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1991 Rewind: World Series Game Seven

MINNESOTA 1, ATLANTA 0 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

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: Game One Hundred Forty-nine

MINNESOTA 8, TEXAS 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, September 21.

Batting stars:  Brian Harper was 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, two runs, and two RBIs.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his fourteenth.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his eighteenth.

Pitching star:  Kevin Tapani pitched a complete game, allowing four runs on eight hits and no walks and striking out six.  He threw 105 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Rafael Palmeiro was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-fifth), a double, and two runs.  Julio Franco was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his thirtieth.  Jack Daugherty was 1-for-4 with a home run.

The game:  With two out in the first inning, Puckett singled and Hrbek followed with a two-run homer.  It stayed 2-0 until the fourth, when Franco singled and Palmeiro doubled, putting men on second and third with none out.  Ruben Sierra singled in a run and another run scored on a double play, tying the score 2-2.

The Twins took the lead right back in the bottom of the fourth.  Chili Davis had a one-out single and stole second (!).  Harper doubled him home and later scored on a Mike Pagliarulo single to put the Twins up 4-2.  The Twins added two more in the fifth.  With one out, Chuck Knoblauch walked, Puckett singled, and Hrbek walked, loading the bases.  A force out scored one run and a Harper double brought home another, increasing the Twins' lead to 6-2.

The Rangers never really got back into the game.  Palmeiro homered in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-3, but in the seventh Scott Leius delivered a two-out two-run double to put it up to 8-3.  Daugherty homered in the eighth to make it 8-4, but that was as close as Texas would come.

WP:  Tapani (16-8).  LP:  Jose Guzman (12-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Leius pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the seventh and stayed in the game at third base.  Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Puckett in the eighth and stayed in the game in center field.

Puckett raised his average to .323.  Harper went up to .313.  Shane Mack was 1-for-4 and was batting .309.  Tapani's ERA went up to 2.87.

Guzman started for the Rangers and pitched 6.2 innings.  He allowed eight runs on ten hits and four walks.  He struck out three and threw 125 pitches.  I don't know if the Texas bullpen was overtaxed, so they needed him to fill up innings, but that seems like a lot of pitching when you're not pitching that well.

By this time in his career, Gladden was not that much of a base stealer any more.  He would end the year with fifteen, the lowest total of his career to that point.  He would play two more seasons, but would steal only twelve more bases.  In his best years he was a decent, but not great, percentage base stealer.  For his career he was 222-315, which is 70.4%.

I remembered Julio Franco as a good ballplayer, but not as a basestealer.  1991 was his best year, with 36, but he topped thirty three other times.  He was 281-388 for his career, which is 72.4%.

This was Daugherty's only home run in 1991 and one of ten for his career.  Six of them came in 1990, which was the only time he got over 150 at-bats in a season.

The White Sox lost to California 4-3, increasing the Twins lead and getting us all to start thinking of magic numbers, if we weren't doing so already.

Record:  The Twins were 89-60, in first place in the American League West, seven games ahead of Chicago.  The Twins' magic number was seven.

In the East, Toronto lost and Boston won, dropping the Blue Jays' lead to just a half game.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-seven

MINNESOTA 6, NEW YORK 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, September 8.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his eighteenth) and two runs.  Scott Leius was 2-for-4.  Pedro Munoz was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his fourth.

Pitching star:  Mark Guthrie struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Matt Nokes was 3-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-third.  Hensley Meulens was 2-for-2 with a double and a walk  Pat Sheridan was 1-for-1 with a home run, his fourth.

The game:  Each team scored two in the second.  In the top of the inning, Nokes singled, Roberto Kelly tripled, and a sacrifice fly made it 2-0.  In the bottom of the second, Davis singled and Mack hit a home run to tie it 2-2.

The Yankees edged back into the lead.  Nokes homered in the fourth to make it 3-2.  In the fifth, Pat Kelly singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on an error to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead.  But in the sixth, Mack  and Davis led off with singles followed by Munoz' three-run homer to put the Twins in front 5-4.

The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Mack hit into a double play to end the inning.  In the eighth, Gene Larkin walked, Lenny Webster singled, and Gagne hit an RBI double to make it 6-4.  They needed the run, because Sheridan homered leading off the ninth to make it 6-5.  That was it, though, as the next three batters went out and the Twins held on for the victory.

WP:  Scott Erickson (18-6).  LP:  Jeff Johnson (5-10).  S:  Steve Bedrosian (6).

Notes:  Dan Gladden was again out of the lineup, with Mack moving to left and Munoz in right.  Scott Leius batted leadoff.  Larkin was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Junior Ortiz caught in place of Brian Harper.

