Tag Archives: Rick Aguilera

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-eight

CHICAGO 3, MINNESOTA 2 IN CHICAGO (GAME 1--10 INNINGS)

Date:  Thursday, October 3.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-4 with a stolen base, his twenty-fourth.  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Dan Gladden was 1-for-5 with a home run, his sixth.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched five shutout innings, giving up six hits and a walk and striking out five.  He threw 72 pitches.  Mark Guthrie pitched two shutout innings, giving up three hits.

Opposition stars:  Jack McDowell pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out three.  Lance Johnson was 4-for-4 with a triple and a stolen base, his twenty-fifth.  Frank Thomas was 2-for-3 with two walks.

The game:  The White Sox loaded the bases with one out in the first on two singles and a walk, but Bo Jackson hit into a double play to end the inning.  The Twins put men on first and second with two out in the fourth, but Brian Harper flied out to end the inning.

Those were the only threats until the sixth, when Gladden led off the inning with a home run to put the Twins up 1-0.  The Twins added a run in the ninth when Kent Hrbek walked and pinch-runner Jarvis Brown scored from first on Davis' double.

It was 2-0 going to the bottom of the ninth, and Rick Aguilera came in to finish it off.  But he walked Warren Newson to lead off the inning, and Johnson then circled the bases on a triple-plus-error to tie the score 2-2.  The next three batters went out, so we had free baseball.

The Twins went down in order in the top of the tenth.  In the bottom of the tenth, Tim Raines reached on a two-base error.  A ground out, an intentional walk, and a foul popup gave the Twins hope, but Newson delivered a single to score Raines and give the White Sox the victory.

WP:  Scott Radinsky (5-5).  LP:  Aguilera (4-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Al Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.

Lots of substitutes again.  Brown pinch-ran for Hrbek in the ninth and stayed in the game in right field.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Harper in the ninth and stayed in the game at first base.  Gagne pinch-ran for Davis in the ninth.  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Shane Mack in the ninth, but after a pitching change Pedro Munoz pinch-hit for Bush.  Lenny Webster then replaced Munoz in the bottom of the ninth and went behind the plate.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.

Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .318.  Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .312.  Mack was 0-for-3 and was batting .306.  Morris lowered his ERA to 3.43.  Terry Leach pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run to make his ERA 3.46.  Aguilera allowed three runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings to make his ERA 2.38.  It was his ninth blown save of the season.

Newman went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .198.  He would not get back over the Mendoza line.

What's more fun than a doubleheader after the pennant race is over?  Extra innings in a doubleheader after the pennant race is over!

It's a little surprising to me that Aguilera would stay in the game to pitch the tenth.  He ended up throwing thirty-nine pitches, which these days would be considered a lot for a closer.  Things were different then, of course.  Still, with the expanded rosters and a meaningless game, I'd have expected someone else to come in to pitch the tenth.

Record:  The Twins were 94-65, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago.

On October 2, when the Twins didn't play (presumably they were rained out), Toronto won and clinched the East, so the Twins would play the Blue Jays in the ALCS.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-eight

MINNESOTA 6, TEXAS 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, September 20.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with a double.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Denny Neagle pitched four innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks and striking out three.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Julio Franco was 3-for-5 with a double.  Dean Palmer was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his eleventh and twelfth) and three RBIs.  Jack Daugherty was 2-for-4.

The game:  Singles by Chuck KnoblauchHrbek, and Davis plated a run for the Twins in the first inning.  While each team missed a good chance, the score stayed 1-0 until the fourth, when Palmer homered to tie it 1-1.  The Rangers took the lead in the fifth when Brian Downing walked, went to third on Franco's double, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

The Twins went back in front in the sixth.  Hrbek walked, Davis singled, Brian Harper had an RBI single, and Mack had a run-scoring double.  A wild pitch brought home one more run to give the Twins a 4-2 advantage.  That advantage lasted until the next half-inning.  Franco singled and Palmer hit a two-out two-run homer to once again tie the score, this time a 4-4.

The Twins finally took the lead to stay in the eighth.  Mack led off with a single, followed by a sacrifice/fielder's choice and a walk to Randy Bush which left the bases loaded with one out.  With two down, Puckett delivered a two-run single to put the Twins up 6-4.  Texas went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Gary Wayne (1-0).  LP:  Wayne Rosenthal (1-3).  S:  Aguilera (40).

