Tag Archives: Allan Anderson

Random Rewind: 1986, Game One Hundred Fifty-eight

CLEVELAND 12, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, October 1.

Batting star:  Randy Bush was 2-for-4 with a triple and a stolen base, his fifth.

Pitching star:  Keith Atherton struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Tom Candiotti struck out twelve in a complete game, giving up three runs on eight hits and no walks.  Julio Franco was 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.  Pat Tabler was 3-for-5 with a triple and a double.  Chris Bando was 2-for-4.  Otis Nixon was 2-for-5 with a stolen base (his twenty-third), two runs, and two RBIs.  Joe Carter was 1-for-5 with a three-run homer, his twenty-ninth.

The game:  Nixon led off the game with a single, stole second, and scored on Franco's single.  In the second Tabler singled, Brook Jacoby reached on an error, and Jay Bell hit a two-run double to make it 3-0.  In the third Franco singled and scored on Tabler's double to make it 4-0.

The Twins got on the board in the third when Kirby Puckett doubled and scored on a Gary Gaetti single.  But it was all downhill from there.  In the fifth Brett Butler doubled, went to third on a fly ball, and scored on a balk.  The Indians put the game out of reach with four runs in the sixth.  Jacoby singled, Bell walked, and Bando singled to load the bases.  Nixon had a two-run single, Butler had a sacrifice fly, and Franco had an RBI single.  Cleveland led 9-1.

With two out in the eighth Butler was hit by a pitch, Franco singled, and Carter hit a three-run homer.  The Twins got a couple of runs in the ninth.  Mickey Hatcher singled, Bush tripled, and Ron Washington had an RBI ground out.

WP:  Candiotti (15-12).  LP:  Allan Anderson (3-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  A meaningless game at the end of a lost season.  Ray Miller was fired as manager in mid-September, with Tom Kelly taking over.  The Twins had long since been eliminated from the playoffs by this time.

Puckett was still a leadoff batter at this point.  Hatcher played first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Jeff Reed was behind the plate, with Mark Salas at DH and Roy Smalley out of the lineup.  The Twins used three catchers about evenly in 1986:  Salas (69 games), Laudner (68), and Reed (64).  Alvaro Espinoza was at second base in place of Steve Lombardozzi.

The Twins made numerous substitutions.  Washington replaced Gaetti at third base in the seventh.  Mark Davidson replaced Tom Brunansky in right field in the seventh.  Laudner replaced Reed at catcher in the eighth.  Lombardozzi went to second in the eighth, with Espinoza moving to short and Greg Gagne coming out of the game.  Billy Beane went to left field in the eighth, with Bush moving to right, Davidson to center, and Puckett coming out of the game.

Anderson was the Twins' starter.  He lasted only three innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and no walks and striking out two.  Other pitchers used in the game were Roy Lee JacksonBill LathamAtherton, and Ray Fontenot.  This was Anderson's rookie season.  He made 10 starts and 11 relief appearances, going 3-6, 5.55, 1.61 WHIP in 84.1 innings.  When you look at his ERA title in 1988, it really looks like a fluke--his ERA was 2.45 that year, 3.80 in 1989, and well over four in every other season.  He got a lot of criticism for sitting out the last game in 1988 to preserve his ERA title, but it's really the only thing he accomplished in his career, so I say good for him.

The leading batter for the Twins was Puckett at .329.

Record:  The Twins were 68-90, in sixth place in the American League West, twenty-three games behind California.  They would finish 71-91, in sixth place, twenty-one games behind California.

The Indians were 81-78, in fifth place in the American League East, fifteen games behind Boston.  They would finish 84-78, in fifth place, 11.5 games behind Boston.

 

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-nine

MINNESOTA 7, KANSAS CITY 2 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Tuesday, September 10.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 3-for-5 with a stolen base, his tenth.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Randy Bush was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Pedro Munoz was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifth.

Pitching stars:  Allan Anderson pitched five shutout innings, giving up three hits and a walk and striking out two.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Mark Gubicza struck out five in five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks.  Todd Benzinger was 2-for-4 with a double.  Brian McRae was 2-for-5.