Webster pinch-hit for Ortiz in the sixth and stayed in the game at catcher.  Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Leius in the eighth and was pinch-run for by Al Newman.  Newman went to second base because Randy Bush pinch-hit for Chuck Knoblauch in the eighth.  Mike Pagliarulo replaced Bush and went to third base.

Kirby Puckett was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .330.  Mack raised his average to .310.  Webster was 1-for-2 and was batting .333.  Sorrento drew a walk and was batting .167.

Scott Erickson pitched six innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks and striking out one.  His ERA was 3.13.

Jeff Johnson started for the Yankees and pitched five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks and struck out none.

This was the second consecutive day that Gladden was out of the lineup.  I don't know if he had a slight injury or if he was just being given a couple of days off.

Rick Aguilera was apparently given the day off after being used two days in a row.  Bedrosian gave up the leadoff home run in the ninth but after that got the job done.

Nokes was 6-for-12 with two doubles and a home run in the series.  The Twins swept the series from the Yankees (doesn't that sound good?), but it wasn't Nokes' fault.

The White Sox lost to Texas 7-6, so the Twins gained a game in the standings.

Record:  The Twins were 83-54, in first place in the American League West, 8.5 games ahead of Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, July 29.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 2-for-3 with a triple, a double, a hit-by-pitch, and three runs.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  David West pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks and striking out seven.  Rick Aguilera retired all four batters he faced, striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Mickey Tettleton was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Tony Phillips was 2-for-5 with a home run (his tenth) and a double.  Rob Deer was 1-for-4 with a home run (his twentieth).

The game:  Phillips led off the game with a double but only got to third base.  In the bottom of the first Gladden singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Puckett single.  The Tigers tied it in the second on Deer's home run, but the Twins took the lead back in the bottom of the second when Mack doubled and scored on Gagne's single.

Detroit took its only lead in the third.  Phillips led off with a home run to tie the score.  Travis Fryman doubled and scored on Tettleton's two-out single to put the Tigers up 3-2.  The Twins tied it in the third on singles by Chuck KnoblauchPuckett, and Kent Hrbek.

It stayed 3-3, with neither team getting a man past second, until the bottom of the sixth.  Harper got a one-out single and scored on Mack's triple.  Gagne then delivered a two-out RBI single to give the Twins a 5-3 advantage.  The Twins added one more in the eighth when Harper singled, Mack was hit by a pitch, Scott Leius had an infield single, and Gladden drew a bases-loaded walk.

The only Tiger threats after the third were mild ones.  Tettleton hit a one-out double in the sixth but did not advance.  A pair of walks gave them men on first and second with two out in the eighth.  But that was it.

WP:  West (2-2).  LP:  Bill Gullickson (13-6).  S:  Aguilera (27).

Notes:  The Twins went with a standard lineup.  The only substitution was when Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth and remained in the game at third base.

Puckett raised his average to .332.  Harper went up to .321.  Aguilera's ERA was 2.72.

Gullickson pitched 5.2 innings, allowing five runs on twelve hits and a walk and striking out three.

Gladden was 10-for-24 with three doubles and a home run since coming off the disabled list.  He raised his average from .259 to .274.

The Twins had now won eight out of their last eleven games.

The White Sox defeated Toronto 12-4, so the Twins did not gain any ground on this day.

Record:  The Twins were 59-41, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game Ninety-nine

MILWAUKEE 11, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, July 28.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 3-for-5 with a double.  Shane Mack was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Terry Leach pitched 4.1 scoreless innings, giving up eight hits but no walks and striking out three.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Jaime Navarro pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on ten hits and two walks and striking out five.  Darryl Hamilton was 5-for-6 with a double, a stolen base (his seventh), and three runs.  Paul Molitor was 5-for-6 with a stolen base (his tenth) and two runs.  Candy Maldonado was 3-for-6 with a home run (his fourth) and three RBIs.  Dante Bichette was 3-for-6 with a double.  Jim Gantner was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs.  Franklin Stubbs was 2-for-5 with a home run (his seventh), a stolen base (his eighth) and two RBIs.

The game:  This one was over early.  Singles by Molitor, Hamilton, Stubbs, and Bichette put the Brewers up 2-0 in the first.  In the second Molitor and Hamilton again singled, a ground out produced one run, and Maldonado hit a two-run homer to make it 5-0.  In the third, Jim Gantner doubled and Dale Sveum was hit by a pitch.  The next two batters went out, but Hamilton hit a ground-rule double to make the score 6-0 and finally get Twins starter Jack Morris out of the game.  Singles by B. J. Surhoff and Maldonado made the score 8-0 after three.

The Twins never got back into the game.  They loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but nothing came of it.  They finally got on the board in the seventh on Gladden's RBI double, but Milwaukee got three in the eighth.  An RBI ground out in the ninth got the Twins one more run.

