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Random Rewind: 1984, Game One Hundred Twenty-four

MINNESOTA 5, MILWAUKEE 2 IN MILWAUKEE (GAME 1 OF DOUBLEHEADER)

Date:  Wednesday, August 22.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a triple, a double, and two RBIs.  Houston Jimenez was 2-for-4 with two runs.  Tom Brunansky was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-sixth.

Pitching star:  Mike Smithson pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Ben Oglivie was 2-for-3 with a home run (his tenth) and a walk.  Cecil Cooper was 2-for-4 with a home run, his eighth.  Mike Caldwell pitched a complete game despite allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out two.

The game:  Oglivie homered in the second to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.  It didn't last long, as the Twins came back with two in the third.  Jimenez singled and Puckett doubled, putting men on second and third with none out.  Sacrifice flies by Dave Meier and Mickey Hatcher brought home the runs.

Milwaukee got a single, a walk, and a hit batsman in the fourth, but a double play took them out of the inning.  In the seventh, Brunansky led off with a home run.  The next two batter went out.  Tim Laudner then struck out, but reached base on a wild pitch.  Jimenez doubled and Puckett delivered a two-run triple, giving the Twins a 5-1 lead.  Cooper homered with two out in the ninth, but the Brewers did not get the tying run up to bat or even come close to doing so.

WP:  Smithson (13-9).  LP:  Caldwell (6-11).  S:  None.

Notes:  Laudner was behind the plate, as you would expect.  He and Dave Engle shared catching duties in 1984, with Engle playing in slightly more games (86-81).  Neither hit all that well, with Engle providing a higher batting average and Laudner providing more power, but their OPS numbers were .661 (Engle) and .647 (Laudner).

Meier was in left field in this game.  Hatcher was the regular left field, but he was the DH in this game, with regular DH Randy Bush out of the lineup.

Neither team made any substitutions and both pitchers threw complete games.  I suspect that didn't happen very often even back then.  Now, of course, it's nearly unheard of.

Hrbek led the team in batting at .318.  He would finish at .311, a figure which would still lead the team.  Hatcher was batting .311--he would finish at .302.  Puckett, in his rookie season, was batting .305--he would finish at .296.  The Twins were tied for sixth in batting at .265.  Boston would lead the league at .283.

Brunansky would lead the team in home runs with 32.  Hrbek was  next at 27, followed by Tim Teufel (14), Bush (11), and Laudner (10).  The Twins hit 114 home runs, which was next-to-last in the league.  Detroit led with 187.  I would not have guessed that the 1984 Twins were next-to-last in home runs.

Smithson led the team in starts with 39 and was one of three reliable starters the Twins had, going 15-13, 3.68, 1.19 WHIP.  Frank Viola was the staff ace, going 18-12, 3.21, 1.16.  John Butcher was 13-11, 3.44, 1.31.  After that it was pray for rain, which doesn't work very well when your home field is a dome.  Ken Schrom, who had pitched well the year before, was 5-11, 4.47, 1.44.  Ed Hodge, in his rookie year (which turned out to also be his last year), was 4-3, 4.77, 1.45, and Al Williams, the Nicaraguan guerrilla fighter, was 3-5, 5.77, 1.41.  If the Twins could've found even a fourth starter, they might well have won the division.

Of course, the bullpen wasn't much help, either.  The two relievers who appeared in the most games were Ron Davis (7-11, 4.55, 1.45) and Pete Filson (6-5, 4.10, 1.35).  Even the guys with better ERAs allowed a ton of baserunners:  Rick Lysander (3.49 ERA, 1.57 WHIP), Len Whitehouse (3.16, 1.47), and Mike Walters (3.72, 1.55).

On the strength of their three good starters, the Twins were fourth in ERA at 3.85.  Detroit led with 3.49.  They were also fourth in WHIP at 1.32.  Detroit led there, too, at 1.26.

Surprisingly, with players like Cooper, Oglivie, Robin Yount, and Ted Simmons, the Brewers finished last in home runs with just 96.  Yount led the team with 16.

The Twins would sweep the doubleheader, their fifth win in six games.

Record:  The Twins were 66-58, in first place in the American League West, five games ahead of California and Kansas City.  They would finish 81-81, tied for third with California, three games behind Kansas City.

The Brewers were 52-73, in seventh (last) place in the American League East, 30.5 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 67-94, in last place, 36.5 games behind Detroit.

