91/19 World Series, Game 2: Rosario's Heroics Turn the Tides
Image courtesy of Ken Blaze-USA TODAY SportsBaseballs have been flying around the Metrodome thus far in this generational showdown. Game 1 saw the two offenses combine for 19 runs, and the bats collectively tacked on another 13 in Game 2's a 20-hit barrage.
Presumably in this case the Dome's vents have been blowing outward to favor both lineups, although this paradoxically hurts both pitching staffs.
World Series hero Jack Morris didn't have 10 shutout innings in him this time around. He held his own in the early innings, and actually headed into the sixth with a 3-2 lead, but was removed after yielding a one-out double to Max Kepler. Right-hander Steve Bedrosian entered in relief, and retired Miguel Sano on a fly ball to center. That set the stage for Eddie Rosario to step in with the tying run on second and two outs.
You can probably guess what happens next.
The left fielder watched strike one pop harmlessly into Brian Harper's mitt. He stepped out of the box and adjusted his batting gloves, eyes scanning the Metrodome's packed outfield stands, as if searching for a desired landing spot. Apparently, he found one.
Rosario turned on the second pitch from Bedrosian and launched it high over the baggy in right field, pushing his team back in front with a two-run blast.
"I just needed to see one, and get a good look at him," said a grinning Rosario of his take on Bedrosian's first offering. "Then I was ready."
Evidently his teammates were ready too after watching Rosario turn the tides with a game-breaking bomba. First baseman C.J. Cron followed with an eight-pitch at-bat that ended with a double down the right field line. Then Byron Buxton ambushed Bedrosian on a first-pitch ground ball single that escaped the reach of Greg Gagne at short and scored Cron, who beat left fielder Shane Mack's throw to the plate by a hair.
As Rick Aguilera warmed up in the bullpen, Jorge Polanco coaxed a seven-pitch walk, putting runners on first and second for Luis Arraez, who delivered a bloop single to center. Kirby Puckett fielded it, saw Buxton racing around third base, and thought better of even challenging him at home.
At this point, Tom Kelly finally made his slow trot to the mound, removing Bedrosian with a fierce pat to the backside and calling in Aguilera, who ended the rally by striking out Nelson Cruz on three pitches. But the damage was done. The '19 Twins had pulled ahead 6-3.
"One out," uttered a raspy-voiced Kelly in his postgame briefing. "We get one out there, it's a completely different ballgame. One damn out."
Two innings later, the visiting team struck again to push this contest out of reach. Third baseman Mike Pagliarulo's one-out error on a hot grounder off the bat of Cron sparked another rally, culminating three batters later when Arraez came through with a three-run double off Carl Willis.
Berrios, who got through five solid innings, combined with three relievers to hold the '91 Twins to four runs on eight hits following the onslaught in Game 1.
Rocco Baldelli credited his pitchers for battling against a tough, confident lineup, and also credited his hitters for wearing down the opposition with relentless at-bats. But he made no secret of his opinion as to where the game was won.
"That hit from Eddie was everything," said the typically understated '19 Twins skipper. "I know these guys believe in themselves, but when we fell behind in the early innings there, you could definitely sense that 'Here we go again' sinking in."
"Felt good to deflate that place a little bit," he added with a laugh.
Tied at a game apiece, the two teams will now travel across Downtown Minneapolis and ahead several years, with the series moving to Target Field. Michael Pineda will toe the rubber for the 2019 squad, opposite Denny Neagle for the '91ers.
You can find the boxscore and pitch-by-pitch results for Game One attached below. If you would like to learn more about Out of the Park 21, please click on this link. If you would like to try it, you can also download it for 10% off the regular price using the code TWINSDAILY.
MLB Box Score, Minnesota 2019 Twins at Minnesota 1991 Twins Game 2 (1).pdf 843.17KB 253 downloads
Mnnesota 2019 Twins @ Minnesota 1991 Twins Game Log Game 2.pdf 737.09KB 73 downloads
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