Tag Archives: stolen bases

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Two

MINNESOTA 3, ATLANTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, October 20.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer.  Scott Leius was 1-for-3 with a home run.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out three.  Rick Aguilera struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Tom Glavine pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks and striking out six.  Terry Pendleton was 2-for-4.

The game:  In the first Dan Gladden reached on an error and Chuck Knoblauch walked.  Kirby Puckett hit into a double play, but Davis picked him up with a two-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 2-0.  The Braves came right back in the second.  David Justice led off with a single and Sid Bream followed with a double, putting men on second and third with none out.  Brian Hunter hit a sacrifice fly, getting Atlanta on the board, but a ground out and a strikeout kept the Twins ahead 2-1.

Neither team got a hit in the third or fourth.  In the fifth, Greg Olson led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Rafael Belliard's sacrifice fly to tie it 2-2.

In the eighth, Belliard led off with a bunt single, was sacrificed to second, and went to third on a Pendleton infield single.  A foul out and a fly out kept them off the board, though, and it cost them.  The Twins entered the inning having gotten only one hit since the first, but Leius led off with a home run, putting them up 3-2.  Hunter got a one-out single in the ninth but did not advance past first base, and the Twins came away with their second win of the series.

WP:  Tapani (1-1).  LP:  Glavine (0-3).  S:  Aguilera (5).

Notes:  The Twins went with a standard lineup and did not make any substitutions.

The Twins had just four hits in the game, but two of them went over the fence.  The home runs accounted for all the Twins runs.

The Braves were 1-for-6 with men in scoring position.  Both of their runs scored on sacrifice flies.

The Twins did not steal any bases in the game.

Leius was another unlikely home run hero, having hit just five during the season.  His career high was fourteen in 1994.  That was the only season in which he hit more than five home runs.

This was the game with the famous play where Ron Gant overran first base and was tagged out by Hrbek.  It happened in the third inning.  Lonnie Smith was on first with two out.  Gant singled to left, and Smith went to third.  Gladden's throw went past third base and was fielded by Tapani.  Tapani threw to first and Gant, trying to get back to first after rounding it, went past the base.  Atlanta complained that Hrbek had pulled Gant off first base, but we all know that was just sour grapes on the part of the Braves.

The Twins were looking good through two games.  Atlanta would have to take at least two at home to send the series back to Minnesota.

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series 2-0.

1991 Rewind: ALCS Game Five

MINNESOTA 8, TORONTO 5 IN TORONTO

Date:  Sunday, October 13.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-5 with a home run (his second), two runs, and two RBIs.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-4.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Shane Mack was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.

Pitching stars:  David West pitched three shutout innings, giving up only a walk and striking out one.  Carl Willis pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Manny Lee was 2-for-3 with two runs.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs.  Devon White was 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base, his third.

The game:  Puckett homered in the first inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the second Chili Davis singled and went to second on a passed ball.  Brian Harper reached on a strikeout/passed ball, with Davis going to third.  Mack then delivered an RBI single to make it 2-0.  A bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out, but the Twins could do no more damage, keeping the score 2-0.

Toronto came alive in the third.  Lee led off with a single and White hit a one-out single.  Alomar singled to drive in a run, Joe Carter tied it with a ground-rule double, and a third run scored on a ground out, putting the Blue Jays up 3-2.  With two out in the fifth, Lee and Mookie Wilson singled and White walked, loading the bases.  Alomar then hit a two-run single to put Toronto ahead 5-2.

It was not looking good for the Twins, and when they left the bases loaded in the sixth it looked worse.  But they came back in the seventh.  Mack singled, stole second, and went to third on Pagliarulo's single.  With one out, Dan Gladden hit a grounder to third.  The Blue Jay could've had Mack out at the plate, but an error on catcher Pat Borders allowed him to score and left men on first and second.  Knoblauch then delivered a two-run double, tying the score 5-5.

With two on and nobody out in the eighth, Gladden singled and stole second.  Knoblauch walked.  Puckett singled to put the Twins ahead, an on a throw to the plate, the runners advanced to second and third.  That cost Toronto, because Kent Hrbek hit a two-run single to put the Twins up 8-5.  The Blue Jays did not advance a man past first after that, and the Twins advanced to the World Series.

WP:  West (1-0).  LP:  Duane Ward (0-1).  S:  Aguilera (3).

