Tag Archives: 1991 rewind

1991 Rewind: Team Leaders



  1.  Chili Davis, 153
  2. Kirby Puckett, 152
  3. Chuck Knoblauch, 151


  1.  Puckett, 661
  2. Knoblauch, 636
  3. Davis, 634


  1.  Puckett, 611
  2. Knoblauch, 565
  3. Davis, 534


  1.  Puckett, 92
  2. Davis, 84
  3. Shane Mack, 79


  1.  Puckett, 195
  2. Knoblauch, 159
  3. Davis, 148


  1.  Davis, 34
  2. Puckett, 29
  3. Brian Harper, 28


  1.  Dan Gladden, 9
  2. Mack, 8
  3. Knoblauch, 6
    Puckett, 6


  1.  Davis, 29
  2. Kent Hrbek, 20
  3. Mack, 18


  1.  Davis, 93
  2. Hrbek, 89
    Puckett, 89


  1.  Knoblauch, 25
  2. Gladden, 15
  3. Mack, 13


  1.  Davis, 95
  2. Hrbek, 67
  3. Knoblauch, 59


  1.  Davis, 117
  2. Mack, 79
  3. Puckett, 78


  1. Puckett, .319
  2. Harper, .311
  3. Mack, .310


  1. Davis, .385
  2. Hrbek, .373
  3. Mack, 363


  1. Mack, .529
  2. Davis, .507
  3. Hrbek, .461


  1. Mack, .893
  2. Davis, .892
  3. Hrbek, .834


  1. Davis, 141
  2. Mack, 140
  3. Hrbek, 125


  1. Puckett, 281
  2. Davis, 271
  3. Mack, 234


  1. Puckett, 27
  2. Hrbek, 15
    Gagne, 15


  1. Harper, 6
    Mack, 6
  2. Gladden, 5


  1. Puckett, 8
  2. 4 tied at 5


  1. Puckett, 7
  2. Harper, 6
  3. 3 tied at 5


  1. Davis, 13
  2. Hrbek, 4
    Puckett, 4



  1. Scott Erickson, 20
  2. Jack Morris, 18
  3. Kevin Tapani, 16


  1. Morris, 12
  2. Allan Anderson, 11
  3. Tapani, 9


  1.  Carl Willis, .727
  2. Erickson, .714
  3. Tapani, .640


  1. Rick Aguilera, 2.35
  2. Willis, 2.63
  3. Tapani, 2.99


  1. Aguilera, 63
  2. Steve Bedrosian, 56
  3. Terry Leach, 50


  1. Morris, 35
  2. Tapani, 34
  3. Erickson, 32


  1. Aguilera, 60
  2. Bedrosian, 22
    Leach, 22


  1. Morris, 10
  2. Erickson, 5
  3. Tapani, 4


  1.  Erickson, 3
  2. Morris, 2
  3. Tapani, 1


  1. Aguilera, 42
  2. Bedrosian, 6
  3. Mark Guthrie, 2
    Willis, 2


  1. Morris, 246.2
  2. Tapani, 244
  3. Erickson, 204


  1. Anderson, 24
  2. Tapani, 23
  3. Morris, 18


  1. Morris, 92
  2. Erickson, 71
  3. Anderson, 42


  1. Morris, 163
  2. Tapani, 135
  3. Erickson, 108


  1. Erickson, 6
  2. Anderson, 5
    Morris, 5


  1. Tapani, 3
  2. Morris, 1
    Willis, 1


  1. Morris, 15
  2. Guthrie, 7
  3. Paul Abbott, 5


  1. Morris, 1032
  2. Tapani, 974
  3. Erickson, 851


  1. Aguilera, 183
  2. Willis, 163
  3. Tapani, 143


  1. Willis, 2.92
  2. Aguilera, 3.00
  3. Leach, 3.11


  1.  Willis, 1.07
  2. Aguilera, 1.07
  3. Tapani, 1.09


  1. Aguilera, 5.7
  2. Willis, .7.7
  3. Bedrosian, 8.1


  1. Leach, 0.4
    Willis, 0.4
    Aguilera, 0.4


  1. Tapani, 1.5
  2. Willis, 1.9
  3. Leach, 1.9


  1. Aguilera, 8.0
  2. David West, 6.6
  3. Guthrie, 6.6


  1. Tapani, 3.38
  2. Willis, 2.79
  3. Leach, 2.29

1991 Rewind: 1991 Twins League Leaders



  1.  Julio Franco, Tex, .341
    8.  Kirby Puckett, .319


  1. Danny Tartabull, KC, .593
    8.  Shane Mack, .529
    10.  Chili Davis, .507


  1. Frank Thomas, Chi, 1.006
    7.  Davis, .892


  1.  Paul Molitor, Mil., 216
    7.  Puckett, 195


  1.  Molitor, 13
    Lance Johnson, Chi, 13
    6 (tie).  Dan Gladden, 9
    8 (tie).  Mack, 8


  1.  Cecil Fielder, Det, 44
    Jose Canseco, Oak, 44
    8.  Davis, 29


  1.  Thomas, 138
    5.  Davis, 95


  1. Franco, 156
    4.  Puckett, 145


  1.   Wade Boggs, Bos, 25
    6 (tie).  Davis, 13


  1.  Puckett, 27


  1.  Henry Cotto, Sea, 84.2
    2.  Knoblauch, 83.3



  1.  Roger Clemens, Bos, 2.62
    7.  Kevin Tapani, 2.99


1 (tie).  Scott Erickson, 20
Bill Gullickson, Det, 20
4 (tie).  Jack Morris, 18
10 (tie).  Tapani, 16


  1. Joe Hesketh, Bos, .750
    2.  Erickson, .714


  1.  Nolan Ryan, Tex, 1.01
    4.  Tapani, 1.09


