Tag Archives: Larry Casian

1991 Rewind: Game Forty-two

KANSAS CITY 11, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, May 25.

Batting stars:  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a double.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his fourth.

Pitching star Carl Willis pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Kurt Stillwell was 4-for-5 with a home run (his second) and five RBIs.  Kirk Gibson was 3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base (his sixth) and two runs.  Danny Tartabull was 3-for-5 with a double, two runs, and three RBIs.  George Brett was 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs.  Carmelo Martinez was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Mark Gubicza pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and no walks and striking out two.  Jeff Montgomery struck out four in 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

The game:  It was actually close most of the way.  The Twins threatened twice in the early innings, getting a two-out double from Harper in the second and two-out singles from Gladden and Knoblauch in the third.  The Royals threatened in the fourth, putting men on second and third with one out.  But no one actually scored until the fifth.  Greg Gagne got a one-out single, Gladden had an RBI double and took third on the throw home, and a passed ball put the Twins ahead 2-0.

That was as good as it would get for the Twins.  Mark Guthrie had given up just four harmless singles in the first five innings and retired the first two men in the sixth.  But then Gibson singled, Brett walked, and Tartabull and Mike Macfarlane had RBI singles to tie the score.  Terry Leach, who had been pitching very well, gave up RBI singles to Martinez and Stillwell and Kansas City suddenly had a 4-2 lead.

The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the sixth, but Gladden fanned.  In the seventh the Royals added to their lead.  Gibson doubled, Brett was intentionally walked, and Tartabull delivered a two-run double to make the score 6-2.  Kansas City added five in the ninth to put the game away, with a grand slam by Stillwell sealing the Twins' fate.

WP:  Gubicza (1-2).  LP:  Guthrie (3-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Pedro Munoz was in right field.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Gladden in the ninth.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Hrbek in the ninth.

Harper was now batting .373.  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-5 and was batting .327.  Chili Davis was 1-for-4 and was at .308.  Munoz was 1-for-4 and was also batting .308.  Leach was charged with two runs in one inning, but still had an ERA of 2.95.

Guthrie was charged with four runs in 5.2 innings, giving up seven hits and one walk and striking out six.

Larry Casian pitched the ninth and gave up all five runs, making his ERA 7.36.  That was his last appearance for the Twins in 1991, as he spent the rest of the season in AAA Portland.  He would not return to the majors until September of 1992, but he would have a fine year for the Twins in 1993.  He also played for Cleveland, the Cubs, Kansas City, and the White Sox in a career that spanned nine seasons.

For some reason the Royals used two pitchers to get through the ninth inning.  Mark Davis came in to start the inning and retired the only man he faced.  Dan Schatzeder then came in to finish the game.  I'm sure there was some reason for that, but I have no idea what it is.  And while I don't remember, I strongly suspect that when each pitcher came in, John Gordon solemnly stated that "this is not a save situation".

It's kind of cool that Gladden scored the Twins' second run on a Dazzle Special.

I had completely forgotten that Kirk Gibson was a Kansas City Royal.  1991 was his only season with the team, and it was nothing special:  .236/.341/.403.  He was traded to Pittsburgh for 1992 but batted just .196 in sixteen games and was released in early May.  He sat out the rest of the season and then returned to Detroit, where his career had begun.  He had a few good seasons for the Tigers as a part-time player before calling it quits following the 1995 season.

Danny Tartabull has been largely forgotten now, but he was a darn good batter for several years.  He got his first regular playing time with Seattle in 1986 and posted an OPS of .836 with 25 home runs.  That was only good for fifth in Rookie of the Year voting, and while one could argue that he should have finished higher the guys who beat him out were pretty good, too--Jose Canseco, Wally Joyner, Mark Eichhorn, and Cory Snyder.  The Mariners traded him to Kansas City after the season and he stayed there for five years.  In each of those years he had an OPS of over .800 and two of them were over .900.  His best season with the Royals was his last one, which is the season we're dealing with, 1991.  He batted .316 with 35 homers, led the league in slugging at .593, and had an OPS of .990.  Oddly, for all of his good offensive seasons, 1991 was the only time he made the all-star team.  He became a free agent after the season and went to the Yankees, where he had three more solid seasons.  He slumped in 1995 and was traded to Oakland, but came back to have a solid 1996 season for the White Sox.  That was about it for him, though.  He signed with Philadelphia for 1997 but broke his foot in the first game of the season.  He played in three games, going 0-for-7, then went on the DL and never played again.  For his career, he batted .273/.368/.496 with 262 home runs in just over 5000 at-bats.  As you probably know, his dad is former major league outfielder Jose Tartabull.  He supposedly had a bad attitude, and he's had legal problems since leaving baseball, but he was one of the best batters around for several seasons.

