Monday, October 24, 2016

Reliving 1991 - Game 5: Well, That Escalated Quickly

Two games in Atlanta, two nail biters decided on the final pitch. And now we're in Game 5 with the series tied at 2, and everybody is all stressed out and wondering how many games are going to be played. This one had a chance to be as close as the first four. But then ... not so much.

Play-by-play and boxscore are here, video of the game is here.

Top 1 - Twins 0, Braves 0

Tom Glavine pitching

Tom Glavine was pretty good in Game 2 of the series, but ended up with the loss thanks to Scott Leius. Leius' home run was just one of several lesser known players who have come through big time for their teams in this series. Greg Gagne, Leius, Mark Lemke, Jerry Willard. It's been a relative who's-who of who's that?

Tim McCarver just said that power pitchers are more affected by short rest than non-power pitchers, so Glavine and Tapani should be just fine tonight. I have no data to support or refute that, so we'll go with it.

Dan Gladden grounds to second. One out.

Chuck Knoblauch lines to right. Two outs.

Kirby is up, batting .125 for the series. Before him, Dan Gladden was batting .188 in the series. Shane Mack was 0-for-15 before getting benched for this game. So far it's just been a bad, bad series for Twins outfielders.

Kirby Puckett grounds to short. Three outs.

Bottom 1 - Twins 0, Braves 0

Kevin Tapani pitching.

Tapani beat Glavine in Game 2 of the Series, which nobody will ever be able to take away from him for as long as he lives.

Chili Davis is starting in right field tonight because of how bad Shane Mack has been in this series. He hasn't played right field in three seasons, and only played three innings of defense this year. He appears, at least, to have remembered to bring his glove with him.

Lonnie Smith grounds to third. One out.

Terry Pendleton grounds to pitcher. Two outs.

Pendleton bunted for some reason and it almost worked. Cox came out to argue - correctly - that Pendleton beat the throw, but he failed to become the first manager in baseball history to overturn an umpire's call by arguing about it.

Ron Gant strikes out. Three outs.

Top 2 - Twins 0, Braves 0

Chili is up. Two hits in the series, both home runs. You can tell that (obviousness alert) Kelly really wanted this game. The hope is that he can drive in more than he lets in, as McCarver said as I was finishing that sentence.

Chili Davis pops to first. One out.

During Harper's at bat, they show an interview with the previous night's home plate umpire explaining the game ending call he made. I can't remember the last time I saw an interview with an umpire televised like that.

Brian Harper grounds to second. Two outs.

Jack Buck is saying how the teams wanted to work out in the Metrodome the day after this game, but they can't because the Gophers were playing Michigan that day. I mean, they already had to move that game to a Friday to accomodate the World Series, and now Bobby Cox was mad nobody could practice there. Go Metrodome!

Scott Leius singles to center.

Hrbek is up, so we see this sign: "Gant, how do we spell Fat Boy? H.R.B.E.K." That's ... I have nothing.

Leius caught stealing. Three outs.

Goes in the books as a caught stealing, but it was a pickoff. Leius claimed he wasn't tagged at second in time, and he might have been right, but umpire will ever give a runner that call.

Bottom 2 - Twins 0, Braves 0

David Justice strikes out looking. One out.

Sid Bream strikes out. Two outs.

Tapani's cruising right now. This whole series there just hasn't been much doing in the early innings.

Greg Olson singles to center.

Fell between a too-deep Puckett and Davis, who was completely uninterested in trying to get that ball. Puckett cut in front of Chili to field it.

(This was it. This was the moment that I decided I never needed to hear the Tomahawk Chop chant again. I hated it so much I cheered for the Yankees both times they played Atlanta in the series.

Olson steals second, Olson to third on error by catcher.

Kind of an unfair error. It was a bad throw, but Gagne was in position to field it until the throw hit a sliding Olson in the stomach and kicked into left field.

Mark Lemke walks.

Because Lemke was apparently Babe Ruth this series, this was the right call.

Rafael Belliard grounds into a fielders choice, Lemke out, short to second. Three outs.

Belliard, though, has not been Ruth-like.

Top 3 - Twins 0, Braves 0

Kent Hrbek grounds to second. One out.

Lemke bobbled that twice and still had time to throw out Hrbek by a step. Hrbek was never a fast or small man.

Because I have nothing else to add to that, here's a gif of Kent Hrbek repeatedly pointing at Chili Davis during a film shoot from earlier in the summer.

Greg Gagne doubles to right.

A double that went no more than 120 feet in the air. Like Knoblauch's from ... Game 3? Game 4? I don't remember.

