Tag Archives: winning streak

1991 Rewind: Game Sixty

MINNESOTA 10, NEW YORK 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, June 13.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Chili Davis was 2-for-5 with two home runs (his thirteenth and fourteenth) and three RBIs.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a stolen base (his fifth) and two runs.

Pitching star:  Scott Erickson pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and no walks and striking out five.  He threw 85 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Steve Sax was 3-for-4.  Kevin Maas was 2-for-4 with a home run, his tenth.  Pat Kelly was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Don Mattingly was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Twins again got off to a big start.  Gladden singled and stole second.  Chuck Knoblauch walked, and a wild pitch moved runners to second and third.  An infield out scored one run and Hrbek doubled in another.  With two out, Larkin doubled in a run and Lenny Webster singled home another, giving the Twins a 4-0 lead.

The Yankees nearly got on the board in the third, but Alvaro Espinoza was thrown out trying to score from second on a Mattingly single.  Davis led off the third with a home run to make it 5-0.  With one out in the fourth, Gladden singled and Knoblauch walked.  Puckett then singled in a run and Hrbek doubled home another to make it 7-0.

New York got on the board in the fifth on a sacrifice fly and Maas led off the sixth with a home run to cut the lead to 7-2.  Three consecutive two-out singles got the Twins a run in the seventh.  The Yankees got three singles to open the eighth but could only score once, making the score 8-3.  Davis rounded out the scoring with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.

WP:  Erickson (10-2).  LP:  Mike Witt (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Larkin started in right field.  Al Newman was at short, replacing Greg Gagne.  With Erickson pitching, Webster was behind the plate.

In the eighth, Scott Leius came in to play short, with Newman moving to second and Knoblauch leaving the game.  Shane Mack went to center field to replace Puckett.  Pedro Munoz went to right field, with Larkin moving to first base and Hrbek leaving the game.

Puckett raised his average to .321.  Munoz was 0-for-1 and was batting .308.  Davis raised his average to .301.  Erickson's ERA went to 1.60.  Terry Leach gave up a run in two innings to make his ERA 3.21.

Newman was 0-for-3 with a walk to drop his average to .184.

Mike Witt was near the end of his career and was battling injury.  He pitched to only four batters in this game, and would not appear in another major league game until 1993.

This made twelve in a row and fifteen of sixteen for the Twins.  They had swept Baltimore, Cleveland, and New York, all at home.  They would go back on the road next, traveling to Cleveland.  Could they keep the streak going?

Record:  The Twins were 35-25, in second place in the American League West, 1.5 games behind Oakland.  They led third-place California by a game.

1991 Rewind: Game Fifty-nine

MINNESOTA 6, NEW YORK 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, June 12.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-5.  Pedro Munoz was 1-for-4 with a grand slam, his second home run.

Pitching stars:  Carl Willis pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.  Steve Bedrosian retired all four men he faced, striking out two.

Opposition star:  Jesse Barfield was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his twelfth and thirteenth) and three RBIs.

The game:  The Twins jumped out to a big lead early.  In the first inning, Knoblauch led off with a single-plus-error and went to third on a wild pitch.  With one out, Kirby Puckett walked and Chili Davis singled for the first Twins run.  With two out, Kent Hrbek walked and Munoz followed with a grand slam, giving the Twins a 5-0 lead.

Barfield homered in the second to cut the lead to 5-1.  The Twins put two on with one out in the bottom of the second but did not score.  In the fourth the Yankees got back into the game.  Don Mattingly singled and Barfield hit his second home run, making the score 5-3.

The Twins got an insurance run in the fifth when Puckett singled, went to second on a fly ball, and scored on a Brian Harper single.  That was it for the scoring.  New York threatened a few times.  Steve Sax hit a two-out double in the fifth.  They got a pair of one-out singles in the seventh.  They put men on first and third with two out in the eighth.  But they did not score, and the final tally was 6-3 Twins.