The game:  Chuck Knoblauch reached third with one out in the first inning but did not score.  The Twins got the scoring underway in the third when Gladden hit a two-out double and Knoblauch singled him home.  In the fourth Chili Davis doubled and Mack singled him home, making it 2-0.

In the fifth Jorge Pedre led off with a double but nothing came of it.  In the bottom of the fifth Mack hit a two-out single and Munoz followed with a two-run homer to give the Twins a 4-0 lead.  In the sixth, a single and two walks loaded the bases for the Royals, but Jim Eisenreich struck out to end the inning.  In the seventh, Gagne and Gladden led off with singles and Bush hit a one-out double to put the Twins up 6-0.

Kansas City scored both of their runs in the eighth.  McRae led off with a single, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on a George Brett double.  Brett went to third on Benzinger's double and scored on a ground out to cut the margin to 6-2.  That was as much as the Royals would do.  The Twins added a run in the ninth when, with two out, Bush singled, Davis walked, and Brian Harper had an RBI single.

Kansas City did threaten in the bottom of the ninth.  Two walks and a single loaded the bases with none out.  But Aguilera came on to get a short fly ball, a strikeout, and another fly ball to end the game.

WP:  Anderson (5-8).  LP:  Gubicza (8-9).  S:  Aguilera (39).

Notes:  Bush was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Kirby Puckett was also given a day off, with Mack moving to center and Munoz playing right.

Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth, staying in the game to play third base.  Al Newman came in to play second base in the eighth, replacing Knoblauch.

Harper was 1-for-5 and was batting. 317.  Mack raised his average to .315.

Terry Leach allowed two runs in 1.2 innings to make his ERA 3.10.  Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.19.

I don't know why Anderson was pulled after five innings.  He made his next start, so injury is probably not a factor (although it's always possible he felt a slight twinge or something).  TK may have started looking at these games as tune-ups for the playoffs, since the Twins already had a big lead, or it could be that he felt like getting five shutout innings out of Anderson was a good thing that shouldn't be pushed.  He had thrown just sixty-six pitches, so it seems unlikely that was an issue.

I'm always a little intrigued when I run across a player I've never heard of.  This was the second career major league game for Jorge Pedre.  His fifth-inning double was the only double of his career.  A catcher, he played in ten games in 1991 and in four for the Cubs in 1992.  For his career he was 5-for-23, batting.217/.308/.348.  He was an eleventh-round draft choice for the Braves in 1986.  He hit well in Class A, but not much after that--.249/.303/.373 in AA, .228/.275/.351 in AAA.  He looks like your stereotypical good defensive catcher--I don't know how good his defense actually was, but you figure he must've done something to justify his presence on rosters.  Wikipedia indicates that he is now working at a refinery on their emergency response team.

The Royals used six pinch-hitters in this game.  Sadly, with expanded bullpens and the severe restrictions on September call-ups, this will probably never happen again.

The White Sox defeated Oakland 3-1 to avoid falling farther behind, but time was running out on them.

Record:  The Twins were 85-54, in first place in the American League West, 8.5 games ahead of Chicago.

In the East, Toronto led Boston by four games.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-four

BALTIMORE 5, MINNESOTA 4 IN BALTIMORE

Date:  Friday, August 23.

Batting stars:  Junior Ortiz was 3-for-4 with a double.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Chili Davis was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching star:  Carl Willis pitched four innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and two walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Ben McDonald pitched eight innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and three walks and striking out six.  Dwight Evans was 2-for-3 with a three-run homer (his fifth) and a walk.  Chris Hoiles was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Mike Devereaux was 2-for-5.

The game:  With one out in the second, Randy Milligan walked, Evans singled, a sacrifice fly made it 1-0 Orioles.  The Twins came back in the third.  With two out and none on, Dan Gladden singled, Chuck Knoblauch walked, Puckett had an RBI single and Kent Hrbek delivered a two-run double to put the Twins up 3-1.

The lead lasted until the fourth.  Glenn Davis led off the inning with a double, Milligan walked again, and Evans hit a three-run homer to give the Orioles a 4-3 lead.  The Twins tied it in the fifth when Knoblauch led off with a single and scored from first on a Puckett double.  They missed a chance to take the lead when Puckett was caught trying to steal third.

