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Worst All-Time Twins Tournament, Morrison Round, Day 1: To err is human

Or in this case, to err is in the programming of computer software meant to represent a human.

ALDS Game 3 - Yankees v Twins
The middle of the game is always a pleasant time for a nice sit and chat.
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Play ball.

First, though, I realized after publishing the preview that I’d forgotten to include the document with all 17 rosters. I’ve edited it into the preview for future readers, but for those of you who’ve already read it and are following along, the rosters can be found here.

Although the play-in game isn’t technically part of this day’s matchups, it’s included here rather than getting its own post. I’ll save those for the ends of rounds (possibly) and for the finals (definitely).

Play-in Game (played)

(17) 2012 Twins 3
(16) 1919 Senators 5
‘12 loses 1-0

Walter Johnson overcame a three-run first inning to throw a 125-pitch complete game, and ‘19’s offense came back against Scott Diamond, propelling the Senators out of the bracket with a 5-3 victory.

Johnson fell behind just eight pitches into the game, as Ben Revere tapped an infield single and Denard Span lined a ball into the right field bullpen for a 2-0 ‘12 lead. That lead would increase after Joe Mauer reached on an infield single and, after a pair of flyouts, Trevor Plouffe drove in Mauer with a double over Mike Menosky’s head in left.

But Johnson would settle down after that inning, allowing only two hits for the remainder of the game.

On the opposing side, Scott Diamond’s strong outing was interrupted by a game-changing third inning. ‘19 opened the bottom of the frame with four straight singles, cutting the deficit to one and putting men on first and second. Diamond retired the next two men on flyouts, but Patsy Gharitty lined his 1-0 offering into the left field corner to plate both runners, Joe Judge beating Josh Willingham’s throw to the plate for the go-ahead tally.

From there, it was all Johnson, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth by getting Ryan Doumit to ground out to first and saw his offense add an insurance run with Sam Rice’s RBI double off Brian Duensing.

After a leadoff single in the ninth putthe tying man at bat, Johnson calmly retired Plouffe, Doumit, and Brian Dozier, sending his team out of the bracket and pushing ‘12 along their journey.

(Now, on to Round 1 proper.)

1 vs. 17

(17) 2012 Twins 11
(1) 1909 Senators 1
‘09 trails 1-0

An offensive tumult knocked Walter Johnson out of the box in the fifth inning, while home runs from Josh Willingham and Ben Revere (yes, really) led ‘12 to an 11-1 victory not ended early by any such mercy rule.

‘12 leapt on Johnson early, Willingham’s three-run shot giving ‘12 a first-inning lead, and he, Revere, and Brian Dozier led the attack with a trio of hits apiece.

On the mound, ‘12 employed Alex Burnett as an opener before turning the ball over to Cole De Vries, who allowed only three hits in 5.1 innings of work. ‘09 tallied their sole unearned run in the seventh on a Jack Lelivelt sacrifice fly.

8 vs. 9 (played)

(9) 1956 Senators 2
(8) 2011 Twins 3
‘56 trails 1-0

Starters Chuck Stobbs and Scott Baker put up excellent performances on the mound, but Jason Kubel homered off reliever Bunky Stewart in the bottom of the eighth to push ‘11 atop ‘56 in their first game.

While ‘56 took a first-inning lead off Baker with Roy Sievers’ RBI double and Clint Courtney’s sacrifice fly, ‘11 tied it in the fourth. Consecutive doubles from Kubel and Trevor Plouffe halved the deficit and Justin Morneau’s single put runners on the corners, but ‘11 failed to knot the score on their first attempt when Stobbs threw out Plouffe at home on an unsuccessful Alexi Casilla squeeze. But after Luke Hughes flew out, Ben Revere grounded a single past second baseman Herb Plews to plate Morneau with the tying run.

Brian Duensing received the win for ‘11, pitching a pair of one-hit innings, while Glen Perkins worked around a one-out single in the ninth for the save.

5 vs. 12

(12) 1999 Twins 5
(5) 1981 Twins 6
-10 innings-
‘99 trails 1-0

After blowing a two-run lead in the ninth, ‘81 took advantage of a pair of ‘99 errors to plate the winning run in the tenth, capturing their first game with a 6-5 victory.

Having taken a 5-3 lead in the middle innings thanks to two-run homers from Danny Goodwin and Roy Smalley, ‘81 entered the ninth with closer Doug Corbett in position to record the save. But Cristian Guzmán led off with a triple and Matt Lawton promptly singled him home. Lawton moved to third on Marty Cordova’s single, and after a strikeout, Ron Coomer’s flyout to left tied the game.