WP:  Allan Anderson (4-4).  LP:  Jeff Johnson (0-2).  S:  Bedrosian (3).

Notes:  Shane Mack was in left field, replacing Dan Gladden.  Munoz was in right.  Mack batted second, with Knoblauch moving to the leadoff spot.

Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .331.  Puckett was 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base (his second), and two runs.  He was batting .317.  Munoz was batting .313.  Willis lowered his ERA to 3.04.

Anderson started and pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and no walks and striking out four.  Jeff Johnson was the starter for New York, pitching five innings and allowing six runs on six hits and two walks and striking out two.

Rick Aguilera had pitched in four of the last five Twins games, and so presumably was unavailable for this game.  Bedrosian certainly came through in his stead.

This was Jeff Johnson's second major league start.  He was in the Yankee rotation for the rest of the season and went 6-11, 5.95, 1.49 WHIP.  He started 1992 in the rotation as well, but when he was no better he was sent to AAA.  He made two more major league starts in 1993, was in AAA for Cleveland in 1994, then was done.  His major league stats 8-16, 6.52, 1.63 WHIP.  He has, however, been a minor league pitching coach for several seasons.

The Twins had won eleven in a row and fourteen of fifteen.  How long could they keep it going?

Record:  The Twins were 34-25, in second place in the American League West, two games behind Oakland.  They led third-place California by a half game.

1991 Rewind: Game Fifty-seven

MINNESOTA 8, CLEVELAND 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, June 10.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 3-for-5 with two runs.  Scott Leius was 2-for-2.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs, and two RBIs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4.  Dan Gladden was 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs.

Pitching star:  Paul Abbott pitched four shutout innings, giving up three hits and no walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Felix Fermin was 4-for-5 with a double and a stolen base, his fourth.  Mike Huff was 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs, and two RBIs.  Luis Lopez was 2-for-4.

The game:  Huff led off the game with a home run.  The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the first when Gladden walked, went to second on a Mack single, and scored on a pair of sacrifice flies.  The Indians responded with three in the second.  Luis Lopez got a one-out single and went to second when Turner Ward walked.  With two out, Huff had a two-run single-plus-error and Fermin had an RBI single, putting Cleveland ahead 4-1.

The Twins got a pair of one-out walks in the second, but a double play took them out of the inning.  In the third, however, Mack and Puckett singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  A force out brought home one run and singles by Chili Davis and Harper plated another, cutting the lead to 4-3.  Another double play, however, took them out of the inning.

The Twins took the lead in the fifth.  Puckett and Hrbek opened the inning with singles.  With one out, Harper was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.  Mike Pagliarulo then delivered a three-run double, giving the Twins a 6-4 lead.  It went to 8-4 in the sixth.  It again started with a pair of singles, this time by Gladden and Mack.  Sacrifice flies by Puckett and Davis followed.

Fermin created a run in the seventh.  He singled, stole second, went to third on a fly ball, and scored on a ground out, making the score 8-5.  The Indians threatened in the ninth.  Alex Cole singled but was taken off the bases by a double play.  With two out, Fermin doubled and Jerry Browne singled, bringing the tying run to the plate.  Rick Aguilera then came in and retired Rick James on a deep fly ball to end the game.

WP:  Abbott (1-0).  LP:  Eric King (4-5).  S:  Aguilera (16).

Notes:  Al Newman started at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch.  Mack took the second spot in the batting order.  Pagliarulo started at third base.  Leius batted for him in the seventh inning and remained in the game at third base.

Harper raised his average to .336.  Puckett raised his average to .323.  Abbott lowered his ERA to 2.45.  Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.20.  Terry Leach pitched 2.2 innings, giving up one run, to make his ERA 3.12.

Mark Guthrie started for the Twins and allowed four runs in two innings on five hits and a walk.  He struck out two.  King pitched 4.1 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and four walks.  He struck out none.

This was not Abbott's longest relief stint--in fact, it's tied for third.  Each of his next two appearances would be longer.  It was, however, his longest scoreless appearance of the season.