Random Record:  The Twins are 43-41 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2010, Game Seventy-six

DETROIT 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, June 28.

Batting stars:  Jim Thome was 2-for-3 with a home run (his seventh), a triple, a walk, two runs, and two RBIs.  Justin Morneau was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Delmon Young was 2-for-4.  Orlando Hudson was 2-for-5 with a double.

Pitching star:  Jesse Crain struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Ramon Santiago was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Miguel Cabrera was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and two RBIs.  Austin Jackson was 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch and three runs.  Danny Worth was 2-for-4.  Gerald Laird was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.

The game:  The Tigers jumped out early, scoring four runs in the first before a man was retired and never trailing after that.  Jackson was hit by a pitch.  Singles by Santiago and Ryan Raburn loaded the bases, and Cabrera and Brandon Boesch each hit a two-run double, giving Detroit a 4-0 lead.

The Twins got one back in the bottom of the first when Denard Span was hit by a pitch, went to third on Hudson's double, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  One was all they got, though, and the Tigers moved their lead back to four in the second when Jackson singled, stole second, went to third on Santiago's single, and scored on a ground out.

The Twins started getting back into it in the fourth.  Michael Cuddyer led off with a single, Thome tripled, and Young singled, cutting the lead to 5-3.  In the sixth Thome homered, narrowing the margin to 5-4.

In the seventh Jackson singled, was bunted to second and scored on a Raburn single.  The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the seventh when Hudson singled, went to second on a pickoff error, and scored on Jason Kubel's single, bringing the margin again down to one at 6-5.

But that was as good as it got for the Twins.  Laird homered in the eighth to make it 7-5.  The Twins went down in order in both the eighth and the ninth and went down to defeat.

WP:  Jeremy Bonderman (4-5).  LP:  Francisco Liriano (6-6).  S:  Jose Valverde (18).

Notes:  Justin Morneau was at first base.  As you probably recall, he was having an awesome year until he was injured in early July, bringing his season to a premature end and affecting his entire career.  Cuddyer actually played the most games at first base that season, 84 to 77.

Nick Punto was at shortstop in place of J. J. Hardy, who was out due to injury.  Cuddyer was at third base in place of Danny Valencia, who was out for a few games.

The Twins did not make any position player substitutions.

Morneau was batting .350.  He would end the season at .345.  Mauer was batting .300.  He would finish at .327.  Valencia batted .311.  The Twins were third in batting at .273.  Texas led the league at .276.

Thome led the team with 25 home runs.  Kubel and Young were tied for second with 21.  Others in double figures were Morneau (18) and Cuddyer (14).  The Twins were ninth in home runs with 142.  Toronto led the league with 257, which was 46 more than the second place team (Boston).

Liriano pitched six innings and allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks.  He struck out six.  He had a fine year in 2010, even if you couldn't tell it from this game:  14-10, 3.62, 1.26 WHIP.  He and Carl Pavano (17-11, 3.75) were clearly a step above the others in the rotation:  Scott Baker (12-9, 4.49), Kevin Slowey (13-6, 4.45), and Nick Blackburn (10-12, 5.42).  Brian Duensing joined the rotation in late July and did very well--as a starter he was 7-2, 3.05.  The Twins were fifth in the league in ERA at 3.95--Oakland led at 3.56.  They were fourth in WHIP at 1.29--Tampa Bay led there, at 1.26.

Detroit used two pitchers with connections to the Twins, Brad Thomas and Joel Zumaya.  Thomas was in his second act in MLB.  He had last pitched in the majors with the Twins in 2004.  He then went to Japan and to Korea before making it back to the big leagues with Detroit in 2010.  He made the most of the opportunity, going 6-2, 3.89 in 49 apperaances (69.1) innings.  It was the only good year he would have.  He kept pitching, though, going to his native Australia and to Taiwan before ending his playing career in 2014.  He has going back to Australia and appears to have a number of successful business interests there, some related to baseball and some not.

This was the middle of a three-game losing streak for the Twins.  They were in a stretch where they would win just two of eight.  This game was a battle for first place in the division at the time, as you'll see below.

Record:  The Twins were 41-35, in second place in the American League Central, a half game behind Detroit.  They would finish 94-68, in first place, six games ahead of Chicago.

The Tigers were 41-34, in first place in the American League Central, a half game ahead of Minnesota.  They would finish 81-81, in third place, 13 games behind Minnesota.

