Tag Archives: home field advantage

1991 Rewind: World Series Game One


Date:  Saturday, October 19.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two RBIs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a double.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and four walks and striking out three.  He threw 100 pitches.  Rick Aguilera pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition star:  Ron Gant was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

The game:  In the bottom of the third Dan Gladden walked, stole second, and scored on a Knoblauch single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  They took control in the fifth.  Hrbek doubled, Leius singled, and Gagne hit a three-run homer to make it 4-0 Twins.

The Braves got on the board in the sixth.  Jeff Treadway hit a one-out single and Dave Justice singled with two out, putting men on first and second.  Gant then delivered an RBI single to make it 4-1.  The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the sixth when Hrbek homered, increasing the lead to 5-1.

In the eighth, leadoff walks to Lonnie Smith and Treadway ended Morris' night.  Mark Guthrie came in and got Terry Pendleton to hit into a double play, but then he walked Justice.  Aguilera came on and gave up a single to Gant, cutting the margin to 5-2, but Sid Bream flied out to end the inning.  Atlanta went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Morris.  LP:  Charlie Liebrandt.  S:  Aguilera.

Notes:  The lone Twins batting substitution came in the sixth, when Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Leius.  He remained in the game at third base.

Liebrandt started for the Braves and lasted just four innings.  He allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk and struck out three.

The Twins continued to run, going 3-for-4 in stolen bases.  Knoblauch was 2-for-2 and Gladden was 1-for-2.

Gagne was one of the least likely Twins to hit a home run, as he had just eight on the season.  But that's how baseball works, and it's especially how the World Series works.  You never know who the hero will be.

In 1991 home field advantage simply alternated between the divisions and the leagues each year.  It worked out that the Twins had home field advantage in both the league championship series and the World Series.  What people forget, though, is that had they gone by best record, the Twins would still have had home field advantage.  They were 95-67.  Toronto was 91-71 and Atlanta was 94-68.

Record:  The Twins took the lead in the best-of-seven series, 1-0.

1991 Rewind: ALCS Game Two


Date:  Wednesday, October 9.

Batting star:  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs.

Pitching star:  Mark Guthrie retired all seven men he faced.

Opposition stars:  Juan Guzman pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and four walks and striking out two.  Duane Ward struck out four in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-3 with a stolen base.  Devon White was 2-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, and three runs.  Kelly Gruber was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

The game:  White led off the game with a single, stole second, was bunted to third, and scored on a Joe Carter single to put the Blue Jays up 1-0.  The Twins put men on first and second in the bottom of the first, but did not score.  Toronto put men on first and second in the second, but also did not score.

In the third White led off with a double and went to third on Alomar's single.  Alomar then stole second and Gruber singled them both home, making it 3-0 Blue Jays.  The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the third when Knoblauch hit a two-out single, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Kirby Puckett single.

The Twins got closer in the sixth.  Walks to Knoblauch and Chili Davis put men on first and second with two out.  Brian Harper then delivered an RBI single to cut the lead to 3-2.  In the seventh, however, Manny Lee and White walked, putting men on first and second with one out, Alomar hit an RBI single, and Carter hit a sacrifice fly, making the score 5-2 Blue Jays.

And that was it.  The Twins had only one baserunner after that, Knoblauch's eighth-inning single, but he did not get past first base.

WP:  Guzman.  LPKevin TapaniS:  Ward.

Notes:  The Twins made just one substitution.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Shane Mack in the ninth.

Tapani pitched 6.1 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out five.

This was Guzman's rookie year.  He had an excellent season, going 10-3, 2.99, 1.18 WHIP.  He was especially good against the Twins, going 2-1, 1.66, 0.88 WHIP.  It was no surprise that he had a good game against the Twins in the ALCS.

The Twins again did well with men in scoring position, going 2-for-6.  They simply did not get enough men in scoring position.

With the series tied 1-1, home field advantage swung to Toronto.  The Twins would have to win at least one game there to bring the series back to Minnesota.  Could they do it?  We will see.

Record:  The Twins were 1-1 in the best-of-seven series.