Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ultimate Twins Team Bracket: 1991 vs. 2006

(Click to Enlarge)
On Monday I released the Ultimate Twins Team Bracket to correspond with the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Today's match-up will feature the top seed from the West Bracket vs. the number four seed. The 2006 Twins had quite the comeback to win the division title. Can they step-up their game and beat the 1991 World Series Champions?

1991 Team Batting/Positions (By Games Played)
C Brian Harper (.311 BA, 10 HR, 69 RBI, .783 OPS)
1B Kent Hrbek (.284 BA, 20 HR, 89 RBI, .834 OPS)
2B Chuck Knoblauch (.281 BA, 1 HR, 50 RBI, .701 OPS)
SS Greg Gagne (.265 BA, 8 HR, 42 RBI, .705 OPS)
3B Mike Pagliarulo (.279 BA, 6 HR, 36 RBI, .706 OPS)
LF Dan Gladden (.247 BA, 6 HR, 52 RBI, .662 OPS)
CF Kirby Puckett (.319 BA, 15 HR, 89 RBI, .812 OPS)
RF Shane Mack (.310 BA, 18 HR, 74 RBI, .893 OPS)
DH Chili Davis (.277 BA, 29 HR, 93 RBI, .892 OPS)

2006 Team Batting/Positions (By Games Played)
C Joe Mauer (.347 BA, 13 HR, 84 RBI, .936 OPS)
1B Justin Morneau (.321 BA, 34 HR, 130 RBI, .934 OPS)
2B Luis Castillo (.296 BA, 3 HR, 49 RBI, .738 OPS)
SS Jason Bartlett (.309 BA, 2 HR, 32 RBI, .760 OPS)
3B Nick Punto (.290 BA, 1 HR, 45 RBI, .725 OPS)
LF Lew Ford (.226 BA, 4 HR, 18 RBI, .599 OPS)
CF Torii Hunter (.278 BA, 31 HR, 98 RBI, .826 OPS)
RF Michael Cuddyer (.284, 24 HR, 109 RBI, .867 OPS)
DH Rondell White (.246 BA, 7 HR, 38 RBI, .641 OPS)

Best of 5 Series
Game 1 Match-Up: Johan Santana vs. Jack Morris
Santana and Morris match each other pitch for pitch in this Game 1 pitcher's duel. Besides a bloop hit from Shane Mack and a bunt single from Nick Punto, there is little action at the plate for either team. Santana runs into trouble in the bottom of the 8th and gives way to Juan Rincon. A double play ball ends the threat by the '91 squad. The '06 Twins use this momentum to push across a run in the top of the 9th. Joe Nathan slams the door shut for the save.
2006 Twins 1 
1991 Twins 0 ('06 Twins Lead Series 1-0)

Game 2 Match-Up: Brad Radke vs. Scott Erickson
The Game 1 loss seems to have awaken the sleeping giant that is the 1991 Twins. The '91 team jumps all over Radke and he only last 3 innings while giving up 6 runs. The bullpen is able to stop some of the bleeding and only allows one more run for the rest of the game. Scott Erickson pitches adequately over the course of 7 innings and allows 3 runs. This was enough to allow the '91 team to tie the series.
1991 Twins 7 
2006 Twins 3 (Series Tied 1-1)

Game 3 Match-Up: Carlos Silva vs. Kevin Tapani
This game turns out to be the most dominated by the bullpens. Both Silva and Tapani only last into the 5th inning. Neither starting pitcher would figure into the final decision of the game. The '91 team would use a power surge in the 7th inning to score the go ahead runs. Both Hrbek and Puckett hit homeruns to power the '91 team to this series tilting win.
1991 Twins 6
2006 Twins 5 ('91 Twins Lead Series 2-1)


Game 4 Match-Up: Santana vs. Morris (Round II)
Both teams looked back to their Game 1 starters for this pivotal Game 4. This time "Black Jack" Morris would not be denied. Santana seemed tired and labored from the start. Even with the slow start Santana was able to pitch 6 innings in a losing effort. Morris pitched into the 8th inning and Aguilera got the save as the 1991 Twins clinch their Opening Round Series.
1991 Twins 5
2006 Twins 2 ('91 Twins win series 3-1)


Tune in tomorrow for the #2 vs. #3 match-up in the Western Bracket. The 2002 Twins will face-off against the 1969 Twins for the right to play the 1991 Twins in the Final Four.

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