Rewind Record:  The Twins are 39-38 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2019, Game Forty-four

MINNESOTA 7, SEATTLE 1 IN SEATTLE

Date:  Friday, May 17.

Batting stars:  Ehire Adrianza was 2-for-3 with a home run (his third), two runs and two RBIs.  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.  Marwin Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Martin Perez struck out seven in 6.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits and four walks.  Matt Magill struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk.  Mike Morin pitched a scoreless inning.

Opposition stars:  Austin Adams retired all six men he faced, striking out four.  Edwin Encarnacion was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Dee Gordon was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his twelfth.  Mitch Haniger was 0-for-1 with three walks.

The game:  The Mariners put men on second and third with one out in the first, but a pair of strikeouts ended the inning.  The Twins started the scoring in the third on Adrianza's solo home run.  In the fourth, the Twins opened the inning with consecutive singles by GonzalezC. J. CronWillians Astudillo, and Kepler, making the score 2-0.  They added one more on Adrianza's sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead.

The Twins built their lead some more in the fifth.  Jorge Polanco and Gonzalez singled and Cron walked, loading the bases with one out.  Astudillo hit a sacrifice fly, and an error moved everyone up a base.  Kepler then delivered a two-run single, making it 6-0 Twins.

Seattle got their lone run in the bottom of the fifth.  With two out Gordon singled, Haniger walked, and Encarnacion had an RBI single.  They had only one hit after that, a two-out double by J. P. Crawford in the sixth.  The Twins added a run in the ninth when Adrianza singled and scored from first on a two-out double by Jonathan Schoop.

WP:  Perez (6-1).  LP:  Marco Gonzales (5-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Astudillo was the catcher in this game, one of 21 games he caught.  Mitch Garver and Jason Castro split the catching duties almost evenly, with Garver catching 82 games and Castro 78.

Adrianza was at third base.  Miguel Sano, who would become the third baseman, was just getting back from injury.  This was his second game of the season, and he was the DH.  Nelson Cruz, the regular DH, missed a few weeks due to injury.

Gonzalez was in left field in place of Eddie Rosario, who was apparently just given the day off.

The Twins did not make any position player substitutions.

Polanco was leading the team in batting at .331.  He would finish at .295.  Luis Arraez, who had not been brought up yet, would lead the team in batting at .334.  Cruz would be the only other .300 hitter, at .311.  The Twins were second in the league in batting at .270.

Cruz would lead the team in home runs with 41.  The Twins would have eleven batters who hit double-digit home runs:  Kepler (36), Sano (34), Rosario (32), Garver (31), Cron (25), Schoop (23), Polanco (22), Gonzalez (15), Castro (13), and Byron Buxton (10).  As you know, the Twins would set a new record for home runs in a season with 307.

Perez was 6-1, 2.89 at this point of the season.  Unfortunately, he couldn't sustain that, and ended up at 10-7, 5.12.  The Twins had three solid starters:  Jose Berrios (14-8, 3.68), Jake Odorizzi (15-7, 3.51), and Michael Pineda (15-11, 4.01).  They struggled after that, though, with Perez and Kyle Gibson (13-7, 4.84).  When Pineda was suspended they really struggled, which led to Randy Dobnak making a start in the playoffs.

The Twins used 31 pitchers in 2019.  So they won't be forgotten, let's tip our cap to Andrew Vasquez, Chase DeJongJorge Alcala, and Austin Adams, each of whom pitched one or two games for the Twins last season.

This was the fourth game of a five-game winning streak for the Twins.  After a loss they would win six more in a row, meaning they won eleven of twelve.

Record:  The Twins were 29-15, in first place in the American League Central, 5.5 games ahead of Cleveland.  They would finish 101-61, in first place, 8 games ahead of Cleveland.

The Mariners were 22-25, in fourth place in the American League West, nine games behind Houston.  They would finish 68-94, in fifth (last) place, 39 games behind Houston.

Rewind Record:  The Twins are 38-33 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1976, Game One Hundred Forty-one

MINNESOTA 3, TEXAS 1 IN TEXAS (7 INNINGS)

Date:  Wednesday, September 8.

Batting stars:  Lyman Bostock was 4-for-4 with a triple, a double, and two runs.  Larry Hisle was 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base, his twenty-ninth.

Pitching star:  Steve Luebber pitched a seven inning complete game, giving up one run on seven hits and no walks and striking out none.