Notes:  Al Newman started at short in place of Greg Gagne.  Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for him in the eighth.  Bush pinch-hit for Dan Gladden in the eighth.  Gagne pinch-ran for him and stayed in the game at shortstop.  Jarvis Brown replaced Sorrento and went to right field, with Mack moving to left.

Puckett raised his average to .322.  Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .311.  Mack raised his average to .310.

Carl Willis allowed two runs in three innings to raise his ERA to 2.47.  Terry Leach pitched a third of an inning and allowed no runs to make his ERA 3.03.  Wayne retired both men he faced to make his ERA 3.38.  Aguilera's ERA fell to 2.13.

Newman was 1-for-15 and 2-for-26, dropping his average to .197.

The losing pitcher, Wayne Rosenthal, was with Texas for a little over half of 1991 and also appeared in six games in 1992.  That was his entire major league career.  His numbers were 1-4, 5.40, 1.56 WHIP in 42 games (75 innings).  He didn't pitch very well in AAA, either:  7-12, 4.36, 1.45 WHIP.  He was a reliever his entire career and pitched well at lower levels, but topped out at AA.

This would be Wayne's only win in 1991. He would have fourteen of them for his career.

This was the first time in Aguilera's career that he reached forty saves.  He would do it again in 1992, the only two seasons of his career in which he had forty saves.

The White Sox defeated California 3-2 in eleven innings to avoid losing ground, but as we've observed before, time was running out on them.

Record:  The Twins were 88-60, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of Chicago.

In the East, Toronto lost and Boston won, so the Red Sox cut the Blue Jays' lead to 1.5 games.

1991 Rewind: Game Ninety-four

DETROIT 6, MINNESOTA 3 IN DETROIT

Date:  Tuesday, July 23.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-3.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Carl Willis pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Frank Tanana pitched six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and no walks and striking out two.  Lou Whitaker was 2-for-3 with two runs.  Cecil Fielder was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth) and five RBIs.  Tony Phillips was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  Scott Leius and Chuck Knoblauch opened the game with singles.  Puckett bunted them up and a ground out scored a run, putting the Twins up 1-0.  That lead didn't last long.  In the bottom of the first, Whitaker singled and Fielder hit a two-run homer, putting the Tigers ahead 2-1.

The Twins tied it in the fourth, but could've had more.  Puckett singled and Davis doubled, putting men on second and third with none out.  Brian Harper hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-2, but a strikeout and a fly out ended the inning.  Once again, the Tigers went right back in front.  In the bottom of the fourth, Rob Deer walked and scored from first on a Travis Fryman double to give Detroit a 3-2 advantage.

The Tigers took control in the fifth.  Phillips and Whitaker singled and Fielder hit a three-run homer, making the score 6-2.  The Twins got one back in the eighth.  Chuck Knoblauch walked, Puckett singled, and Davis had an RBI single.  The tying run was at bat with one out, but Harper and Shane Mack each grounded out to end the threat.

WP:  Tanana (7-6).  LP:  Allan Anderson (4-8).  SL  Mike Henneman (14).

Notes:  Mack remained in left field in place of Dan GladdenGene Larkin was in right.  Leius batted first.

In the seventh, Randy Bush pinch-hit for Greg Gagne, but due to a pitching change Al Newman pinch-hit for Bush.  He stayed in the game at shortstop.  Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Leius in the ninth.

Puckett raised his average to .331.  Harper was 0-for-3 and fell to .321.  Willis lowered his ERA to 2.44.  Rick Aguilera pitched a third of an inning to drop his ERA to 2.93.

Jack Morris started, but pitched just 1.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks and striking out one.  His ERA was 3.47.  I assume he came out due to injury.  The play-by-play on the play before he came out says "Single (line drive to P's right).  I don't know if it went off him or if perhaps he tweaked something trying to field it.  At any rate, he did not miss a start.  Anderson came in and pitched the next 3.1 innings, doing well until the three-run homer in the fifth.