At least they can now bunt Tapani.

Kevin Tapani grounds to second, Gagne to third. Two outs.

Ok, not a bunt, but it had the same effect.

Gladden grounds to catcher. Three outs.

Gladden checked his swing twice, then topped the ball into the dirt in front of home plate. I don't think he was seeing Glaving well.

Bottom 3 - Twins 0, Braves 0

Braves fans are all holding up brooms. They're in reference their hoped-for three game sweep of the Twins in Atlanta (although it doesn't REALLY count since they entered these three games down 0-2, but whatever). Tim McCarver thinks the brooms are in reference to Halloween, and that we'll be bewitched.

Glavine grounds to short. One out.

Smith grounds to short. Two outs.

Great, now they're showing the Twins streak of 13 consecutive World Series road losses. Counting their time in Washington, they haven't won a road World Series game since Walter Johnson won Game 1 of the 1925 series. If you count only the Twins, they're at 0-for-8 entering this game.

Pendleton flies to left. Three outs.

Top 4 - Twins 0, Braves 0

Three scoreless innings and my foot is actually kinda shaking already. This series was great for nervous ticks.

Knoblauch singles to center.

They brought in Tommy Lasorda, active Dodgers manager, to give his opinion. His opinion is that these have been some great games. Thanks, Tommy.

Puckett sacrifices. Knoblauch to second. One out.

That was listed on the scoresheet as a sacrifice, but it was not. Puckett was trying for a hit there.

It doesn't explain why Kirby dropped down a flipping BUNT with a runner on base in the fourth inning. Come on, Kirby!

Jack Buck: "Were you surprised by that play, Tommy?"

Tommy Lasorda: "I was!"

Glad Tommy was in the booth for that inning.

Davis flies to center, Knoblauch to third. Two outs.

Gant almost threw out Knoblauch there. Knoblauch almost knocked Pendleton off the bag on the slide, then almost slide over the base himself. Maybe Pendleton should have tried to push him off the base...

Harper strikes out. Three outs.

Damn. First real threat. I don't like this. This is stupid.

Bottom 4 - Twins 0, Braves 0

Gant singles to left.

Leadoff hitters haven't really been getting on base much this series. That one missed Leius' glove by about three inches.

Justice homers to left, Gant scores. Braves 2-0.


Opposite field, off the very top of the wall. Gladden thought he had it at first, too.



Bream walks.

This is not going well.

Olson singles, Bream out on runners interference. One out.

I learned something watching this. I learned that batters are credited with a hit on a ball that hits a baserunner. I thought it would be ... a fielders choice, maybe? I don't know. I knew that was an out, but not how they ruled it for the hitter.

Lemke triples to center, Olson scores. Braves 3-0.

Goddamn Lemke. That one was off Chili's glove, but it was hit hard enough and deep enough that it would have been hard for many right fielders.

Goddamn Lemke.

The only good thing about this is that with all these Braves hits, the fans are actually cheering and celebrating, rather than that stupid, monotonous chant.

Belliard doubles to left, Lemke scores. Braves 4-0.

I don't like this. This is stupid. Baseball is stupid, and the Braves are stupid.

Glavine grounds to second, Belliard to third. Two outs.

Nope, never mind, the chant is back.

Smith strikes out. Three outs.

The misery is over. But this is fine, because the Twins were down 4-1 in Game 3 and came back to tie it, so there's still time. This is fine.

Top 5 - Twins 0, Braves 4

Leius strikes out. One out.

The sound suddenly got like four seconds ahead of the action here in this inning. Apparently they don't store the master tapes of World Series games in the best of conditions.

Hrbek grounds to second. Two outs.

I heard that well before it happened. It's like I'm watching this while listening on the radio.

The broadcasters keep talking about how the Twins are concerned about Scott Erickson's fastball, and how they really don't want to start him in Game 6, which is a great thing to hear when they're trailing 4-0 in Game 5 and at risk of falling behind in the series. I'm not happy.

Gagne to first on error by Pendleton.

Replay shows that Gagne was out. I wish I could say that call was what got the tide rolling for the Twins to make a comeback in this game. Alas...

Gene Larkin hitting.

Larkin grounds into a fielders choice, Gagne out, third to second. Three outs.

Bottom 5 - Twins 0, Braves 4

Terry Leach pitching.

UPDATE: The sound is back in synch with the video. I know you were worried.

Pendleton singles to pitcher.

More like Pendleton singles OFF pitcher.