Opposition stars:  Tommy Boggs pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks and striking out none.

The game:  The Twins put men on first and third in the second inning but did not score.  The Rangers did score in the second, on a home run by Tom Grieve, but they also had the bases loaded with one out and were turned aside by a 1-2-3 double play, leaving the score 1-0.

The Twins tied it in the fourth.  Bostock singled, Hisle walked, and Butch Wynegar had an RBI single.  They still had men on first and second with none out, but could do more damage, leaving the score 1-1.  In the fifth, however, Steve Braun led off with a single, moved to third on a pair of outs, and scored on Bostock's triple.  Hisle delivered a run-scoring single to make it 3-1 Twins.

That was pretty much it.  Texas got a single in the fifth and another in the seventh, but did nothing with them.  The eighth started well for the Twins:  Bostock doubled and Hisle singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  But the game was called at that point.

WP:  Luebber (4-4).  LP:  Boggs (1-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Braun was the designated hitter and batted leadoff.  He and Craig Kusick mostly shared the DH job, with Kusick playing a few more games there (79 to 71).  Tony Oliva, in his last season, played 32 games at DH.

The Twins made no substitutions.  You could say that neither team did, really.  Reliever Craig Skok was apparently announced into the game two batters into the eighth inning, but the game was called before he could pitch to a batter.  Apparently he got credit for a game played, as he shows up in the box score and it's in his game log.

Bostock led the team in batting at this point at .331.  Carew was right behind him at .328.  Carew would overtake Bostock by season's end, winning the team batting championship .331 to .323.  This snapped a string of four consecutive league batting crowns by Carew, as George Brett took the crown at .333 and Hal McRae was right behind him at .332.  You may recall that there was kerfuffle at the end of the season, with McRae alleging that Twins outfielder Steve Brye had purposely allowed a Brett fly ball to fall for a hit so that Brett would win the batting title rather than McRae, and alleging that Gene Mauch had purposely made that happen for racial reasons.  Nothing ever came of the allegations.

The Twins home run leader was Disco Dan Ford with 20.  Hisle had 14, Kusick 11, and Wynegar 10.  A Bomba Squad they were not.  Surprisingly, they hit more homers than four other American League teams.

This was one of two complete games Luebber had in his career, and both were in 1976.  The other came on August 2, when he shut out Oakland.  Bert Blyleven was the ace of the staff until he was traded; then it was probably Dave Goltz (14-14, 3.36).  Pete Redfern had his one good year as a starter, going 8-8, 3.51.  Bill Singer pitched well after the trade, going 9-9, 3.77.  Other starters included Luebber (4-5, 4.00), Jim Hughes (9-14, 4.98), and Eddie Bane (4-7, 5.11).  The leader in wins, however, was reliever Bill Campbell, who went 17-5, 3.01 with 20 saves.  He pitched 167.2 innings of relief over 78 games.

There were no strikeouts in the game for either team.  Even granting that it was a seven-inning game, that's pretty unusual.

I assume the game was rained out in the top of the eighth, but the game log does not actually say that.

Record:  The Twins were 71-70, in third place in the American League West, 9.5 games behind Kansas City.  They would finish 85-77, in third place, 5 games behind Kansas City.

The Rangers were 63-75, in fourth place in the American League West, 16 games behind Kansas City.  They would finish 76-86, tied for fourth with California, 14 games behind Kansas City.

Random Record:  The Twins are 33-27 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1999, Game Twenty

MINNESOTA 6, BOSTON 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, April 26.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with a grand slam (his third homer), a walk, and five RBIs.  Ron Coomer was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Terry Steinbach was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched six innings, giving up one run on eight hits and one walk and striking out four.  Mike Trombley struck out three in three innings, giving up one run on two hits and two walks.

Opposition stars:  Damon Buford was 2-for-4.  Reggie Jefferson was 2-for-5 with a home run.  Nomar Garciaparra was 2-for-5 with a double.  Kip Gross pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk.

The game:  With Radke pitching, the Red Sox naturally scored in the first inning.  Jose Offerman led off the game with a single and John Valentin followed with an RBI double, putting Boston ahead 1-0 two batters into the game.  That was all they could do, though, and it stayed 1-0 until the fourth.

