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Worst All-Time Twins Tournament, Nishioka Round, Game 6: First is the worst

Though the second wasn’t particularly the best, and the third produced no hairy chests. (I didn’t check.)

Minnesota Twins
Hatcher in the wry.
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Game 6 Lineups

(6) 1948 SENATORS (5) 1981 TWINS
3 - Gil Coan - RF 32 - Gary Ward - LF
6 - Bud Stewart - DH 5 - Roy Smalley - SS
32 - Tom McBride - LF 2 - John Castino - 3B
7 - Eddie Yost - 3B 20 - Dave Engle - DH
5 - Sherry Robertson - 2B 9 - Mickey Hatcher - CF
24 - Mark Christman - SS 26 - Kent Hrbek - 1B
4 - Mickey Vernon - 1B 10 - Hosken Powell - RF
9 - Len Okrie - C 11 - Sal Butera - C
23 - Junior Wooten - CF 7 - Rob Wilfong - 2B
10 - Ray Scarborough - RHP 27 - Brad Havens - LHP


As in Game 2, the Game 6 rematch between aces Brad Havens and Ray Scarborough was decided by one bad inning.

In this case, the bad inning came earlier.

And it was much, much worse.

‘81 batted around in the first, sending 11 men to the plate and scoring seven runs to take a dominant lead they would not lose, claiming victory by an 8-1 tally and knotting the series at three.

Scarborough’s struggles started one batter into the game, as Gary Ward sent a fly ball over the left field wall for an early 1-0 lead. After a strikeout, Scarborough loaded the bases on a walk and two singles, and Kent Hrbek sent a fly to center deep enough to score John Castino.

But the Twins were far from finished.

Hosken Powell, making his first start of the tournament in right field, sent a single into right field that brought Dave Engle around to score, Sal Butera walked to load the bases, and Rob Wilfong took a base on balls, scoring Mickey Hatcher. With Ward up to bat again, Scarborough let loose a wild pitch that brought in Powell. On the next pitch, Ward cracked a line drive past Gil Coan in right, his two-run triple bringing in Butera and Wilfong with the final runs of the inning.

Though Scarborough pitched a 1-2-3 second, Minnesota put another run on the board in the third when Powell singled, stole second, moved to third on Len Okrie’s throwing error, and scored on Butera’s groundout.

Sid Hudson relieved Scarborough after the third and pitched four one-hit innings, but Havens cruised through the Senators’ lineup with an eight-run lead at his back. Havens did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, consecutive two-out singles by Eddie Yost and Sherry Robertson, then kept the ‘48 hit column at two until the ninth.

Already at 95 pitches, Havens went back out for the shutout, but saw Ward drop Gil Coan’s fly ball and Bud Stewart move Coan to third with a double. Don Cooper came on in relief and struck out Tom McBride, but Yost’s line drive brought in Coan, Hatcher making a sliding catch to hold Stewart at second. When Robertson tapped an easy grounder to Wilfong at second, a deciding game became a certainty.

Nishioka Round, Game 5 | Nishioka Round, Game 6 | Nishioka Round, Game 7