It seems strange that, after starting the game with two singles, Puckett would then bunt.  My guess is that he did that on his own, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  They had a chance for a big inning, and he was at least arguably their best batter.  Bunting, even if he was bunting for a hit, does not seem like a good strategy at that point.

Willis came in to start the sixth.  He had gotten into some trouble int he seventh, but a double play ended the inning.  He then retired the first two batters in the eighth, and was removed for no obvious reason in favor of Aguilera.  Aguilera hadn't pitched since July 19, so I could understand the idea that he might need some work.  But then, why not give him an inning, rather than bringing him in with two out and none on in the last inning?  He threw six pitches, and could very well have just thrown one.  That's getting him some work?  It really seems strange.

The Twins did pretty well against  Frank Tanana for his career.  His record against them was 19-20, 4.49, 1.37 WHIP.  For his career he was 240-236, 3.66, 1.27 WHIP.  In 1991, however, Tanana did well against the Twins in two starts:  1-1, 3.86, 1.07 WHIP.  His season in 1991 was 13-12, 3.77, 1.36 WHIP.

Texas and Chicago each won, so they remained tied for second and each gained a game on the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 55-39, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of Chicago and Texas.

1991 Rewind: Game Nine

SEATTLE 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN SEATTLE (11 INNINGS)

Date:  Wednesday, April 17.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Brian Harper was 2-for-5 with two doubles.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani struck out seven in seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and no walks.  Steve Bedrosian pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Edgar Martinez was 3-for-5.  Ken Griffey, Sr. was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jay Buhner was 1-for-4 with a home run (his second) and a walk.  Scott Bankhead pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on nine hits and two walks and striking out three.  Mike Jackson pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up only a walk.

The game:  The Twins put two on with two out in the first, but nothing came of it.  In the second, Haper doubled and scored on a Mike Pagliarulo single.  Pagliarulo was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double, but Shane Mack doubled, went to third on an error, and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.  The Twins added to their lead in the fifth.  Chuck Knoblauch singled, took second on a ground out, and scored on a two-out single by Kent Hrbek to make it 3-0.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it would get for Minnesota.  Buhner led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run.  With one out, Dave Valle singled, Jeff Schaefer doubled, a ground out made it 3-2, and Griffey, Sr. singled to tie the score.

The Twins had chances.  They got a two-out double from Randy Bush in the seventh and a one-out double from Harper in the eighth, but neither man advances past second.  Seattle loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but a strikeout and a fly out turned them aside.

Neither team threatened again until the eleventh.  Davis led off with a single and was pinch-run for by Henry Cotto, who stole second.  Buhner walked, Pete O'Brien struck out, and Scott Bradley delivered an RBI single to win the game for the Mariners.

WP:  Jackson (1-1).  LP:  Rick Aguilera (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Bush was again in left in place of Dan Gladden.  Gladden pinch-ran for Bush in the seventh and remained in the game in left field.  Mack was again in center and Kirby Puckett in right.

Harper raised his average to .381.  Puckett was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .371.  Knoblauch was 1-for-4 and was batting .313.  Greg Gagne was 0-for-3 and was batting .300.  Tapani had an ERA of 1.64.  Bedrosian had an ERA of 2.84.  Aguilera pitched 1.1 innings, giving up a run on two hits and two walks and striking out two.  His ERA was 2.25.

At the other end, Carmelo Castillo was 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter and was batting zero.  Gladden was 0-for-1 and was batting .042.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Gagne, went 0-for-2, and was batting .111.  Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .118.  Mack was 1-for-5 and was batting .160.  Scott Leius was 0-for-1 and was batting .182.

It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Twins and gave them sole possession of last place.  They had the worst record in all of baseball.  Given that they had finished last in 1990 this probably wasn't a huge surprise, but it must have been a disappointment.  They added Jack MorrisChili Davis, and Steve Bedrosian, they still had Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek, and yet they seemed to be the same old last-place Twins.

This was only the third game for Aguilera.  He had saved the Twins' first win, and was used in a mopup role in one of their losses to California.

If you're wondering, this is the same Mike Jackson who would pitch for the Twins in 2002.  He was twenty-six at this time, and would play until he was thirty-nine.

Record:  The Twins were 2-7, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, six games behind Oakland.