Matt Lawton led off the fourth inning with a walk and Coomer singled.  A wild pitch moved men to second and third with none out, but the next two batters fanned.  Chad Allen walked to load the bases and Hunter unloaded them with a grand slam, giving the Twins a 4-1 lead.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Jason Varitek was retired on a short fly to right and Trot Nixon struck out to end the threat.  The Twins extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth.  Coomer led off the inning with a double and went to third on a passed ball.  Steinbach walked, and with two out Hunter and Denny Hocking had RBI singles to put the Twins up 6-1.

Boston again loaded the bases in the seventh, this time with two out, but Troy O'Leary grounded out.  They added a run with two out in the ninth when Jefferson homered, but that was all they could do.

WP:  Radke (2-2).  LP:  Tim Wakefield (1-3).  S:  Trombley (1).

Notes:  Hocking was at shortstop in place of Cristian Guzman.  One assumes Tom Kelly thought that, with Wakefield pitching, it would be a good time to give the rookie a day off.

Coomer was at third base.  Corey Koskie would eventually become the regular third baseman in 1999, but early in the season Coomer saw a lot of time there, with Koskie either on the bench, at DH, or in right field.

The Twins did not make any substitutions in their lineup in this game.

Lawton was leading the team in batting at .329 after this game.  He would finish at .259.  Marty Cordova was batting .317.  He would finish at .285.  Koskie would end up leading the team in batting at .310.

Coomer would lead the team in home runs with 16.  Others in double figures were Cordova (14), Koskie (11), and Allen (10).  The Twins pretty much missed out on the home-run happy late 90s.  They were dead last in the league at 105 home runs, forty behind the next lowest team (Tampa Bay).

Radke was easily the best starter on the team, going 12-14, 3.75.  The only others who were even competent were Eric Milton (7-11, 4.49) and Joe Mays (6-11, 4.37).  Others who made double-digit starts were LaTroy Hawkins (10-14, 6.66), Mike Lincoln (3-10, 6.84), and Dan Perkins (1-7, 6.54).  When Radke did not win, there was a good chance the Twins were headed for a losing streak.

Rick Aguilera was still the closer at this point, but rather than use him in a non-save situation Kelly opted to give Trombley the three-inning save.  Aguilera would be traded on May 21 and Trombley would become the closer for the only time in his career.  He did very well in the role, but he did not have classic closer stuff, so he never got another chance to do it.

The Red Sox stranded 12 runners and went 1-for-9 with men in scoring position.  They had to feel like this was one they let get away.

The Twins victory snapped a five-game losing streak.

Record:  The Twins were 8-12, in fourth place in the American League Central, six games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 63-97, in fifth (last) place, 33 games behind Cleveland.

The Red Sox were 10-9, in fourth place in the American League East, three games behind New York.  They would finish 94-68, in second place, four games behind New York.  They would, however, win the wild card by seven games and go to the playoffs.

Random Record:  The Twins are 31-27 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1963, Game One Hundred Thirty-two

MINNESOTA 10, WASHINGTON 1 IN WASHINGTON

Date:  Thursday, August 29.

Batting stars:  Bernie Allen was 3-for-5 with a home run (his seventh) and three RBIs.  Jimmie Hall was 3-for-5 with a home run (his twenty-seventh) and two runs.  Rich Rollins was 3-for-5.  Zoilo Versalles was 2-for-4 with a home run (his tenth), a triple, a walk, and three runs.  Earl Battey was 2-for-4.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his thirty-second.

Pitching star:  Dwight Siebler pitched a complete game, giving up one run on three hits and two walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Don Rudolph struck out three in three shutout innings of relief, giving up two hits and a walk.

The game:  Allen led off the game with a home run to put the Twins up 1-0.  They later put men on second and third with none out, but left them there.  It did not cost them.  In the second Versalles tripled and scored on Allen's single to make it 2-0.

The Twins took control in the third.  Hall opened with a home run.  Don Mincher walked and went to third on two wild pitches.  The next two batters went out, but Battey had an RBI single, Versalles walked, Siebler contributed a two-run single-plus-error, and Allen delivered an RBI single.  It was 7-0 Twins and they were not threatened after that.

It went to 9-0 in the fourth when Killebrew hit a two-run homer and 10-0 in the fifth when Versalles homered.  The lone Senators run came in the sixth.  Don Rudolph walked, went to third on a single by Don Blasingame, and scored on a double play.

WP:  Siebler (1-0).  LP:  Jim Duckworth (4-11).  S:  None.

Notes:  This was the second game of a doubleheader.  The Twins had won the first game 14-2, giving them a 24-3 margin for the day.

