Tag Archives: Willie Banks

Random Rewind: 1993, Game Seventeen


Date:  Sunday, April 25.

Batting stars:  Gene Larkin was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fourth) and a hit-by-pitch.

Pitching starsWillie Banks pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out six.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Alan Trammell was 3-for-5 with a home run, a stolen base (his third), two runs, and two RBIs.  Mickey Tettleton was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fifth), a double, two walks, and three runs.  Kirk Gibson was 2-for-5 with a double, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs.  Chad Kreuter was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer (his second) and a walk.  Tony Phillips was 1-for-4 with a home run (his second), two walks, and two runs.

The game:  It looked good for the Twins for a long time.  Not right away--Tettleton led off the second with a home run to put the Tigers up 1-0.  But it stayed 1-0 until the fourth.  Then Puckett homered to tie it 1-1.  In the fifth, Pedro Munoz and Larkin led off with singles.  A double play followed, but Jeff Reboulet and Chuck Knoblauch walked to load the bases.  Shane Mack then delivered a two-run single to make it 3-1 Twins.

The Twins added two more in the sixth.  Brian Harper led off with a single.  With one out, Larkin walked, Terry Jorgensen had an RBI single, Reboulet walked, and Knoblauch hit a sacrifice fly.  It was 5-1 Twins through six, and things were looking good.

But the roof fell in in the seventh.  Not literally--the Metrodome was still standing at the end of the game.  With one out Scott Livingstone walked, and two wild pitches moved him to third.  Trammell delivered an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-2.  Banks came out and Mark Guthrie came in.  He gave up back-to-back homers to Krueter and Phillips, tying the score.  He retired Lou Whitaker, but Gibson hit a ground-rule double.  That led to Guthrie going out and Brett Merriman coming in.  He gave up an RBI double to Cecil Fielder, intentionally walked Tettleton, Rob Deer hit a two-run double, and Livingstone got an RBI single.  It was 9-5 Tigers.

Detroit scored seven more in the eighth.  No need to go into great detail about it.  Milt Cuyler hit a three-run double, a couple of runs scored on wild pitches, there was a sacrifice fly, and Trammell hit a home run.  Nobody got on base after that.

WP:  Mark Leiter (1-1).  LP:  Guthrie (1-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Larkin was at first-base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Terry Jorgensen was at third base in place of Mike Pagliarulo.

Jeff Reboulet was apparently the starting shortstop at the beginning of 1993.  He was replaced by Pat Meares in early May.

The two pitchers who allowed most of the runs for the Twins were their weakest relief pitchers in 1993.  Guthrie, who'd had an excellent year in 1992, was dealing with an injury in 1993 and would be done for the season in late May.  Merriman would make one more appearance and then go back to the minors, not returning until the end of August.

They spoiled a solid effort by Banks, who had started 1993 really well. This was his third start--he'd given up one run in 13.1 innings in his first two starts.  His ERA would be 2.66 at the end of April.  By the end of May, however, it was 4.14 and he would end the season at 4.04.  It was still his best season as a Twin and the best he ever had as a starter.

The Tigers had Trammell batting eighth in this game.  He was coming off an injury from 1992, but he batted .329 in 1993.  I suspect he did not stay in the eighth spot too long.

Yes, I'm getting tired of random.org giving us Twins losses, too.  But such is randomness.

Record:  The Twins were 8-9, tied for third place in the American League West, 4.5 games behind California.  They would end 71-91, tied for fifth with California, twenty-three games behind Chicago.

Detroit was 12-5, in first place in the American League East, two games ahead of Boston.  They would end 85-77, tied for third with Baltimore, ten games behind Toronto.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-seven


Date:  Wednesday, September 18.

Batting stars:  Gene Larkin was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Willie Banks pitched three innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jorge Pedre was 2-for-3.  George Brett was 2-for-4 with a double.  Todd Benzinger was 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs.  Kurt Stillwell was 2-for-5 with a double.