Notes:  The Twins made just one non-pitching substitution.  Junior Ortiz went behind the plate in place of Harper in the ninth.

Kevin Tapani started and pitched just four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out four.  The Twins bullpen came through again, pitching five shutout innings and allowing just two baserunners.

The Twins bullpen was amazing in this series.  West pitched 5.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and four walks.  Carl Willis pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.  Aguilera pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Mark Guthrie pitched 2.2 perfect innings.  Steve Bedrosian pitched 1.1 innings and allowed two runs, but both were unearned.  He allowed three hits and two walks.  Twins starters pitched 27.1 innings and pitched to an ERA of 5.53.  Twins relievers pitched 18.1 innings and pitched to an ERA of 0.00.  The bullpen bailed out the starters game after game, and was really the MVP of the series.

The Twins stole eight bases in the series, going 8-for-12.  Gladden had three, Knoblauch had two, Mack had two, and Davis had one.

Puckett led the team in batting, going .429/.435/.762.  Pagliarulo batted .333/.333/.600.  Knoblauch was .350/.435/.450.  Mack was .333/.381/.500.  Davis was at .294/.455/.412.

On the low side, Greg Gagne batted .235/.316/.235.  Hrbek batted .143/.182/.143.  Scott LeiusGene Larkin, Junior Ortiz, and Paul Sorrento combined to go 0-for-11.

There was nothing for the Twins to do now but wait to see who they would play in the World Series.  Pittsburgh and Atlanta were tied at two games apiece at this point.

Record:  The Twins won the best-of-seven series four games to one.

1991 Rewind: ALCS Game One

MINNESOTA 5, TORONTO 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, October 8.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a double.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5.  Chili Davis was 1-for-2 with two walks, two RBIs, and a stolen base.

Pitching stars:  Carl Willis retired all seven batters he faced, striking out two.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Joe Carter was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Kelly Gruber was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base.  John Olerud was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-4.  David Wells pitched three shutout innings, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out one.  Mike Timlin pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and one walk and striking out two.

The game:  Gladden and Knoblauch started the first inning with singles.  A fly ball and a stolen base moved them to second and third with two out.  Davis then came through with a two-run single to put the Twins up 2-0.  Mack led off the second with a single, stole second, and scored on a Greg Gagne single.  Singles by Gladden and Knoblauch brought home Gagne to make it 4-0.  In the third Davis walked, stole second, and scored on Mack's double to put the Twins up 5-0.

The Blue Jays started their comeback in the fourth.  Alomar singled and Carter doubled, but Alomar was thrown out at the plate.  Carter went to third on the throw, however, and scored on a ground out to make it 5-1.

The Twins loaded the bases in the fifth but did not score.  In the sixth Toronto got five consecutive one-out singles, by Devon White, Alomar, Carter, Olerud, and Gruber, to cut the lead to 5-4.  The Blue Jays had men on first and second with one out, but at that point Jack Morris was replaced by Willis, who retired the next two batters to get the Twins out of the inning.  The Blue Jays had only one baserunner after that, a two-out single by Olerud in the eighth.  The Twins held on to take game one 5-4.

WP:  Morris.  LP:  Tom Candiotti.  S:  Aguilera.

Notes:  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the fifth inning and stayed in the game at third base.  Junior Ortiz came in to replace Brian Harper at catcher in the eighth.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Leius in the eighth, with Al Newman coming in to play third base in the ninth.

Morris pitched very well for four innings, got out of trouble in the fifth, but could not get out of the sixth.  Five consecutive singles sounds like bad luck, and maybe it was, but four of the five are described as line drives.  Willis really came in and saved the day, as he did so many times in the 1991 season.

I was a little surprised to see that the Blue Jays had gone with Candiotti as their game one starter.  Their other starters were Todd Stottlemyre, Jimmy Key, David Wells, and Juan Guzman.  But in 1991 Candiotti had a 2.65 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.  He was really good that year, and you can see why Toronto started him in game one.

Both teams hit well with men in scoring position.  The Blue Jays were 3-for-8 and the Twins were 4-for-12.  Toronto stranded four men and the Twins stranded eight.

The Twins weren't a particularly strong basestealing team, but they stole four bases in this game.  They were 4-for-6.  Candiotti, a knuckleballer, being on the mound probably influenced that.

Record:  The Twins led the best-of-seven series 1-0.