  1.  Greg Swindell, Cle, 1.17
    3.  Tapani, 1.48


  1.  Bryan Harvey, Cal, 46
    3.  Rick Aguilera, 42


  1.  Clemens, 271.1
    3.  Morris, 246.2
    5.  Tapani, 244


  1.  Clemens, 241
    10.  Morris, 163


1 (tie).  Morris, 35
Clemens, 35
Gullickson, 35
Jack McDowell, Chi, 35
Dave Stewart, Oak, 35
Bob Welch, Oak, 35
7 (tie).  Tapani, 34


  1.  McDowell, 15
    3 (tie).  Morris, 10


  1.  Clemens, 4
    2 (tie).  Erickson, 3
    6 (tie).  Morris, 2


  1.  Rich DeLucia, Sea, 31
    5 (tie).  Allan Anderson, 24
    8 (tie).  Tapani, 23


  1.  Randy Johnson, Sea, 152
    7.  Morris, 92


  1.  Walt Terrell, Det, 257
    8.  Morris, 226
    9.  Tapani, 225


  1.  Swindell, 5.45
    4.  Tapani, 3.38


  1.  Tom Candiotti, Cle/Tor, 0.45
    9.  Erickson, 0.57


  1.  Morris, 15


  1.  Clemens, 1077
    2.  Morris, 1032
    9.  Tapani, 974


  1.  Harvey, 63
    3.  Aguilera, 60

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Seven


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.

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Six


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.

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Five


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.

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Four


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.

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Three


Date:  Tuesday, October 22.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 3-for-6 with a triple.  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 with a home run (his third) and two walks.  Chili Davis had a pinch-hit two-run homer, his second.

Pitching stars:  Steve Bedrosian pitched two perfect innings, striking out one.  Carl Willis pitched two shutout innings, giving up two walks.  Mark Guthrie pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Steve Avery pitched seven innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits and no walks, striking out five.  Mark Lemke was 2-for-5 with a walk.  David Justice was 2-for-6 with a home run (his second), two runs, and a stolen base.  Lonnie Smith was 1-for-4 with a home run.  Greg Olson was 1-for-3 with three walks.

The game:  Gladden led off the game with a triple and scored on Chuck Knoblauch's sacrifice fly to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the second Olson drew a two-out walk, Lemke singled, and Rafael Belliard delivered an RBI single to tie it 1-1.

Justice led off the fourth with a home run to put the Braves up 2-1.  Smith homered with one out in the fifth to make it 3-1.  Terry Pendleton walked.  With two out Justice reached on an error, Sid Bream walked, and Olson drew a bases loaded walk to force in a run and make the score 4-1.

The Twins started the sixth with two singles but did not score.  Puckett led off the seventh with a home run to cut the lead to 4-2.  In the eighth Brian Harper reached on an error and Davis (who was not in the lineup because there was no DH) hit a pinch-hit two-run homer to tie the score 4-4.

Each team got a man to second base in the ninth and again in the tenth, but neither scored.  With one out in the top of the twelfth, Gladden singled and went to third when Knoblauch reached on an error.  Knoblauch stole second, but Kent Hrbek struck out.  Puckett was then intentionally walked to bring up Guthrie.  The Twins had burned through their entire bench by now, so Rick Aguilera was sent up to pinch-hit.  He hit a liner to deep center, but it was caught and the inning was over.  in the bottom of the twelfth Justice hit a one-out single.  He stole second with two out, Olson walked, and Lemke singled home the winning run.

