Tag Archives: Kent Hrbek

Happy Birthday–May 21

Fred Dunlap (1859)
Eddie Grant (1883)
Earl Averill (1902)
Hank Johnson (1906)
Mace Brown (1909)
Monty Stratton (1912)
Larry Napp (1919)
Ed Fitz Gerald (1924)
El Tappe (1927)
Moe Thacker (1934)
Barry Latman (1936)
Bobby Cox (1941)
Kent Hrbek (1960)
Bryce Florie (1970)
Tom Martin (1970)
Chris Widger (1971)
Mark Quinn (1974)
Josh Hamilton (1981)
Andrew Miller (1985)
Matt Wieters (1986)

Larry Napp was an American League umpire from 1951-1974.

El Tappe had a twin brother, Mel Tappe, who also played in the minors.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to zooomx.2 and a happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. MagUidhir.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–May 21

Random Rewind: 1982, Game One Hundred Fifteen

MINNESOTA 3, SEATTLE 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, August 13.

Batting stars:  Ron Washington was 2-for-4.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-3 with a walk.

PItching stars:  Bobby Castillo pitched a complete game, giving up one run on three hits and one walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Gaylord Perry pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk and striking out five.  Bruce Bochte was 2-for-3.

The game:  Joe Simpson led off the game with a triple and scored on Bochte's single to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.  The Twins put men on first and third in the bottom of the first but did not score.

No one got a man past first in innings two through five.  In the sixth, however, the Twins got consecutive one-out singles from Tom BrunanskyHrbekGary Ward, and Gary Gaetti, plating two runs and giving the Twins a 2-1 lead.  The Twins added a run in the eighth when Washington singled, then was picked off first but reached second on an error.  Hrbek was intentionally walked.  Ward hit a potential double play ball, but the throw to first was wild and Washington came in to score, making it 3-1 Twins.

Castillo was in total control.  He gave up only one hit after the first inning, a two-out single by Bochte in the fourth.  He retired the last ten batters he faced.

WP:  Castillo (6-9).  LP:  Perry (7-10).  S:  None.

Notes:  Washington was the shortstop in this game.  Lenny Faedo is listed as the Twins starting shortstop in 1982, but Washington actually played slightly more games there (92 to 88).

Randy Johnson was the Twins DH.  He's listed as the Twins starting DH in 1982, and he got more time there than anyone, but it was only 66 games.  Others who spent significant time at DH were Jesus Vega (39 games), Mickey Hatcher (29), Randy Bush (26), and Dave Engel (20).

Hrbek was the only Twins above .300, at .315.  He would finish at .301.  This was the only time Hrbek was named to the all-star team.  He deserved more appearances, but after a snub early in his career he said that he was not interested in going.

This was one of the two best seasons of Castillo's career, and his best as a starter.  He was 13-11, 3.66, 1.28 WHIP.  His other good season was when he was a reliever for the Dodgers in 1980.  By game scores, this was his best game of the season.  He did, however, have six complete games in 1982.  He would have three the next season, and those were the only complete games he had in his career.

Perry was in his age forty-three season in 1982.  He was obviously not what he once was, but he was still decent--10-12, 4.40, 1.38 WHIP.  He would pitch one more season before calling it quits.

Record:  The Twins were 40-75, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, 26.5 games behind California.  They would finish 60-102, in seventh place, thirty-three games behind California.

The Mariners were 56-58, in fourth place in the American League West, ten games behind California.  They would finish 76-86, in fourth place, seventeen games behind California.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-seven

MINNESOTA 5, CLEVELAND 3 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Monday, August 26.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his fourteenth) and two runs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his seventh.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a double.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4.  Shane Mack was 1-for-4 with a home run, his sixteenth.

Pitching star:  Kevin Tapani pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out three.

Opposition star:  Carlos Martinez was 3-for-3.

The game:  The Indians got a man to third in the third, but the scoring did not start until the fourth, when Mack hit a home run to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the sixth, Puckett singled and Harper hit a two-run homer to make it 3-0.

Cleveland had just two singles in the first five innings, but they got on the board in the sixth.  Felix Fermin led off with a single, Jerry Browne had a one-out single, a ground out put men on second and third, and Albert Belle had a two-run single to cut the margin to 3-2.  They got the tying run to second with two out in the seventh, but did not score.  The Twins got the two runs back in the eighth when Knoblauch singled and Puckett hit a two-run homer, making the score 5-2.

