This is the fourth series in a Diamond Mind tournament involving eight of the best teams in franchise history.
1965 Twins 4
1987 Twins 2
Game 1 @ Metrodome (91)
Jacque Jones started the game with a home run off of Jack Morris, and the 2002 Twins took and early 3-0 lead. Mike Pagliarulo’s three-run home run off of Brad Radke in the second inning tied the game, and Chili Davis’ solo shot in the fourth put the ’91 Twins ahead for good in a game they would eventually win 9-3. Jack Morris didn’t allow a run after the second, and went the distance in the win. 1991 Twins lead 1-0.
Game 2 @ Metrodome (91)
Once again the 2002 Twins jumped ahead early, this time on a Luis Rivas two-run home run in the third inning. Kirby Puckett’s two-run single tied the game in the fifth, and Chili Davis’ double scored Puckett with the go-ahead run. Keven Tapani allowed just the two earned runs in a complete game victory. Greg Gagne went 3-for-3 and Kirby Puckett knocked in three runs in the 5-3 victory. 1991 Twins lead 2-0.
Game 3 @ Metrodome (02)
The 2002 Twins entered the bottom of the ninth down 3-1, and three outs away from digging themselves a deep hole in the series. AJ Pierzynski started the inning with a double to left, and Denny Hocking drew a walk from closer Rick Aguilera. Jacque Jones was able to move the runners over with a ground out to put Twins at second and third with one out. Cristian Guzman lined an Aguilera pitch to center, where Puckett misplayed it to allow the tying and winning runs to score, both unearned. 1991 Twins lead 2-1.
Game 4 @ Metrodome (02)
Kyle Lohse pitched eight innings and allowed just one run on seven hits in the 2002 Twins’ 6-2 victory. Jacque Jones and Doug Mientkiewicz each homered in the game, and AJ Pierzynsi went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Series tied 2-2.
Game 5 @ Metrodome (02)
The 1991 Twins had a 5-2 lead after three, thanks in part to Mike Pagliarulo’s second three-run home run off of Brad Radke in the series. The 2002 Twins came back, however, and David Ortiz’s two run double in the bottom of the fifth tied the score at five. Kirby Puckett’s RBI single off of JC Romero in the seventh put the 1991 Twins ahead. They scored another run in the inning, and were able to hold on for a 7-6 win. 1991 Twins lead 3-2.
Game 6 @ Metrodome (91)
Doug Mientkiewicz’s two-run double off of Steve Bedrosian in the top of the ninth gave the 2002 Twins a 9-8 lead, one Eddie Guardado would hold in the bottom of the ninth. Kirby Puckett and Shane Mack each had two home runs in the losing effort, and Torii Hunter had a home run and three RBI for the 2002 Twins. Series tied 3-3.
Game 7 @ Metrodome (91)
The 1991 Twins were trailing 5-4 heading into the eighth inning when Kirby Puckett drew a walk from Rick Reed, stole second, and scored on a Kent Hrbek single off of Eddie Guardado to tie the game. Mark Guthrie and Guardado exchanged scoreless innings in the ninth and tenth. In the bottom of the 11th, Greg Gagne hit a three-run home run, and the 1991 Twins walked off the field with a series victory. 1991 Twins win 4-3.
Series MVP: AJ Pierzynski .519/.533/.852 5 2B, 2 3B, 4 RS
This one was a little bit closer than I expected. The 1991 Twins won 51 of the 100 series simulated. The most common result was a seven-game victory.
1991 Twins in 4: 8 2002 Twins in 4: 2
1991 Twins in 5: 8 2002 Twins in 5: 12
1991 Twins in 6: 16 2002 Twins in 6: 19
1991 Twins in 7: 19 2002 Twins in 7: 16
Overall, this was the tightest series in the first round. The 1991 Twins won just seven more games that the 2002 Twins; 301-294.