Monday, August 22, 2016

Game of the Day (8/22/91)

Twins 5, Mariners 4 (10). Seattle started Rich DeLucia, who was on the way to a 182-inning season that more than doubled his second-highest seasonal total. Minnesota replied with Jack Morris, who would exceed DeLucia's career high innings workload in 13 of his 18 seasons in the majors.

Edgar Martinez led off the game with a single, moved to second on a groundout, and scored the opening run on a hit by Pete O'Brien. DeLucia hung onto the lead, allowing a Kirby Puckett single but seeing him caught stealing. In the second, Morris yielded a single to Greg Briley and walked Omar Vizquel, but left both men on; DeLucia also gave up a hit and a walk (Brian Harper and Shane Mack, respectively) and also stranded them.

Seattle augmented its lead in the top of the third when O'Brien singled and Buhner doubled him home. A passed ball moved Buhner to third before Morris recovered to leave him there. DeLucia was perfect in the third, and both teams got a lone runner to second in the fourth (Vizquel on a walk and steal, Puckett via double), but nothing else. Buhner and Gene Larkin singled in the respective halves of the fifth inning, but neither would score, and the same was true of Greg Briley in the top of the sixth.

Randy Bush led off the home sixth with a walk, and Kent Hrbek singled him to second one out later, but DeLucia stranded both runners. In the top of the seventh, Harold Reynolds doubled with one out; Ken Griffey Jr. was then intentionally walked, and O'Brien drew a walk as well, loading the bases and ending Morris's day. Steve Bedrosian relieved and struck out the next two hitters to end the threat.

Mike Pagliarulo's double with one out in the bottom of the seventh chased DeLucia. Michael Jackson relieved and saw a groundout move Pagliarulo to third, then gave up an RBI single to Chuck Knoblauch to put the Twins on the board. However, the Mariners struck back in the eighth. Dave Cochrane singled with one out, and after Vizquel popped up, Martinez doubled Cochrane home. Reynolds then singled to right, and Hrbek committed a throwing error that allowed Martinez to score as well, making it a 4-1 game.

Singles by Puckett and Harper led to Rob Murphy relieving Jackson in the bottom of the eighth, but did not result in any scoring. Rick Aguilera threw the top of the ninth and worked around a Briley single-and-steal; Mike Schooler then took the mound in the home half of the inning. Al Newman drew a one-out walk, and Knoblauch singled him to second. Up next was Randy Bush, who turned on the first pitch he saw and cracked it for a game-tying three-run homer. Schooler recovered to send the game to extras, but after Aguilera set the Mariners down in order in the tenth, Scott Leius smacked a two-out walkoff homer in the bottom of the inning.

For his career, Randy Bush hit about one home run every 36 plate appearances. Scott Leius was solidly lower than that, averaging a homer every 61 tries. And Mike Schooler gave up home runs to one hitter in 54.

Leius hit 28 home runs in his career - and exactly one of those was a walkoff. Schooler allowed a total of two home runs in his 34 appearances in 1991 - and both of them were in this game.

That was all quite a remarkable confluence of events - and it worked out in the Twins' favor. Which makes it a nice bit of foreshadowing for the 1991 World Series.

No comments:

Post a Comment