Tag Archives: Jarvis Brown

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Seven

MINNESOTA 1, ATLANTA 0 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Sunday, October 27.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 3-for-5 with two doubles.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched ten shutout innings, giving up seven hits and two walks and striking out eight.  He threw 126 pitches.

Opposition stars:  John Smoltz pitched 7.1 scoreless innings, giving up six hits and a walk and struck out four.  Lonnie Smith was 2-for-4 with a walk.

The game:  Obviously there was no score through nine innings, so we'll detail the threats.  In the second, the Twins got a pair of two-out singles.  With one out in the third, Rafael Belliard singled and Smith walked.  Gladden hit a one-out double in the bottom of the third but did not advance.

The Braves had a significant threat in the fifth.  Mark Lemke led off with a single, was bunted to second, and went to third on Smith's infield single.  But Terry Pendelton popped up and Ron Gant struck out to end the inning.

The big threat came in the eighth.  Smith singled and Pendleton doubled, putting men on second and third with none out.  This was the famous Chuck Knoblauch deke play, where he fooled Smith by pretending to field a ground ball and throw to second.  Still, Atlanta had the middle of their order coming to bat.  But Gant grounded out, David Justice was intentionally walked, and Sid Bream hit into a 3-2-3 double play to keep the game scoreless.

The Twins had a threat of their own in the ninth.  Chili Davis and Brian Harper led off with singles.  Shane Mack hit into a double play, but pinch-runner Jarvis Brown was still on third with two out.  But pinch-hitter Paul Sorrento struck out and the game continued.

The Braves went down in order in the top of the tenth.  Gladden led off with a bloop double in the bottom of the tenth.  Knoblauch bunted him to third.  Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek were both intentionally walked, loading the bases.  With the outfield drawn in, pinch-hitter Gene Larkin then hit a fly ball to left-center, which fell for a hit and won the game and the series for the Twins.

WP:  Morris (4-0).  LP:  Alejandro Pena (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the eighth.  Al Newman then pinch-ran for Bush and stayed in the game at shortstop.  In the ninth, Brown pinch-ran for Davis and Sorrento pinch-hit for Newman.  Scott Leius came into the game in the tenth at shorstop.  Larkin pinch-hit for Brown in the tenth.

What a game.  If you've watched it, there's probably not much I can tell you about it that you don't know.  If you haven't, I probably can't do it justice.

Morris pitched about as good a game as you will ever see anyone pitch in that situation.

Gladden gets a lot of credit for aggressive baserunning in the tenth, and I guess he deserves it, but I remember thinking as I saw the ball dropping in that it should be a double.

I always think about how close Jarvis Brown came to being a World Series hero.  When he pinch-ran in the ninth, he came that close to scoring the deciding run.  But, of course, it didn't happen.

The Braves eighth was amazing.  Even with Smith's baserunning blunder, I still thought they would score at least once and probably win.  I can still remember how awesome that 3-2-3 double play was.

The only bench player the Twins had left was Junior Ortiz.  Had the game continued, there would've have been almost no moves for Tom Kelly to make beyond pitching changes.

I don't remember if the Twins had anyone warming up to come in to pitch the eleventh or if Morris would've gone back out there.

So, the Twins were World Series champions.  We'll do a couple of statistical wrap-up posts before we let go of 1991 Rewind.  Thanks for reading!

Record:  The Twins won the best-of-seven series four games to three.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-six

MINNESOTA 8, CHICAGO 3 IN CHICAGO

Date:  Monday, September 30.

Batting stars:  Randy Bush was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, his sixth.  Brian Harper was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Pedro Munoz was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer (his sixth), a double, and two runs.  Paul Sorrento was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.

Pitching stars:  Tom Edens pitched six innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out two.  Steve Bedrosian pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition star:  Matt Merullo was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer, his fourth.

The game:  In the second Harper walked, went to third on a Bush single, and scored on a sacrifice fly to put the Twins up 1-0.  The White Sox got a pair of one-out singles in the third but could do nothing with them.  In the fourth, Munoz doubled, Harper had an RBI single, and Bush followed with a two-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 4-0.