The Twins had lost five of their last six and seven of their last ten.

Record:  The Twins were 20-22, in sixth place in the American League West, 5.5 games behind Texas.  They were a half game behind fifth-place Chicago.

 

1991 Rewind: Game Thirteen

MINNESOTA 3, OAKLAND 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, April 22.

Batting stars:  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with a stolen base.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out three.  Larry Casian retired all four batters he faced.  Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Lance Blankenship was 1-for-1 with a walk and a stolen base, his second.  Dave Henderson was 1-for-3 with a walk.  Mike Moore struck out six in six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and four walks.

The game:  In the first inning, the Twins got two hits, a walk, and two wild pitches but still managed to not score.  A Dan Gladden caught stealing was a big part of the reason.  The Athletics got on the board in the third inning.  Willie Wilson singled, went to second on a balk, and scored on Dave Henderson's single to give Oakland a 1-0 lead.

The Twins took their first lead in the fifth.  Gagne singled and stole second.  Randy Bush drew a two-out walk, followed by consecutive RBI singles by Puckett and Kent Hrbek to go up 2-1.  The Twins missed a chance to add to it in the sixth.  Brian Harper and Mike Pagliarulo opened the inning with singles, but Chuck Knoblauch bunted into a force out, Gagne fanned, and Gladden flied to right to end the inning.

The Athletics made them pay for it, tying the score in the sixth.  With one out, Mark McGwire doubled and Ernie Riles singled to make it 2-2.  Not to worry, as the Twins took the lead back in the eighth. With two out and none on, Leius walked, Knoblauch singled, and Gagne singled home the go-ahead run.  Oakland got a two-out single in the ninth, but no more.

WPSteve Bedrosian (1-0).  LP:  Joe Klink (0-1).  SAguilera (3).

NotesBush was in right field, with Puckett in center and Shane Mack on the bench.  Mack pinch-hit for Bush in the seventh and stayed in the game in center, with Puckett moving to right.  Bush batted in the second spot in the lineup, with Knoblauch batting eighth.

Puckett raised his average to .340.  Tapani had an ERA of 2.05.  Bedrosian pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk and striking out one, and had an ERA of 2.57.  Aguilera had an ERA of 1.50.

Gladden was 1-for-5 to raise his average to .098.  Mack was 0-for-1 and was batting .138.  Hrbek was 1-for-2 with two walks and was batting .140.  Bush was 0-for-1 with two walks and was batting .158.

Small ball can be fun, but it sure didn't work for the Twins in this game.  Gladden's caught stealing kept the Twins from scoring in the first.  Knoblauch bunting into a force out in the sixth kept the Twins off the board in that inning.  Pinch-runner Al Newman was caught stealing in the eighth, which is why the Twins had two out and none on before putting together the rally which scored the lead run.

Both Willie Wilson and Harold Baines started for Oakland in this game.  I don't have a memory of either of them playing for the Athletics, but Wilson was there for two seasons and Baines for part of a third.

Larry Casian's career shows how up-and-down relief pitchers can be.  His season ERAs are 3.22, 7.36, 2.70, 3.02, 7.35, 1.93, 1.88, 5.70, and 11.25.  Still, he pitched in the big leagues for part of eight seasons and appeared in 245 major league games.  That's not bad at all.  His career numbers are 11-13, 2 saves, 4.56 ERA, 1.51 WHIP.  But as you can see, he had a few years in which he was pretty good.

The Twins were getting some really good pitching.  This was the sixth consecutive game in which they had given up four runs or fewer, and they only gave up four in the extra-inning game on April 17.  Unfortunately, of course, they were 2-4 in those games.  But they had won two in a row at this point.

Record:  The Twins were 4-9, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, five games behind the White Sox.  They were 1.5 games behind sixth place Kansas City.