It stayed 4-4 until the ninth.  Ortiz hit a two-out double in the sixth but remained at second.  Baltimore put two on with two out in the sixth and again in the eighth but also did not score.  In the ninth, Hoiles led off with a single.  Pinch-runner Juan Bell was bunted to second and scored on David Segui's two-out single to end the game.

WP:  Gregg Olson (4-3).  LP:  Willis (7-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian HarperGene Larkin started in right field in place of Shane Mack.  Scott Leius was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.  Gagne pinch-ran for Ortiz in the ninth and remained in the game at shortstop.  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Gladden in the ninth.  Harper took Bush's place in the lineup and went in to catch.  Mack took Leius' place in the lineup and went to left field.

Puckett raised his average to .331.  Willis' ERA went up to 1.95.  Terry Leach pitched two-thirds of an inning to drop his ERA to 2.75.

Allan Anderson started for the Twins but pitched just four innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks and striking out two.  I don't know, but it could be that Tom Kelly started Ortiz with the thought that he'd be better able to help Anderson.  If so, it does not it appear to have worked.

Even though he took the loss, Willis again pitched very well in long relief.  His amazing run was nearing an end--he did not pitch well in September, presumably from being worn down during the season.  But he does not get nearly enough credit for the Twins' 1991 success.

The Twins' nearest rivals both lost, the White Sox falling to Cleveland 4-3 and Oakland losing to Milwaukee 13-4.  So, the Twins margin remained the same.

Record:  The Twins were 74-50, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of Chicago and Oakland.

Happy Birthday–January 7

Kitty Bransfield (1875)
Al Todd (1902)
Johnny McCarthy (1910)
Johnny Mize (1913)
Alvin Dark (1922)
Dick Schofield (1935)
Jim Hannan (1940)
Jim Lefebvre (1942)
Tony Conigliaro (1945)
Joe Keough (1946)
Ross Grimsley (1950)
Bob Gorinski (1952)
Jeff Montgomery (1962)
Craig Shipley (1963)
Allan Anderson (1964)
Rob Radlosky (1974)
Alfonso Soriano (1976)
Eric Gagne (1976)
Brayan Pena (1982)
Francisco Rodriguez (1982)
Edwin Encarnacion (1983)
Jon Lester (1984)
Jhoulys Chacin (1988)

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 7

1991 Rewind: Game Eighty-five

MINNESOTA 5, BOSTON 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, July 12.

Batting stars:  Mike Pagliarulo was 3-for-4.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-3.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base (his ninth) and two runs.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his ninth) and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Paul Abbott struck out three in two perfect innings.  Steve Bedrosian pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Tom Brunansky was 2-for-4.  Tony Pena was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his third.  Luis Rivera was 1-for-3 with a home run, his fifth.

The game:  The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the first, as Puckett had a two-out single and Hrbek followed with a home run.  It stayed 2-0 until the fifth.  Brunansky led off the inning with a single and Pena followed with a two-run homer.  Rivera made it back-to-back homers and the Red Sox led 3-2.  With one out, Jody Reed walked and stole second.  He went to third on a fly out and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2 Boston.

The Twins cut the lead to one in the bottom of the fifth, again with two out.  Knoblauch singled, stole second, and scored when Puckett reached on an error.   With one out in the sixth Pagliarulo and Shane Mack singled and Randy Bush walked, loading the bases.  A ground out scored a run and tied the score 4-4.

Knoblauch led off the seventh with a double and was bunted to third.  Chili Davis came through with an RBI single to give the Twins a 5-4 lead.  Boston got just one single after that and did not advance the man past first base.

WP:  Abbott (3-0).  LP:  Roger Clemens (11-6)  S:  Aguilera (23).

Notes:  Mack was in left with Dan Gladden still out.  Bush was in right.  Junior Ortiz was again behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.  Greg Gagne batted first.

Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Ortiz in the sixth and hit the run-scoring ground out that tied the game.  Harper came in to catch.  Jarvis Brown went to right field for defense in the eighth, replacing Bush.

Puckett raised his average to .317.  Abbott lowered his ERA to 3.41.  Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.68.

Sorrento's average fell to .154.

I don't know if Harper was battling a minor injury or if Tom Kelly simply was choosing to take advantage of Ortiz' defense.  If Harper was injured, it seems odd that he kept coming in to catch when Ortiz was pinch-hit for.  But it also seems odd that Kelly would prefer Ortiz' .203 average to Harper's .332, no matter how good his defense was.  At any rate, Harper would not start again until July 14.

Allan Anderson pitched five innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks and striking out one.  This would be his last start until late August.  He would make three relief appearances, then go back to AAA for a month before returning on August 23.

Roger Clemens started for the Red Sox and pitched 6.1 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eleven hits and two walks and striking out six.  Clemens did just slightly better against the Twins in his career than he did overall.  He was 24-13, 2.97, 1.12 WHIP against Minnesota.  For his career he was 354-184, 3.12, 1.18 WHIP.

Texas lost to Toronto 6-2, so the Twins picked up a game in the standings.

Record:  The Twins were 49-36, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of Texas.

1991 Rewind: Game Seventy-nine

TORONTO 4, MINNESOTA 0 IN TORONTO

Date:  Wednesday, July 3.

Batting star:  Brian Harper was 3-for-4 with two doubles.

Pitching star:  Mark Guthrie pitched five shutout innings of relief, giving up four hits and no walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Tom Candiotti struck out seven in seven shutout innings, giving up six hits and three walks.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-3 with a double and a hit-by-pitch.  Joe Carter was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his eighteenth and nineteenth) and three RBIs.  Pat Tabler was 2-for-4.  Ed Sprague was 2-for-4.  Devon White was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.

The game:  The Twins got a single and two walks in the first inning but did not score, thanks in part to a pickoff.  The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the first when Alomar hit a one-out double and Carter followed with a two-run homer.  Toronto loaded the bases with two out in the second and didn't score, but got on the board again in the third on another Carter homer, making it 3-0.  The Blue Jays again loaded the bases after the home run, but again did not score.

Paul Sorrento led off the fourth with a walk and Harper followed with a double, but Sorrento was thrown out trying to score from first (Gardy'd?) and the Twins were kept off the board.  White homered leading off the fourth to increase the lead to 4-0.

And that was it.  The Twins had a few threats--Al Newman singled and stole second in the fifth, Harper had a two-out double in the sixth, Scott Leius reached on a strikeout/passed ball in the seventh and got as far as third on a couple of ground outs--but they could not tally and the game ended with a 4-0 score.

WP:  Candiotti (8-7).  LP:  Allan Anderson (4-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  Jarvis Brown led off and played left field in place of Dan Gladden.  Randy Bush batted second and was in right field.  Paul Sorrento was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Al Newman was at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch.

Harper raised his average to .326.  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and fell to .325.

Sorrento was 0-for-3 and was batting .143.  Brown was 1-for-4 and was batting .167.

Twins starter Allan Anderson lasted just three innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out one.  He would make one more start, on July 12, then be removed from the rotation.

This was Guthrie's first appearance since being removed from the rotation.  I may have mentioned this before, but he did much better as a reliever than as a starter.  In 1991 he was 5-4, 5.73, 1.82 WHIP as a starter and 2-1, 2.51, 1.37 WHIP with two saves as a reliever.  For his career he was 13-18, 4.95, 1.52 WHIP as a starter and 38-36, 3.75, 1.36 WHIP with fourteen saves as a reliever.  It could reasonably said that the move to the bullpen saved his career.

This was the Twins' seventh loss in eight games.  Looking at that lineup, one has to say that TK wasn't panicking and going all-out to win every game.  The losing streak was largely a failure of the bats.  In the seven losses, the Twins scored just fifteen runs and were shutout twice.  How low would they go?  We'll see.

Record:  The Twins were 45-34, in second place in the American League West, one percentage point behind California (.571 to .570--the Angels had played two fewer games).  They were two games ahead of third-place Texas.

