Tag Archives: second place

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-seven

MINNESOTA 3, CHICAGO 2 IN CHICAGO

Date:  Tuesday, October 1.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fifteenth.  Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his twelfth.

Pitching stars:  David West pitched four innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out two.  Carl Willis pitched two perfect innings.  Mark Guthrie pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Wilson Alvarez pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks and striking out two.  Frank Thomas was 2-for-4 with a double.  Sammy Sosa was 2-for-4.  Ozzie Guillen was 2-for-4.

The game:  Each team missed a chance in the first.  The Twins had men on first and second with none out; the White Sox loaded the bases.  Still it was scoreless until the second.  Brian Harper reached on an error and Mack singled.  A bunt advanced the runners and Pedro Munoz delivered an RBI single.  With men on first and third, the Twins tried a double steal of second and home, but Mack was thrown out at the plate to leave the score 1-0 Twins.

Chicago tied it in the third on back-to-back two-out doubles by Thomas and Carlton Fisk.  They took the lead in the fourth.  Sosa and Lance Johnson started the inning with singles, putting men on first and third.  The White Sox then tried a double steal of their own and got the same result the Twins had, with Sosa thrown out at the plate.  Ron Karkovice singled, however, putting Chicago up 2-1.

It stayed 2-1 until the seventh.  With one out Mack singled, stole second, and scored on a Gene Larkin single, tying it 2-2.  In the eighth Puckett homered to give the Twins a 3-2 advantage.  The White Sox did not get a man past first after that.

WP:  Guthrie (7-5).  LP:  Melido Perez (8-7).  S:  Aguilera (41).

Notes:  Mack was in left field, with Dan Gladden on the bench.  Gagne moved up to the leadoff spot.  Larkin was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Munoz was in right field.

Al Newman replaced Gagne in the sixth and went to third base, with Leius moving to shortstop.  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Munoz in the seventh and went to right field.  Junior Ortiz replaced Harper at catcher in the seventh.  Jarvis Brown replaced Bush in right field in the eighth.

Puckett was batting .321.  Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .314.  Bush walked in his only plate appearance and remained at .312.  Mack raised his average to .308.  Willis lowered his ERA to 2.37.  Aguilera went down to 2.31.

This was the only year of his career that Melido Perez was mainly a reliever.  He did pretty well, going 8-7, 3.12, 1.20 WHIP.  He'd had a good rookie year as a starter in 1988, but then struggled for two seasons.  He was traded to the Yankees for 1992, went back to starting, and had the best season of his career, going 13-16, 2.87, 1.23 WHIP.  He fell off after that, though, and never posted an ERA below four again.  He was not a great pitcher, but he did have a couple of good years, which is a couple more than some people have.  For his career, he was 78-85, 4.17, 1.34 WHIP.

Not only had the White Sox been eliminated, they now had only a 1.5 game lead over Oakland and Texas for second.  It was possible that they might drop to third or even fourth.

Record:  The Twins were 94-63, in first place in the American League West, ten games ahead of Chicago.

In the East, Toronto won and Boston lost, increasing the Blue Jays' lead to 4.5 games.  Toronto had clinched at least a tie for the division.

1991 Rewind: Game Eighty-three

CHICAGO 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN CHICAGO

Date:  Sunday, July 7.

Batting star:  Mike Pagliarulo was 1-for-3 with a double.

Pitching star:  Mark Guthrie pitched 2.2 innings of relief, giving up one run on two hits and two walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Dan Pasqua was 2-for-3 with a home run (his eighth), a walk, and two runs.  Robin Ventura was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his seventh) and a walk.

The game:  The White Sox put men on first and third in the first inning and did not score.  They got on the board in the third, however, when Tim Raines hit a one-out double and Ventura followed with a two-run homer.  It did not kill the rally, as with two out Pasqua walked, Matt Merullo singled, and Warren Newson delivered an RBI single to make the score 3-0.

The Twins, meanwhile, had managed only one single in the first five innings.  That changed in the sixth.  Junior Ortiz was hit by a pitch and Pagliarulo doubled, putting men on second and third.  With one out, Greg Gagne got the Twins on the board with a sacrifice fly.  Randy Bush walked and Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek followed with RBI singles, tying the score 3-3.

The Twins put men on first and second with one out in the seventh, but it stayed 3-3 until the eighth, when Pasqua led off the inning with a home run to put Chicago back in front.  The Twins got a leadoff single from Chuck Knoblauch in the ninth but could not move him past first base.

WP:  Ken Patterson (3-0).  LP:  Guthrie (5-5).  S:  Bobby Thigpen (18).

Notes:  With Dan Gladden still out, Pedro Munoz was in left and Bush was in right.  Gagne was the leadoff batter with Bush batting second.  Paul Sorrento was the DH in place of Chili Davis.  Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.  Al Newman was at second base in place of Knoblauch.

Munoz was apparently injured fielding the Raines double in the third, as Shane Mack came in to replace him after that play.  Munoz would not play again until July 14, and after that game would not play again until September.  Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Bush in the eighth and stayed in the game in right field.  Knoblauch pinch-hit for Mack in the ninth.  Davis pinch-hit for Ortiz in the ninth.

Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .315.  Kevin Tapani started and gave up three runs in five innings, making his ERA 3.14.

Sorrento was 0-for-4 and was batting .091.  Brown was 0-for-1 and was batting .143.

I have no memory of Ken Patterson, but he was a pretty good reliever for the White Sox.  He came up as a September call-up in 1988 and from then through 1991 went 11-4, 3.70, 1.38 WHIP with four saves.  He got better every season, and from 1990-1991 he was 5-1, 3.12, 1.35 WHIP with three saves.  After 1991, however, the White Sox traded him and Sammy Sosa to the Cubs for George Bell.  He struggled with the Cubs, had a poor year with California in 1993, and made just one appearance with the Angels in 1994.  He kept pitching through 1997, but did not make the majors again.  His career numbers were 14-8, 3.88, 1.44 WHIP in 224 games (317.2 innings).  Not a great career, but for a couple of seasons he was a very good reliever.

Texas defeated California 7-0, knocking the Twins out of first place.

Record;  The Twins were 47-36, in second place in the American League West, five percentage points behind Texas.  The Rangers had played six fewer games than the Twins.  Minnesota led third-place California by two games.