The Twins put it away in the fifth.  Al Newman led off with a single, but a force out put Jarvis Brown at first base instead.  He stole second, Greg Gagne walked, and Munoz hit a three-run homer.  Sorrento made it back-to-back homers and gave the Twins an 8-0 lead.

The White Sox got on the board in the fifth when Lance Johnson led off with a triple and scored on a ground out.  They got a couple more in the ninth when Warren Newson walked and Merullo hit a two-run homer, but never threatened to get back into the game.

WP:  Edens (2-2).  LP:  Alex Fernandez (9-13).  S:  None.

Notes:  As you might suppose the day after clinching the division, it was an unusual lineup.  Brown started in center in place of Kirby Puckett and batted first.  Gagne moved up to the second spot.  Munoz was in left in place of Dan Gladden and batted third.  Paul Sorrento was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek and batted fourth.  Harper was the DH in place of Chili Davis.  Bush was in right field in place of Shane Mack.  Lenny Webster was behind the plate.  Newman was at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch.

It should be noted that with the roster restrictions now, teams can no longer do this.  The day after a team clinches, several regulars are still going to have to play, because there won't be enough reserves to fill out the lineup.

The Twins made just one substitution--Scott Leius came in for Gagne at shortstop in the fifth inning.

Harper raised his average to .316.  Bush went up to .312.  Webster was 0-for-4 and was batting .333.  Rick Aguilera allowed two runs in one inning to make his ERA 2.34.

This was the first time Bedrosian had pitched since September 17.  He presumably had some sort of injury or illness that he was dealing with.

A couple of weeks earlier, of course, it had looked like this might be an important series in the last week of the season.  As it turned out, the Twins had clinched the day before, rendering the series meaningless as far as the pennant race was concerned.

This was the thirty-second game of Brown's career, but only his second start.  He was used as either a pinch-runner or a defensive replacement in the other thirty games.  I'm sure he was happy to be in the big leagues at all, and I'm sure he was also happy to be on a championship team.  Still, it must have been just a little frustrating to not get more of a chance to play.  He probably understood it, but it still would be frustrating.

Record:  The Twins were 93-63, in first place in the American League West, nine games ahead of Chicago.

Toronto lost and Boston won, so the Red Sox kept their hopes alive in the East.  The Blue Jays led by 3.5 games.

1: Not the Onliest Number

№ 1

Worn by: Reno Bertoia (1961); Billy Martin (1961, 1965–68 (as coach), & 1969 (as manager)); Bernie Allen (1963–64); Eric Soderholm (1971–72); Rich Reese (1973); Sergio Ferrer (1974–75); Jerry Terrell (1975–77); Larry Wolfe (1978); Jesus Vega (1980); Tim Corcoran (1981); Ray Smith (1982); Houston Jimenez (1983–84); Alvaro Espinoza (1984–86); John Moses (1988–90); Jarvis Brown (1991–92); Alex Cole (1994–95); Otis Nixon (1998); Jay Canizaro (2000, 2002); Jason Kubel (2004); Luis Castillo (2006–07); Orlando Hudson (2010); Tsuyoshi Nishioka (2011–12); Alex Presley (2013); Sam Fuld (2014); Jordan Schafer (2014–15)

Incumbent: none
Highest rWAR: Castillo, 3.7
Lowest rWAR: Jimenez, -1.4
Best season: Hudson, 2.9 rWAR (2010)
Worst season: Jimenez, -1.2 (1984)

Reno Bertoia came to Minnesota with the Twins in 1961, and brought the number he had worn with the Senators along in his suitcase. (Born in Italy as "Pierino," he is the only "Reno" to play in MLB.) Bertoia was the starting third baseman in the Twins' first game; they defeated the Yankees 6-0 at Old Yankee Stadium. He played 35 games, then was traded on 01 June with Golden Gopher Heismann runner-up Paul Giel — a native of Winona, Minn — to Kansas City. The same day, Milwaukee traded Billy Martin to the Twins. Both men were listed at 5' 11"; Martin took over the number. While Martin has more to his story than just that, both men are exemplars of one of the primary types of player to wear this number: banjo-hitting infielders. Another group — banjo-hitting, fleet-footed outfielders — reached its fullest expression in the late Eighties to late Nineties.