Despite his four hits in this game, Felix Fermin was not a good batter.  For his career he batted .259/.305/.303.  He played for ten seasons and had over three thousand plate appearances, so one assumes he was a superior fielder.  He was thought to have been one, anyway.  His best offensive season was 1994, when he batted .317 in 411 plate appearances.  That sounds impressive, and in a way it is, but because he rarely walked and had little power, his OPS was still only .718.  That was the only season he got over. 700.  The next year he batted .195, and the following year he was done.  You'd have thought that, as a light-hitting shortstop, he might have been a good base stealer, but you'd have been wrong.  His high in stolen bases was six, in 1989.  For his career, he was 27-for-48 in stolen bases.  b-r.com says that his "main claim to fame in the US is that he was traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Seattle Mariners in return for Omar Vizquel, in what was arguably the worst trade in Mariners history."  He did, however, become a successful manager in the Mexican League, winning a league championship in 2007.

The Twins had now won nine a row and had swept series from Baltimore and Cleveland.  They were continuing to climb the standings.  Next, the Twins would host the Yankees.  The Yankees of this era were not "The Yankees", but they were still about a .500 team at this stage of the season.

Record:  The Twins were 32-25, in third place in the American League West, three games behind Oakland.  They were a half game behind second-place California and 1.5 games ahead of fourth-place Seattle.

1991 Rewind: Game Fifty-five

MINNESOTA 2, CLEVELAND 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, June 8.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-2 with two walks.  Dan Gladden was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching star:  Scott Erickson pitched 8.2 innings, giving up one run on nine hits and two walks and striking out seven.  He threw 115 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Alex Cole was 3-for-4 with a walk.  Chris James was 2-for-4 with a double.  Charles Nagy pitched 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and five walks and striking out four.

The game:  The Twins put men on first and second in the first, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  Gladden led off with a double in the third but could not get past third base.  Mark Lewis led off with a double in the sixth but also could not get past third base.

The Twins finally got on the board in the sixth.  With one out, Puckett singled, Kent Hrbek walked, and Chili Davis delivered an RBI double to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  They added another run in the seventh.  Gladden drew a one-out walk and went to second on a ground out.  Puckett was intentionally walked, but Hrbek came through with a single to make the score 2-0.

The Indians rallied in the ninth.  Erickson retired the first two batters, but James singled, Jerry Browne singled, and Turner Ward drove home a run with a single to cut the lead to 2-1.  Rick Aguilera came in and walked Cole to load the bases, but Lewis flied to right to end the game.

WP:  Scott Erickson (9-2).  LP:  Nagy (2-6).  S:  Aguilera (15).

Notes:  Gene Larkin was the right fielder, replacing Shane Mack.  Mack came in for defense in the ninth inning.  With Erickson pitching, Lenny Webster was the catcher rather than Brian Harper.

Puckett raised his average to .326.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-4 and was batting .308.  Davis was 1-for-4 and was batting .303.  Erickson's ERA went to 1.53.  Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.22.

In twelve starts so far, Erickson had not pitched fewer than 6.1 innings or thrown fewer than 84 pitches in a game.  He also had only one game score below fifty.

Nagy was in the second year of his career.  This was his twelfth start, too, and Cleveland was 3-9 in his starts.  It wasn't his fault--in the nine losses, the Indians scored a total of seventeen runs.  Twice they were shut out.  In one of the victories they scored two runs and in another they scored one.  It's hard to get wins with that kind of run support.

Jesse Orosco pitched in both yesterday's game and in this one.  He was already a veteran, in the twelfth year of his career at age thirty-four.  He would, of course, pitch twelve more years, including appearing in eight games with the Twins in 2003.

This was the Twins' seventh consecutive win.  Again, the streak was driven by pitching--the Twins had scored just 27 runs (less than four per game) but had allowed just fourteen (two per game).  They continued to move up in the standings, as you'll see below.

