Tag Archives: 1987 rewind

1987 ALCS Champs’ Domecoming

I found this gem shortly after JeffA started his 1987 Rewind. This evening seemed like the appropriate time to share it. I didn't want to detract from Jeff's content, and in any case figured there were enough goodies that this would be worth its own post. Hope you don't mind, Chaps.

3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10 (3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10)
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1987 Rewind: ALCS Game Five

MINNESOTA 9, DETROIT 5 IN DETROIT

Date:  Monday, October 12.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 3-for-6 with two doubles, scoring three times and driving in two.  Tom Brunansky was 3-for-5 with a home run and a double, driving in three.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, driving in one.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts.  Dan Schatzeder pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Kirk Gibson was 3-for-5 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base (his third of the series), scoring once and driving in one.  Eric King pitched five innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts.  Matt Nokes was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer.

The game:  The Twins chased the supposedly unbeatable Doyle Alexander from the game in the second inning.  Gary Gaetti opened the inning with a single and Randy Bush walked.  Brunansky doubled them both home but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple.  Steve Lombardozzi got the rally going again with a single, took second on a ground out, and scored on a Gladden single.  After Gagne was hit by a pitch, Kirby Puckett delivered an RBI single.  Alexander was gone and the Twins led 4-0.

It stayed 4-0 until the fourth, when the Tigers got back into the game.  Gibson led off with a double and scored on an Alan Trammell single.  Blyleven then left a pitch up to Matt Nokes and the lead was down to 4-3.

Bush came through with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, making it 5-3.  In the eighth, Gladden doubled and, following on a walk to Gagne, scored on a force out-plus-error, putting the Twins up 6-3.  Chet Lemon homered in the eighth to trim the margin to 6-4, but Brunansky homered in the ninth, followed by a Lombardozzi single and RBI doubles by Gladden and Gagne, giving the Twins a comfortable 9-4 lead.  Gibson got an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Trammell lined out and Nokes grounded back to pitcher Jeff Reardon to win the game.  The team that couldn't win on the road took two of three in Tiger Stadium and was headed for the World Series.

Notes:  Bush got his third stolen base of the series in the third inning...Brunansky batted .412/.524/1.000 for the series...Gagne had the second-highest OPS, batting .278/.409/.778...On the other end of the scale, Kent Hrbek batted .150/.261/.300 and Puckett batted .208/.208/.375...Dan Schatzeder pitched 4.1 scoreless innings of relief in the series, giving up just two hits and no walks with five strikeouts...Juan Berenguer gave up just one run on one hit and three walks with six strikeouts in six innings...Tiger starter Alexander pitched just 1.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk with no strikeouts.  He had been 9-0, 1.53, 1.01 WHIP since joining the Tigers, but in this series he was 0-2, 10..00, 1.67 WHIP...I had forgotten what a prolific base stealer Gibson was.  He stole 284 bases in his career, swiping more than twenty in a season five times and more than thirty three times.  He was 26-for-33 in 1987.  For his career, he had more stolen bases than home runs (255).

Record:  The Twins won the best-of seven series 4-1.  As of this date, it had not yet been decided whether they would face San Francisco or St. Louis in the World Series.

1987 Rewind: ALCS Game Four

MINNESOTA 5, DETROIT 3 IN DETROIT

Date:  Sunday, October 11.

Batting stars:  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second of the series) and a double, scoring twice.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with a home run and two runs.  Gene Larkin was 1-for-1 with a double and an RBI.

Pitching stars:  Juan Berenguer pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up no hits and two walks with one strikeout.  Jeff Reardon struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Lou Whitaker was 0-for-3 with three walks and two runs.  Kirk Gibson was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.  Dan Petry pitched 3.1 innings of relief, giving up an unearned run on one hit and no walks with one strikeout.

