Tag Archives: Jack Morris

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Nine


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


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


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


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


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.

1991 Rewind: Game Sixty-six


Date:  Wednesday, June 19.

Batting stars:  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-5 with a double.  Chili Davis was 1-for-5 with a three-run homer, his sixteenth.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Jeff Robinson pitched 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and no walks and striking out five.  David Segui was 2-for-3.  Leo Gomez was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer (his third), two walks, and two runs.

The game:  The Twins again jumped out to an early lead with a two-out first inning rally.  Kirby Puckett was hit by a pitch, Hrbek singled, and Davis hit a three-run homer to give the Twins a 3-0 lead.  The Twins threatened to blow it open early, as in the second they put men on second and third with one out, but a short fly ball and a strikeout ended the threat.  The failure allowed the Orioles to get back into the game, as Joe Orsulak drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the second and Gomez followed with a two-run homer, cutting the lead to 3-2.

Baltimore threatened to tie it in the fifth, as Gomez led off with a walk and Segui singled, but a long fly out and a double play ended the threat.  The Orioles did more than threaten in the seventh.  With one out Orsulak singled and Gomez walked.  Consecutive RBI singles by Segui and Ernie Whitt put Baltimore ahead 4-3.  The score remained there through eight innings.

But in the ninth the Twins came back, with plenty of help from the Orioles.  They began the inning with singles by Brian HarperGene Larkin, and Pagliarulo to tie it 4-4.  With one out, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, resulting in an intentional walk to Randy Bush.  A wild pitch-plus-error scored two runs and yet another wild pitch scored a third run, making the score 7-4.  Shane Mack then singled and scored from first on Puckett's single, making it 8-4.  Baltimore went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  Morris (9-5).  LP:  Olson (0-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Al Newman replaced Chuck Knoblauch at second base, and his .286 OBP was placed in the leadoff spot.  He went 0-for-4.  Mack was in left in place of Dan Gladden and batted second.  Pedro Munoz started in right.

The Twins made a bunch of changes in the ninth inning.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for MunozKnoblauch then pinch-ran for Larkin and went to second base.  Gladden pinch-ran for Harper and stayed in the game in left field, with Mack moving to right.  Bush pinch-hit for Newman.

Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .344.  Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .328.

As I go through Morris' games, I wonder if Tom Kelly was a little intimidated by him.  Maybe not, maybe Kelly just had that much confidence in him.  But Morris was allowed to stay in games much longer than any other pitcher would have been, even in 1991, and this is one example of that.  Morris had pitched well for six innings and the Twins led 3-2.  He struck out the first batter he faced, but then he gave up a hit.  Then he walked a batter.  His pitch count was approaching a hundred.  But he stayed in the game.  Then he gave up another hit, tying the score and putting men on first and third.  Still, he stayed in the game.  He gave up another hit, losing the lead.  Still, he stayed in the game.  He got a double play to end the inning, then cruised through the eighth and ninth.  The Twins came back and won, so it worked out, but there's no other pitcher who would've been allowed to stay in the game through the seventh inning.

This was Davis' seventh home run in June.  He would go on to hit ten in June, more than a third of his season total and twice as many as he would hit in any other month.  His other June numbers were not particularly outstanding--in June he batted .253/.345/.596, his season numbers were .277/.385/.507.  I don't know that we can contribute his June homers to anything but coincidence, but it's kind of interesting.

The Twins had now won seventeen of eighteen and twenty of twenty-two.

Record:  The Twins were 40-26, in first place in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of Oakland.

1991 Rewind: Game Fifty-one


Date:  Monday, June 3.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fifth) and a double.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out five.  Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Cal Ripken was 3-for-4 with a double.  David Segui was 2-for-4.  Todd Frohwirth retired all seven batters he faced, striking out one.

The game:  The Twins got a one-out double from Chuck Knoblauch in the first and from Pedro Munoz in the third, but could not bring either of them home.  With one out in the fourth, however, Hrbek hit a home run to make it 1-0.  The Twins added to their lead in the fifth.  Greg Gagne singled with one out.  With two down, Puckett reached on a single-plus-error, scoring Gagne, and Hrbek followed with a double to make it 3-0.

