TORONTO 4, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Friday, October 4.
Batting star: Jarvis Brown was 2-for-3.
Pitching stars: Denny Neagle pitched five innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and no walks and striking out three. Allan Anderson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one walk.
Opposition stars: Todd Stottlemyre struck out five in five innings, giving up one run on six hits and two walks. Candy Maldonado was 2-for-2 with a double. Turner Ward was 2-for-2 with a walk. Derek Bell was 2-for-2 with two stolen bases, his second and third.
The game: The Blue Jays scored in the first inning when Joe Carter reached on a fielder's choice, stole second, and scored on Maldonado's single. They had men on first and second in the second and on second and third in the third, but did not score. The Twins had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth, but Randy Bush lined into a double play. So it stayed 1-0 Toronto until the fifth.
In the fifth, Eddie Zosky (who?) doubled and Ward singled to put the Blue Jays up 2-0. The Twins put men on first and second in the fifth, but did not get on the board until the sixth. Singles by Bush and Shane Mack and a walk to Scott Leius loaded the bases with one out. Lenny Webster hit a sacrifice fly, cutting the margin to 2-1, but that was all the Twins got, and they would not come that close to taking the lead again.
Toronto got some insurance runs in the eighth. Ward and Pat Border singled and Rance Mulliniks walked, loading the bases with one out. Ed Sprague walked to force in a run and a sacrifice fly brought home another, making it 4-1. The Twins did not get a baserunner after the sixth inning.
WP: Stottlemyer (15-8). LP: Neagle (0-1). S: Duane Ward (22).
Notes: Randy Bush was at DH in place of Chili Davis. Paul Sorrento was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek. Webster was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper. Al Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne. Brown was in center field in place of Kirby Puckett. Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Sorrento in the sixth and stayed in the game at first base.
Bush was 1-for-3 and was batting .309. Mack was 1-for-4 and was batting .305. Webster was 0-for-3 and was batting .303.
Newman was 0-for-2 with two walks and was batting .193 with an OPS of .472.
It had to be kind of strange to have a meaningless end-of-season three-game series against the team you would play in a few days for the League Championship. Both teams treated it somewhat like a spring training game. As you can see above, the Twins played a number of reserves. The Blue Jays started most of their regulars, but substituted for them as the game progressed. Both starters pitched just five innings even though the score was 2-1 after five.
This was the only decision Neagle would have as a Twin, as he was traded after the season.
Eddie Zosky played in forty-four major league games over five seasons and ten years. He was a good field-no hit infielder who was drafted by Toronto in the first round out of Cal State-Fresno. He spent two season in AA, where he had a decent but not great batting average, did not draw a whole lot of walks, and had little power. He hit .264/.315/.350 in AAA in 1991 and got a September call-up, going 4-for-27 in 18 games. He batted just .231 in AAA in 1992 but again got a September call-up, going 2-for-7 in 8 games. He missed much of 1993, presumably to injury, was in AAA in 1994, then moved to the Marlins. He was in AAA for them in 1995 but did get called up for about three weeks early in the season, going 1-for-5. By this time he was in his late twenties and no longer a prospect, but he kept playing. He was in the minors for Baltimore in 1996, San Francisco in 1997, and Milwaukee in 1998. He was still with the Brewers in 1999 and got another September call-up, going 1-for-7. He was with Pittsburgh and Houston in 2000 and got one more September call-up with the Astros, going 0-for-4. Adding it all up, he was 8-for-50 in the majors, posting a line of .160/.173/.260. He was well thought of early on: Baseball America had him as the third-best prospect in the Southern League in 1990 and as the twenty-second-best prospect in all of baseball in 1991. As a scout once said, you can talk all you want about the five tools, but none of the others mean much if you can't hit.
Record: The Twins were 94-66, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago.