Tag Archives: playing hurt

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-six

BALTIMORE 7, MINNESOTA 3 IN BALTIMORE

Date:  Sunday, August 25.

Batting stars:  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-4 with a double.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his tenth.

Pitching stars:  Terry Leach pitched 2.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits and striking out one.  Mark Guthrie pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and two walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mike Mussina pitched eight innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks and striking out four.  Chito Martinez was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Leo Gomez was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Joe Orsulak was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  It was scoreless through three, and Scott Erickson had given up just one hit, a single.  It fell apart in the fourth, though.  Orsulak led off with a single.  With one out, Glenn Davis singled and Randy Milligan walked, loading the bases.  Martinez singled in a run, Gomez doubled home two, and a sacrifice fly made it 4-0 Orioles.

The Twins came back with two in the fifth.  Pagliarulo led off with a double and scored on a pair of ground outs.  Dan Gladden then singled, stole second, and scored on a Gagne single to cut the lead to 4-2.  In the bottom of the fifth, however, Baltimore added three more.  Orsulak had a one-out double and Cal Ripken was intentionally walked.  A wild pitch advanced the runners.  With two out, Milligan hit a two-run double and Martinez followed with another double, making the score 7-2.

The Twins got one back in the fifth.  Kent Hrbek led off with a single, a ground out advanced him to second, and an error brought him home to cut the margin to 7-3.  That was as close as it got, though.  The Twins did not even get another threat going until the ninth.  Pagliarulo and Chuck Knoblauch led off with singles, but a double play followed.  Randy Bush walked, but Gene Larkin lined out to end the game.

WP:  Mussina (2-3).  LP:  Erickson (16-6).  S:  Todd Frohwirth (2).

Notes:  With Erickson pitching, Junior Ortiz caught in place of Brian Harper.  Al Newman was at second base in place of Knoblauch.

The Twins again made liberal use of the bench, using three pinch-hitters in the ninth inning.  Knoblauch batted for Ortiz, Bush batted for Gladden, and Larkin batted for Gagne.  Oddly, Newman and his .207 batting average (and .504 OPS) were not pinch-hit for.

Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .328.  Shane Mack was 0-for-4 and fell to .305.

Erickson continued to struggle.  He pitched well for three innings, but his line was 4.1 innings, six runs, six hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.  His ERA went up to 3.22.  Leach's ERA went to 2.78.

Frohwirth had an awesome year in 1991.  He started the year in AAA, not coming to the majors until late May, but once he got there he went 7-3, 1.87, 0.97 WHIP with three saves.  He had another good year in 1992 and was still fairly good in 1993, then he fell off a cliff.  In 1994, pitching for Boston, he went 0-3, 10.80, 2.14 WHIP.  He made only four more major league appearances, for California in 1996.  I suspect an injury was involved, but I don't remember and don't have time to check.

The White Sox lost to Cleveland 3-0 and Oakland lost to Milwaukee 8-2, so the Twins' lead remained the same.

Record:  The Twins were 75-51, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of Chicago and Oakland.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Sixteen

CALIFORNIA 9, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, August 15.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his ninth.  Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching star:  Terry Leach pitched 3.2 innings, giving up one run on one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mark Langston pitched seven shutout innings, giving up two hits and three walks and striking out three.  Shawn Abner was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second), two runs, and two RBIs.  Lance Parrish was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifteenth.  Wally Joyner was 2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Luis Sojo was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.

The game:  The Twins had men on first and second with none out in the first and did not score.  In the third, the Angels exploded for five runs.  With one out, Joyner doubled and Gary Gaetti singled him to third.  Dave Parker hit an RBI double, there was a run-scoring ground out, Abner had an RBI single, and Parrish hit a two-run homer,  making the score 5-0 California.

The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the third and did not score.  Abner homered in the fifth to make it 6-0.  In the sixth, Donnie Hill walked and Luis Polonia and Joyner hit back-to-back doubles to increase the lead to 8-0.  Sojo homered in the eighth to make it 9-0.

The Twins finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth.  With two out, they got consecutive singles by GladdenKnoblauch, and Shane Mack, avoiding the shutout with a score of 9-1.

WP:  Langston (15-6).  LP:  Scott Erickson (15-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gene Larkin was at first base with Kent Hrbek on the bench.  With Erickson pitching, Junior Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.  Al Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.

With the changes, Mack was in the third spot in the batting order, with Puckett batting fourth and Chili Davis fifth.

Erickson pitched just three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk.  His ERA went to 2.89.  It was his second consecutive bad start and third out of four.  His injury was clearly affecting him, but the Twins kept sending him out there.

Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .323.  Ortiz was 0-for-4 and was batting .194.  Denny Neagle allowed three runs in 2.1 innings to make his ERA 5.63.  Leach's ERA went down to 2.73.

I'm pretty sure that, when Mike Fetters came in to pitch the ninth for the Angels, John Gordon solemnly stated, "This is not a save situation."

1991 was probably Langston's best year.  He went 19-8, 3.00, 1.16 WHIP.  He finished sixth in Cy Young voting that year and probably should have been higher.  From 1987-1995 he was a consistently good pitcher, making the all-star team four times, but 1991 was the best.

The White Sox lost to Detroit 6-4, so the Twins maintained their lead.

Record:  The Twins were 68-48, in first place in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of Chicago.