The Orioles got on the board in the sixth when Tim Hulett drew a two-out walk and scored on Ripken's double.  They threatened in the seventh when Ernie Whitt hit a one-out double, but the score stayed 3-1 going to the ninth.

Morris started the ninth inning, but came out after giving up a leadoff single to Ripken.  He had thrown 129 pitches.  Aguilera came in to strike out Joe Orsulak, but Sam Horn delivered an RBI double, cutting the lead to 3-2 and putting the tying run in scoring position.  David Segui hit into a fielder's choice, with pinch-runner Chris Hoiles out trying to advance to third on a ground ball to the pitcher.  But Ernie Whitt walked, putting the tying run back in scoring position and the lead run on base.  Jeff McKnight then fouled to third to end the game.

WP:  Morris (6-5).  LP:  Jeff Robinson (3-5).  S:  Aguilera (12).

Notes:  Dan Gladden was again out of the lineup, with Pedro Munoz in left and Gene Larkin in right.  Gladden entered the game as a pinch-runner in the fourth when Larkin was hit by a pitch.  He remained in the game in left field, with Munoz moving to right.  Gagne manned the leadoff spot in the batting order.

Al Newman entered the game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement for Mike Pagliarulo at third base.

Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .333.  Brian Harper was 0-for-4 and dropped to .324.  He was 1-for-17 in his last five games.  Gagne was 1-for-4 and was batting .317.  Aguilera's ERA fell to 1.75.

Morris' 129 pitches were the most he had thrown in a game to this point in the season.  He would top that number only once.  It was, however, the seventh consecutive game and tenth of twelve in which he had thrown more than a hundred pitches.  His low to this point was ninety-six, on April 28.  His average was one hundred eleven.

It was the fifth appearance of the season for Todd Frohwirth.  In those five appearances, covering six innings, he had not allowed a baserunner.  No hits, no walks, no hit batsmen, nothing.  He would give up a walk in his next appearance, but would not give up a hit or a run June 8, when he surrendered two of each to Toronto.

The Twins had won three in a row to climb back over .500.  Could they stay there?  We'll see.

Record:  The Twins were 26-25, in fifth place in the American League West, 4.5 games behind Oakland.  They were two games ahead of sixth-place Chicago and a game behind fourth-place Seattle.

1991 Rewind: Game Ten


Date:  Friday, April 19.

Batting stars:  None.  The Twins had just two hits.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Chuck Finley pitched a complete game shutout, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out nine.  Wally Joyner was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Junior Felix was 2-for-3.

The game:  For the first six innings only one man got as far as third base.  That happened in the third, when Felix singled, was bunted to second, and advanced to third on a ground out.  The game stayed scoreless, however, until the seventh.  The first two Angels went out that inning, but singles by Donnie Hill, Jack Howell, and Felix made the score 1-0.  California added a run in the eighth when Joyner led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch.

The Twins did nothing on offense the entire game.  The only man to reach second base was Greg Gagne, who hit a one-out double in the sixth.  He did not advance.

WP:  Finley (3-0).  LP:  Morris (0-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Dan Gladden was back in the lineup in left field.  Shane Mack remained in center and Kirby Puckett in right.

Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .359.  Brian Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .333.  Gagne was 1-for-3 and was batting .304.

Gladden was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .037.  Kent Hrbek was 0-for-3 and was batting .108.  Mack was 0-for-3 and was batting .143.  Scott Leius was 0-for-2 with a walk and was batting .154.  I did not remember that so many regulars started off the season in batting slumps.

Morris had a fine game, but his ERA was still a very high 6.38.  Also, while again it was a fine game, it was not even in his top ten for the season as judged by game scores.

Not only did each pitcher throw a complete game, but neither team substituted at all.  The same ten players started and ended the game for each team.  That's pretty much unheard of today, but I suspect it was rather unusual even then.

It was the sixth straight loss for the Twins, in their last five games, they had scored just eleven runs and had been shut out twice.

Record:  The Twins were 2-8, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, 5.5 games behind Oakland.