Tag Archives: Eric King

Random Rewind: 1992, Game One Hundred Twenty-five


Date:  Monday, August 24.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fourteenth.  Shane Mack was 2-for-4.  Randy Bush was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Mike Trombley struck out four in three innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Eric King pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits and one walk and striking out five.  Skeeter Barnes was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his third.  Mark Carreon was 2-for-4.  Tony Phillips was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Dan Gladden was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his sixth.  Cecil Fielder was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-eighth.

The game:  Neither team did much for the first two innings, but the Tigers opened the third with consecutive singles by Carreon, Barnes, and Gary Pettis to take a 1-0 lead.  They did no more damage, however, and when Hrbek homered with two out in the fourth, the scored was tied 1-1.

But then Detroit took over in the fifth.  Barnes led off with a single and went to third on a stolen base-plus-error.  Pettis walked, Phillips hit a two-run double, and Gladden followed with a two-run homer.  The Tigers had a 5-1 lead.

The Twins put men on second and third with two out in the bottom of the fifth, but nothing came of it.  Fielder homered leading off the seventh to make it 6-1.  The Twins got one in the eighth on singles by Chuck Knoblauch and Mack and an infield out by Kirby Puckett, but that was all they could do.

WP:  King (4-4).  LP:  Bill Krueger (10-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  The only variation from the standard 1992 lineup is that Bush was in right field rather than Pedro Munoz, who was apparently just given the day off.

The Twins used their bench in the ninth, although it didn't help any.  Jeff Reboulet pinch-ran for Bush.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Scott Leius.  Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Greg Gagne.

Puckett was batting .329.  He would finish at .329, which led the team.  Mack was batting .325.  He would finish at .315.  Brian Harper was batting .305.  He would finish at .307.  As a team the Twins batted a league-leading .277, well ahead of second-place Milwaukee at .268.

The 1992 team was not a homerun-hitting team.  Puckett led the squad with 19.  Mack was second at 16, followed by Hrbek with 15 and Munoz and Chili Davis with 12 each.  The Twins hit 104 home runs, which was tenth in the league.

Krueger lasted five innings and allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out six.  He had a decent-enough year, going 10-6, 4.30, 1.31 WHIP, not bad for a fourth starter.  The staff ace was John Smiley, who was 16-9, 3.21, 1.12 WHIP.  At the time Smiley was considered somewhat of a disappointment, but that's unfair.  The Twins were coming off a World Series win, and Smiley was supposed to be the guy to lead them back there again.  When they didn't get there, he got some of the blame, but he more than did his part.  The main reason the Twins didn't get back to the World Series is that Oakland improved by twelve games.  The Twins had a good team.  The Athletics just had a better team.

Anyway, the rest of the rotation was Kevin Tapani (16-11, 3.97, 1.25) and Scott Erickson (13-12, 3.40, 1.32).  Another reason the Twins couldn't overtake Oakland is that they couldn't find a fifth starter.  Pat Mahomes started and ended the season as the fifth starter, but in the middle it was Willie Banks.  Neither of them got the job done.   Mahomes was 3-4, 5.04, 1.58 WHIP.  Banks was 4-4, 5.70, 1.65 WHIP.

The bullpen was extremely good, with five relievers with ERAs below three.  Rick Aguilera was 2-6, 2.84, 1.16.  Carl Willis was 7-3, 2.72, 1.06.  Tom Edens was 6-3, 2.83, 1.32.  Mark Guthrie was 2-3, 2.88, 1.09.  Gary Wayne was 3-3, 2.63, 1.35.  That's a reliable bullpen.

The Twins were third in ERA at 3.70.  Milwaukee led at 3.43.  The Twins were second in WHIP at 1.29.  Milwaukee led there, too, at 1.22.

By game scores, this was the best game of the season for Eric King.  He was a solid pitcher from 1988-1990, but was not any more by 1992.  This was his last year, and he went 4-6, 5.22, 1.49.  But he was too much for the Twins on this day.  That's baseball.

August was the worst month of the season for the Twins, as they went 12-17.  One could argue that this poor month cost the Twins the pennant, too.

Record:  The Twins were 69-56, in second place in the American League West, 7 games behind Oakland.  They would finish 90-72, in second place, 6 games behind Oakland.

The Tigers were 60-66, in fourth place in the American League East, 11.5 games behind Toronto.  They would finish 75-87, in sixth place, 21 games behind Toronto.

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


1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-nine


Date:  Wednesday, August 28.

Batting stars:  Randy Bush was 3-for-4 with a double and a hit-by-pitch.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-3 with a double and two walks.  Brian Harper was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-5.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  David West pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk and striking out none.  Carl Willis pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mark Whiten was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his ninth.  Carlos Baerga was 2-for-4.  Eric King pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the first but did not score.  They opened the second with singles by Pagliarulo and Larkin but scored only once, on a double play.  They added a run in the third on back-to-back two-out doubles by Hrbek and Harper to go ahead 2-0.

The Indians put men on first and second with one out in the third and did not score.  The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and did not score.  In the sixth, however, Baerga singled and Whiten hit a two-out two-run homer to tie the score 2-2.

The Twins took the lead back in the seventh.  Bush was hit by a pitch to start the inning, went to third on a one-out single by Hrbek, and scored on Harper's single.  In the eighth, Larkin led off by reaching third on a two-error play and scored on Bush's two-out single to put the Twins up 4-2.  Cleveland got a two-out single in the eighth but otherwise did no damage.

WP:  West (4-3).  LP:  King (5-8).  S:  Aguilera (35).

Notes:  Bush was the DH in place of Chili Davis,  He batted second.  Chuck Knoblauch went to third spot.  Kirby Puckett was out of the lineup, with Shane Mack moving to center and Larkin playing right.

Harper raised his average to .314.  Mack was 1-for-5 and was batting .300.  Willis lowered his ERA to 1.89.  Aguilera's ERA went to 2.41.

This was one of only thirteen games in 1991 that Davis was not the starting DH.  Bush was the starting DH in six of those thirteen other games.

This was the last good start West would make in 1991.  He would start two more games and appear in relief three times.

Eric King came up to the Tigers in 1986 as a twenty-two-year old and went 11-4, 3.51, 1.24 WHIP.  He pitched much better out of the bullpen than as a starter, so Detroit put him in the bullpen for 1987 and probably thought they had a coming star.  Instead, he went 6-9, 4.89, 1.48 WHIP.  He did better in 1988, then was traded to the White Sox, for whom he was a rotation starter for the next three seasons.  He did pretty well in the first two, but in 1991 he was 6-11, 4.60, 1.39 WHIP.  He went back to the Tigers in 1992 and then was done, although he did make sixteen starts in the Pacific League in 1998.  His wikipedia entry says that he's best known for giving up Ken Griffey, Jr.'s first major league home run, which makes me feel better for not remembering him.

Oakland finally won a game, defeating Boston 9-3.  The White Sox lost again, falling 7-6 to Kansas City, so the Athletics moved into sole possession of second place.

Record:  The Twins were 77-52, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Oakland.