The game:  The Tigers scored in the first on a Gagne throwing error with the bases loaded.  The Twins tied it in the third on Puckett's home run.  Gagne homered with one out in the fourth to put the Twins up 2-1.  Puckett led off the fifth with a single-plus-two-base-error and scored on a Gary Gaetti sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.  Gibson had an RBI single in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2.  Gagne led off the sixth with a double and scored on Larkin's pinch-hit double to give the Twins a 4-2 advantage.  The Tigers opened the bottom of the sixth with three singles, cutting the margin to 4-3 and putting men on first and second.  A bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out.

Then came one of my all-time favorite plays in Twins history.  With Darrell Evans on third, Dave Bergman on second, Alan Trammell at bat, and one out, catcher Tim Laudner threw to Gaetti to pick Evans off third base for the second out.  I can still see that play in my mind--Laudner whipping the ball to third, Gaetti coming in to make the tag, and the look on Evans' face when he knew he was out.  The inning wasn't over--a wild pitch and a walk put men on first and third--but Berenguer got Jim Morrison to fly to center to end the inning. The Tigers never threatened again.  Steve Lombardozzi singled home an insurance run in the eighth and the Twins had done what many nay-sayers said they could not do--when a playoff game on the road.

Notes:  This was the first time the Twins had won a post-season game on the road...Two of the Twins' RBIs came from reserves.  Larkin pinch-hit for Al Newman, who started at second base.  Lombardozzi pinch-ran for Larkin and stayed in the game to play second...Twins starter Frank Viola pitched only five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts...Detroit starter Frank Tanana went 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and four walks with one strikeout.  He also hit three batters...Gagne had more power than you may remember.  He hit 111 home runs in his career and hit double digit home runs five times, although three of those times he hit exactly ten.

Record:  The Twins took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

1987 Rewind: ALCS Game Three

DETROIT 7, MINNESOTA 6 IN DETROIT

Date:  Saturday, October 10.

Batting stars:  Tom Brunansky was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and a walk.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-5 with a home run and two runs.  Gary Gaetti was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Dan Schatzeder struck out five in 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.  Juan Berenguer pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Pat Sheridan was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and a double, scoring twice.  Larry Herndon was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.  Kirk Gibson was 1-for-5 with two stolen bases, scoring once and driving in one.

The game:  It was scoreless until the third.  The Tigers loaded the bases with none out.  A ground out scored one and a balk scored a second.  Alan Trammell then singled home one and, following a walk, Herndon doubled home two to give Detroit a 5-0 lead.  The Twins came back in the fourth:  Gagne led off with a homer and Randy Bush had an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-2.  Brunansky hit a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 5-4.  In the seventh, two singles and a walk loaded the bases and Gaetti delivered a two-run single to put the Twins ahead 6-5.  Juan Berenguer got the Tigers out in the bottom of the seventh and Jeff Reardon came on to pitch the eighth.  Herndon led off with a single.  Tom Brookens popped up a bunt attempt, but Sheridan followed with a two-run homer that put Detroit ahead 7-6.  The Twins had Kirby PuckettKent Hrbek, and Gaetti coming up in the ninth, but Mike Henneman set them down in order to end the game.

Notes:  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-5, making him 1-for-13 in the series so far...Gaetti was 5-for-12 and Brunansky was 4-for-9...Les Straker started but lasted only 2.2 innings, allowing five runs on three hits and four walks with one strikeout...Jack Morris pinch-ran for Herndon in the eighth inning and so scored the tying run when Sheridan homered...Sheridan had hit six home runs in 1987.  His career high was eleven, which came in 1988.  For his career, he hit 51 home runs.  He hit three postseason home runs, with the other two coming in 1985 for Kansas City...Walt Terrell started for Detroit and pitched six innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts...Henneman pitched three shutout innings of relief, giving up one hit and three walks with one strikeout...The loss on the road, given the Twins' poor road record in 1987, again fueled the "Twins can't win on the road" theory.  Would that theory prove true?  We'll see tomorrow.

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series 2-1.

1987 Rewind: ALCS Game Two

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, October 8.

Batting stars:  Tom Brunansky was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk, scoring twice and driving in one.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a home run.  Tim Laudner was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts.  Juan Berenguer retired all five men he faced, striking out four of them.

