Tag Archives: Jack Morris

1991 Rewind: ALCS Game Four

MINNESOTA 9, TORONTO 3 IN TORONTO

Date:  Saturday, October 12.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs, and two RBIs.  Dan Gladden was 3-for-5 with a stolen base (his second) and three RBIs.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with two doubles and a walk.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and one walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Pat Borders was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.  Devon White was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.

The game:  With two out in the second Candy Maldonado singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Borders' RBI single.  The Blue Jays had a major threat in the third.  One-out singles by White and Alomar and a double steal put men on second and third with Joe Carter and John Olerud coming up.  But Carter struck out and Olerud grounded out, so the game remained 1-0.

The Twins took over in the fourth.  Puckett led off with a home run, tying the score.  The home run kicked off a rally.  Davis hit a one-out double.  With two down, Shane Mack walked, Pagliarulo delivered an RBI single, Greg Gagne was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Gladden stroked a two-run single to put the Twins ahead 4-1.

The Twins added to their lead in the sixth.  Brian Harper led off with a double and Pagliarulo scored him with a one-out double.  Gladden delivered an RBI single with two-out to make the score 6-1.  Doubles by Kelly Gruber and Borders cut the margin to 6-2 after six.  But the Twins got the run back in the seventh when Puckett got an infield single, went to second on a ground out, and scored on an error.

The Twins added single runs in the eighth and ninth.  In the eighth Gladden singled, went to third on an error, and scored on a sacrifice foul popup.  In the ninth Davis led off with a double and scored on a pair of fly balls.  Toronto got one run in the ninth on a walk to Rance Mulliniks and singles by Devon White and Alomar.

WP:  Morris (2-0).  LP:  Todd Stottlemyre (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Davis in the ninth, so he was the one who actually scored the ninth run for the Twins.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.

Morris bounced back from a less-than-stellar game one to pitch quite well in game four.  He threw 110 pitches.

Stottlemyre did not fare so well.  He surrendered four runs on seven hits and one walk in 3.2 innings.  He struck out three.

The Blue Jays again struggled with men in scoring position.  The stranded ten men and went 3-for-16 with men in scoring position.  The Twins stranded nine but went 4-for-13 with men in scoring position.

The Twins had won two consecutive road games to take a commanding 3-1 lead.  They were one win away from the World Series.  Could they put it away in game five?

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series three games to one.

1991 Rewind: ALCS Game One

MINNESOTA 5, TORONTO 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, October 8.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a double.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5.  Chili Davis was 1-for-2 with two walks, two RBIs, and a stolen base.

Pitching stars:  Carl Willis retired all seven batters he faced, striking out two.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Joe Carter was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Kelly Gruber was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base.  John Olerud was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-4.  David Wells pitched three shutout innings, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out one.  Mike Timlin pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and one walk and striking out two.

The game:  Gladden and Knoblauch started the first inning with singles.  A fly ball and a stolen base moved them to second and third with two out.  Davis then came through with a two-run single to put the Twins up 2-0.  Mack led off the second with a single, stole second, and scored on a Greg Gagne single.  Singles by Gladden and Knoblauch brought home Gagne to make it 4-0.  In the third Davis walked, stole second, and scored on Mack's double to put the Twins up 5-0.

The Blue Jays started their comeback in the fourth.  Alomar singled and Carter doubled, but Alomar was thrown out at the plate.  Carter went to third on the throw, however, and scored on a ground out to make it 5-1.

The Twins loaded the bases in the fifth but did not score.  In the sixth Toronto got five consecutive one-out singles, by Devon White, Alomar, Carter, Olerud, and Gruber, to cut the lead to 5-4.  The Blue Jays had men on first and second with one out, but at that point Jack Morris was replaced by Willis, who retired the next two batters to get the Twins out of the inning.  The Blue Jays had only one baserunner after that, a two-out single by Olerud in the eighth.  The Twins held on to take game one 5-4.

WP:  Morris.  LP:  Tom Candiotti.  S:  Aguilera.

