Game 152: Minnesota Twins (83-68) @ Oakland A’s (97-55)

Wednesday September 21, 1988

Seven weeks ago Blyleven turned down $1 million on the advice of his agent. The Twins, hoping to avoid an awkward offseason, offered Blyleven a two-year deal worth at least $1.9 million.

That Blyleven was suffering through a miserable second half of his 19th season seemed lost on everyone. Executive vice president Andy MacPhail hedged that reality with a performance clause. Blyleven, who expected a shot in the free-agent market, thought his season would turn around.

Pitch 195 innings in 1988, said MacPhail and you’ll get $1 million guaranteed for 1989. Blyleven agreed, then backed off. The right idea, the wrong results.

-Mark Vancil, Star Tribune 9/22/1988

Blyleven’s struggles continued against the A’s, though to be fair he wasn’t the only Twin struggling.

Most of Kelly’s firepower remained on the bench, too, as injuries and slumps continued to decimate the Twins offense. Gary Gaetti, who probably won’t play in the field again this season, Kent Hrbek, Dan Gladden, Greg Gagne, Tim Laudner and Brian Harper all watched as Kelly filled the lineup with replacement players.

That didn’t show either. Gene Larkin, who will get a couple days off at California, is in a 3-for-32 drought. Laudner (3-for-30), Al Newman (4-for-39), Gagne (3-for-22) and Gladden (9-for-48) also are dragging.

The A’s powered their way to a sweep of the Twins with a 6-3 victory in the series finale. Blyleven lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing six earned runs, an outing made more disappointing by the fact that the A’s were playing with mostly a “B” team lineup with Canseco, McGwire, and Dave Henderson all on the bench.

The Twins managed just three runs against Bob Welch, and were shut down in the final innings by Dennis Eckersley for the third straight game.

Box

Player of the Game
Dave Parker

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Oakland Athletics              153   98   55    0  .641     -   759  588
Minnesota Twins                152   83   69    0  .546  14.5   707  642
Kansas City Royals             152   80   72    0  .526  17.5   673  612
California Angels              153   75   78    0  .490  23.0   687  718
Texas Rangers                  151   66   85    0  .437  31.0   598  696
Chicago White Sox              151   65   86    0  .430  32.0   596  725
Seattle Mariners               152   63   89    0  .414  34.5   624  706

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