The game:  It was scoreless through three, with each team managing only one hit.  In the fourth, however, Brett had a one-out double, Danny Tartabull walked, and Jim Eisenreich delivered a two-run triple.  Eisenreich was then picked off third, but Twins catcher Junior Ortiz threw the ball away, allowing him to score and making it 3-0 Royals.

The Twins came back to tie it in the fifth.  Chili Davis walked, Shane Mack was hit by a pitch, and Larkin walked, loading the bases with none out.  Pagliarulo singled in two and a ground out brought home a third to make it 3-3.  The tie only lasted until Kansas City batted in the sixth.  Stillwell doubled and scored on a Tartabull single.  Benzinger drove in Tartabull with a triple and Bill Pecota followed with an RBI double.  David Howard singled to put men on first and third, and Pedre then circled the bases on a three-run single-plus-error, giving the Royals a 9-3 advantage.

It was pretty much over at that point Mike MacFarlane had an RBI single in the eighth to make it 10-3 and Greg Gagne had an RBI double in the ninth to make the final 10-4.

WP:  Luis Aquino (8-3).  LP:  Scott Erickson (18-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  Mack was in left and Larkin in right with Dan Gladden on the bench.  Gagne moved into the leadoff spot.  Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.

Lenny Webster came in to catch in the seventh, replacing Ortiz once Erickson was out of the game.  Pedro Munoz pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the ninth.

Kirby Puckett was 0-for-5 and was batting .321.  He was 1-for-16 and 5-for-34 since September 8.  Mack was 0-for-3 and was batting .308.  Webster was 0-for-1 and was batting .391.

Erickson continued to try to pitch through his injury, and it continued to not work very well.  He did well for three innings, but his line was 5.2 innings, seven runs (six earned), eight hits, one walk, four strikeouts.  His ERA was up to 3.34, still quite good but nowhere near what it had been earlier in the season.

Carl Willis gave up two unearned runs in a third of an inning, making his ERA 2.34.

This was the fifth big league appearance of Banks' career, and his last of 1991.  He would go on to pitch for the Twins through 1993 and would be in the big leagues through 2002.

I mentioned a few days back that Jorge Pedre played in fourteen major league games, going 5-for-23.  Three of his five hits came against the Twins.  He was 3-for-5 with a double against the Twins, for a slash line of .600/.600/.800.  Against everyone else, then, he had a slash line of .111/.238/.222.  Maybe if he'd played against the Twins more, he'd have had a longer career.

The White Sox defeated Oakland 6-0 to come a game closer to the Twins.  The lead was not in serious jeopardy, but I suspect at least a few Twins fans were thinking "you never know..."

Record:  The Twins were 87-60, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of Chicago.

In the East, Toronto and Boston both won, keeping the Blue Jays' lead at 2.5 games.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fourteen


Date:  Tuesday, August 13.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Batting stars:  Terry Leach struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Denny Neagle pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and three walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Jim Abbott pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and four walks and striking out four.  Wally Joyner was 3-for-6 with a double and two RBIs.  Luis Polonia was 3-for-6 with a stolen base (his thirty-third) and two RBIs.  Lance Parrish was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his thirteenth), a walk, and two runs.  Gary Gaetti was 2-for-4 with two walks.

The game:  The Angels put men on first and third in the first inning but did not score.  The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the first when Kirby Puckett hit a two-out single, stole second, and scored on a Davis double.  California took a 2-1 lead in the second when Shawn Abner singled and Parrish followed with a two-run homer.

The Angels took control in the fourth.  Abner walked and went from first to third on a ground out to third base.  An error scored him and put Luis Sojo on second.  Dick Schofield walked.  There were then three consecutive RBI singles, by Polonia, Joyner, and Gaetti, to put California up 6-1.

The Twins got somewhat back into it in the sixth.  Gene Larkin walked and went to second on a passed ball.  Greg Gagne delivered a run-scoring single with two down and Dan Gladden followed with a triple to cut the margin to 6-3.

That was as good as it got.  The Angels added a couple of runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Polonia and Joyner.

WP:  Abbott (11-8).  LP:  Willie Banks (1-1).  S:  Bryan Harvey (26).