The Indians threatened in the ninth.  Mike Aldrete walked, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Luis Lopez single to reduce the Twins lead to 5-3.  The tying run was up to bat with one out, but Chris James and Glenallen Hill each struck out to end the game.

WP:  Tapani (12-7).  LP:  Dave Otto (1-4).  S:  Rick Aguilera (34).

Notes:  Gene Larkin was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  For a change, the Twins did not use their bench at all, making no substitutions in the lineup.

Puckett raised his average to .329.  Harper raised his average to .313.  Mack was batting .304.  Tapani lowered his ERA to 2.94.  Aguilera gave up a run in one inning to make his ERA 2.45.

Otto started for Cleveland.  He pitched eight innings, but allowed five runs on ten hits and no walks.  He struck out five and threw just 97 pitches.  I guess one would say this was the best year of his career--he went 2-8, 4.23, 1.35 WHIP.  He did have a lower ERA (3.80) in relief in 1994, the last year of his career, but he had a FIP of 4.98 and a WHIP of 1.58.  For his career he was 10-22, 5.06, 1.57 WHIP in 318.1 innings (109 games, 41 starts) spread over eight seasons.  He's another one of those guys who got chance after chance even though he never really did anything to justify it.

Hrbek may have had a minor injury or illness.  He did not play in this game and was used as a pinch-hitter in the next one.  He would be back in the lineup after that.

The White Sox lost Kansas City 7-0 and Oakland lost to Boston 3-0, so the Twins were building a commanding lead in the division.

Record:  The Twins were 76-51, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago and Oakland.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-five

MINNESOTA 5, BALTIMORE 2 IN BALTIMORE

Date:  Saturday, August 24.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fifteenth) and two RBIs.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Tom Edens pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks and striking out two.  Steve Bedrosian pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in a scoreless inning.

Opposition stars:  Bob Milacki pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out three.  Randy Milligan was 2-for-3 with a walk.

The game:  In the first Mike Devereaux walked, went to third on a one-out single by Cal Ripken, and scored on a ground out to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.  Devereaux led off the second with a home run to make it 2-0.  Meanwhile, the first eleven Twins batters were retired.  They got a pair of one-out singles in the fourth, but nothing came of it.  The Twins had only one more hit until the seventh, when Mack homered to cut the lead to 2-1.

It stayed 2-1 until the ninth.  Gregg Olson was the Baltimore closer, but he had pitched in three games in a row and four of the last five, so Mike Flanagan came in to try to close it out.  He was greeted by a single by Hrbek, a walk to Chili Davis, and an RBI single by Mack to tie the score.  Mike Pagliarulo hit into a force out, putting men on first and third.  At that point, Olson came into the game anyway.  He walked Randy Bush and struck out Brian Harper.  Gladden then hit a three-run triple to give the Twins a 5-2 lead.  The Orioles went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  Steve Bedrosian (5-3).  LP:  Flanagan (2-5).  S:  Aguilera (33).

Notes:  Junior Ortiz was again behind the plate in place of Harper.  Al Newman pinch-ran for Hrbek in the ninth and stayed in the game at shortstop.  Bush pinch-hit for Ortiz in the ninth.  Harper pinch-hit for Greg Gagne, who was back in the lineup, in the ninth and stayed in the game behind the plate.  Gene Larkin went to first base in Bush's spot in the ninth.

Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .331.  Harper was 0-for-1 and was batting .311.  Mack raised his average to .309.  Aguilera's ERA went down to 2.33.

Edens was making his first major league appearance in 1991.  He had made thirty-five appearances for them in 1990.  He would make six starts in 1991 (plus two relief games) and pitch pretty well in four of them.  These would be the last major league starts he would make.  He would pitch in relief for Minnesota (1992), Houston (1993-1994), Philadelphia (1994), and the Cubs (1995).

The Twins handled Cal Ripken fairly well in this series (3-for-11, all singles), but not on the season.  In 1991, Ripken batted .354/.373/.563 in 51 plate appearances.  Maybe they should've walked him more.  For his career, he batted .307/.371/.478 against the Twins.  His overall career numbers were .276/.340/.447.