Martin, of course, is known best for his exploits & altercations while manager of the '69 Twins, who finished first in the new AL West during his only year at the helm. Much could be said about Billy Martin; suffice it to say he's a significant character in the story of the Twins' greatest period of dominance.

No Twin wore Nº 1 in 1962, but after Bernie Allen picked it back up midway through the 1963 season, the number stayed in circulation until 1970. Eric Soderholm wore it for two seasons with a 72 OPS+ over 391 PA, then switched numbers and put up a 117 OPS+ over his last remaining 1136 PA as a Twin. The guys who came after Soderholm didn't find any better success wearing it, and then Twins didn't issue the number to anyone in 1979. In 1982, Ray Smith became the first — and so far, only — catcher to wear Nº 1 for the Twins.

After another break in 1987, John Moses was issued the number and started the above-mentioned run of fast, light-hitting outfielders that ended with Otis Nixon. Moses had his career year in '88, an okay year in '89, and, along with the rest of the team, crashed to Earth hard in '90. Jarvis Brown wore Nº 1 in 1991. Had Gene Larkin not pinch-hit for him in the bottom of the tenth in Game 7, Brown might be the least-remembered position player on the Twins '91 World Series roster. (We'll get to the guy who could claim that title later in this series.) Alex Cole brought Nº 1 back into circulation with a solid year in 1994, batting .296/.375/.403 (102 OPS+) over 398 PA, with 15 doubles, 5 triples, and 29 stolen bases (78% success rate). Cole was the Twins' first primary center fielder following Kirby's move to right field, but unfortunately for him, his incumbency lasted only lasted one year. He was off to a solid start in 1995, but must've gotten injured; he missed every game from 01 June through 22 September, and apparently did not play in the minors. Three seasons later, Nº 1 was issued to Otis Nixon, who had worn the same number in Atlanta. By the time he reached the Twins, Nixon was just two years younger than Billy Martin was when he became the manager of the 1969 Twins. Nixon stole 37 bases — with an 84% success rate! — for the Twins, which nearly doubled the franchise's previous high water mark for a player 39 years old or older. (Lave Cross stole 19 bases in his age 40 season for the 1906 Senators. Paul Molitor held the post-relocation record, with 18 in 1996.)

The past twenty years have seen Nº 1 alternate between Gardenhire-era second basemen and fifth outfielders — with one exception: Jason Kubel wore it as a September call-up by the 2004 Twins. Kubel looked really impressive, hitting .300/.358/.433 (.320 BAbip, 104 OPS+) over 67 PA. He was 22. After that first cup of coffee, Kubel blew out his knee in the Arizona Fall League. When he returned to the Twins in 2006, he did so wearing a different number. One wonders what might have been.

Whether Kubel wanted a new number or not, part of the reason he wasn't reissued Nº 1 was that Luis Castillo was wearing it. Castillo came to Minnesota in a December 2005 trade from Florida — where he had worn 1 since 1997 — to fill what had been a gaping hole for the Twins since the Chuck Knoblauch trade. Castillo put up 2.3 rWAR for the best post-Knoblauch season at the keystone in his first year, and followed it up with 1.4 rWAR the next before a deadline deal sent him to the Mets. The Twins proceeded to flail around again until Orlando Hudson signed a one-year free agent deal for 2010. O-Hud put up the best single season for the № 1 jersey (in what remains the single best post-Knoblauch season at second base), and the Twins won 94 games and repeated as AL Central champs in their first year in Target Field. Hudson was allowed to walk after the season, which turned out to be his last decent year. He was known to be a chatterbox, and — if Poultry Man is a credible source — complete wore out his welcome. The Twins elected to assign № 1 to their new second baseman, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who came over from the Chiba Lotte Marines. Nishioka had won the batting title in his last year in Japan, which lended some excitement to the Twins' first acquisition from NPB. Six games into the season, Nick Swisher broke Nishioka's left fibula with a takeout slide. Nishioka missed all of May and half of June. The Twins lost 99 games, and General Manager Bill Smith was fired in November. After a poor showing in 2012, Nishioka asked for and was given his release, despite having a third year left on his contract. He returned to Japan and played for the Hanshin Tigers until 2018.

