Tag Archives: Blown saves

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-eight


Date:  Thursday, October 3.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-4 with a stolen base, his twenty-fourth.  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Dan Gladden was 1-for-5 with a home run, his sixth.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched five shutout innings, giving up six hits and a walk and striking out five.  He threw 72 pitches.  Mark Guthrie pitched two shutout innings, giving up three hits.

Opposition stars:  Jack McDowell pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out three.  Lance Johnson was 4-for-4 with a triple and a stolen base, his twenty-fifth.  Frank Thomas was 2-for-3 with two walks.

The game:  The White Sox loaded the bases with one out in the first on two singles and a walk, but Bo Jackson hit into a double play to end the inning.  The Twins put men on first and second with two out in the fourth, but Brian Harper flied out to end the inning.

Those were the only threats until the sixth, when Gladden led off the inning with a home run to put the Twins up 1-0.  The Twins added a run in the ninth when Kent Hrbek walked and pinch-runner Jarvis Brown scored from first on Davis' double.

It was 2-0 going to the bottom of the ninth, and Rick Aguilera came in to finish it off.  But he walked Warren Newson to lead off the inning, and Johnson then circled the bases on a triple-plus-error to tie the score 2-2.  The next three batters went out, so we had free baseball.

The Twins went down in order in the top of the tenth.  In the bottom of the tenth, Tim Raines reached on a two-base error.  A ground out, an intentional walk, and a foul popup gave the Twins hope, but Newson delivered a single to score Raines and give the White Sox the victory.

WP:  Scott Radinsky (5-5).  LP:  Aguilera (4-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Al Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.

Lots of substitutes again.  Brown pinch-ran for Hrbek in the ninth and stayed in the game in right field.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Harper in the ninth and stayed in the game at first base.  Gagne pinch-ran for Davis in the ninth.  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Shane Mack in the ninth, but after a pitching change Pedro Munoz pinch-hit for Bush.  Lenny Webster then replaced Munoz in the bottom of the ninth and went behind the plate.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.

Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .318.  Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .312.  Mack was 0-for-3 and was batting .306.  Morris lowered his ERA to 3.43.  Terry Leach pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run to make his ERA 3.46.  Aguilera allowed three runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings to make his ERA 2.38.  It was his ninth blown save of the season.

Newman went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .198.  He would not get back over the Mendoza line.

What's more fun than a doubleheader after the pennant race is over?  Extra innings in a doubleheader after the pennant race is over!

It's a little surprising to me that Aguilera would stay in the game to pitch the tenth.  He ended up throwing thirty-nine pitches, which these days would be considered a lot for a closer.  Things were different then, of course.  Still, with the expanded rosters and a meaningless game, I'd have expected someone else to come in to pitch the tenth.

Record:  The Twins were 94-65, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago.

On October 2, when the Twins didn't play (presumably they were rained out), Toronto won and clinched the East, so the Twins would play the Blue Jays in the ALCS.

1991 Rewind: Game Eighty-nine


Date:  Tuesday, July 16.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-3.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifth.

Pitching star:  Kevin Tapani pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Chris Bosio pitched seven innings, giving up one run on seven hits and no walks and striking out two.  Darryl Hamilton was 3-for-3 with two walks.  Paul Molitor was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.

The game:  Molitor led off the bottom of the first with a single, followed by Hamilton's bunt single.  Another bunt moved the runners up and a sacrifice fly made it 1-0 Brewers.  The Twins got a pair of two-out singles in the second but could do nothing with them.  Puckett led off the fourth with a double but only got as far as third.  They tied it in the fifth, however, when Greg Gagne got a two-out single and scored from first on a Randy Bush double.

It didn't stay tied long.  In the bottom of the fifth, Jim Gantner singled, stole second, and scored on a B. J. Surhoff single, putting Milwaukee up 2-1.  Puckett again led off with a double in the sixth and again could only get as far as third.

In the top of the ninth, though, things changed.  Chili Davis walked and Harper hit a two-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 3-2.  Rick Aguilera came in, and looked like victory was assured.  The first two batters were retired on ground outs.  Then, however, Bill Spiers singled and scored on a Molitor double.  A wild pitch sent Molitor to third and Hamilton singled him home with the game's deciding run.

WP:  Doug Henry (1-0).  LP:  Aguilera (2-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Shane Mack was again in left with Dan Gladden still out.  Randy Bush was again in right and again batted first.  Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Davis in the ninth and stayed in the game to play right field, with Aguilera inserted into the leadoff spot in the lineup.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.

Harper raised his average to .333.  Puckett raised his average to .324.  Tapani's ERA fell to 3.16.  Aguilera's ERA rose to 3.02.

Following his 3-for-27 stretch, Puckett was now 10-for-21 in his last five games, raising his average from .314.

Pagliarulo had a seven-game hitting streak.  He was 15-for-24 and had raised his average from .244 to .290.

This was Aguilera's seventh blown save in thirty-one chances.

Texas lost to Detroit 6-5 and fell out of second place.

Record:  The Twins were 51-38, in first place in the American League West, 2.5 games ahead of Oakland.

Game 47: Tigers 4, Twins 3

The Tigers complete the three-game sweep in Minnesota. It's easy enough to pin this one on Capps. After all, he did snatch a win out of P.J.'s (and the Twins') hands by giving up the go-ahead runs in the top of the 9th. However, it was his first blown save in 10 chances and the boys missed plenty of opportunities with men in scoring position (3-10) today.  They had their chance again in the 9th. DSpan led off the home-half with a single but then Revere popped out on his bunt attempt and Mauer lined out to left for the 2nd out. Willingham managed a walk after Span had stole 2nd. 1st and 2nd, two outs and Mountie strode to the plate 0-for-the-day. He promptly flied out to right to end the game. Again, if Capps takes care of business, none of that matters. But bagging on him is just too easy. I don't think it's too much to ask of the top of the order to push one run across, especially when the first man up reaches base. If you disagree, that's fine (I'm know the probability of scoring a run improves with the lead-off man aboard, but I don't know what the chances of scoring a run in any given inning is - and I'm just too tired to go find out). Either way, this game weekend season sucked.

P.S. Kundos to Padre & NBB for holding down the game log!