Kelly went out to "check on Leach," but he stuck around long enough to say how much he hates the home plate umpire's strike zone. I haven't seen the Twins players complain about it at all, so that's weird. TK wasn't normal though.

Gant singles to left, Pendleton to third.

Hit and run. The Braves obviously do not fear Harper behind the plate, or their pitchers holding them on. They're taking advantage this game.

Terry Pendleton has twins on the way. It is described as "ironic," because he's playing the Twins in the World Series.

Justice grounds into a fielders choice, Gant out, first to short, Pendleton scores. One out. Braves 5-0.

McCarver is scolding Hrbek for not going home on that play, saying he had no chance on a double paly and should have cut down the run at the plate. That makes sense. But also, I hate Game 5.

Justice steals second.

Brian Harper straight up can't throw out a runner right now.

Bream flies to center. Two outs.

Olson pops to first. Three outs.

Ok, there's time. Only three innings left, but if they score two runs per inning, they'll go ahead and take the lead into the bottom of the 9th. There's still time.

Top 6 - Twins 0, Braves 5

Gladden flies to center. One out.

They took out Mack before this game. They might have to take out Gladden before the next one.

Knoblauch walks.

A four-pitch walk with a 5-0 lead and Kirby Puckett on deck. Not Glavine's best moment.

Puckett singles to right, Knoblauch to third, Puckett to second on throw.

Great baserunning there. First by Knoblauch to get to third, then to Puckett to be alert enough to get to second on the throw to third.

McCarver is now scolding Justice for throwing all the way to third with a 5-run lead, saying he should have just thrown it to second and preserve the double play. I'm not sure I know what to do in a world where Tim McCarver repeatedly makes sense.

Davis walks.

Now we got something cooking. Just need one big hit from Harper and the Twins are right back in it.

Harper walks, Knoblauch scores, Puckett to third, Davis to second. Braves 5-1.

Jesus, what's happening to Glavine? According to McCarver, it's not how he's throwing, but how he's thinking. I will say he seems to be chomping the hell out of his gum right now.

Leius walks, Puckett scores, Davis to third, Harper to second. Braves 5-2.

No, Bobby Cox, don't take out Glavine! He's doing so well! Let him keep throwing the ball near, but not over the plate.

Dammit, he's not listening.

Kent Mercker pitching.

His first pitch is low and in, too. And Hrbek is, right now, the go-ahead run. If he homers, that is.

Hrbek grounds to short, Davis scores, Harper to third, Leius to second. Two outs. Braves 5-3.

He did not homer. But, the good news is that now Gagne is the go-ahead run. And a single ties the game.

Gagne grounds to second. Three outs.

Oooh! That was hit hard, just right at Lemke. A foot over and the Twins are tied. I am hating this game significantly less than I did at the start of this inning.

Bottom 6 - Twins 3, Braves 5

Terry Leach almost fell down twice in this at bat. That's what a crazy sidearm (sorry: submarine) delivery will do for you.

Lemke strikes out. One out.

Lemke's been so good that I didn't know how to react to him failing.

Tim McCarver: "For most pitchers they have a radar gun. I guess for a submarine pitcher, they use a sonar gun."

Yep, that's how that works Tim.

Belliard grounds to short. Two outs.

Tommy Gregg hitting.

Gregg flies to right. Three outs.

That one sounded like it was going to go a lot farther than it did.

Top 7 - Twins 3, Braves 5

Jim Clancy pitching.

Mike Pagliarulo hitting.

Pagliarulo grounds to first, unassisted. One out.

C'mon, Mike. One pitch!

McCarver has been talking about the 1968 World Series for about 15 minutes and I don't know why.

Gladden strikes out. Two outs.

Dazzle Dan hasn't been good in Atlanta.

McCarver is now complaining that umpires don't call the strike above the belt "anymore." 25 years later, announcers are still lamenting that umpires don't call that strike anymore as if it's a fairly recent occurrence.

Also, baseball would change significantly if umpires called the strike zone as the rule books says they should.

Knoblauch strikes out, catcher to first. Three outs.

Stretch time. The Twins still have a chance in this one.

Bottom 7 - Twins 3, Braves 5

See, the strangest thing happened here. Just as this half-inning was about to start, the DVD flew out of the player and soared across the room, embedding in the wall. Then, still stuck in the wall, it burst into flames, then exploded. And the case the DVD was previously stored in melted into a pile of goo. It was all very bizarre. I have no idea what happened in the bottom of the 7th, or in the rest of the game, and I have absolutely no way of checking what happened, either.

Oh well.

On to Game 6.



Final: Braves 14, Twins 5

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