1991 Rewind: Game Sixty-nine

NEW YORK 11, MINNESOTA 2 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Sunday, June 23.

Batting stars:  Randy Bush was 2-for-4 with two home runs.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his seventh.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Scott Kamieniecki pitched 7.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out three.  Roberto Kelly was 5-for-5 with a home run (his eighth), three stolen bases (his thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth), two runs, and three RBIs.  Hensley Meulens was 3-for-5 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Steve Sax was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Bob Geren was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

The game:  The Yankees took control early, scoring six runs in the second.  Consecutive one-out singles by Meulens, Alvaro Espinoza, and Geren plated the first run.  Pat Kelly was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  A ground out scored the second run, an error plated the third, and Roberto Kelly hit a three-run homer, putting the Yankees up 6-0.

The Twins got on the board in the third when Bush hit a home run.  Brian Harper hit a leadoff double in the fourth, but nothing came of it.  New York added a run in the bottom of the fourth when Pat Kelly singled, stole second, and scored on a Roberto Kelly single to make the score 7-1.  The Yankees added three more in the seventh on a two-run double by Meulens and an RBI double by Geren, increasing their lead to 10-1.

Bush hit his second home run in the eighth to cut the lead to 10-2.  New York got the run back in the bottom of the inning on Carlos Rodriguez' RBI single.

WP:  Kamieniecki (2-0).  LP:  Allan Anderson (4-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Surprisingly, Gladden was in the lineup for a day game.  He did well, although it obviously didn't help the Twins much.  Bush was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek, who apparently was dealing with a minor injury, as he would not play again until June 28.  Gene Larkin was in right field, with Shane Mack moving to center and Kirby Puckett out of the lineup.  Junior Ortiz come in to catch in the eighth inning, replacing Harper.

Harper was 1-for-3 and was batting .340.

Allan Anderson was the Twins starter.  He lasted just 1.2 innings, his shortest start of the season.  He allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk and struck out none.  His next start would actually be pretty good, but he would make only two more after that before being pulled from the rotation.

Paul Abbott pitched 5.1 innings of relief.  He did quite well until his fifth inning, when he allowed the three-run seventh.  Still, he saved the bullpen, as the only other pitcher used was Terry Leach in the eighth.

Tom Kelly did have a point about Gladden and day games, at least in 1991.  He batted .263/.321/.387 in night games, .192/.257/.250 during the day.  For his career, however, there's not much difference.  He batted .272/.319/.386 in night games, .266/.335/.375 during the day.

This was Kamieniecki's rookie year and just his second major league start.  He made nine starts for the Yankees in 1991 and did pretty well, really:  4-4, 3.90, 1.37.  He was already twenty-seven, but still managed to pitch in the majors for nine seasons.  He was with the Yankees through 1996, with Baltimore from 1997-1999, and with Cleveland and Atlanta in 2000.  For his career he was 53-59, 4.52, 1.49 WHIP in 975.2 innings.  He was never anything great, but he was a fairly solid rotation starter through 1997.

Record:  The Twins were 42-27, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Oakland.

1991 Rewind: Game Fifty-four

MINNESOTA 2, CLEVELAND 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, June 7.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his third.  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a home run (his twelfth) and a walk.

Pitching starsAllan Anderson pitched eight shutout innings, giving up two hits and one walk and striking out three.  He threw just 81 pitches.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect ninth and struck out one.

Opposition star:  Tom Candiotti pitched 7.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks and striking out five.

The game:  Neither team had a hit until the bottom of the second, when Davis led off the inning with a home run.  The Indians got their first base runner in the fourth, when Mike Huff led off with a single.  He was immediately erased by a double play.  Cleveland would not get another hit until the eighth, when Joel Skinner led off with a double.  Pinch-runner Alex Cole was caught stealing third, so that baserunner was also wiped out.  They did have two on in the seventh, when Carlos Baerga was hit by a pitch and Brook Jacoby walked, but a fly out ended that inning.

The Twins added a run in the eighth.  Chuck Knoblauch and Hrbek singled, and a wild pitch brought home the run to make it 2-0.

WPAnderson (3-4).  LP:  Candiotti (7-3).  SAguilera (14).

NotesDan Gladden was dropped to the ninth spot in the batting order, with Greg Gagne leading off.  It would be the only time all year he would bat ninth.  Shane Mack was now the right fielder.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth and remained in the game at third base.

Brian Harper was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .326.  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .324.  Gagne was 1-for-4 and was batting .309.  Davis was batting .304.  Aguilera's ERA went down to 2.25.

Newman was 0-for-1 and was batting .184.

This was obviously the best game of the year for Anderson.  It's too bad, given his pitch count, that he wasn't allowed to finish the game.  Aguilera had pitched in each of the team's last three games, so it's not like he needed the work.  One can only conclude that Tom Kelly did not trust Anderson with a two-run lead in the ninth and so decided he needed to bring Aguilera in.  Which, given how Anderson had pitched so far this season, was understandable, but he was certainly in complete control in this game.

In 1991, Candiotti had an ERA of 2.65 (sixth in the league), a 1.16 WHIP, and yet had a record of just 13-13.  Playing half the season for Cleveland didn't help, but he also played half the season for Toronto, a very good team.  He had a few seasons like that, where he had a low ERA, a low WHIP, but a poor won-lost record.  1992:  11-15, 3.00, 1.18.  1993: 8-10, 3.12, 1.23.  1995:  7-14, 3.50, 1.29.  For his career, he was 151-164, 3.73, 1.30.  One has to conclude that he didn't get a whole lot of support for a lot of his career.

The win gave the Twins a six-game winning streak, their longest of the season so far.  Pitching was definitely driving the streak.  They had scored more than four runs only once, but had only given up as many as four once.  They were out-scoring their opponents 25-13, for an average score of about 4-2.  And with the winning streak, they were starting to climb in the standings, as you'll see below.

Record:  The Twins were 29-25, fourth in the American League West, just five percentage points behind third-place Texas.  They were four games behind first-place Oakland and led fifth-place Seattle by a half game.

1991 Rewind: Game Thirty-four

MILWAUKEE 6, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, May 16.

Batting stars:  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-4 with a double.  Pedro Munoz was 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Carl Willis pitched 3.1 innings of relief, giving up one run on five hits.  Terry Leach pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and two walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Greg Vaughn was 3-for-5 with a triple.  Dale Sveum was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Willie Randolph was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Robin Yount was 2-for-5 with a home run (his eighth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Bill Wegman pitched five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk and striking out two.  Darren Holmes pitched four innings, giving up one run on four hits and no walks and striking out one.

The game:  Most of the runs came early.  Paul Molitor led off the game by being hit by a pitch.  He stole second and scored on a single by Vaughn, who was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a double.  Yount then followed with a home run to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.

The Twins got the runs back in the bottom of the first.  Gagne led off the inning with a home run.  Shane Mack was hit by a pitch, went to second on a Kirby Puckett single, and scored on a pair of fly outs to tie the score 2-2.

Milwaukee then took control.  Dante Bichette led off the second with a home run.  In the third, Vaughn hit a two-out triple, Yount singled him home, and Franklin Stubbs hit an RBI double to give the Brewers a 5-2 advantage.

The Twins didn't do a lot after that.  Pagliarulo hit a one-out double in the fourth but didn't advance.  A couple of singles didn't amount to anything.  Milwaukee added a run in the seventh when Sveum doubled and Randolph singled, making it 6-2.  Munoz hit a home run leading off the ninth, but the Twins never threatened to get back into the game.

WP:  Wegman (1-1).  LP:  Allan Anderson (1-3).  S:  Holmes (1).

Notes:  With the day game, Dan Gladden was out of the lineup.  Shane Mack was in left and Munoz in right.  Gene Larkin was at first base replacing Kent Hrbek.  Al Newman was at second, replacing Chuck Knoblauch.

Brian Harper was 1-for-3 and was batting .391.  Gagne raised his average to .301.  Chili Davis was 0-for-4 and was batting .301.  Leach lowered his ERA to 2.77.  Aguilera's ERA was at 1.84.

