Tag Archives: Mike Flanagan–reliever

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-five


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 Fifty-two


Date:  Tuesday, June 4.

Batting stars:  Brian Harper was 3-for-5 with a double.  Scott Leius was 2-for-4.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with a home run, his seventh.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with two stolen bases, his third and fourth.

Pitching stars:  Terry Leach retired all five men he faced.  Steve Bedrosian pitched two shutout innings, giving up three hits and a walk.  Carl Willis pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Cal Ripken was 3-for-5 with two doubles.  Chris Hoiles was 2-for-4 with a double.  Joe Orsulak was 2-for-4.  Mike Devereaux was 2-for-5.  Mark Williamson struck out three in three shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk.  Mike Flanagan pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

The game:  Puckett homered in the first inning, giving the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the bottom of the first, Dwight Evans drew a one-out walk.  With two out, Orsulak singled and Bob Melvin walked, loading the bases.  Bill Ripken then delivered a two-run single to put the Orioles up 2-1.

The lead didn't last long.  With two out in the second Leius singled, Greg Gagne tripled, and Gladden singled, giving the Twins a 3-2 advantage.  It stayed 3-2 until the fifth, when Devereaux singled and scored on a one-out double by Cal Ripken.

Each team threatened to take the lead, but neither could through the ninth inning.  In the fifth, Gladden singled, stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch with two out.  Hoiles hit a leadoff double in the sixth.  The Twins got two singles in the eighth, putting men on first and third with two out.  The Orioles got two singles in the ninth, putting men on first and second with two out.  But it was still 3-3 until the tenth.

Cal Ripken led off the tenth with a double and Randy Milligan walked.  Willis came in to get a fly out and a double play to end the threat.  In the bottom of the tenth, the first two Twins were retired.  Harper then singled, Kent Hrbek walked, and Randy Bush delivered a pinch-hit single to end the game.

WP:  Willis (2-1).  LP:  Gregg Olson (0-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Shane Mack started in right field, the first time he had done so since May 18.  He would remain a regular the rest of the season.  Most of that time would be in right field, but he shifted to left for about a month when Gladden was out.

Pedro Munoz pinch-ran for Harper in the tenth and scored the winning run.  Bush pinch-hit for Mack in the tenth.

Puckett raised his average to .335.  Harper went up to .333.  Gagne was 1-for-3 and was batting .317.  Leach lowered his ERA to 3.09.  Willis dropped his ERA to 3.22.

With his pinch-hit, Bush raised his average to .189.

Mike Flanagan, of course, had been a fine starting pitcher for many years, winning the Cy Young award in 1979.  He was near the end of his career in 1991.  In fact, he had been released by Toronto in May of 1990 and had not been picked up by anyone the rest of the season.  Baltimore, where he'd had his best seasons, gave him a spring training invitation.  Whether that was out of sentiment or a belief that he could still pitch, it worked out well for the Orioles.  Flanagan had a fine year in relief, posting and ERA of 2.38 and a WHIP of 1.11.  It was the last good year he would have.  He pitched again in 1992 but did not do well and his career ended.

This was the fourth win in a row for the Twins.  They had won four in a row in May, of course, and then went on to lose nine of their next twelve.  Would that happen again?

Record:  The Twins were 27-25 in the American League West, in fifth place, 4.5 games behind Oakland.  They were two games ahead of sixth-place Chicago and a game behind fourth-place Seattle.