Tag Archives: Tom Candiotti

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.

1991 Rewind: Game Fifty-four


Date:  Friday, June 7.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his third.  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a home run (his twelfth) and a walk.

Pitching starsAllan Anderson pitched eight shutout innings, giving up two hits and one walk and striking out three.  He threw just 81 pitches.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect ninth and struck out one.

Opposition star:  Tom Candiotti pitched 7.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks and striking out five.

The game:  Neither team had a hit until the bottom of the second, when Davis led off the inning with a home run.  The Indians got their first base runner in the fourth, when Mike Huff led off with a single.  He was immediately erased by a double play.  Cleveland would not get another hit until the eighth, when Joel Skinner led off with a double.  Pinch-runner Alex Cole was caught stealing third, so that baserunner was also wiped out.  They did have two on in the seventh, when Carlos Baerga was hit by a pitch and Brook Jacoby walked, but a fly out ended that inning.

The Twins added a run in the eighth.  Chuck Knoblauch and Hrbek singled, and a wild pitch brought home the run to make it 2-0.

WPAnderson (3-4).  LP:  Candiotti (7-3).  SAguilera (14).

NotesDan Gladden was dropped to the ninth spot in the batting order, with Greg Gagne leading off.  It would be the only time all year he would bat ninth.  Shane Mack was now the right fielder.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth and remained in the game at third base.

Brian Harper was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .326.  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .324.  Gagne was 1-for-4 and was batting .309.  Davis was batting .304.  Aguilera's ERA went down to 2.25.

Newman was 0-for-1 and was batting .184.

This was obviously the best game of the year for Anderson.  It's too bad, given his pitch count, that he wasn't allowed to finish the game.  Aguilera had pitched in each of the team's last three games, so it's not like he needed the work.  One can only conclude that Tom Kelly did not trust Anderson with a two-run lead in the ninth and so decided he needed to bring Aguilera in.  Which, given how Anderson had pitched so far this season, was understandable, but he was certainly in complete control in this game.

In 1991, Candiotti had an ERA of 2.65 (sixth in the league), a 1.16 WHIP, and yet had a record of just 13-13.  Playing half the season for Cleveland didn't help, but he also played half the season for Toronto, a very good team.  He had a few seasons like that, where he had a low ERA, a low WHIP, but a poor won-lost record.  1992:  11-15, 3.00, 1.18.  1993: 8-10, 3.12, 1.23.  1995:  7-14, 3.50, 1.29.  For his career, he was 151-164, 3.73, 1.30.  One has to conclude that he didn't get a whole lot of support for a lot of his career.

The win gave the Twins a six-game winning streak, their longest of the season so far.  Pitching was definitely driving the streak.  They had scored more than four runs only once, but had only given up as many as four once.  They were out-scoring their opponents 25-13, for an average score of about 4-2.  And with the winning streak, they were starting to climb in the standings, as you'll see below.

Record:  The Twins were 29-25, fourth in the American League West, just five percentage points behind third-place Texas.  They were four games behind first-place Oakland and led fifth-place Seattle by a half game.