Tag Archives: hitting streak

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-two


Date:  Wednesday, August 21.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 3-for-3 with a triple, a double, a walk, and five RBIs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch and two runs.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-3 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani pitched eight innings, giving up one run on four hits and three walks and striking out one.  Denny Neagle pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Ken Griffey was 2-for-3 with a double.  Bill Swift pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.  Russ Swan pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk.

The game:  Edgar Martinez led off the game with a double, went to third on a fly ball and scored on another fly ball to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.  The Twins came back with six in the bottom of the first, and they did after their first two batters were retired.  Puckett singled, Chili Davis walked, and Harper was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Mack hit a bases-clearing triple and scored on Kent Hrbek's single.  Scott Leius walked and Al Newman delivered a two-run double.  The Twins led 6-1 and were never threatened after that.

The Twins added two runs in the second for good measure.  Singles by Puckett and Harper put men on first and second with two out.  Mack's double brought them both home to make it 8-1.  The final run of the game came in the seventh, when Davis singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Mack's single-plus-error.

Seattle only got close to scoring twice after the first inning.  Griffey doubled leading off the sixth but could only get as far as third base.  Greg Briley doubled with two out in the ninth but was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a Scott Bradley single.

WP:  Tapani (11-7).  LP:  Bill Krueger (10-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Newman started at short in place of Greg Gagne.

With a big lead, the Twins made lots of substitutions.  Gagne pinch-hit for Chuck Knoblauch in the sixth and stayed in the game at shortstop, with Newman moving to second base.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Puckett in the seventh and stayed in the game in right field, with Mack moving to center.  Junior Ortiz replaced Harper behind the plate in the eighth.  Randy Bush replaced Hrbek at first base in the eighth.

Puckett raised his average to .329.  Harper raised his average to .310.  Mack raised his average to .310.  Tapani lowered his ERA to 2.97.

Tapani threw 111 pitches.  Today, with a lead that big, he would undoubtedly have come out after seven innings, if not sooner.

Krueger started for the Mariners but lasted only two innings.  He surrendered eight runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out two.

It seems kind of amazing to have the last out be made at the plate in a 9-1 game.  In that situation, if there's any chance that the runner might not make it home safely (other than falling down or something), you hold him at third, because that run is meaningless anyway.  It could be, I suppose, that, knowing the run was meaningless, Seattle assumed Dan Gladden would concede it and not make a throw to the plate.  If so, they were wrong.

I don't recall what the deal was with Gagne at this point.  I had assumed he was nursing a minor injury, but if so, why use him late in a game like this?  It's clearly not a case of being able to bat and not play in the field, or vice-versa, because he did both here.  He would not be back in the starting lineup until August 24, but he would play in each of the two games in-between.  I'm sure there was a reason, but I don't know what it was.

Mack had an eight-game hitting streak.  He was 15-for-32 over that streak with three doubles and three triples.  The three triples have come in the last two games.  His average jumped from .292 to .310.

The White Sox lost to Detroit 12-9.  Not only did they lose another game to the Twins, but they were only a half-game above third-place Oakland.

Record:  The Twins were 73-49, in first place in the American League West, 5.5 games ahead of Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game Ninety-two


Date:  Saturday, July 20.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his twelfth) and a walk.  Junior Ortiz was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Scott Erickson pitched seven shutout innings, giving up seven hits and a walk and striking out one.  Mark Guthrie struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mike Gardiner pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks and striking out two.  Mo Vaughn was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Wade Boggs was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  With one out in the first, Chuck Knoblauch reached on an error and Puckett followed with a two-run homer, putting the Twins up 2-0.  The Twins started the second with two walks, but a caught stealing helped take them out of the inning.  The Red Sox got a pair of singles in the third, but a double play helped take them out of the inning.

The Twins missed a chance to break the game open in the fourth.  With one out, Ortiz and Greg Gagne singled and Randy Bush walked, loading the bases.  The Twins got one run on a ground out, but that was it, so the lead was only 3-0.

Boston missed a chance in the sixth.  Boggs led off with a double, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.  Jody Reed then singled and Vaughn walked, but a pair of ground outs ended the inning.  They never really threatened again.  The Twins added two runs in the ninth when Shane Mack doubled, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a fielder's choice.  Singles by Jarvis Brown and Knoblauch produced another run, making it 5-0.

WP:  Erickson (13-3).  LP:  Gardiner (3-4).  S:  Guthrie (1).

Notes:  Bush started in left field in place of Dan Gladden, with Mack in right.  Again, Tom Kelly usually did that the other way, but the configuration of Fenway Park apparently changed his mind.  With Erickson pitching, Ortiz was again behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.

Brown came in for defense in the seventh in place of Bush.  Brown went to right, with Mack moving to left.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth and stayed in the game at third base.

Puckett raised his average to .326.  Erickson lowered his ERA to 2.02.

Erickson was incredibly efficient, throwing just sixty-five pitches in seven innings.  That was obviously much easier on his arm.  Had he been able to do that all season, he might not have had the struggles he had later in the year, but of course, something like that is not really sustainable.

Puckett had an eleven game hitting streak.  He was 18-for-46 in that span.  His average had only gone from .316 to .326, and in fact his average went down a little in the first three games of the streak, when he went 3-for-12.

This was the first save of Guthrie's career.  He would have two for the season and fourteen for his career.  He would make only two more starts in his career, both in 1994.

Mike Gardiner is one of those guys who kept getting chances in the majors despite the fact that he never did anything there.  He appeared in five games in 1990 and went 0-2, 10.66.  Despite that, he got 22 starts in 1991, going 9-10, 4.85.  in 1992 he went 4-10, 4.75 in 28 games, 18 of them starts.  He moved to the bullpen in 1993 and appeared in 34 games combined for Montreal and Detroit, going 2-3, 4.93.  1994 was his best season, as he was 2-2, 3.97.  In 1995 he went 0-0, 14.59 and then he was done as a big-leaguer.  For his career, he was 17-27, 5.21, 1.48 WHIP in 393.2 innings (136 games, 46 starts).  His AAA numbers were 34-22, 4.07, so it's not like he was blowing people away there, either.  I'm sure he's a nice guy--he wouldn't have gotten all those chances if he wasn't.  But it always bugs me to see a guy like this, who's never done anything in the majors, get chance after chance after chance, while other guys do well in AAA year after year and can't get the call.

The Twins had won three in a row and four of five.  The White Sox beat Milwaukee 7-6 in ten innings, so the Twins lead remained the same.

Record:  The Twins were 54-38, in first place in the American League West, 4.5 games ahead of Chicago.