, CLEVELAND 3 IN CLEVELAND (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Sunday, September 13.

Batting stars:  Greg Gagne was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs.  Gary Gaetti was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk, scoring once and driving in two.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts.  Jeff Reardon struck out three in 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mel Hall was 3-for-5 with a home run (his sixteenth), a double, and a stolen base (his fourth), driving in two.  Brook Jacoby was 1-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-eighth) and a walk.  Tom Candiotti pitched 9.1 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and three walks with eight strikeouts.

The game:  The Twins took the lead in the first on two singles and a wild pitch.  Steve Lombardozzi drove in a run with a single in the second to make it 2-0.  Blyleven left a pitch up to Jacoby in the bottom of the second, cutting the lead to 2-1.  The Twins made it 3-1 in the fifth, but a pitch left up to Hall made it a one-run game again in the sixth.  Hall struck again in the eighth, delivering an RBI double to tie the score at three.  The Twins took over in the tenth.  Puckett singled in the go-ahead run, Gaetti doubled home a pair of insurance runs, and Randy Bush's sacrifice fly rounded out the scoring.  Reardon, who came in with one out in the eighth, retired the side in order in the bottom of the tenth without a ball leaving the infield.

Of note:  Dan Gladden was back in the leadoff spot and in left field, going 0-for-4 with a walk...Gene Larkin was once again at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Hrbek was used as a pinch-hitter for DH Don Baylor in the eighth, going 0-for-1 with a walk...Bush played right field in place of Tom Brunansky...Puckett raised his average to. 327.

Record:  The Twins were 77-67, in first place by 4.5 games over both Oakland and Kansas City.

 

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-three

CLEVELAND 5, MINNESOTA 4 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Saturday, September 12.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a double, scoring once and driving in one.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Randy Bush was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch and an RBI.

Pitching star:  Les Straker pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts.

Opposition stars:  Brook Jacoby was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-seventh) and a triple, driving in two.  Mel Hall was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fifteenth) and two runs.  Chris Bando was 2-for-3 with a home run, his fifth.

The game:  Puckett had an RBI double and Larkin a run-scoring single in the first inning to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.  It stayed 2-0 until the fourth, when Jacoby homered to make it 2-1.  Solo homers by Hall and Bando put the Indians ahead 3-2 in the seventh.  The Twins got five consecutive singles to score twice in the eighth, with the RBIs going to Bush and Larkin, to go up 4-3.  Juan Berenguer pitched a perfect eighth.  Jeff Reardon was presumably considered unavailable after having pitched two innings the day before, so Berenguer remained in to pitch the ninth.  He retired Joe Carter, but Hall singled and Jacoby tripled to tie the score.  Cory Snyder then hit a sacrifice fly to bring home pinch-runner Junior Noboa with the winning run.

Of note:  Bush was again in the leadoff spot in right field, with Tom Brunansky in left and Dan Gladden out of the lineup.  Gladden was used as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, delivering a single and scoring a run...Bush batted first twenty-eight times in his career, twelve of them in 1987...Larkin played first base, with Kent Hrbek out of the lineup.  Hrbek was used as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and was intentionally walked...Cleveland starter Darrel Akerfelds pitched 7.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and no walks with three strikeouts.  Akerfelds made thirteen starts in his career, all in 1987.  His record as a starter was not good:  2-6, 7.29, 1.71 WHIP.  He did have one good year as a reliever:  in 1990, he was 5-2, 3.77, 1.28 WHIP with three saves in 93 innings (71 games) for Philadelphia.  It was the only good major league season he had.  1991 was his last year in the majors although he remained in AAA through 1995.  He was a long-time pitching and bullpen coach in both the minors and the majors for San Diego.  He passed away from pancreatic cancer on June 24, 2012.

Record:  The Twins were 76-67, in first place by 3.5 games over Oakland, which lost 10-7 to Kansas City.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-two

MINNESOTA 13, CLEVELAND 10 IN CLEVELAND (11 INNINGS)

Date:  Friday, September 11.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 4-for-5 with a home run (his thirty-third) and a double, scoring twice and driving in three.  Randy Bush was 2-for-4 with two doubles and a walk, scoring twice and driving in two.  Steve Lombardozzi was 3-for-4 with a home run (his seventh) and three runs.

