Tag Archives: good pitching

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.

2019 Recap: Game Seventy-one

BOSTON 2, MINNESOTA 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, June 17.

Batting star:  C. J. Cron was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Jose Berrios struck out ten in eight innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks.

Opposition stars:  Rick Porcello struck out eight in seven shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk.  J. D. Martinez was 2-for-4 with a double.  Xander Bogaerts was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  The Red Sox jumped on Berrios right away, opening the game with consecutive singles by Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Martinez.  That produced one run and would've produced more had not Marwin Gonzalez thrown out Benintendi trying to stretch his hit into a double.

And that was the only scoring for some time.  Nelson Cruz hit a  two-out double in the first but nothing came of it.  After that neither team even got a baserunner until the fifth.  There was no threat to score until the seventh, when Cron hit a one-out double, and again nothing came of it.

The Twins' best scoring chance came in the eighth.  Jonathan Schoop led off with a single and Max Kepler walked.  Jorge Polanco bunted the runners to second and third with one out, but Cruz hit back to the pitcher and Schoop was thrown out at the plate on a contact play.  Eddie Rosario grounded out to end the inning.

Boston got an insurance run in the ninth on doubles by Martinez and Bogaerts.  The Twins went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  Porcello (5-6).  LP:  Berrios (8-3).  S:  Ryan Brasier (7).

Notes:  Gonzalez remained in right, with Kepler in center and Byron Buxton remaining on the bench with a bruised wrist.  I've said this before, but I'm quite pleased that the Twins are allowing Buxton's wrist to heal properly, rather than rushing him back into the lineup.  Maybe that's Rocco's influence, because it sure seems different from recent years.

Polanco was 1-for-3 and is batting .332.  Berrios has an ERA of 2.86.

This was another frustrating loss, although in a different way.  It was frustrating to get such excellent pitching out of Berrios and not be able to take advantage of it.  It should be mentioned that after the Martinez RBI single in the first, Berrios retired the next nineteen batters.  He struck out ten and did not walk anyone.  That's really, really good.  There's no shame in getting shut down by Porcello, who's a good pitcher, too, but you hate to lose a game when your own starting pitcher did so well.

I really didn't have a problem with Polanco's bunt in the eighth inning.  I realize that's going to be a minority opinion here, and that's fine.  No one has to agree with me, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to argue about it this morning.  But he moved the go-ahead run into scoring position with two really good batters coming up.  I don't have a problem with doing that.  It just didn't work.

I do have a problem with the contact play, and always have.  I've never seen a study on it, but it just seems like there are a lot of times it doesn't work, and when it doesn't it pretty much takes you out of the inning.  Earl Weaver once said of the hit-and-run "it has it's place, but most of the time that place is in the back of a deep, dark closet".  That's where I'd put the contact play, too.

But the good news is that we still have the best record in baseball, we still have a ten game lead on the Clevelands, and today is a new day.  Michael Pineda pitched quite well last time and hasn't had a really bad game in quite some time.  The Twins haven't lost three in a row all year.  They probably will at some point, but let's not let it be tonight.

Record:  The Twins are 47-24, first in the American League Central, ten games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 138-24!