Notes:  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the fifth inning and stayed in the game at third base.  Junior Ortiz came in to replace Brian Harper at catcher in the eighth.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Leius in the eighth, with Al Newman coming in to play third base in the ninth.

Morris pitched very well for four innings, got out of trouble in the fifth, but could not get out of the sixth.  Five consecutive singles sounds like bad luck, and maybe it was, but four of the five are described as line drives.  Willis really came in and saved the day, as he did so many times in the 1991 season.

I was a little surprised to see that the Blue Jays had gone with Candiotti as their game one starter.  Their other starters were Todd Stottlemyre, Jimmy Key, David Wells, and Juan Guzman.  But in 1991 Candiotti had a 2.65 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.  He was really good that year, and you can see why Toronto started him in game one.

Both teams hit well with men in scoring position.  The Blue Jays were 3-for-8 and the Twins were 4-for-12.  Toronto stranded four men and the Twins stranded eight.

The Twins weren't a particularly strong basestealing team, but they stole four bases in this game.  They were 4-for-6.  Candiotti, a knuckleballer, being on the mound probably influenced that.

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series 1-0.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-six

MINNESOTA 3, NEW YORK 2 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Saturday, September 7.

Batting starsChuck Knoblauch was 3-for-5.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-4 with a double.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched 8.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks and striking out five.  Carl Willis struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Pascual Perez pitched six innings, giving up one run on seven hits and a walk and striking out two.  Matt Nokes was 2-for-4 with two doubles.

The game:  The Yankees took the lead in the first inning.  Leadoff batter Bernie Williams walked, stole second, was bunted to third, and scored on a two-out double by Nokes to make it 1-0.  The Twins put two on with one out in the bottom of the first, but Kent Hrbek hit into a double play.  Davis led off the second with a double, but was thrown out at third trying to advance on a short passed ball.  The Twins put two on with two out in the third but again could not score.

The Twins finally broke through in the sixth.  Larkin led off with a double and scored on Knoblauch's single, tying it 1-1.  The Twins again missed a chance, though, as Puckett reached on an error to put two on with none out and nothing came of it.

The Twins took the lead in the eighth.  Puckett hit a one-out single, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Davis double.  The Yankees came right back to tie it in the ninth.  Their first two batters went out, but Nokes doubled.  Morris came out of the game and Rick Aguilera came in, but he gave up an RBI single to Roberto Kelly, tying the score at two and sending the game to extra innings.

In the tenth, Puckett again hit a one-out single.  He again went to second on a ground out.  Pedro Munoz pinch-hit and delivered a game-winning single, giving the Twins the victory.

WP:  Carl Willis (8-3).  LP:  Lee Guetterman (3-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Dan Gladden was out of the starting lineup.  Shane Mack went to left, with Larkin playing right.  Larkin batted leadoff.

The Twins made extensive use of the bench.  Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the seventh.  Al Newman then came in to play shortstop.  Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Davis in the eighth.  He was officially the DH at that point, but Munoz pinch-hit for him when his spot in the order came up in the tenth.  Gladden came in for defense at the start of the ninth.  He went to left field, with Mack moving to right.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.

Puckett raised his average to .332.  Brian Harper was 0-for-4 and was batting .316.  Mack was 1-for-4 and was batting .308.

Aguilera officially pitched a third on an inning and was not charged with a run, lowering his ERA to 2.23.  Willis' ERA fell to 2.26.

Morris threw just 98 pitches in his 8.2 innings.

Steve Howe pitched a scoreless inning.  This was his first year with the Yankees, and it was a really good one--3-1, 1.68, 3 saves, 0.95 WHIP.  This, however, would be the last game he would pitch for the  Yankees this season.  I could not quickly find whether he was injured or if this was one of the numerous times he got into trouble.  He would go on to pitch very well in 1992, struggle in 1993, and pitch very well again in 1994, which was his last good season.

The White Sox defeated Texas 11-6, so the distance between them and the Twins remained the same.

Record:  The Twins were 82-54, in first place in the American League West, 7.5 games ahead of Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-eight

CLEVELAND 2, MINNESOTA 1 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Tuesday, August 27.