Pitching stars:  Jeff Reardon struck out two in two perfect innings.  Juan Berenguer struck out one in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Mel Hall was 4-for-6 with two home runs (his thirteenth and fourteenth), driving in three.  Tommy Hinzo was 3-for-6 with a home run (his second) and a triple, scoring twice.  Julio Franco was 2-for-6 with a home run (his eighth) and a stolen base (his twenty-seventh), scoring twice and driving in two.

The game:  The Indians scored six runs in the fourth, getting home runs by Hinzo and Hall, to take a 7-1 lead.  The Twins scored in every inning in regulation after that.  RBI singles by Kirby Puckett and Hrbek made it 7-3 in the top of the fifth.  Cleveland got one back in the bottom half, but Lombardozzi homered in the sixth to make it 8-4, Hrbek homered in the seventh to make it 8-5, and Bush hit a two-run double in the eighth to make it 8-7.  Franco hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to give Cleveland a 10-7 lead, but Tom Brunansky doubled in a run in the ninth and Tim Laudner singled home two to tie it 10-10.  In the eleventh, Laudner singled and Chris Pittaro reached on an error, putting men on first and second with one out.  A ground out advanced them to second and third, and Dan Gladden, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the tenth, hit a three-run homer (his sixth) to put the Twins in the lead to stay.

Of note:  Al Newman led off and played shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.  Gagne entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning...Bush batted second and started in right, with Brunansky once more in left.  Gladden, as mentioned above, entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the tenth...Puckett was 2-for-7 with an RBI and was batting .325...Starter Mike Smithson pitched 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk with two strikeouts...Cleveland starter John Farrell lasted 6.2 innings, but allowed five runs on ten hits and a walk with one strikeout...Hinzo's homer was the last of his three major league home runs.  1987 was the only year he saw significant playing time in the big leagues, starting 63 games at second base.  He batted .265/.296/.358.  Julio Franco took over at second the next year.  Hinzo would not be in the majors again until 1989, when he went 0-for-17 over two months as a reserve.  He continued to play through 1996 in AAA and in the Mexican League, but did not get back to the big leagues again.

Record:  The Twins were 76-66, in first place by 3.5 games over Oakland, which lost to Kansas City 9-0.

 

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-one

MINNESOTA 2, CHICAGO 1 IN MINNESOTA

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-3 with a home run, his twenty-fourth.  Tim Laudner was 1-for-3 with a home run, his sixteenth.

Pitching star:  Frank Viola pitched a complete game, striking out nine while giving up one run on six hits and two walks.

Opposition stars:  Gary Redus was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eleventh.  Ivan Calderon was 2-for-4 with a double.  Dave LaPoint pitched five innings of relief, giving up one run on one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.

The game:  Redus led off the game with a home run to put the White Sox ahead 1-0.  That was it for the White Sox offense, although they did get a man to third base in the third and sixth.  White Sox starter Richard Dotson apparently was injured, as he pitched only one inning.  The second Twins batter, Randy Bush, hit into a 1-6-3 double play, which may have been the play on which Dotson was injured.  At any rate, the Twins did not get a hit until the fourth, when Puckett hit a two-out homer to tie the game.  Gene Larkin drew a two-out walk in the fifth, but the Twins did not get another baserunner until the ninth, when Laudner hit a leadoff walkoff home run.

Of note:  Chris Pittaro, a September call-up, made his first start of the season, leading off and playing second base in place of Steve Lombardozzi...Randy Bush batted second and played right field, with Tom Brunansky in left.  In the fourth inning, however, Dan Gladden replaced Bush and played left, with Brunansky moving to right...Puckett kept his average at .325...The Twins had only two hits, both solo home runs, and won the game, so I guess solo home runs can hurt you.  I wonder what the highest number of hits (and runs) is in a game where all of your hits were solo home runs.  Or, for that matter, just where all your hits were home runs.

Record:  The Twins were 75-66, in first place by three games over Oakland, which defeated Texas 11-7.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty

CHICAGO 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, September 8.

Batting stars:  Gary Gaetti was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-ninth) and a double, scoring twice.  Don Baylor was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Pitching star:  Bert Blyleven pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks with four strikeouts.