WP:  Jim Clancy (1-0).  LP:  Aguilera (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Scott Erickson started, so Junior Ortiz was behind the plate.  There was no DH, so Davis was on the bench.

There were lots of substitutions.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Terry Leach in the sixth.  Harper pinch-hit for Ortiz in the eighth and remained in the game behind the plate.  Davis pinch-hit for Bedrosian in the eighth.  Jarvis Brown replaced Davis and went to right field, with Willis going to the mound and replacing Shane Mack on a double switch.  Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Scott Leius in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Brown in the ninth and stayed in the game in right field.  Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Willis in the tenth.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the eleventh and stayed in the game at third base.  Aguilera pinch-hit for Guthrie in the twelfth.

Erickson lasted 4.2 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks and striking out three.

The Twins bullpen was again stellar.  Other than Aguilera, they combined for 6.1 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and five walks and striking out three.

The Twins used twenty-three players.  The only Twins not to appear in the game were starters Jack Morris and Kevin Tapani.  The Twins had gone with just a nine-man pitching staff, something that would be unheard of today.

The Twins stranded ten men and were 0-for-10 with men in scoring position.  Atlanta stranded twelve and was 2-for-11 with men in scoring position.

Record:  The Twins still led the best-of-seven series 2-1.  The Braves would still have to win at least one more game to send the series back to Minnesota.

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Two


Date:  Sunday, October 20.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer.  Scott Leius was 1-for-3 with a home run.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out three.  Rick Aguilera struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Tom Glavine pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks and striking out six.  Terry Pendleton was 2-for-4.

The game:  In the first Dan Gladden reached on an error and Chuck Knoblauch walked.  Kirby Puckett hit into a double play, but Davis picked him up with a two-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 2-0.  The Braves came right back in the second.  David Justice led off with a single and Sid Bream followed with a double, putting men on second and third with none out.  Brian Hunter hit a sacrifice fly, getting Atlanta on the board, but a ground out and a strikeout kept the Twins ahead 2-1.

Neither team got a hit in the third or fourth.  In the fifth, Greg Olson led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Rafael Belliard's sacrifice fly to tie it 2-2.

In the eighth, Belliard led off with a bunt single, was sacrificed to second, and went to third on a Pendleton infield single.  A foul out and a fly out kept them off the board, though, and it cost them.  The Twins entered the inning having gotten only one hit since the first, but Leius led off with a home run, putting them up 3-2.  Hunter got a one-out single in the ninth but did not advance past first base, and the Twins came away with their second win of the series.

WP:  Tapani (1-1).  LP:  Glavine (0-3).  S:  Aguilera (5).

Notes:  The Twins went with a standard lineup and did not make any substitutions.

The Twins had just four hits in the game, but two of them went over the fence.  The home runs accounted for all the Twins runs.

The Braves were 1-for-6 with men in scoring position.  Both of their runs scored on sacrifice flies.

The Twins did not steal any bases in the game.

Leius was another unlikely home run hero, having hit just five during the season.  His career high was fourteen in 1994.  That was the only season in which he hit more than five home runs.

This was the game with the famous play where Ron Gant overran first base and was tagged out by Hrbek.  It happened in the third inning.  Lonnie Smith was on first with two out.  Gant singled to left, and Smith went to third.  Gladden's throw went past third base and was fielded by Tapani.  Tapani threw to first and Gant, trying to get back to first after rounding it, went past the base.  Atlanta complained that Hrbek had pulled Gant off first base, but we all know that was just sour grapes on the part of the Braves.

The Twins were looking good through two games.  Atlanta would have to take at least two at home to send the series back to Minnesota.

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

1991 Rewind: ALCS Game Five


Date:  Sunday, October 13.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-5 with a home run (his second), two runs, and two RBIs.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-4.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Shane Mack was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.

Pitching stars:  David West pitched three shutout innings, giving up only a walk and striking out one.  Carl Willis pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Manny Lee was 2-for-3 with two runs.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs.  Devon White was 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base, his third.

The game:  Puckett homered in the first inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the second Chili Davis singled and went to second on a passed ball.  Brian Harper reached on a strikeout/passed ball, with Davis going to third.  Mack then delivered an RBI single to make it 2-0.  A bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out, but the Twins could do no more damage, keeping the score 2-0.

Toronto came alive in the third.  Lee led off with a single and White hit a one-out single.  Alomar singled to drive in a run, Joe Carter tied it with a ground-rule double, and a third run scored on a ground out, putting the Blue Jays up 3-2.  With two out in the fifth, Lee and Mookie Wilson singled and White walked, loading the bases.  Alomar then hit a two-run single to put Toronto ahead 5-2.