Nick Gordon wears № 1 for the Rochester Red Wings. He appears to be the successor to the Punch and Judy infielder line, but his future in the organization is more doubtful than his draft number once suggested. The frequency with which the Nº 1 is assigned to players has also dropped since its near-ubiquity from 1961–1995. Whether this is incidental or by design is hard to say. There are only ten single-digit numbers, and the Twins have already retired three of them. Whether the Twins have gotten more selective about who gets them remains to be seen in future installments.

Who claims ownership of jersey № 1?

  • Billy Martin (58%, 7 Votes)
  • Luis Castillo (42%, 5 Votes)
  • Jarvis Brown (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Alex Cole (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Orlando Hudson (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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1991 Rewind: Game Seventy-eight

TORONTO 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN TORONTO

Date:  Tuesday, July 2.

Batting star:  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Kevin Tapani pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on eleven hits and one walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mike Timlin pitched five innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and a walk and striking out two.  Greg Myers was 3-for-4 with a double.  Devon White was 3-for-5 with a stolen base, his nineteenth.  Manny Lee was 2-for-4 with a double.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-4 with a walk.  John Olerud was 2-for-4.  Rene Gonzales was 1-for-4 with a home run.

The game:  The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the second when Shane Mack scored from first on Pagliarulo's single-plus-error.  It went to 2-0 in the third when Chuck Knoblauch walked, went to second when Pedro Munoz was hit by a pitch, went to third on a fly out, and scored on a Chili Davis sacrifice fly.  The Blue Jays got on the board in the fourth when Gonzales hit a home run, but the Twins got the run back on singles by Mack and Pagliarulo and a run-scoring ground out by Greg Gagne, making the score 3-1.

Each team had threats, but it stayed 3-1 until the seventh.  Singles by Lee, White, and Alomar loaded the bases with one out.  Terry Leach came in and allowed one run to score on a ground out, but no more, so the Twins still led 3-2.  In the eighth, however, Derek Bell singled, stole second, and scored on Lee's double to tie it 3-3.

Leach remained in the game to start the tenth.  He gave up singles to White and Alomar, putting men on first and third.  Joe Carter was intentionally walked, filling the bases.  Leach was finally replaced by Steve Bedrosian, who gave up a single to Rance Mulliniks to end the game.

WP:  Duane Ward (2-3).  LP:  Leach (0-1).  S:  None.

NotesMack was again in left, replacing Dan Gladden.  Munoz was in right.  With Gladden out, Knoblauch batted first, with Munoz second.  Sorrento was at first base, replacing Kent Hrbek.  Hrbek would miss the next game as well and would not start again until July 5.

Jarvis Brown entered the game in right field in the fifth inning, replacing Munoz.  This was Brown's major league debut, and he went 0-for-2.  Munoz would miss the next game, play each game from July 4-7, play again on July 14, and then not come back until September.

Puckett was 0-for-3, making his average .329.  Harper was 0-for-4 to drop to .318.  Tapani's ERA was at 3.04.

Leach was pretty clearly left in the game too long.  He got out of the jam in the seventh, but gave up the tying run in the eighth and was still left in to load the bases in the ninth.  Tom Kelly apparently thought it was worth risking this game in order to preserve his bullpen.  That may sound critical--I don't mean it to be.  My memory isn't good enough, and I don't have time to go back through the games, to know what the state of the bullpen was at this point.  TK may well have made the right decision.  This is simply an observation, not a criticism.  If this was a post-season game, or even a game in a September pennant race, Kelly would almost certainly have gotten Leach out of there sooner.  In a game in early July, it may well have been prudent to leave him in as long as he did.

The Twins had now lost six of seven.  Their division lead was shrinking.  Could they pull out of the tailspin?

Record:  The Twins were 45-33, in first place in the American League West, one game ahead of California.