Opposition stars:  Gary Redus was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer (his tenth) a double, and a stolen base (his forty-seventh), scoring twice.  Floyd Bannister pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts.  Ivan Calderon was 2-for-4 with a triple and a run.

The game:  Baylor's RBI double in the second put the Twins up 1-0.  Greg Walker singled in a run in the fourth to tie it 1-1, but Gaetti led off the bottom of the fourth with a homer to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.  Mark Davidson delivered a run-scoring single in the fifth to make it 3-1.  A sacrifice fly cut it to 3-2 in the sixth.  With a man on second and two out in the seventh, Blyleven left a pitch up to Redus, who homered to give the White Sox a 4-3 lead.  The Twins tried to rally in the ninth.  With one out, Gene Larkin singled, Kent Hrbek walked, and Randy Bush had an infield single to load the bases.  Roy Smalley then hit a fly ball to center field and pinch-runner Al Newman was thrown out at the plate to end the game.

Of note:  Steve Lombardozzi was put in the leadoff spot in this game in Dan Gladden's continued absence...Davidson batted second and played left...Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .325...Larkin played first base, with Hrbek used as a pinch-hitter in the ninth...Redus hit twelve homers in 1987 and ninety for his career.  I would not have guessed he had that many.  He stole fifty-two bases in 1987 (a career high) and 322 in his career.

Record:  The Twins were 74-66, in first place by three games over Oakland, which lost 12-1 to Texas.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-nine

MINNESOTA 8, CHICAGO 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, September 7.

Batting stars:  Tom Brunansky was 2-for-2 with a home run (his twenty-seventh), a double, and two walks, scoring twice and driving in two.  Gary Gaetti was 3-for-5 with two stolen bases (his eighth and ninth), scoring twice and driving in two.  Tom Nieto was 1-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Jeff Bittiger pitched seven innings, giving up one run on six hits and no walks with five strikeouts.  Juan Berenguer pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Harold Baines was 2-for-3 with a home run (his eighteenth) and a walk.  Ray Searage pitched a perfect inning with one strikeout.

The game:  In the first inning, Kirby Puckett hit a ground ball back to White Sox starter Dave LaPoint.  LaPoint was apparently injured on the play, coming out of the game after facing only three batters.  His replacement, Scott Nielsen, gave up an RBI single to Gaetti to put the Twins up 1-0.  RBI singles by Gaetti and Don Baylor made it 3-0 in the third and a two-run homer by Brunansky made it 5-0 after five.  Baines homered with one out in the sixth, but the Twins scored three runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

Of note:  Gladden remained out of the lineup.  Greg Gagne replaced him in the leadoff spot and Mark Davidson, batting second, replaced him in left field...Puckett was 0-for-4 with a walk, dropping his average to .328...This was the Twins debut for Jeff Bittiger.  He had appeared in three games in 1986 for Philadelphia, signed as a free agent with the Twins for 1987, and was in AAA Portland all year, where he went 12-10, 3.40, 1.27 WHIP.  Given how weak the back end of the Twins' rotation was, it seems odd that we didn't see Bittiger other than as a September call-up.  It seems even odder, given how well he did, that this was his only start for the Twins.  He appeared in only two more games, both in relief, and pitched only 1.1 more innings.  That was his entire Twins' career:  he was released after the season, spending parts of the next two seasons for the White Sox.  He was twenty-five years old in 1987.  I'm not suggesting Bittiger would've been a candidate for the Cy Young Award or even Rookie of the Year.  He might not have been any good at all.  I am suggesting, though, that given the list below, it might have behooved the Twins to give him a chance.  It's hard to see how he'd have done much worse.

1987 stats as starter:

Mike Smithson, 20 starts, 4-7, 6.15, 1.52 WHIP
Joe Niekro, 18 starts, 4-9, 6.26, 1.66 WHIP
Mark Portugal, 7 starts, 1-2, 8.60, 2.01 WHIP
Steve Carlton, 7 starts, 1-5, 6.70, 1.79 WHIP

Record:  The Twins were 74-65, in first place by three games over Oakland, who defeated Texas 2-1.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-eight

MILWAUKEE 6, MINNESOTA 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, September 6.

