Tag Archives: Juan Guzman

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.

1991 Rewind: Game Seventy-three


Date:  Thursday, June 27.

Batting stars:  None.  The Twins had three hits, all singles, and no Twin had more than one.

Pitching star:  Kevin Tapani pitched a complete game, giving up one unearned run on four hits and no walks and striking out seven.

Opposition stars:  Juan Guzman pitched 7.2 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and two walks and striking out six.  Tom Henke struck out two in a perfect inning.

The game:  Neither team got a men past first base until the fourth.  Roberto Alomar led off with a single.  A forceout meant the runner on first was Kelly Gruber with two out.  Rance Mulliniks then hit a line drive to left on which Shane Mack was charged with an error, allowing Gruber to score.

That was the only run of the game.  The only time the Twins got a man past first was in the eighth, when Chuck Knoblauch walked and stole second.  Duane Ward came in and got Mack on a ground out to end the inning.

WP:  Guzman (2-2).  LP:  Tapani (5-7).  S:  Henke (14).

Notes:  In a day game, Mack was in left field, with Dan Gladden on the bench.  Mack batted second, with Knoblauch moving up to the leadoff spot.  Randy Bush was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Pedro Munoz was in right field.  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 dropped to .319.  Tapani's ERA fell to 3.06.

Bush went 0-for-4 and dropped to .197.  Newman was 0-for-3 and fell to .196.

It remains amazing to me how much Newman was playing when he wasn't hitting.  This was the fifty-fifth game he had appeared in.  He had started twenty-five of them.  His OBP at this point was .281 and his slugging average was .215, giving him a robust OPS of .496.  I know he was popular, and I know he could play a lot of positions.  But that's a lot of playing time for a guy who has a sub-.500 OPS.

By game scores, this was the best game Tapani pitched in 1991.  The next best was his first game of the season, a complete game shutout on April 12.  He would not lose another game for over two months, as his next loss would come on September 11.  He really didn't pitch all that much better--his ERA over his winning streak fell only from 3.06 to 2.82.  The Twins just started scoring some runs for him.

This was Juan Guzman's rookie year, and he was very good.  He did not come up until June--this was his fourth start--but he ended up 10-3, 2.99, 1.18 WHIP.  He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting to--spoiler alert--Chuck Knoblauch.  He was even better in 1992, when he made his only all-star team.  His ERA went up by over a run in 1993, to 3.99, but he went 14-3 and so got the only Cy Young support of his career.  He then had two very poor years--I suspect he had injuries, but I don't remember and couldn't quickly find out.  But he came back in 1996 to lead the league in ERA, WHIP, and hits per nine innings.  That was his last really good year.  He continued to pitch in the majors through 2000 and was not terrible, but was pretty average.  He did pitch well for Cincinnati in twelve starts in 1999 after being traded at the July deadline.  For his career, he was 91-79, 4.08, 1.37 WHIP in 240 games, all starts.  For a few years, though, he was one of the top pitchers in the league.

Record:  The Twins were 44-29, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of California.