Despite the fact that this was the second game of a doubleheader, the only substitution from the first game to the second was that Mincher was at first base rather than Vic Power.  They also didn't make a lot of substitutions during the game, even though it was a blowout.  In the eighth, Jerry Zimmerman replaced Battey behind the plate and Lenny Green went to center field, with Hall moving to left and Killebrew coming out of the game.  I know, but always forget, that Killebrew was the Twins' regular left fielder from 1962-1964.

This was the second game, first start, first complete game, and first win of Siebler's career.  He had pitched two-thirds of an inning of relief three days earlier.  We don't have pitch counts for these games.  It's hard to imagine a guy making his first career start being allowed to pitch a complete game, especially in a blowout like this.  Incidentally, Lee Stange threw a complete game in the first game of the doubleheader.  Men were men in 1963.

Duckworth was the starter for Washington.  He pitched 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out three.

The Senators really had a woeful lineup.  They had one batter with an average over .250 (Chuck Hinton, .279) and three guys with an OPS over .720.  (Hinton, Blasingame, and Don Lock).  Yes, it was the 1960s, and yes, they were a third-year expansion team, but that's still pretty bad.  And they weren't using a bunch of scrubs because it was the second game of the doubleheader--this was pretty much their regular lineup.  As they used to say, first in war, first in peace, last in the American League.

This is more like it, random.org.

Record:  The Twins were 74-58, in third place in the American League, 11.5 games behind the Yankees.  They would finish 91-70, in third place, thirteen games behind the Yankees.

Washington was 48-85, in tenth (last) place in the American League, thirty-eight games behind the Yankees.  They would finish 56-106, in tenth (last) place, 48.5 games behind the Yankees.

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Two

MINNESOTA 3, ATLANTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

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: Game One Hundred Four

OAKLAND 3, MINNESOTA 1 IN OAKLAND

Date:  Friday, August 2.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-4.  Brian Harper was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out nine.

Opposition stars:  Bob Welch pitched a complete game, giving up one run on seven hits and two walks and striking out five.  Rickey Henderson was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his thirty-fifth.  Terry Steinbach was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  There was no score through two.  Harper led off the third with a double.  He was still on second with two out, but Chuck Knoblauch delivered an RBI single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  Unfortunately, that was the only run the Twins would get.

In the bottom of the third Mike Gallego singled and Rickey Henderson walked, putting men on first and second with two out.  Dave Henderson then singled to tie it 1-1.  In the fourth Steinbach doubled and scored on a two-out single by Mark McGwire to give the Athletics a 2-1 lead.  The Twins had a chance to tie it in the seventh when Davis led off with a double.  Harper drew a one-out walk, but a strikeout/throw out double play ended the inning.

Oakland got an insurance run in the eighth without getting a hit.  With one out, Jose Canseco was hit by a pitch and stole second.  Harold Baines was intentionally walked.  A wild pitch moved the runners up and led to another intentional walk, this time to Steinbach.  Brook Jacoby then hit an RBI ground out to make it 3-1.

The Twins got a two-out single from Davis in the ninth, bringing the tying run to bat, but Shane Mack flied out to end the game.

WP:  Welch (9-6).  LP:  Morris (13-8).  S:  None.

Notes:  It was a standard lineup with no substitutions.  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .328.  Harper raised his average to .312.

Both pitchers threw a complete game and neither team used a substitute.  The ten players on each side who started the game finished the game.  I don't know how unusual that is, but it's definitely unusual.  Morris threw 132 pitches, Welch 121.

Morris had ten complete games in 1991.  He was 6-4 in those games.

The Twins were 0-for-4 in stealing bases in this game.  The players caught stealing were Dan GladdenHarper, Davis, and Kent HrbekHrbek was caught trying to steal second on a strikeout/throw out on a full count with one out in the second. Harper was caught trying to steal second with one out in the fifth.  Davis was caught trying to steal third on a strikeout/throw out on a full count with one out in the seventh.  Gladden was caught trying to steal second with two out in the eighth.

Welch was coming off his Cy Young season in 1990, when he went 27-6, 2.95.  He struggled in 1991, going just 12-13, 4.58.  He would bounce back to have a solid season in 1992, but then fell apart, struggling through two more poor years before calling it quits.

The White Sox lost to Baltimore 3-0, so the gap between the two remained the same.

Record:  The Twins were 61-43, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of Chicago.