Tag Archives: Tom Bolton

1991 Rewind: Game Ninety-three


Date:  Sunday, July 21.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and two runs.  Chili Davis was 3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base, his third.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.  Scott Leius was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and three runs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-6 with two runs.  Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-3 with three walks and three runs.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani pitched six innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits and no walks and striking out none.  Paul Abbott struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up two hits.  Allan Anderson pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition star:  Steve Lyons was 2-for-3 with a double.

The game:  Leius led off the game with a single, followed by singles by Knoblauch and Puckett to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  An RBI ground out made it 2-0.  In the third Knoblauch walked and went to third on Davis' two-out single.  Davis then stole second.  A passed ball scored one run, a Harper single scored another, and a Mack double made it 5-0.  in the fourth, Greg Gagne hit a one-out double, walks to Leius and Knoblauch filled the bases, and Puckett's two-run single made it 7-0.

The Red Sox got on the board in the bottom of the seventh.  Jody Reed reached on an error and scored on a Jack Clark double.  That was the end of their good news, though.  The Twins scored five in the sixth and two more in the seventh to get the 14-1 victory.

WP:  Tapani (6-7).  LP:  Tom Bolton (7-7).  S:  None.

NotesMack was again in left field in the absence of Dan Gladden.  Gene Larkin was in right.  Leius was the leadoff batter.

Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Puckett in the fifth and stayed in the game in center field.  Al Newman went into the game at shortstop in the fifth, replacing Gagne.  Randy Bush went into the game in the sixth inning at first base, replacing Kent Hrbek.  Davis went to left field in the eighth inning, with Abbott entering the lineup in Mack's spot.

Puckett raised his average to .328.  Harper went up to .325.  Tapani lowered his ERA to 3.03.  Abbott went down to 3.31.

Tapani hadn't gotten much run support up to this point in the season, but that turned around in this game.  Including this game, he won five starts in a row and went 9-0 over ten starts.  In those games, the Twins scored 71 runs.  Tapani was still pitching well--he did not give up more than four runs in any of those starts, and six times gave up fewer than three.

This was Davis' first appearance in the field all season.  He would make just one more, about a month later.  He would, of course, play one game in the field in the World Series.  He had been a regular outfielder from 1982-1989 and had played a substantial number of games in the outfield in 1990, but would make only token appearances there after that and none from 1995-1999, when his career ended.

Boston starter Bolton pitched just 2.2 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits and three walks and striking out one.  He had pitched five innings of relief just three days earlier.  He really couldn't be expected to pitch well after that, and he didn't.

Tapani pitched six innings and neither struck out nor walked anyone.  I don't know how rare that is, but it is at least unusual.  I suspect it might have been more common years ago than it is now, but I don't think it was all that common in the old days, either.

The White Sox lost and Texas won, so the Twins gained a game in the standings while the Rangers tied Chicago for second place.  The Twins had won four in a row, five of six, and eight of ten.

Record:  The Twins were 55-38, in first place in the American League West, 5.5 games ahead of Texas and Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game Ninety


Date:  Thursday, July 18.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.  Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Scott Leius was 1-for-3 with a home run (his second), a stolen base (his fifth), two walks, and three runs.  Chili Davis was 1-for-5 with a home run (his twentieth) and four RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris struck out eight in seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk.  Terry Leach pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Jack Clark was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirteenth) and two RBIs.  Ellis Burks was 1-for-3 with a home run, his eleventh.  Tom Bolton pitched five innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and striking out two.

The game:  The two teams combined for one hit in the first two innings, but that changed in the third.  Gene Larkin and Greg Gagne opened the inning with singles, followed by a walk to Leius to load the bases.  Al Newman then delivered a two-run double, Puckett had an RBI single, and Davis drove in a run with a ground out, making it 4-0.  The Twins weren't done.  Brian Harper singled and advanced on a throw, putting men on second and third.  Mack then struck a two-run single to make the score 6-0.

The Twins added some more in the fourth.  With one out, Leius singled and stole second (breaking an unwritten rule?).  Newman reached on an error, Puckett had another RBI single, and Davis hit a three-run homer to make the score 10-0.

It was never close after that.  The Red Sox got on the board on the bottom of the fourth when Jody Reed singled, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on Clark's RBI single.  Burks hit a home run in the fifth to make it 10-2.  Leius homered in the ninth and Clark homered in the ninth, and it ended up 11-3.

WP:  Morris (13-6).  LP:  Kevin Morton (1-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Mack was again in left in place of Dan Gladden.  Larkin was in right, making his first appearance since July 1.  Newman started at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch.  He batted second, with Leius in the number one spot.

Jarvis Brown went to center field in the sixth to replace Puckett.  Randy Bush entered the game in the eighth inning in place of Kent Hrbek.  He went to left, with Mack going to right and Larkin moving to first base.  Tom Kelly usually played Bush in right and Mack in left--perhaps the Green Monster changed his thinking for this game.  Knoblauch replaced Gagne at shortstop in the eighth.

Harper went 1-for-4 and was batting .332.  Puckett raised his average to .326.  Morris lowered his ERA to 3.39.  Leach lowered his ERA to 3.22.

Brown was 0-for-1 and was batting .167.

I referenced this above, but I wonder if there was any comment about Leius stealing second with a six-run lead.  There shouldn't have been--it was only the fourth inning, they were in Boston, and the Red Sox had a pretty good lineup--but the unwritten rules are a tricky thing, and they seem to vary from year to year and team to team.

Morton, the Boston starter, lasted 2.1 innings, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk and striking out two.  Morton had pitched decently against the Twins five days earlier, but they certainly figured him out in the third inning of this game.

I don't remember Tom Bolton at all, but he pitched in the majors for eight years.  Most of that was with the Red Sox--he came up in 1987 and stayed with them until July of 1992, when he was traded to Cincinnati for Billy Hatcher.  He was with Detroit in 1993 and Baltimore in 1994.  He was actually pretty good for Boston in 1990, going 10-5, 3.38, 1.32 WHIP.  1991 was not a good year for him:  8-9, 5.24, 1.70 WHIP.  He would make one more appearance, then miss a month due to injury--one wonders if he was fighting an injury most of the season.  Or perhaps 1990 was just a fluke season, because his next lowest ERA for a season was 4.38 in his rookie season.  For his career he was 31-34, 4.56, 1.59 WHIP.  He played in 209 games, 56 of them starts, and pitched 540.1 innings.  After baseball, he went back to his home town of Nashville and went into the real estate development business.

Oakland lost yesterday (when the Twins were idle) and lost to New York 3-2 today, so the Twins gained a game and a half on them.  The Athletics fell into a second-place tie with California, which defeated Cleveland 5-4.

Record:  The Twins were 52-38, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of California and Oakland.