In the bottom of the tenth, ‘81 put a pair of men on with two outs, but ‘99 failed on a pair of chances to record the final out and push the game into the 11th. First, Todd Walker booted Pete Mackanin’s ground ball, then Guzmán mishandled Sal Butera’s bouncer, his error allowing John Castino to race home with the game-ending run.

4 vs. 13

(13) 1958 Senators 6
(4) 1957 Senators 4
‘57 trails 1-0

‘58 scored five runs in the fifth inning and withstood a stream of late runs from ‘57 to win 6-4.

A stream of singles (five) and walks (one) brought in the first three fifth-inning runs against Camilo Pascual. After Pascual struck out a batter for out number two, Norm Zauchin lined one last single into right field, bringing home the final pair of runs in the inning. ‘58 added an insurance run on Albie Pearson’s sacrifice fly the following frame.

But ‘57 put up a run in each of the final three frames off the ‘58 bullpen, including a solo home run from Roy Sievers. In the ninth, a two-out RBI double from Herb Plews and single from Sievers put the winning run at the plate, but Jim Lemon flew out to end it.

3 vs. 14

(14) 1951 Senators 6
(3) 1955 Senators 11
‘51 trails 1-0

A five-run eighth inning broke a 6-6 tie as ‘55 ran away late with an 11-6 win.

Although both teams scored frequently in the middle innings, neither team led by more than two runs until the bottom of the eighth. ‘55 loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Jose Valdivielso broke the tie with an RBI single. Eddie Yost followed by obliterating the tie, knocking Julio Moreno’s 1-2 pitch into left field for a bases-clearing double. Yost would tally the final run of the game on Pete Runnels’ RBI single.

With the bottom of the order coming up in the ninth, ‘51 could do nothing facing a sudden five-run climb and went down 1-2-3.

6 vs. 11

(11) 1995 Twins 4
(6) 1948 Senators 1
’48 trails 1-0

‘95 took an early lead, held on through the middle innings, and added insurance late, turning an 11-hit performance into a 4-1 victory.

‘95’s first run came thanks to a second-inning error by catcher Okrie, and their lead would be doubled the next inning when Marty Cordova singled home Kirby Puckett. Brad Radke kept ‘48 bats from cutting into that deficit, save a sixth-inning solo home run by Mickey Vernon.

Still holding onto a one-run lead in the ninth, ‘95 bats quickly put insurance runs on the board: Matt Walbeck singled, Chuck Knoblauch doubled him home, and Jeff Reboulet singled him home. The runs would not matter in the end as ‘48 went down in order in the ninth on just 10 Eddie Guardado pitches.

7 vs. 10

(10) 1982 Twins 1
(7) 2016 Twins 3
‘82 trails 1-0

A low-hitting, low-scoring affair saw ‘16 hold onto an early lead and see eighth-inning insurance help preserve a 3-1 win.

With the bases loaded in the fourth, a Trevor Plouffe single and Kurt Suzuki walk each brough in a run and opened the scoring. That lead would halve half an inning later when Gary Gaetti’s sacrifice fly plated Randy Johnson, and Ervin Santana and Bobby Castillo kept the opposition from reaching the plate again.

But with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Eddie Rosario singled, Kurt Suzuki reached on John Castino’s error, and Byron Buxton lined an 0-2 double to plate Rosario.

Despite the breathing room, ‘82 nearly fought back to extend the game in the ninth. Gary Ward greeted Brandon Kintzler with a double and moved to third on Kent Hrbek’s groundout. With the tying run at the plate, Kintzler struck out Tom Brunansky, but walked Tim Laudner, bringing Johnson up as the potential go-ahead run. But Johnson grounded Kintzler’s first pitch directly to Brian Dozier for the final out.

2 vs. 15

(15) 2013 Twins 6
(2) 1949 Senators 10
‘13 trails 1-0

Clyde Vollmer slugged a pair of home runs to help push ‘49’s offense ahead of ‘13’s for a 10-6 win and an early series lead.

Vollmer capped off ‘49’s three-run first inning with a two-run shot off Samuel Deduno. After ‘13 tied the game in the fourth, ‘49 exploded for five runs, the final three coming on an Earl Weaver special sent over the wall by Sherry Robertson. Vollmer’s second home run, a solo blast off Jared Burton, extended the lead to 9-3 an inning later.

Despite facing a 10-5 deficit entering the ninth, ‘13 kept putting men on base, loading the bags with no outs. But Lloyd Hittle struck out Trevor Plouffe before Chris Parmelee singled in Josh Willingham, bringing Chris Colabello up as the would-be tying run. But Colabello sent a ground ball to shortstop Sam Dente, who started a 6-4-3 double play to wrap up the ballgame.

Introduction | Morrison Round, Day 1 | Morrison Round, Day 2