WP: Navarro (8-8).  LP:  Morris (13-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gene Larkin was the DH in place of Chili Davis.  Al Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.

Junior Ortiz came in to catch in the seventh inning, replacing Brian Harper.  Randy Bush came in to play right field in the seventh inning, with Shane Mack moving to center and Kirby Puckett coming out of the game.  Scott Leius pinch-ran for Kent Hrbek in the eighth and stayed in the game in center field, with Mack moving back to right and Bush going to first base.

Puckett was 0-for-3, dropping his average to .331.  Harper was 1-for-3 and was batting .319.  Leach lowered his ERA to 3.07.  Aguilera's ERA was 2.80.

Morris pitched 2.2 innings and allowed eight runs on nine hits and two walks and struck out two.  This was his worst game of the season according to game scores, which gave him an eight.  His second-worst was his second start of the season, when he gave up eight runs in 5.2 innings and had a game score of fifteen.

This was one of two games in his career in which Leius played the outfield.  Both times he played center and both were in 1991.  This was the first one.  The second would come August 10, when he would again play a couple of innings there at the end of a blowout loss.

I always thought "Candy Maldonado" was a cool name.

Gladden was now 8-for-20 with three doubles and a home run since coming back from the disabled list.

Molitor hit the stuffing out of the Twins in 1991.  In 56 plate appearances, he batted .463/.482/.635.  He also was 3-for-3 in stolen bases.  In terms of OPS, the Twins were only his second-best team to bat against--the best was California, against whom he batted .395/.509/.791 with 4 home runs in 53 plate appearances.  For the season he batted .325/.399/.489.  His career numbers against the Twins were .303/.362/.464 in 797 plate appearances.

The White Sox defeated Boston 5-2, so they gained a game on the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 58-41, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Chicago.

1987 ALCS Champs’ Domecoming

I found this gem shortly after JeffA started his 1987 Rewind. This evening seemed like the appropriate time to share it. I didn't want to detract from Jeff's content, and in any case figured there were enough goodies that this would be worth its own post. Hope you don't mind, Chaps.

3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10 (3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10)
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June 27, 1988: Random Day in Twins History

I used a random number generator to pick a season from the past with the idea that I would quickly highlight the Twins history that occurred today in that year.  The generator sent me to the year 1988.

Angels 16, Twins 7 - BR boxscore

In a game with an odd 5:10pm start time, the Angels hitters teed off against Minnesota pitchers.  The Twins pitchers combined to allow 24 baserunners in 7 innings.  A performance made all the more shameful when Dan Gladden pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.  In fact, the Twins ended the game with the following defensive lineup:

P-Gladden; C-Brian Harper; 1B-Kelvin Torve; 2B-Steve Lombardozzi; 3B-Al Newman; SS-Greg Gagne; LF-Mark Davidson; CF-John Moses; RF-Randy Bush

Tony Armas managed to go 0-for-5 for the Angels even though the other eight players in their starting lineup all had scored at least one run and had at least one hit by the fourth inning.  Bob Boone had four hits while batting ninth for the Angels.  It was his first four-hit game in more than four years.  He may have been exacting revenge against the Twins for not signing his son, Bret, after they had drafted him in the 27th round the previous year.  Bret would ultimately get the last laugh with his comically inept cameo in a Twins uniform at the end of his career.

Kirk McCaskill "earned" the win by throwing 102 pitches while staggering through 5 innings and allowing 10 hits and 4 runs.  When asked after the game, McCaskill told reporters, "[T]oday I was pretty sorry."

The Angels 5-run third inning featured two walks and three different hits that made contact with Twins in the infield (Johnnie Ray singled off Torve's glove, Jack Howell singled off Lombardozzi's glove and Devon White singled off starter Fred Toliver's leg).

Torve hit his only Major League homerun in the seventh inning off future-Twins minor league coach Stew Cliburn.  Randy Bush reached base four times (including getting hit by his fifth pitch of the season) and the most important man in America had three hits, including a double.

Finally, reliever Jim Winn made his Twins debut allowing six hits in one inning of relief work after entering after Devon White's abovementioned third inning single with the game tied 3-3 and runners on the corner.  Winn had been a first round pick for the Pirates in 1981 (four spots after the Twins drafted Mike Sodders) and had been signed as AAA filler after getting cut at the end of Spring Training by the White Sox.  He stuck around with the Twins for a month, and then got another cup of coffee in September to end his Major League career.  Tom Kelly managed to use Winn nine times that season in relief and never brought him into another game UNLESS the Twins were already losing.  TK knew how to use a groundskeeper.

Randon Thing I Noticed While Researching This Date: In 1988, Tom Nieto had four singles and a walk in 62 plate appearances as a backup catcher.  If only the Twins could have someone of Brian Harper's ability to come up and replace Butters...