Friday, June 1, 2012

Flashback Fridays

We're starting a new segment on the blog this week called Flashback Fridays where we look back on past sports events and figures and sort of pay a tribute to them. I can't take 100% of the credit for coming up with this idea as my muse, aka my loving wife, was really the inspiration here, but I like the idea so we're going to run with it. So without further ado, we're going to kick off Flashback Fridays with a look back at Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
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The 1991 World Series pitted the AL West Champion Minnesota Twins (yes, once upon a time, the Twins were in the AL West) against the NL West Champion Atlanta Braves (hey, if the Falcons could play in the NFC West, why not the Braves in the NL West). After six games, four of them decided by just one run, the two clubs found themselves deadlocked at 3 games apiece setting up a 7th Game showdown between aces Jack Morris and John Smoltz.
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Morris was starting his third game of the World Series having won Game 1 against Charlie Leibrandt, and having outpitched the 24 year old Smoltz in Game 4 only to have his bullpen blow a 2-1 lead. Morris ensured the Twins bullpen wouldn't be a factor in Game 7 though. The 15 year veteran,whom Smoltz had grown up idolizing as a kid in Michigan, was absolutely sensational throwing ten - not a typo - scoreless innings against the Braves allowing just 7 hits and 2 walks and fanning 8. It has to be one of the greatest Game 7 pitching performances in World Series history.
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Smoltz was no slouch either throwing 7 1/3 scoreless himself before giving way to Mike Stanton in the 8th, but the game would be decided in the 10th inning, the third game of the series to end in extra innings. Twins leadoff hitter Dan Gladden, mullet and all, legged out a bloop double to start the bottom of the 10th off of Alejandro Peña. AL Rookie of Year Chuck Knoblauch would sacrifice Gladden to third, and then after intentional walks to Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek, pinch hitter Gene Larkin would deliver a fly ball single to left field to score the game's only run and give Minnesota their second World Series title in five years. It was Larkin's only RBI of the series.
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Morris was named the Series MVP allowing just 3 runs in 23 innings of work and capping it off with the 10 inning shutout in Game 7. If you're one of those folks who doesn't think Morris belongs in the Hall, all you have to do is watch Game 7 of the '91 Series.

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