Tag Archives: Bob Welch

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Eighteen


Date:  Saturday, August 17.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-5 with two runs.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-2 with three walks and three runs.  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4.  Shane Mack was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on eight hits and no walks and striking out six.  He threw 113 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Jose Canseco was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirty-fourth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Harold Baines was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Athletics opened the game consecutive singles by Rickey Henderson, Dave Henderson, Canseco, and Baines, producing two runs.  A double play made it 3-0 in the top of the first.  The Twins got on the board in the second when Hrbek walked, went to third on a Davis single, and scored on a ground out.  Oakland got the run right back in the third when Canseco homered, giving the Athletics a 4-1 lead.

It was all Minnesota after that.  In the bottom of the third Dan Gladden led off with a walk and scored on Knoblauch's double.  Puckett followed with an RBI single, and singles by Hrbek and Harper brought home another run, tying the score 4-4.  The Twins had two out and nobody on in the fifth, but a walk to Hrbek, a single by Davis, and a walk to Harper loaded the bases.  Mack then unloaded them with a three-run double to give the Twins a 7-4 lead.

The Twins kept adding on.  In the sixth, again with two out and none on, singles by KnoblauchPuckett, and Hrbek scored one run, a walk to Davis loaded the bases, and Harper delivered a two-run single to increase the lead to 10-4.  In the seventh, Mike Pagliarulo doubled, went to third on an Al Newman single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  The Twins finished the scoring in the eighth when a Hrbek walk, a Gene Larkin single, and a double play produced the team's twelfth run.

WP:  Morris (15-9).  LP:  Bob Welch (10-8).  S:  None.

Notes:  Newman was at shorstop, replacing Greg Gagne.  Gagne would play the next day, but then would miss two days and be used as a late-game replacement in three more before returning to the starting lineup August 24.

Larkin pinch-hit for Davis in the eighth.  Randy Bush pinch-ran for Hrbek in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base.

Puckett raised his average to .325.  Harper raised his average to .305.

Welch pitched 5.2 innings.  He was allowed to stay in the game long enough to allow nine runs on eleven hits and four walks.  He struck out one.  The Athletics had used six pitchers in the twelve-inning game the day before, so I assume Welch was simply being asked to take one for the team.  He threw one hundred pitches.  Eric Show pitched the rest of the game, going 2,1 innings while allowing three runs on five hits and two walks.

I know it was a different era, but there was still no real reason for Morris to pitch a complete game.  The Twins had used only four pitchers in the previous game, and one of them had only thrown six pitches.  The game was well in hand after six.  Yes, I know Morris didn't want to come out of games, but that's why you have someone called "the manager" who makes decisions that are in the best long-term interest of both the player and the team.  I'm glad that, for the most part, we've moved past that phony macho thinking in baseball.

By game scores, this was actually Welch's third-worst game of the season.  The worst was on May 5, when he allowed eleven runs (eight earned) on thirteen hits and two walks in 4.2 innings for a game score of two.  The second-worst was June 28, when he allowed nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and three walks in three innings for a game score of five.  His game score in this game was eight.  Those three games probably went a long way to giving him an ERA of 4.58 for the season.

Knoblauch was 8-for-13 with two doubles and two walks over his last three games.

Canseco had three home runs in the two games of the series.

The White Sox lost to the Yankees 4-2, so the Twins were starting to put some space between themselves and second place.

Record:  The Twins were 70-48, in first place in the American League West, 3.5 games ahead of Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Four


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.