Batting star:  Scott Leius was 2-for-3.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched 7.2 innings, giving up two runs on eleven hits and one walk and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Greg Swindell pitched 8.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out six.  Albert Belle was 2-for-4 with a double.  Carlos Martinez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Glenallen Hill was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Indians put men on first and second in the first inning but did not score.  The Twins got the scoring started in the third.  With one out, Leius singled, Greg Gagne doubled, and a sacrifice fly put Minnesota up 1-0.  Cleveland tied it in the fourth.  Mark Whiten and Mike Aldrete opened the inning with singles, putting men on first and third.  Martinez then hit into a force out to tie the score at 1-1.

The Indians put men on first and third with one out in the seventh but did not score.  In the eighth, however, Belle hit a one-out double and Whiten walked.  With two out, Martinez delivered an RBI single to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead.

The Twins threatened in the ninth.  With two out, Chili Davis and Kent Hrbek singled, putting men on first and second.  Randy Bush then grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Swindell (8-12).  LP:  Morris (15-10).  S:  Steve Olin (8).

Notes:  Gene Larkin was again at first base in place of Hrbek.  Hrbek pinch-hit for Brian Harper in the ninth.  Al Newman pinch-ran for Davis in the ninth.  Bush pinch-hit for Shane Mack in the ninth.

Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .327.  Harper was 1-for-3 and was batting .313.  Mack was 0-for-3 and was batting .301.

The Indians stranded nine men and were 1-for-11 with men in scoring position.

Olin had started the season with Cleveland, but got off to a poor start and was sent back to AAA in mid-May.  He came back to the majors in mid-July and almost immediately took over the closer role.  He was the Indians closer for all of the 1992 season and had a fine year.  He probably would've remained in that role for some time to come, but as many of you know, he was killed that off-season in a boating accident.

Morris threw 122 pitches.  He pitched well, but unfortunately was not able to sufficiently pitch to the score.

The White Sox again lost, falling to Kansas City 3-2.  Oakland lost again as well, falling to Boston 6-4.

Record:  The Twins were 76-52, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago and Oakland.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Eighteen

MINNESOTA 12, OAKLAND 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, August 17.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-5 with two runs.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-2 with three walks and three runs.  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4.  Shane Mack was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on eight hits and no walks and striking out six.  He threw 113 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Jose Canseco was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirty-fourth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Harold Baines was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Athletics opened the game consecutive singles by Rickey Henderson, Dave Henderson, Canseco, and Baines, producing two runs.  A double play made it 3-0 in the top of the first.  The Twins got on the board in the second when Hrbek walked, went to third on a Davis single, and scored on a ground out.  Oakland got the run right back in the third when Canseco homered, giving the Athletics a 4-1 lead.

It was all Minnesota after that.  In the bottom of the third Dan Gladden led off with a walk and scored on Knoblauch's double.  Puckett followed with an RBI single, and singles by Hrbek and Harper brought home another run, tying the score 4-4.  The Twins had two out and nobody on in the fifth, but a walk to Hrbek, a single by Davis, and a walk to Harper loaded the bases.  Mack then unloaded them with a three-run double to give the Twins a 7-4 lead.

The Twins kept adding on.  In the sixth, again with two out and none on, singles by KnoblauchPuckett, and Hrbek scored one run, a walk to Davis loaded the bases, and Harper delivered a two-run single to increase the lead to 10-4.  In the seventh, Mike Pagliarulo doubled, went to third on an Al Newman single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  The Twins finished the scoring in the eighth when a Hrbek walk, a Gene Larkin single, and a double play produced the team's twelfth run.

WP:  Morris (15-9).  LP:  Bob Welch (10-8).  S:  None.

Notes:  Newman was at shorstop, replacing Greg Gagne.  Gagne would play the next day, but then would miss two days and be used as a late-game replacement in three more before returning to the starting lineup August 24.

Larkin pinch-hit for Davis in the eighth.  Randy Bush pinch-ran for Hrbek in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base.

Puckett raised his average to .325.  Harper raised his average to .305.