Batting stars:  None.  The Twins had two hits in the game, both singles.

Pitching stars:  Steve Carlton pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits and six walks with six strikeouts.  Roy Smith retired all four batters he faced, striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Teddy Higuera pitched a complete-game shutout, giving up two hits and three walks while striking out seven.  Rob Deer was 2-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-seventh) and a walk, driving in four.  Glenn Braggs was 2-for-5 with a home run (his twelfth), scoring three times.

The game:  This was another instance of Carlton being matched against another team's ace.  Carlton held up his end of the bargain, but even thirty years ago the Twins could not win games when they scored zero runs.  Deer singled home a run in the first inning to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.  There was no more scoring until the sixth, when Braggs led off with a home run.  George Frazier came in to pitch the eighth and it did not go well.  He retired Robin Yount, but two singles and Deer's three-run homer followed.  Bill Schroeder homered later in the inning to make it 6-0.  The Twins' biggest threat came in the third, when an error and a single put men on first and third with none out.  Kirby Puckett then lined into a double play and Gary Gaetti fouled out to end the inning.

Of note:  Al Newman again replaced Greg Gagne at shortstop and batted leadoff.  Gagne, however, replaced Newman in the top of the fourth, leading one to believe that Newman must have suffered a minor injury...Dan Gladden was again out of the lineup, with Mark Davidson playing left and batting second.  Gladden was used as a pinch-hitter in the eighth...Puckett was 1-for-4, dropping his average to .330.

Record:  The Twins were 73-65, in first place by three games over Oakland, which lost to Baltimore 7-6.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-seven

MINNESOTA 2, MILWAUKEE 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, September 5.

Batting stars:  Tom Brunansky was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-eighth) and a stolen base (his eleventh).  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk.  Al Newman was 1-for-3 with a walk, a run, and a stolen base (his fifteenth).

Pitching stars:  Mike Smithson pitched eight innings, giving up one run on three hits and five walks with three strikeouts.  Keith Atherton pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk with one strikeout.

Opposition stars:  Juan Nieves struck out seven in 7.2 innings, giving up one run on seven hits and three walks.  Ernie Riles was 2-for-4 with an RBI.  Greg Brock was 0-for-2 with two walks, a run, and a stolen base (his fifth).

The game:  It was scoreless until the seventh, when Brock walked, stole second, and scored on a Riles single.  The Twins got the run back in the eighth when Newman singled and scored on Puckett's triple.  They won it in the bottom of the ninth when Brunansky led off the inning with a walkoff home run.

Of note:  This was the fourth straight Twins win, and the third straight game they won by a score of 2-1...Dan Gladden remained out of the lineup, with Mark Davidson in left field...Newman played second, replacing Steve Lombardozzi, and batted leadoff.  With Gladden out, Tom Kelly's choices for leadoff man were mostly Newman or Randy Bush.  While those may seem odd choices, the fact is the Twins didn't really have anyone who looked like a good leadoff batter, or even a good number two batter...Puckett raised his average to .331...Don Baylor was the DH, going 1-for-3.,,Smithson had spent the month of August in AAA Portland, coming back as a September call-up.  This was his first appearance since coming back.

Record:  The Twins were 73-64, in first place by three games over Oakland, which defeated Baltimore 7-2.

Happy Birthday–February 17

Pat Pieper (1886)
Nemo Leibold (1892)
Wally Pipp (1893)
Ed Brandt (1905)
Red Barber (1908)
Rod Dedeaux (1914)
Roger Craig (1930)
Cliff Gustafson (1931)
Dick Bosman (1944)
Dave Roberts (1951)
Jamie Easterly (1953)
Mike Hart (1958)
Michael Jordan (1963)
Scott Williamson (1976)
Cody Ransom (1976)
Juan Padilla (1977)
Josh Willingham (1979)

Pat Pieper was the public address announcer for the Chicago Cubs from 1916-1974.  For the first sixteen of those years, he made the announcements with a megaphone.

Rod Dedeaux and Cliff Gustafson were highly successful college baseball coaches, Dedeaux with USC and Gustafson with Texas.

Already known as a basketball star, Michael Jordan played one year of minor league baseball for AA Birmingham in the White Sox organization before returning to the less-challenging sport.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 17