It was not looking good for the Twins, and when they left the bases loaded in the sixth it looked worse.  But they came back in the seventh.  Mack singled, stole second, and went to third on Pagliarulo's single.  With one out, Dan Gladden hit a grounder to third.  The Blue Jay could've had Mack out at the plate, but an error on catcher Pat Borders allowed him to score and left men on first and second.  Knoblauch then delivered a two-run double, tying the score 5-5.

With two on and nobody out in the eighth, Gladden singled and stole second.  Knoblauch walked.  Puckett singled to put the Twins ahead, an on a throw to the plate, the runners advanced to second and third.  That cost Toronto, because Kent Hrbek hit a two-run single to put the Twins up 8-5.  The Blue Jays did not advance a man past first after that, and the Twins advanced to the World Series.

WP:  West (1-0).  LP:  Duane Ward (0-1).  S:  Aguilera (3).

Notes:  The Twins made just one non-pitching substitution.  Junior Ortiz went behind the plate in place of Harper in the ninth.

Kevin Tapani started and pitched just four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out four.  The Twins bullpen came through again, pitching five shutout innings and allowing just two baserunners.

The Twins bullpen was amazing in this series.  West pitched 5.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and four walks.  Carl Willis pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.  Aguilera pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Mark Guthrie pitched 2.2 perfect innings.  Steve Bedrosian pitched 1.1 innings and allowed two runs, but both were unearned.  He allowed three hits and two walks.  Twins starters pitched 27.1 innings and pitched to an ERA of 5.53.  Twins relievers pitched 18.1 innings and pitched to an ERA of 0.00.  The bullpen bailed out the starters game after game, and was really the MVP of the series.

The Twins stole eight bases in the series, going 8-for-12.  Gladden had three, Knoblauch had two, Mack had two, and Davis had one.

Puckett led the team in batting, going .429/.435/.762.  Pagliarulo batted .333/.333/.600.  Knoblauch was .350/.435/.450.  Mack was .333/.381/.500.  Davis was at .294/.455/.412.

On the low side, Greg Gagne batted .235/.316/.235.  Hrbek batted .143/.182/.143.  Scott LeiusGene Larkin, Junior Ortiz, and Paul Sorrento combined to go 0-for-11.

There was nothing for the Twins to do now but wait to see who they would play in the World Series.  Pittsburgh and Atlanta were tied at two games apiece at this point.

Record:  The Twins won the best-of-seven series four games to one.

1991 Rewind: ALCS Game Four


Date:  Saturday, October 12.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs, and two RBIs.  Dan Gladden was 3-for-5 with a stolen base (his second) and three RBIs.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with two doubles and a walk.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and one walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Pat Borders was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.  Devon White was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.

The game:  With two out in the second Candy Maldonado singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Borders' RBI single.  The Blue Jays had a major threat in the third.  One-out singles by White and Alomar and a double steal put men on second and third with Joe Carter and John Olerud coming up.  But Carter struck out and Olerud grounded out, so the game remained 1-0.

The Twins took over in the fourth.  Puckett led off with a home run, tying the score.  The home run kicked off a rally.  Davis hit a one-out double.  With two down, Shane Mack walked, Pagliarulo delivered an RBI single, Greg Gagne was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Gladden stroked a two-run single to put the Twins ahead 4-1.

The Twins added to their lead in the sixth.  Brian Harper led off with a double and Pagliarulo scored him with a one-out double.  Gladden delivered an RBI single with two-out to make the score 6-1.  Doubles by Kelly Gruber and Borders cut the margin to 6-2 after six.  But the Twins got the run back in the seventh when Puckett got an infield single, went to second on a ground out, and scored on an error.

The Twins added single runs in the eighth and ninth.  In the eighth Gladden singled, went to third on an error, and scored on a sacrifice foul popup.  In the ninth Davis led off with a double and scored on a pair of fly balls.  Toronto got one run in the ninth on a walk to Rance Mulliniks and singles by Devon White and Alomar.

WP:  Morris (2-0).  LP:  Todd Stottlemyre (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Davis in the ninth, so he was the one who actually scored the ninth run for the Twins.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.

Morris bounced back from a less-than-stellar game one to pitch quite well in game four.  He threw 110 pitches.

Stottlemyre did not fare so well.  He surrendered four runs on seven hits and one walk in 3.2 innings.  He struck out three.

The Blue Jays again struggled with men in scoring position.  The stranded ten men and went 3-for-16 with men in scoring position.  The Twins stranded nine but went 4-for-13 with men in scoring position.

The Twins had won two consecutive road games to take a commanding 3-1 lead.  They were one win away from the World Series.  Could they put it away in game five?

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series three games to one.