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The (Un)official 1991 World Series Re-Watch: Game 5

The Twins stay imperfect on the road in the World Series

Atlanta Braves/@Braves on Twitter

After two thrilling victories for the Braves, the Twins go into Game 5 trying to reverse the momentum. The Twins send out their starter from Game 2, Kevin Tapani, while the Braves counter with their starter from Game 2, Tom Glavine. Coming into this game, the Twins were still winless on the road in the World Series, and they didn’t do themselves any favors in this game.

(GAME LINK)

(GAME 1 RECAP)

(GAME 2 RECAP)

(GAME 3 RECAP)

(GAME 4 RECAP)

  • The broadcast starts with an interview of Tom Glavine, and he can’t seem any more like a potential serial killer. He didn’t seem to have any pulse. Either he was a great actor, or that kind of level-headed emotion is the reason he won 300+ games in the Show on his way to Cooperstown.
  • Pat O’Brien interviews Kent Hrbek about his slump, and Hrbie seems like he’d rather answer questions about quantum theory than talk about his slump.
  • TK opts to put Chili Davis in right field instead of Shane Mack, which is in one word... BOLD.
  • Vince Gill sings the National Anthem, and surely makes Amy Grant proud to this day (they were not yet married in 1991).
  • Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca, two baseball figures who will forever be connected, throw out the first pitch.
  • The Atlanta crowd stays classy while clutching their foam tomahawks, as a sign calls Kent Hrbek a “FATBOY” in the outfield.
  • Glavine picks off Leius, on a play that may have looked different if instant replay was available.
  • Just like Games 1-4, David Justice is a BUFFOON.
  • Greg Olson hits a ball to right-center field, and it’s pretty apparent that Chili Davis isn’t incredibly interested in playing the outfield.
  • Olson proceeds to steal second and advance to third on the throw, but Tapani is able to retire the red-hot Mark Lemke to escape the jam. The score is tied at 0 after two innings, as both pitchers appear to be on their game.
  • Pat O’Brien interviews Evander Holyfield, who still has two complete ears at this point of his life.
  • While remaining a buffoon, Justice hits an opposite-field homer to put the Braves up 2-0 in the bottom of the 4th inning.
  • With one out in the 4th and Greg Olson on first, Lemke hits a bullet to the wall in right field, Chili Davis makes a total meal out of it, and Lemke ends up at third with a triple to make it 3-0.
  • Fellow mighty-mite Rafael Belliard follows that with a double, and the Braves lead 4-0 through 4 innings.
  • Tom Glavine, on the other hand, was on cruise control through 5 innings, posting nothing but big, fat zeros on the scoreboard.
  • Glavine posted a career-high 8.5 WAR in 1991 on his way to the Cy Young, but that only registers as the seventh-best WAR for a Braves pitcher in the integrated era (1947-present). The top mark was posted by Phil Niekro in 1978 at the tender age of 39.
  • In the bottom of the 5th, side-arm hurler Terry Leach comes in, and promptly starts his own fire, giving up singles to Terry Pendleton and Ron Gant. Justice brings in Pendleton on a fielder’s choice to make it 5-0.
  • The Twins show some life in the 6th, as they load the bases full of Knoblauch, Kirby, and Chili with one out. Brian Harper draws the third walk of the inning to bring in Knoblauch, and it’s all the sudden a 5-1 score with the bases loaded.
  • Scott Leius draws an unfathomable fourth walk of the inning to drive in Kirby, and the Braves are forced to pull Glavine with the bases loaded and a 5-2 lead.
  • Kent Mercker comes in and gets Hrbek to bounce out to the shortstop, but Chili comes into score to make it 5-3. The next batter, Greg Gagne hits a bullet right to Lemke, and the Braves escape the inning.
  • David West enters the game for the Twins in the bottom of the 7th and promptly gives up a dinger to Lonnie Smith, his third in as many games. The Braves pull ahead 6-3.
  • The broadcast notes Smith is the first player to hit a homer in three consecutive games in the World Series since Reggie Jackson in 1977.
  • This feat has since been matched by Ryan Klesko (1995), Barry Bonds (2002), and George Springer (2017-19).
  • West walks Pendleton and Gant, and TK leaves him out there, only to watch Justice drive in Pendleton with a single to make it 7-3. It seems like TK was really hoping to get some length out of West after the heavy bullpen usage in the last two games, but he managed to register zero outs.
  • Steve Bedrosian comes in to face pinch hitter Brian Hunter, who lines his first pitch into left to make it 8-3. The proverbial wheels have come off of the team from Minnesota.
  • Mark Lemke continues his bid for series MVP, hitting another triple, and the lead balloons to 10-3. You can hear people crying into their tater tot hotdish all the way from Minnesota.
  • Belliard with another base hit, and the lead is 11-3.
  • TK brings in the human surrender flag in the top of the 8th, as he brings in Jarvis Brown to hit for Kirby.
  • Ironically, Brown was a first-round pick of the Twins in 1986 (9th overall) out of Triton College, which also produced another set of former Twins in Jeff Reboulet and Tony Fiore. On top of that, the Twins also drafted Kirby round in 1982 out of... Triton College.
  • In addition to the Jarvis Brown irony, his only career homer in the MLB came as a member of the Braves in 1994, in a game in which he pinch-ran for David Justice. His lone homer was a good one, as it gave the Braves the lead in the 11th inning of that game off of All-Star closer Rod Beck.
  • Chili gets a knock and gets driven home on a triple by longtime Twin Al Newman to make it 11-4.
  • Carl Willis comes in to the game in the bottom of the 8th, and he’s not at his ball-doctoring best, immediately giving up a double to Pendleton and a triple to Gant to make it 12-4. Justice proceeds to knock in his 5th run of the game on fielder’s choice to score Gant, making it 13-4.
  • Willis serves a vaseline ball without the vaseline over the plate to Brian Hunter, who hits a missile to left to make it 14-4.
  • Down by ten, Dazzle hustles out a triple, and also hustles home on a Junior Ortiz ground ball. Ortiz is not the best or most notable Ortiz in Twins history, but he is the only player to wear the number 0 for the Twins.
  • Jarvis Brown mercifully flies out to end the night on a 14-5 score, and a Braves victory. The series moves to 3-2 for the Braves.

All in all, this was a complete dud for the mighty Twins. When the writer of this has to start digging up Jarvis Brown nuggets, you know things are out of hand. Luckily for the Twins, their next game is in the Metrodome, and some guy named Kirby Puckett has some heroics in store. I’m very much looking forward to recalling much happier times for the Twins.