Tag Archives: stolen bases

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Sixty


Date:  Friday, September 26.

Batting starsA. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-2 with a double and a walk.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and two runs.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-3.  Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fourth) and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Rick Reed pitched two perfect innings and struck out one.  Kenny Rogers pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.  Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Dmitri Young was 4-for-5 with a home run (his twenty-ninth), a double, and two RBIs.  Alex Sanchez was 3-for-5 with a stolen base, his forty-eighth.  Shane Halter was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.  Nate Cornejo pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and four walks and striking out one.

The game:  The Tigers took the early lead when singles by Sanchez, Craig Monroe, and Young brought home one run in the first and a sacrifice fly brought home another.  The Twins had men on second and third in the second and Detroit had men on first and second in the second and third, but it stayed 2-0 until the fourth.  Jacque Jones singled, LeCroy walked, and Koskie singled home a run.  A walk to Pierzynski loaded the bases and a Cuddyer single tied it at 2-2.

Young homered in the fifth to put the Tigers back up 3-2, but the Twins got the run back in the sixth when LeCroy doubled and scored on a Pierzynski single.  The Twins had men on first and third with one out in the seventh, but a double play took them out of the inning.  They had men on second and third with two out in the eighth, but again could not score.  Detroit had men on first and second in the ninth, but similarly failed to touch home plate, so the game went to extra innings.

With two out in the tenth, Justin Morneau walked and scored from first on a Lew Ford double to give the Twins their first lead.  But the Tigers tied it in the tenth when Young doubled and pinch-runner Andres Torres scored on a Halter single.  Cuddyer led off the eleventh with a home run.  Detroit got a leadoff walk in the bottom of the eleventh and bunted the man to second, but there he stayed and the game went to the Twins.

WP:  Eddie Guardado (3-5).  LP:  Franklyn German (2-4).  S:  Hawkins (2).

Notes:  Ron Gardenhire treated this like a late spring training game, starting many of the regulars but taking them out early.  An exception was that Cuddyer started at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Shannon Stewart was in left, Jones in right, and LeCroy at DH.

Michael Ryan replaced Stewart in the fifth.  Dustan Mohr replaced Jones in the fifth.  Rob Bowen replaced Pierzynski in the sixth.  Morneau went to first base in the sixth, with Cuddyer moving to third and Koskie coming out of the game.  Ford went to center in place of Torii Hunter in the sixth.  Chris Gomez pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the seventh and stayed in the game at second base.  Alex Prieto replaced Cristian Guzman at short in the seventh.

Ford was 1-for-2 and was batting .333.  Ryan was 0-for-2 and was also batting .333.  Pierzynski raised his average to .312.  Stewart was 0-for-3 and was batting .306.  Jones was 1-for-3 and was batting .304.

Bowen got his first major league hit in this game, a single to center in the eighth, and went 1-for-2.  He was batting .167.  Prieto was 0-for-2 and was batting .125.

Eric Milton started and pitched five innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out one.  His ERA was 2.65.  Reed lowered his ERA to 5.07.  Guardado gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 2.89.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.86.

Sanchez would end up with 52 stolen bases.  That was only good for third in the league, behind Juan Pierre (65) and Carl Crawford (55).  The last time someone stole as many as 52 bases in a season was 2017, when Dee Gordon stole 60.  The last time it happened in the American League was 2014, when Jose Altuve stole 56.

This was not only Rogers' first relief appearance of the season, it was the first time he had been used in relief since 1997.

The Tigers had now lost 119 games, one away from the expansion era record of 120 set by the 1962 Mets.

Record:  The Twins were 90-70, in first place in the American League Central, six games ahead of Chicago.

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Two


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


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


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.