Anderson lasted just three innings, giving up five runs on six hits and a walk and striking out two.  In his last two starts, he had given up nine runs on twelve hits in seven innings.  His ERA went from 3.55 to 4.80.

Willis had appeared in four games since his call-up on April 23.  Three of those appearances were of three innings or longer.

Holmes had three saves in 1991.  All of them were of the three-or-more-innings variety.  He would go on to get 59 saves in his career.  He was the closer for Colorado in their first year of existence in 1993 and was again their closer for about a month in 1995.

Bill Wegman was in the Brewers' rotation from 1986-1988, then missed a lot of time in the next two seasons due to injuries.  He came back in 1991 to have the best year of his career, going 15-7, 2.84, 1.12 WHIP.  He had a fine year in 1992 as well, going 13-14 but with an ERA of 3.20 and a WHIP of 1.17.  He pitched 261.1 innings, though, and it was apparently too much for him.  He stayed with Milwaukee for three more seasons, and in fact spent his entire career with them, but he never had a good year again.  For his career he was 81-90, 4.16, 1.29 WHIP.  For two seasons, though, he was an excellent starting pitcher.

Record:  The Twins were 17-17, tied with Chicago for fifth place in the American League West, 3.5 games behind Oakland.  The Twins were just a half game out of fourth and a game out of third.

1991 Rewind: Game Two

MINNESOTA 4, OAKLAND 1 IN OAKLAND

Date:  Wednesday, April 10.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4.  Brian Harper was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and a hit-by-pitch.

Pitching stars:  Allan Anderson pitched 7.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits and six walks and striking out two.  Rick Aguilera struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Bob Welch pitched a complete game, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk and striking out five.  He threw 107 pitches.  Mark McGwire was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  The Twins opened the scoring in the second when Davis led off with a single and Harper followed with a two-run homer.  With one out in the third Knoblauch singled, Kirby Puckett reached on an error, and Kent Hrbek walked to load the bases.  Davis then delivered a two-run single to make the score 4-0.

The Athletics twice got a man to second in the fourth, but did not score.  Rickey Henderson walked and stole second, but was cut down trying to steal third.  With two out Jose Canseco walked and stole second, but Terry Steinbach struck out to end the inning.  Oakland got a one-out double from McGwire in the fifth, but did not advance him.

The Athletics got on the board in the eighth.  McGwire led off with a walk.  With one out, Walt Weiss singled and Mike Gallego walked to load the bases.  That was it for Anderson.  Aguilera came in and gave up a run on a ground out but otherwise escaped.  Oakland threatened in the ninth, as a Canseco single was followed by a Steinbach double.  But Harold Baines was caught looking, McGwire fouled out, and Ernie Riles was caught looking to end the game.

WP:  Anderson (1-0).  LP:  Welch (0-1).  S:  Aguilera (1).

Notes:  In this game and in the previous one, Shane Mack was in center field and Puckett was in right.  It would not stay that way all season.  It'll be interesting to see when they switched.

Davis was batting .429 (3-for-7).

Who remembered that Anderson started the second game of the season?  Not me.  Part of the reason was that TK wanted to hold Kevin Tapani out for the home opener, which would be game four.  Even so, I'm not sure I remembered that Anderson was even still on the team in 1991.  He wasn't very good (4.96 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), but he did have a few very good games, including this one.

Aguilera would only have six appearances all season that were longer than 1.2 innings.  Four of those were extra inning games.

Before I did yesterday's game, it had been many years since the name "Ernie Riles" had crossed my mind.  He actually had a solid career, playing nine seasons for Milwaukee, San Francisco, Oakland, Houston, and Boston.  He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1985, behind Ozzie Guillen and Teddy Higuera (long-time Twins minor league pitching coach Stew Cliburn finished fifth in the voting, and Twins catcher Mark Salas finished ninth).  He batted .286 that year, and I'm sure people expected that he would just get better, but that would be the highest average he would get.  For his career, he batted .254/.319/.365.  He was an infielder, mostly playing short and third, but also getting 88 games at second, 10 at first, and 5 in the outfield.  He's the uncle of major league outfielder Willie Harris.

Record:  The Twins were 1-1, tied for fourth, a game behind California and Chicago.