Opposition stars:  Lou Whitaker was 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, and a stolen base.  Chet Lemon was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer.  Jack Morris pitched an eight-inning complete game, allowing six runs on six hits and three walks with seven strikeouts.

The game:  Matt Nokes led off the second with a single and Blyleven then left a pitch up to Lemon, who gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.  The Twins came right back in the bottom of the second.  Gary Gaetti doubled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Brunansky.  Greg Gagne walked and Laudner followed with a two-run double to give the Twins a 3-2 advantage.  It stayed 3-2 until the fourth, when Randy Bush hit a one-out single and stole second and third.  Walks to Brunansky and Gagne followed.  Laudner struck out, but Dan Gladden delivered a two-run single to put the Twins up 5-2.  Hrbek hit a one-out homer in the fifth to make it 6-2.  Meanwhile, Blyleven was in control, facing only one batter over the minimum from innings three through seven.  In the eighth, however, he left a pitch up to Whitaker, who hit a home run to cut the lead to 6-3.  Darrell Evans followed with a single, chasing Blyleven from the game and bringing in Berenguer.  He struck out Kirk Gibson and got Alan Trammell to hit into a force out to end the eighth, then struck out the side in the ninth to preserve the victory.

Notes:  Bush had stolen only ten bases during the season (his career high), but stole two in this game, both during the same at-bat.  For his career, he had 33 stolen bases in 62 attempts.  He was 10-for-13 in 1987, however...Jack Morris was a workhorse for the Tigers, but it still seems odd to have him pitch a complete game in which he gave up six runs in the playoffs.  It must be admitted, though, that he pitched very well after the fourth inning...Reardon had pitched two innings the day before.  That, and the fact that Berenguer was pitching well, explains why Berenguer remained in the game in the ninth and got the save...I don't remember for sure, but I suspect it was after this game that Sparky Anderson and some of the Tiger players whined about Berenguer "showing them up" and being "disrespectful" simply because he showed a little emotion on the mound after a strikeout.  Tom Kelly, not wanting a controversy, made some conciliatory statements, but it was really just childish pouting on the part of the Tigers.

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series 2-0.

1987 Rewind: ALCS Game One

MINNESOTA 8, DETROIT 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, October 7.

Batting stars:  Gary Gaetti was 2-for-3 with two home runs and a walk, scoring three times.  Tom Brunansky was 2-for-4 with two doubles, scoring once and driving in three.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

Pitching star:  Jeff Reardon struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Mike Heath was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.  Kirk Gibson was 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk, scoring twice.  Chet Lemon was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The game:  This wasn't supposed to go well for the Twins.  Yes, they were at home, and they'd done well there.  But the Twins had just lost five straight games, and they were facing Doyle Alexander, who had been almost unbeatable since being traded from Detroit.

Gaetti homered in the second to put the Twins ahead 1-0, but Heath homered in the third to tie it 1-1.  Gaetti homered again to lead off the fifth, and this time more was to follow.  Randy Bush tripled and Brunansky doubled to make it 3-1 and, with two out, Gladden singled to put the Twins up 4-1.  Gibson homered in the sixth to cut the lead to 4-2 and the Tigers opened the seventh with three singles, loading the bases with none out.  Frank Viola struck out Tom Brookens but gave up a single to Heath, making it 4-3.  Lou Whitaker hit into a force out and Bill Madlock grounded out, so the Twins remained in front.  In the eighth, however, a walk and a double put men on second and third with none out and sacrifice flies by Dave Bergman and Lemon put the Tigers ahead for the first time at 5-4.  The Twins rallied in the eighth.  Gladden led off the eight with a single.  Greg Gagne popped up a bunt, but Kirby Puckett doubled home the tying run anyway.  That led to Mike Henneman replacing Alexander.  He gave an intentional walk to Kent Hrbek and an accidental walk to Gaetti, loading the bases.  Willie Hernandez came in to pitch and gave up an RBI single to Don Baylor, putting the Twins in front, and a two-run double to Brunansky, giving the Twins an 8-5 lead.  Reardon, who had come in with runners second and third in the eighth and gave up the two sacrifice flies, gave up a leadoff single to Johnny Grubb in the ninth.  He struck out Matt Nokes but walked Whitaker to bring up the tying run with Madlock and Gibson coming to bat.  Reardon struck out both of them to seal the win for the Twins.

