91/19 World Series, Game 6: Timely Hitting Forces a Game Seven
The visiting 2019 Twins threw out their young ace Jose Berrios to try and force a Game 7, while the 1991 Twins countered with Cy Young runner up Scott Erickson to close the series out tonight. While this set up to be a great dual between two young phenoms, it wasn’t that. The bats got to both of these starting pitchers early tonight.
After the 2019 Twins went down 1-2-3 to leadoff the top of the first, the 1991 Twins got a little rally going, thanks to a one out double from Kent Hrbek and a two-out walk from Shane Mack. However, with two on and two out, Jose Berrios got Chili Davis to role over on a groundball to short to get out of the inning. Miguel Sano got the 2019 Twins on the board in the 2nd, when he drove a 1-2 slider from Scott Erickson over the baggy in right, to give the 2019 Twins an early 1-0 lead.
The Bomba Squad opened up the floodgates in the 3rd, starting with C.J. Cron’s leadoff bomb over the wall in center field to push the lead to two. After a couple of quick groundouts from Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco, Luis Arreaz got a two-out rally started with one of his patented gritty plate appearances, drawing a walk after falling behind 0-2. Arraez then advanced to second on a wild pickoff attempt and was driven home by Nelson Cruz who cam up with a clutch base hit. Mitch Garver then roped a double down the third base line, advancing Cruz to third.
Often times, in this situation, the 1991 Twins might have elected to go ahead and walk the lefty Max Kepler to set up a more favorable right-on-right matchup with Miguel Sano to get out of the inning. However, with Sano having taken Erickson deep his last time up, the 1991 Twins elected to go ahead and pitch to Kepler. This decision turned out costly, as Kepler came through with yet another two-out base hit, this time bringing home both Nelson Crus and Mitch Garver to bust this game open by a score of 5-0. This was the end of the night for Erickson, who was replaced by Carl Willis, who came in and got Miguel Sano to end the inning.
Willis settled things down for the 1991 Twins by stifling the bottom of the 2019 Twins order in the top of the 4th, giving his team a chance to get back in the ball game. It took five pitches in the bottom of the 4th to do just that. Catcher Brian Harper smacked a first pitch single up the middle to leadoff the inning, before Jose Berrios plunked Gene Larkin with the very next pitch. After falling behind 2-0 to Greg Gagne, Jose Berrios settled in for an all-important pitch. Here is the call from Twins radio announcer John Gordon on the call. “Berrios is in the stretch and delivers, Gagne swings and hits a blast, to deep right center, way back, it’s gone! Touch ‘em all, Greg Gagne!” That blast from Gagne brought the 1991 Twins back into the game, now down by a score of just 5-3.
Both Carl Willis and Jose Berrios put up zeros in the fifth, so Tom Kelly decided to trout Willis back out for another inning of work, something that Willis was quite accustomed to doing when the Twins received a short start from the starting pitcher. However, it was clear that the Twins bats were ready to get to Willis the second time through the order. Mitch Garver lead off the inning with a blast down the left field line, and it took an amazing grab in the corner by left fielder Shane Mack to bring back what would have been a home run.
Max Kepler then proceeded to rip a double into the left-centerfield gap, and that was the end of the line for Willis, but the bleeding didn’t stop. Kepler got a good read and stole third base on the second pitch to Sano, getting himself to third with just one out. This paid off on the very next pitch, as Kepler scored on, from all things, an infield single from Sano, extended the 2019 Twins lead back up to three.
The seventh inning was an eventful one. In the top of the inning, Jorge Polanco reached on error from shortstop Greg Gagne. Then after a couple of failed sacrifice attempts by Luis Arraez, he eventually reached on a fielder’s choice, retiring Polanco at second. Nelson Cruz drew a walk before Mitch Garver came through with a base hit to bring home Arraez from second, giving the 2019 Twins a 7-3 lead. Jose Berrios was relieved in the bottom of the inning, and 1991 Twins scratched back two runs, thanks to a double from Mike Pagliarulo, and singles from Chuck Knoblauch and Shane Mack, cutting the lead back down to two.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Tyler Duffey came in to get the Twins out of the inning, and he did just that on only three pitches, thanks to a line-drive double-play off the bat of Greg Gagne. Taylor Rogers came in to protect the 2019 Twins two run lead in the bottom of the 9th, a similar spot to the one he was in at the end of Game 4. However, this time Rogers shut the 1991 Twins down, retiring all three batters he faced, and evening the series at three games apiece.
You can find the box score and pitch-by-pitch results for Game One attached below. If you would like to learn more about Out of the Park Baseball 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. You may also want to read the recaps for:
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