Flanagan was nearing the end of his career, but he had a fine year out of the Orioles bullpen.  He was 2-7, but his ERA was 2.38 and he had a WHIP of 1.11.  He also had three saves.  This was the last good year he would have, though.  In 1992 he was 8.05 ERA and 2.11 WHIP in 34.2 innings, and then he was done.

Hrbek had a fine August, batting .316/.391/.500 with four home runs in 110 plate appearances.

The White Sox lost to Cleveland 2-1 and Oakland lost to Milwaukee 7-0, so the Twins gained another game on both teams.

Record:  The Twins were 75-50, in first place in the American League West, seven games ahead of Chicago and Oakland.

 

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twelve

MINNESOTA 5, SEATTLE 2 IN SEATTLE

Date:  Sunday, August 11.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twelfth), two runs, and three RBIs.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4.  Shane Mack was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fourteenth) and a walk.

Pitching star:  Kevin Tapani pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk and striking out three.  He threw just 91 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Jay Buhner was 1-for-3 with a home run, his twenty-first.

The game:  Mack homered with two out in the first inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the second Hrbek led off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, was bunted to third, and scored on a ground out to make it 2-0.  In the fourth, Gene Larkin doubled and scored on Hrbek's single to make it 3-0.

The Mariners got on the board in the bottom of the fourth.  Edgar Martinez led off with a single and went to second when Harold Reynolds walked.  A ground out moved the runners up and a sacrifice fly cut the Twins' lead to 3-1.  It went to 3-2 when Buhner homered leading off the fifth, but the Twins got the run back with interest in the sixth when a walk to Larkin was followed by Hrbek's two-run homer.

The score was 5-2, and there it stayed.  Seattle got just one baserunner after that, a two-out single by Omar Vizquel in the eighth.

WP:  Tapani (10-7).  LP:  Bill Krueger (9-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Larkin was the designated hitter, replacing Chili Davis.  That caused Mack to go into the third spot in the batting order, with Puckett moving down to fourth.  Greg Gagne returned to the lineup at shortstop.

Puckett was batting .329.  Brian Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .311.  Tapani lowered his ERA to 2.98.

With Hrbek on second and none out in the second inning, Scott Leius bunted, moving Hrbek to third.  He scored on a ground out, making the score 2-0.  I wonder if Leius bunted on his own, trying to get a hit.  It seems strange to just want to move Hrbek to third with one out, especially with Gagne as the next batter.

I doubt that, at the start of the season, very many people would've expected Mack to have more home runs than Hrbek.  It's remarkable, as I go through these games, how few times Hrbek has been one of the offensive stars.  He was still a solid player, and a steady contributor.  He batted .284/.373/.461 with 20 homers, and you'll certainly take that.  I'm surprised that he didn't have much of a platoon split.  Memory had told me that he really struggled with lefties, but he didn't in 1991--he batted .281/.352/.445 against them.  He was even better against righties, of course--.284/.380/.467.  Tom Kelly often dropped Hrbek to seventh in the lineup against left-handers, which is probably why I assumed there was a big platoon split.  But there really wasn't.

Tapani had now won five straight games.  He wasn't pitching all that much better than he had earlier--his ERA only fell from 3.16 to 2.98.  The Twins just started scoring some runs for him.

The White Sox kept pace with the Twins, defeating Baltimore 7-0.

Record:  The Twins were 67-45, in first place in the American League West, one game ahead of Chicago.

1987 ALCS Champs’ Domecoming

I found this gem shortly after JeffA started his 1987 Rewind. This evening seemed like the appropriate time to share it. I didn't want to detract from Jeff's content, and in any case figured there were enough goodies that this would be worth its own post. Hope you don't mind, Chaps.

3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10 (3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10)
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August 10, 2016: Fielder

For all the media talk about Prince Fielder's stardom, I thought this was pretty interesting:

Dude Seasons rWAR fWAR
Justice1440.540.4
Hrbek1438.437.6
D Lee1434.334.5
T Martinez1628.828.7
Konerko1827.623.2
Morneau1427.122.8
M Vaughn1227.031.1
Klesko1626.930.1
Fielder1223.826.8
Brunansky1421.823.3

I don't have any particular conclusion in mind (and I don't mean to diminish Prince's career), but I doubt many observers would have perceived Fielder's value to be as limited as it was – by whichever flavor of WAR you like. That contract was a disaster on more than one level.