Welch pitched 5.2 innings.  He was allowed to stay in the game long enough to allow nine runs on eleven hits and four walks.  He struck out one.  The Athletics had used six pitchers in the twelve-inning game the day before, so I assume Welch was simply being asked to take one for the team.  He threw one hundred pitches.  Eric Show pitched the rest of the game, going 2,1 innings while allowing three runs on five hits and two walks.

I know it was a different era, but there was still no real reason for Morris to pitch a complete game.  The Twins had used only four pitchers in the previous game, and one of them had only thrown six pitches.  The game was well in hand after six.  Yes, I know Morris didn't want to come out of games, but that's why you have someone called "the manager" who makes decisions that are in the best long-term interest of both the player and the team.  I'm glad that, for the most part, we've moved past that phony macho thinking in baseball.

By game scores, this was actually Welch's third-worst game of the season.  The worst was on May 5, when he allowed eleven runs (eight earned) on thirteen hits and two walks in 4.2 innings for a game score of two.  The second-worst was June 28, when he allowed nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and three walks in three innings for a game score of five.  His game score in this game was eight.  Those three games probably went a long way to giving him an ERA of 4.58 for the season.

Knoblauch was 8-for-13 with two doubles and two walks over his last three games.

Canseco had three home runs in the two games of the series.

The White Sox lost to the Yankees 4-2, so the Twins were starting to put some space between themselves and second place.

Record:  The Twins were 70-48, in first place in the American League West, 3.5 games ahead of Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Nine

CALIFORNIA 8, MINNESOTA 1 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Wednesday, August 7.

Batting star:  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Jim Abbott pitched 8.1 innings, giving up one run on three hits and four walks and striking out five.  He threw 124 pitches.  Wally Joyner was 2-for-2 with two home runs (his fifteenth and sixteenth) a walk, and five RBIs.  Dave Parker was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his tenth.  Luis Polonia was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs.

The game:  Nobody did much for the first two innings, but the Angels got it going in the third.  Dick Schofield was hit by a pitch and Polonia singled.  Donnie Hill's RBI single started the scoring, a sacrifice fly brought home a second run, and Dave Parker hit a two-run homer to make the score 4-0.  Joyner homered in the fifth to increase the lead to 5-0.  In the seventh, walks to Polonia and Hill preceded Joyner's three run homer and made the score 8-0.

Meanwhile the Twins did very little on offense.  They had only one hit through eight innings, a two-out single by Dan Gladden in the third.  The only time they had two on was in the seventh, when Davis and Shane Mack drew one-out walks.  The Twins managed to avoid a shutout in the ninth.  Chuck Knoblauch led off with a double and scored on Davis' one-out single.  But that was that.

WP:  Abbott (10-8).  LP:  Jack Morris (13-9).  S:  None.

Notes:  Junior Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.  Al Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.

Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .326.  Terry Leach gave up a run in 1.2 innings to make his ERA 2.91.

Morris pitched five innings and allowed five runs on six hits and one walk and struck out two.  It was his third poor outing in his last four starts.  In those four starts he had allowed 18 runs in 17.1 innings.  His ERA jumped from 3.39 to 4.02.

There have been nine major league players with the last name "Abbott".  Two of them played in this game, Jim for the Angels and Paul for the Twins.  In case you're wondering, there have been two major league players named "Costello".  None of them was on first much--Fred Abbott played fifteen games there, Kurt Abbott eight, and Dan Costello one.

1991 was Jim Abbott's best year on the mound.  He went 18-11, 2.89, 1.21 WHIP and finished third in Cy Young voting behind Roger Clemens and Scott Erickson.  You can make a good argument that he should have finished ahead of Erickson.

The White Sox beat the Yankees 10-2 and so gained a game on the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 65-44, in first place in the American League West, 2.5 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.

1991 Rewind: Game Ninety-four

DETROIT 6, MINNESOTA 3 IN DETROIT

Date:  Tuesday, July 23.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-3.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Carl Willis pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Frank Tanana pitched six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and no walks and striking out two.  Lou Whitaker was 2-for-3 with two runs.  Cecil Fielder was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth) and five RBIs.  Tony Phillips was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  Scott Leius and Chuck Knoblauch opened the game with singles.  Puckett bunted them up and a ground out scored a run, putting the Twins up 1-0.  That lead didn't last long.  In the bottom of the first, Whitaker singled and Fielder hit a two-run homer, putting the Tigers ahead 2-1.