Notes:  Brian Harper came out after the fifth inning and was replaced by Junior Ortiz.  He had batted ending the fifth--perhaps he was injured in the at-bat.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Scott Leius in the eighth and Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Gagne in the eighth.  Both stayed in the game, with Newman going to shortstop and Pagliarulo to third base.

Puckett was 1-for-5 and was batting .327.  Harper was 0-for-3 to make his average .308.

Banks pitched 3.1 innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks and striking out three.  His ERA was 6.35.  Leach lowered his ERA to 2.76.  Neagle went down to 3.18.

This was Banks' second start of his career.  He would make one more this season.

It was also the second appearance of Neagle's career.  He had made a start on July 27.  He would make three more relief appearances and then make two more starts at the end of the season.  That would, of course, be the extent of his career with the Twins, as he was traded after the season with Midre Cummings for John Smiley.

The Twins were 2-for-12 with men in scoring position.

The White Sox lost a doubleheader to the Tigers, 11-9 and 4-3, so despite the loss the Twins gained a half game on their nearest challenger.

Record:  The Twins were 68-46, in first place in the American League West, 2.5 games ahead of Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Two


Date:  Wednesday, July 31.

Batting stars:  Mike Pagliarulo was 4-for-5 with two runs.  Shane Mack was 3-for-5 with two home runs (his tenth and eleventh) and three RBIs.  Kent Hrbek was 3-for-5 with a grand slam (his eleventh), two runs, and five RBIs.  Randy Bush was 2-for-2.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4.  Chili Davis was 2-for-5 with a home run, his twenty-third.

Pitching star:  Kevin Tapani pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Steve Sax was 2-for-4 with a double.  Pat Sheridan was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  It was scoreless in the first inning, but the Twins' offense exploded in the second.  With one out Davis hit a home run.  With two out Mack hit a home run.  There followed singles by PagliaruloGagneGladden, and Chuck Knoblauch, the latter two RBI singles.  Kirby Puckett walked to load the bases and Hrbek then hit a grand slam to make the score 8-0.

It was never close after that.  Alvaro Espinoza and Steve Sax doubled in the third to cut the lead to 8-1.  In the sixth, Puckett reached on a three-base error, Hrbek singled him home, and Mack hit a two-run homer to make it 11-1.  The Twins scored once in the top of the ninth and the Yankees got two in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  Tapani (8-7).  L{P:  Scott Sanderson (10-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  It was a standard lineup.  Gene Larkin pinch-ran for Puckett in the sixth, something that probably didn't happen very often.  He then went to right field, with Mack moving to center.  Al Newman went to short in the sixth, replacing Gagne.   Bush pinch-hit for Gladden in the seventh and then went to left field.  Junior Ortiz replaced Brian Harper at catcher in the eighth.

Puckett was 1-for-3 with a walk and remained .332.  Harper was 0-for-5 and dropped to .315.  Tapani's ERA fell to 2.97.

Willie Banks made his major league debut in this game, pitching the last two innings.  He allowed two unearned runs on three hits and two walks and struck out three.  Banks would go on to pitch in nine major league seasons.  He was with the Twins through 1993, pitching in the starting rotation for two months of 1992 and all of 1993.  He also pitched for the Cubs, the Dodgers, Florida, the Yankees, Arizona, and Boston.  His best major league season was his last one, 2002, when he went 2-1, 3.23, 1.18 WHIP in 29 games (39 innings) pitching out of the Red Sox bullpen.  He pitched in AAA in 2003 and in the Atlantic League from 2004-2005 and 2009-2010.

There was no great Scott in this game, either.  Sanderson lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits and a walk.  Sanderson had a fine year in 1991, going 16-10, 3.81 and making the all-star team for the only time in his career.  By game scores, this was his worst game of the year, but just barely.  This one was a six.  He had a seven on April 27, when he allowed seven runs on eleven hits in two innings.

The White Sox won again, beating Texas 10-8, so the Twins again did not gain any ground.

Record:  The Twins were 61-41, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Chicago.