Tag Archives: slumps

1991 Rewind: Game Eleven


Date:  Saturday, April 20.

Batting star:  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a home run, his second.

Pitching star:  Allan Anderson pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk.  He did not strike out anyone.

Opposition stars:  Kirk McCaskill pitched eight innings, giving up one run on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts.  Dave Gallagher was 2-for-2.

The game:  Not a lot of offense--the two teams combined for just seven hits.  The Angels started the scoring in the third inning, when Donnie Hill doubled, was bunted to third, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  The Twins did not have any kind of threat for seven innings, but Davis led off the eighth with a home run to tie it 1-1.  It was immediately untied in the bottom of the eighth.  Gallagher singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Luis Polonia single to make it 2-1 California.  The Twins went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  McCaskill (2-1).  LP:  Anderson (1-2).  S:  Bryan Harvey (3).

Notes:  Randy Bush was in right field, with Kirby Puckett moving to center and Shane Mack on the bench.

No Twins batters got out of their slumps in this game, as the team only had three hits.  Puckett was 0-for-3 and was batting .333.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit and went 0-for-1 and was also batting .333.

Dan Gladden was 0-for-4 and was batting .032.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-3 to raise his average to .125.  Bush was 0-for-3 and was batting .167.

This was the second consecutive game in which a Twins pitcher got a complete game loss.  I wonder when the last time is that happened.

The Twins had lost seven in a row.  They had scored twelve runs in their last six games and four runs in their last four games.  The pitching staff had allowed just eleven runs in the last four games but the team had not won any of them.

Outfielder Dave Gallagher actually had a pretty decent career.  He made the Cleveland roster coming out of spring training in 1987 but lasted only a month.  He was traded to Seattle after the season, released, and signed with the White Sox, He came up to the majors in mid-May and was their starting center fielder through 1989.  He finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting in 1988, when he batted .303.  He only batted .266 in 1989, though, and as he had no power that wasn't good enough.  He was a reserve the rest of his career, but it was a substantial one, lasting through 1995.  He bounced around a lot, playing for Baltimore, California, the Mets, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and California again.  His best average and OPS came in his last season, when he batted .306 with an  OPS of .769.  He was only thirty-five at that point, and you'd think someone would've wanted him, but no one did and his playing career was over.  Over nine seasons he batted .271/.331/.353 in 794 games and 2343 plate appearances.  He coached in high school and community college.  He also invented an instructional device called the Stride Tutor.  He currently operates the Dave Gallagher Baseball Academy in North Trenton, New Jersey.

Record:  The Twins were 2-9, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, 5.5 games behind California and Oakland, and three games behind sixth-place Texas.

1991 Rewind: Game Ten


Date:  Friday, April 19.

Batting stars:  None.  The Twins had just two hits.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Chuck Finley pitched a complete game shutout, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out nine.  Wally Joyner was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Junior Felix was 2-for-3.

The game:  For the first six innings only one man got as far as third base.  That happened in the third, when Felix singled, was bunted to second, and advanced to third on a ground out.  The game stayed scoreless, however, until the seventh.  The first two Angels went out that inning, but singles by Donnie Hill, Jack Howell, and Felix made the score 1-0.  California added a run in the eighth when Joyner led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch.

The Twins did nothing on offense the entire game.  The only man to reach second base was Greg Gagne, who hit a one-out double in the sixth.  He did not advance.

WP:  Finley (3-0).  LP:  Morris (0-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Dan Gladden was back in the lineup in left field.  Shane Mack remained in center and Kirby Puckett in right.

Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .359.  Brian Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .333.  Gagne was 1-for-3 and was batting .304.

Gladden was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .037.  Kent Hrbek was 0-for-3 and was batting .108.  Mack was 0-for-3 and was batting .143.  Scott Leius was 0-for-2 with a walk and was batting .154.  I did not remember that so many regulars started off the season in batting slumps.

Morris had a fine game, but his ERA was still a very high 6.38.  Also, while again it was a fine game, it was not even in his top ten for the season as judged by game scores.

Not only did each pitcher throw a complete game, but neither team substituted at all.  The same ten players started and ended the game for each team.  That's pretty much unheard of today, but I suspect it was rather unusual even then.

It was the sixth straight loss for the Twins, in their last five games, they had scored just eleven runs and had been shut out twice.

Record:  The Twins were 2-8, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, 5.5 games behind Oakland.

2019 Recap: Game Twenty-nine


Date:  Thursday, May 2.

Batting stars:  Marwin Gonzalez was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-3 with a triple and a double.  Jason Castro was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third) and a double, scoring twice and driving in four.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Jose Berrios pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out five.  Ryne Harper pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.  Trevor May pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Aledmys Diaz was 2-for-4.  Alex Bregman was 1-for-4 with a home run, his sixth.

The game:  Bregman homered with two out in the first to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.  Each team got a two-out double in the second but did not score.  In the third, singles by Tony Kemp and George Springer put men on first and second with none out, but a strikeout, a fly out, and another strikeout left them there.  Castro led off the bottom of the third with a home run to tie the score at 1-1.

The Twins took control in the fourth.  With one out, C. J. Cron walked and Marwin Gonzalez singled, putting men on first and third.  Schoop delivered an RBI single, Castro had a two-run double, Byron Buxton had a run-scoring triple, Max Kepler hit a sacrifice fly, Polanco doubled, and Nelson Cruz had an RBI double.  In all, six runs scored, putting the Twins up 7-1 and effectively ending the game right there.

They kept playing, of course.  The Twins added a run in the fifth when Gonzalez walked, went to third on a Schoop single, and scored on a fielder's choice.  Polanco hit a one-out triple in the sixth but did not score.  Houston threatened to get back into it in the seventh.  Singles by Yuli Gurriel, Josh Reddick, and Diaz loaded the bases with none out.  A strikeout, a sacrifice fly, and another fly out limited the damage to one run, making the score 8-2, and neither team threatened after that.

WP:  Berrios (5-1).  LP:  Brad Peacock (2-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Polanco raised his average to .336.  Cruz was 1-for-4 with a double and is batting .302.

Even though it was a day game, Rocco did not go with any sort of B lineup.  The regulars played.  The Twins alternate their catchers quite a bit, so that's not really an issue, but there were no substitutes at any other position, either.

Eddie Rosario was 0-for-4 and is now riding an 0-for-24 streak.  He hit two balls hard, though.  I'm not too worried about him.

Berrios pitched a fine game.  It shows the difference expectations can make, though.  If Michael Pineda ever had a game like this, we'd be ecstatic.  When it's Berrios, we just kind of nod our heads.  We expect Berrios to have games like this every time out.  That's a compliment to him, but at the same time, it's something that shouldn't be taken for granted.

Since reaching a low point of .213 on April 17, Schoop has gone 17-for-50 and is now batting .278.

Entering this series, I said the next ten games would tell us a lot about how good the Twins are.  They're off to a good start, winning three of the first four.  Now, of course, we go to New York to play the Big Bad Yankees.  I have a feeling that this year things are going to be different.  I don't have a lot to back that feeling up--the pitching matchups aren't particularly favorable or anything.  But it's a new day, it's a new team, and I just think this is the year things change.  I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Record:  The Twins are 19-10, first in the American League Central, three games ahead of Cleveland.