Notes:  Bush started the game at DH, with Baylor coming in as a pinch-hitter in the eighth...Gaetti hit a home run in each of his first two LCS at-bats...Viola pitched seven innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk with six strikeouts...Alexander pitched 7.1 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and no walks with five strikeouts.

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series 1-0.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Sixty-two

KANSAS CITY 10, MINNESOTA 1 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Sunday, October 4.

Batting stars:  Greg Gagne was 2-for-2.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  George Frazier pitched a perfect inning with one strikeout.  Keith Atherton pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Jeff Reardon pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Mark Gubicza pitched a complete game, giving up one run on eight hits and no walks with four strikeouts.  Frank White was 2-for-3 with a home run (his seventeenth), scoring twice and driving in two.  Kevin Seitzer was 2-for-5 with a triple, scoring twice and driving in two.

The game:  The Twins basically treated this as a spring training game, using sixteen position players and seven pitchers.  No pitcher went more than 1.2 innings, which was still too much for starter Joe Niekro.  He got the Royals out in order in the first, but in the second he faced seven batters and retired one of them, giving up three hits and three walks.  The score was 3-0 Kansas City and the bases were loaded when he left the game.  Dan Schatzeder came in and gave up a single, a triple, and a single to the first three batters he faced, making the score 8-0, and it was never a game after that.  The Twins' lone run came in the ninth on two singles and a wild pitch.

Notes:  Puckett was used in the leadoff spot in this game, with Dan Gladden batting third...Puckett raised his average to .332, which was good for fourth in the American League.  The league leader was Wade Boggs at .363...Don Baylor was used as a pinch-runner for Puckett in the ninth inning and scored the Twins' only run.  People tend to forget that Baylor was a speedy guy early in his career, stealing 285 bases with a career high of 52 in 1976.  One has to think, however, that it had been a long time since he had been used as a pinch-runner...Jim Eisenreich got his only stolen base of the season in this game, stealing third base in the eight-run second inning...Willie Wilson stole his fifty-ninth base of the season, leaving him one behind league leader Harold Reynolds.

Record:  The Twins ended the season on a five-game losing streak, a cause of much concern at the time.  Their record was 85-77, in first place by two games over Kansas City.  In the East, Detroit defeated Toronto 1-0 behind a complete game shutout by Frank Tanana to clinch the division.  Larry Herndon's second-inning homer was the only run of the game.  That set up the American League Championship Series between Minnesota and Detroit, which would start Wednesday, October 7 in Minnesota.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Sixty-one

KANSAS CITY 4, MINNESOTA 2 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Saturday, October 3.

Batting stars:  Tom Brunansky was 1-for-2 with a home run (his thirty-second) and a walk.  Billy Beane was 1-for-1 with a double.  Steve Lombardozzi was 1-for-3 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched seven innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts.  George Frazier pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Charlie Liebrandt pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts.  Danny Tartabull was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirty-fourth) and two runs.  Kevin Seitzer was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk, scoring once and driving in one.

The game:  Don Baylor's RBI single put the Twins up 1-0 in the first.  Tartabull led off the second with an inside-the-park home run down the right field line, raising the issue of whether an inside-the-park home run is the result of leaving a pitch up.  The Royals added two in the fourth to make it 3-1 and Seitzer had an RBI double in the fifth to go up 4-1.  Brunansky led off the seventh with a home run to cut the lead to 4-2, but the Twins did not get the tying run on base at any point after that.

Notes:  Al Newman was the leadoff batter, with Dan Gladden dropping to the seventh spot...Newman played third base with Gary Gaetti out of the lineup...Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .331.