Record:  The Twins were 30-25, in third place in the American League West, three games behind Oakland.  They were 1.5 games behind second-place California and a half game ahead of fourth-place Seattle.

1991 Rewind: Game Fifty-four

MINNESOTA 2, CLEVELAND 0 IN MINNESOTA

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.

1991 Rewind: Game Fifty-three

MINNESOTA 4, BALTIMORE 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, June 5.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 3-for-4 with a stolen base.  Lenny Webster was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.

Pitching star:  Kevin Tapani pitched 7.2 innings, giving up one run on seven hits and a walk and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Randy Milligan was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fifth.  Mike Devereaux was 2-for-4.  Cal Ripken was 2-for-4.  David Segui was 1-for-4 with a home run.

The game:  Nobody got past first until the fourth inning, when the Twins put men on second and third with two out.  The Twins started the scoring in the fifth, when Mike Pagliarulo walked and Webster followed with a two-run homer, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.

The Orioles got one back in the sixth when Devereaux singled, Tim Hulett walked, and Joe Orsulak delivered an RBI single.  The Twins got the run back plus another in the bottom of the sixth on singles by Kent Hrbek and Davis and a two-run single-plus-error by Shane Mack, making the score 4-1.

Baltimore got a pair of two-out singles in the eighth, but Rick Aguilera came in to retire Orsulak.  In the ninth, however, with Aguilera still in the game, the Orioles got one-out back-to-back homers from Milligan and David Segui to cut the lead to 4-3.  Aguilera came back to strike out Chris Hoiles and Ernie Whitt to save the win.

WP:  Tapani (3-6).  LP:  Jose Mesa (4-6).  S:  Aguilera (13).

Notes:  Al Newman was at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch.  He batted second despite his .484 OPS.  Webster was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.

Webster was batting .333.  He had two hits to this point in the season, both home runs.  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .330.  Greg Gagne was 0-for-3 and was batting .311.  Davis raised his average to .304.  Despite giving up two runs, Aguilera still had an ERA of just 2.33.

Newman was 0-for-4 and was batting .187.

Mesa pitched 5.1 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks and struck out one.

The Twins had won five in a row.  That matched their longest winning streak of the season, April 24-28.

Record:  The Twins were 28-25, fifth in the American League West, but just one percentage point behind fourth-place Seattle.  They trailed Oakland by 4.5 games.

Game 48: twins @ mariners

Winning streak!

We might not get a whole lot of these this season, so it's worth getting excited over them, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

You know what would go nice with that winning streak? A long winning streak.

Hughes tries to make that happen tonight. Wade Miley tries to stop him, but other than having a pretty full beard in his bbref photo, I'm not convinced. The Twins weren't supposed to win last night, and they dominated, surely they can take on Grizzly Adams and his 4.51 FIP, right?

Twins on Leaderboards

On Base Percentage - Mauer - 10th (.389)
Base on Balls - Mauer - t-3rd (29)
Base on Balls - Sano - t-6th(26)
Strikeouts
 - Sano - t-2nd (67)
Stolen Bases - Santana - t-4th (10)
Stolen Bases - Nunez - t-9th (8)
Hit By Pitch - Park - t-5th (5)
Hit By Pitch - Núñez - t-10th (3)
Hit By Pitch - Dozier - t-10th (3)
Sacrifice Hits - Murphy - t-6th (2)
Sacrifice Hits - Rosario -  t-6th (2)
Intentional Walks - Mauer - t-3rd (5)
Caught Stealing - Santana - t-3rd (5)
AB per HR - Park - 8th (15.2)

BB/9 - Hughes - 7th (1.664)
BB/9 - Nolasco - 10th (1.904)
Games Pitched - Pressly - t-3rd (24)
Games Pitched - May - t-7th (23)
Complete Games - Hughes - t3rd (1)
K/BB - Nolasco - 10th (4.182)
Losses - Hughes - 1st (7)
Earned Runs - Nolasco - t-8th (32)
Wild Pitches - May - t-2nd (6)