Tag Archives: quick hook

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Three


Date:  Thursday, August 1.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 2-for-3 with a home run (his twelfth) and a walk.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4.  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-fourth) and a walk.

Pitching star:  Terry Leach pitched three shutout innings of relief, giving up three hits and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Greg Cadaret pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks and striking out six.  Bernie Williams was 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs.  Matt Nokes was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his nineteenth and twentieth) and three RBIs.

The game:  Williams led off the bottom of the first with a walk and Don Mattingly got a one-out single, putting men on first and third.  Mel Hall hit a sacrifice fly to score one run and Nokes hit a two-run homer to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.  It went to 6-0 in the second.  An error, a bunt, and a walk put men on first and third with one out.  Williams had an RBI single, and error scored another run, and a sacrifice fly brought home a third.

The Twins got on the board in the third as Greg Gagne led off with a double and Dan Gladden singled.  Gladden was caught stealing for the second time in the game, however, so the two singles that followed did not produce another run.  In the fourth Alvaro Espinoza singled, Williams walked, and Steve Sax singled to make it 7-1.  Nokes homered again in the fifth to make it 8-1.

The Twins got a couple more runs on solo homers to make the final score look a little better.  Davis homered leading off the sixth and Mack homered leading off the ninth.  At no point did it look like the Twins might get back into the game.

WP:  Cadaret (4-4).  LP:  Paul Abbott (3-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  It was a standard lineup.  Al Newman went into the game at shortstop in the seventh inning, replacing Gagne.

Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .331.  Brian Harper was 0-for-4 and fell to .311.  Leach lowered his ERA to 2.86.

Gladden stole fifteen bases in 1991, but was caught nine times.

Abbott lasted just 1.1 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on two hits and two walks and struck out one.  Tom Kelly gave him a really quick hook.  Yes, he gave up three runs in the first, but it's not like they were smacking him all over the yard--the homer by Nokes is the thing that hurt him.  Then in the second, an error, a sac bunt, a walk, and he's gone.  It was the last start of the season for him.

Mack had an eight-game hitting streak.  He was 16-for-32 with three doubles, two triples, and three home runs.  He raised his average from .264 to .294 and his slugging average from .455 to .528.

Gladden also had an eight-game hitting streak.  He was 14-for-36 with three doubles and a home run.  He raised his average from .259 to .276.

This was Bernie Williams' rookie season.  I'd forgotten that he often batted leadoff when he first came up.  He wasn't all that good at it, batting just .219.  He did, however, draw a lot of walks, giving him an OBP of .328.  He would, of course, go on to have an excellent career.

Chris Berman's time has come and gone, but I did always like Greg "life is a"  Cadaret.

The White Sox defeated Texas 13-2 to move closer to the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 61-42, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of Chicago.

2019 Recap: Game Ninety


Date:  Friday, July 12.

Batting stars:  Nelson Cruz was 1-for-4 with a home run (his seventeenth) and a walk.  Mitch Garver was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fourteenth.

Pitching stars:  Trevor May retired all four men he faced, striking out two.  Zack Littell pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.  Ryne Harper pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Taylor Rogers struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mike Clevenger struck out six in five innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks.  Jose Ramirez was 2-for-4.  Carlos Santana was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twentieth.

The game:  Cruz hit a two-out home run in the first inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Indians got a man to second base in each of the first two innings but did not break through until the fourth.  Santana homered to lead off the inning and tie the score.  Jason Kipnis walked and an error put men on first and third.  They were still on second and third with two out, but Roberto Perez singled to drive in two and give Cleveland a 3-1 lead.

It looked for a while like that might hold up.  The Twins put men on second and third with none out in the fifth, but a ground out and two strikeouts ended the inning.  They had men on first and second with one out in the sixth, but a double play ended that inning.

Then came the seventh.  An error and a walk put men on first and third with two out.  Max Kepler came up and hit a ground ball to shortstop.  He was called out at first and it looked like yet another Twins threat had come to nothing.  But the Twins challenged and a replay review determined that Kepler was safe, making the score 3-2.  Jorge Polanco then swatted a two-run double and the Twins had a 4-3 lead.  A Garver home run in the eighth made it 5-3.  The Indians did not get a man past first base after the fourth inning.

WP:  Littell (2-0).  LP:  Oliver Perez (2-2).  S:  Rogers (13).

Notes:  Marwin Gonzalez was in left, replacing Eddie Rosario.  Luis Arraez was at second base in place of Jonathan Schoop.  Ehire Adrianza was at first base, replacing C. J. Cron.

Arraez was 1-for-4 and is batting .386.  Polanco was 1-for-4 and is batting .311.  May has an ERA of 2.94.  Harper has an ERA of 2.84.  Rogers has an ERA of 1.73.

Just looking at the printed play-by-play, it seems like a very quick hook for Kyle Gibson.  They don't appear to have been hitting a lot of balls hard off him, and he certainly wasn't getting much help from his defense.  I'm not second-guessing the decision, because a) there are always things you can't tell from the printed play-by-play and b) it clearly worked.  The Much Maligned Twins Bullpen pitched 5.1 scoreless innings and really never even allowed Cleveland to put together a threat.

The quick hook showed that Rocco was not looking at this as just another game.  He thought it was an important game for the Twins to win, and he was going to give them every chance to win it.  It was a risk, because if the Twins hadn't come back he'd have used four or five relievers in a loss, which of course hurts you for the next game.  He had the advantage of a fully rested bullpen after the all-star break, but it was still a gamble that he won.

I think he was right to not look at it as just another game.  We said going in that by Sunday night the Twins' lead would either be 2.5, 4.5, 6.5, or 8.5 games, and that's obviously a big spread.  We can eliminate the "2.5" now, and that's a very good thing.  We'd all love to have it be one of the bigger numbers, but even if it's 4.5 it's not going to feel like things are falling apart, the way it would have had the Indians gotten a sweep.  With Odorizzi and Berrios pitching the next two games, the Twins should have a good chance to win at least one of them.  Of course, with Bauer and Bieber going, the Indians probably feel the same way.

One thing I like about Rocco is that he doesn't feel a need to make big announcements about what he's doing.  He just does it.  Rogers is clearly the closer now, even if he's not being used in the "traditional" way, but Rocco has never said he's the closer.  Littell is clearly a one-inning guy now (he's pitched one inning in each of his last six appearances), but Rocco has never said he's a one-inning guy.  He just uses him that way.  If you don't make an announcement about it, then you don't feel locked in to doing it that way.  You also don't have to explain to anyone if you do something differently from what you've announced.  Of course, you have to get players to buy in to the fact that they aren't going to know exactly what their role is every day, but Rocco seems to be able to do that, at least so far.

Record:  The Twins are 57-33, in first place in the American League Central, 6.5 games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 129-33!