The Twins tied it in the fourth, but could've had more.  Puckett singled and Davis doubled, putting men on second and third with none out.  Brian Harper hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-2, but a strikeout and a fly out ended the inning.  Once again, the Tigers went right back in front.  In the bottom of the fourth, Rob Deer walked and scored from first on a Travis Fryman double to give Detroit a 3-2 advantage.

The Tigers took control in the fifth.  Phillips and Whitaker singled and Fielder hit a three-run homer, making the score 6-2.  The Twins got one back in the eighth.  Chuck Knoblauch walked, Puckett singled, and Davis had an RBI single.  The tying run was at bat with one out, but Harper and Shane Mack each grounded out to end the threat.

WP:  Tanana (7-6).  LP:  Allan Anderson (4-8).  SL  Mike Henneman (14).

Notes:  Mack remained in left field in place of Dan GladdenGene Larkin was in right.  Leius batted first.

In the seventh, Randy Bush pinch-hit for Greg Gagne, but due to a pitching change Al Newman pinch-hit for Bush.  He stayed in the game at shortstop.  Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Leius in the ninth.

Puckett raised his average to .331.  Harper was 0-for-3 and fell to .321.  Willis lowered his ERA to 2.44.  Rick Aguilera pitched a third of an inning to drop his ERA to 2.93.

Jack Morris started, but pitched just 1.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks and striking out one.  His ERA was 3.47.  I assume he came out due to injury.  The play-by-play on the play before he came out says "Single (line drive to P's right).  I don't know if it went off him or if perhaps he tweaked something trying to field it.  At any rate, he did not miss a start.  Anderson came in and pitched the next 3.1 innings, doing well until the three-run homer in the fifth.

It seems strange that, after starting the game with two singles, Puckett would then bunt.  My guess is that he did that on his own, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  They had a chance for a big inning, and he was at least arguably their best batter.  Bunting, even if he was bunting for a hit, does not seem like a good strategy at that point.

Willis came in to start the sixth.  He had gotten into some trouble int he seventh, but a double play ended the inning.  He then retired the first two batters in the eighth, and was removed for no obvious reason in favor of Aguilera.  Aguilera hadn't pitched since July 19, so I could understand the idea that he might need some work.  But then, why not give him an inning, rather than bringing him in with two out and none on in the last inning?  He threw six pitches, and could very well have just thrown one.  That's getting him some work?  It really seems strange.

The Twins did pretty well against  Frank Tanana for his career.  His record against them was 19-20, 4.49, 1.37 WHIP.  For his career he was 240-236, 3.66, 1.27 WHIP.  In 1991, however, Tanana did well against the Twins in two starts:  1-1, 3.86, 1.07 WHIP.  His season in 1991 was 13-12, 3.77, 1.36 WHIP.

Texas and Chicago each won, so they remained tied for second and each gained a game on the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 55-39, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of Chicago and Texas.

1991 Rewind: Game Seventy-six

MINNESOTA 3, CHICAGO 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, June 30.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base, his fourth.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched a complete game shutout, giving up six hits and a walk and striking out three.  He threw 107 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Jack McDowell pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk and striking out five.  Robin Ventura was 2-for-4.

The game:  The White Sox got a pair of one-out singles in the second, but nothing came of it.  Meanwhile, the Twins did not get a baserunner until the fourth.  They got two-out singles that inning from  Puckett and Hrbek, followed by a Chili Davis walk to load the bases, but Brian Harper flied out to end the threat.

The Twins broke through in the fifth.  Gene Larkin led off with a single and scored on a Mike Pagliarulo double.  Scott Leius followed with a bunt single and Shane Mack hit a sacrifice fly, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.  There was no more scoring until the eighth.  Puckett hit a one-out single and scored on Hrbek's double to make the score 3-0.

The second inning was the only time Chicago had more than one baserunner in an inning.

WP:  Morris (11-5).  LP:  McDowell (9-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Shane Mack continued to replace Dan Gladden in left field, and in this game he batted first.  Al Newman and his .496 OPS played second in place of Chuck Knoblauch and batted second.  Larkin was in right field.  Leius was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.

Harper was 0-for-4 and was batting .325.  Puckett raised his average to .324.

Newman was batting .198.

Morris' ERA dropped to 3.60, the lowest it had been all season.  Over his last ten starts he had dropped more than two runs from his ERA, which had been 5.89 on May 8.  This was one of two complete game shutouts he had in the regular season.  The other would come on September 28 in Toronto.  In the month of June, he was 6-0, 2.25, 1.06 ERA.

This was one of only six starts Leius made at shortstop in 1991.

This game was played in just two hours and twelve minutes.  It snapped a four-game losing streak by the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 45-31, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Texas.

1991 Rewind: Game Seventy-one

MINNESOTA 8, TORONTO 6 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, June 25.

Batting stars:  Gene Larkin was 3-for-3 with a walk.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-5.  Chili Davis was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer (his seventeenth), three walks, and two runs.  Mike Pagliarulo was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his third.

Pitching star:  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Greg Myers was 4-for-4 with a home run (his third) and two runs.  Devon White was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his sixteenth.  Kelly Gruber was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fifth.  John Olerud was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eighth.

The game:  In the first inning, Knoblauch hit a one-out single and Davis hit a two-out two-run homer to put the Twins up 2-0.  In the third, Gladden and Knoblauch singled and Kirby Puckett drew a walk to load the bases with one out.  Brian Harper hit a sacrifice fly and Larkin singled home a run to make it 4-0.

The Blue Jays came storming back in the fifth.  Gruber led off with a home run and Olerud hit a one-out homer to cut the lead to 4-2.  Myers singled and Manny Lee hit a single-plus-error, scoring Myers and making it 4-3.  Mookie Wilson then hit a sacrifice fly to tie it 4-4.  Toronto wasn't done, as White singled and stole second and then scored on a Roberto Alomar single to put the Blue Jays up 5-4.

It stayed 5-4 until the sixth, when Larkin singled and Pagliarulo hit a two-run homer to put the Twins back in front 6-5.  They got a couple of insurance runs in the seventh.  Puckett was hit by a pitch and Davis walked.  A bunt moved the runners up, Mack's sacrifice fly scored one, and an Al Newman single made the score 8-5.

Myers homered in the eighth to make it 8-6, but that was the only hit Toronto had after the sixth inning.

WP:  Jack Morris (10-5).  LP:  Todd Stottlemyre (8-3).  S:  Aguilera (20).

Notes:  Larkin remained at first base, as Kent Hrbek was still out of the lineup.  Newman pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the seventh and stayed in the game at third base.

Harper was 1-for-3 and was batting .340.  Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .327.  Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.78.

Morris pitched seven innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks and striking out four.  He pitched really well other than in the fourth inning.  Again, I would suggest that any other pitcher would've come out of the game in that fourth inning--Morris allowed five runs on six hits, including two home runs, in that inning.  For whatever reason, Tom Kelly stuck with Morris.  I guess you can say it worked, as Morris pitched well after that inning and the Twins came back and won.  It could be suggested, however, that it would've been better to not have lost the lead in the first place, and that using a relief pitcher might have accomplished that.

Stottlemyre pitched six innings, allowing six runs on ten hits and three walks and striking out six.  Stottlemyre had a really good year in 1991, this game notwithstanding.  He went 15-8, 3.78, 1.23 WHIP.  That was the highest win total of his career, the second-lowest ERA (3.74 in 1998), and the second-lowest WHIP (1.22 in 1997).  He never made an all-star team and never got any Cy Young votes, but he was a solid rotation starter for eleven seasons.  For his career, he was 138-121, 4.28, 1.38 WHIP.

Record:  The Twins were 44-27, in first place in the American League West, 4.5 games ahead of both California and Oakland.