Record:  The Twins were 85-76, in first place by three games over Kansas City.  In the East, Detroit defeated Toronto 3-2 in twelve innings to take a one-game lead in the division.  I seem to remember watching that game on the Game of the Week, although I don't remember anything specific about it.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-nine

TEXAS 2, MINNESOTA 1 IN TEXAS

Date:  Wednesday, September 30.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-2 with a double and two walks.  Dan Gladden was 0-for-3 with two walks and a run.  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Pitching stars:  Les Straker pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts.  Steve Carlton pitched a perfect inning with one strikeout.

Opposition stars:  Bobby Witt struck out eleven in a complete game, giving up one run on four hits and eight walks.  Jerry Browne was 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base (his twenty-seventh), scoring once.  Pete Incaviglia was 2-for-3 with a double and a run.

The game:  Two singles and a Pete O'Brien sacrifice fly gave Texas a 1-0 lead in the first.  The Twins tied it in the third on Puckett's RBI single.  There was no more scoring until the seventh, when a sacrifice fly by Tom O'Malley put the Rangers up 2-1.  Hrbek had a one-out double in the eighth, but he did not move past second and the Twins did not get any closer.

Notes:  Al Newman was at shortstop replacing Greg Gagne...Roy Smalley played third base replacing Gary Gaetti...Puckett's average dropped to .328...The Twins had only four hits, but stranded nine baserunners because they drew eight walks...With eight walks and eleven strikeouts, Witt must have thrown a ton of pitches.

Record:  The Twins were 85-74, in first place by five games over Kansas City.  On the other end of the standings, the White Sox, who had been in last place pretty much all season, defeated California 5-2 to move into a tie for fifth.

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-eight

TEXAS 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN TEXAS

Date:  Tuesday, September 29.

Batting stars:  Randy Bush was 1-for-3 with a home run (his eleventh) and two RBIs.  Gary Gaetti was 1-for-4 with a double, scoring twice and driving in one.  Gene Larkin was 1-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  George Frazier struck out four in three shutout innings of relief, giving up no hits and one walk.

Opposition stars:  Geno Petralli was 2-for-2 with two home runs, his sixth and seventh.  Pete O'Brien was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-third.  Charlie Hough pitched a complete game, giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

The game:  The Twins scored three in the first, with the last one scoring on a two-out strikeout/passed ball, to take a 3-0 lead.  Texas tied it with three in the bottom of the third off Dan Schatzeder, normally a reliever but starting in this game.  Gene Larkin's RBi double in the fourth put the Twins back on top 4-3 and Bush homered in the seventh to make it 5-3.  Texas tied it in the seventh as Petralli led off with a home run and Ruben Sierra got an RBI single later in the inning.  The Rangers took their first lead, and the only one they would need, in the eighth on back-to-back homers by O'Brien and Petralli.

Notes:  With the pennant clinched the night before, it would be an exaggeration to say that this was even a B lineup...Chris Pittaro led off and started at second base in place of Steve Lombardozzi, who was used as a pinch-runner in the ninth...Mark Davidson batted second and started in center field in place of Kirby Puckett, who pinch-hit in the ninth...Bush batted third and played left field in place of Dan Gladden...Larkin played first base in place of Kent Hrbek, who had a pinch-hit double in the ninth...Billy Beane started in right field in place of Tom Brunansky...Schatzeder made his only start of the season, although he had pitched as many as 5.2 innings in a game in relief...It's a credit to the Twins that despite this lineup, they were in the game right up to the end...There was much consternation at the time that the Twins lost their last five games of the regular season, but as I recall (and as certainly seems apparent in this game), the Twins did not exactly go all out to try to win them.  I'm sure the players were trying while they were on the field, but they mostly looked at these games as tune-ups for the playoffs, which seems like a sensible approach.  Of course, it's easy to say that in hindsight, when we already know the happy ending.

Record:  The Twins were 85-73, in first place by six games over Kansas City.