TheBaseballPage.com

Series Wrapup

Story

Despite finishing just eight games over .500 and surrendering more runs to the opposition than they themselves scored over the course of the regular season, the Minnesota Twins captured their first A.L. West title in 17 years in 1987, edging out the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics in a close, three-team pennant race.  Minnesota concluded the campaign with a record of 85-77, just two games ahead of second—place Kansas City, and only four games in front of third-place Oakland.  The Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, California Angels, and Texas Rangers rounded out the final standings in the decidedly mediocre Western Division, with none of the teams finishing more than 10 games off the pace.

The Twins could hardly be described as a typical playoff team.  They finished just eighth in the American League with 786 runs scored, placed 10th in the circuit with a team ERA of 4.63, and surrendered a total of 806 runs to their opponents during the regular season.  Frank Viola and Bert Blyleven were the only members of the starting rotation to post a winning record.  Viola finished 17-10 with a 2.90 ERA, while Blyleven went 15-12 with a mark of 4.01.  Jeff Reardon saved 31 games in relief, but he compiled an inordinately high 4.48 ERA.

The quartet of Tom Brunansky, Gary Gaetti, Kent Hrbek, and Kirby Puckett paced the Twins on offense.  Brunansky hit 32 homers and drove in 85 runs.  Gaetti hit 31 home runs, led the team with 109 runs batted in, and scored 95 runs.  Hrbek went deep 34 times, knocked in 90 runs, and batted .285.  Puckett hit 28 homers, drove in 99 runs, scored 96 others, batted .332, and led the league with 207 hits, en route to earning a third-place finish in the A.L. MVP balloting.

While Minnesota advanced to the postseason with only 85 victories, three teams in the highly-competitive A.L. East failed to earn a playoff berth despite winning more games than the Western Division champs.  The Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays battled right down to the wire for the right to represent the East in the ALCS, with the Tigers prevailing in the end by a two-game margin after the Blue Jays faded down the stretch.  Detroit finished the regular season with a record of 98-64, while Toronto ended the campaign with a mark of 96-66.  Milwaukee placed third in the division, seven games back, while the Yankees finished fourth, nine games off the pace, with a record of 89-73.

Being the stronger of the two divisions, it followed that the A.L. East also featured most of the top players in the American League.  Paul Molitor had an outstanding year for the third-place Brewers, finishing second in the league with a .353 batting average, stealing 45 bases, and topping the circuit with 114 runs scored and 41 doubles.  Molitor also embarked on a 39-game hitting streak over the course of the season – the longest in the American League since Joe DiMaggio’s record-setting 56-game skein in 1941.  

Don Mattingly again performed brilliantly for the fourth-place Yankees, hitting 30 home runs, driving in 115 runs, and batting .327.  Mattingly also etched his name into the record books twice during the season.  After tying a major league record earlier in the year by homering in eight consecutive games, the first baseman established a new major league mark by hitting his sixth grand-slam home run of the campaign.
 
Dwight Evans and Wade Boggs both had big years for fifth-place Boston.  Evans hit 34 home runs, finished second in the league with 123 runs batted in, batted .305, and scored 109 runs.  Boggs established career highs with 24 home runs and 89 runs batted in, scored 108 runs, collected 200 hits, and led the league with a .363 batting average and a .467 on-base-percentage.  

Nevertheless, the Tigers and Blue Jays clearly established themselves as the class of the A.L. East, placing at or near the top of the league rankings in most statistical categories.  The Tigers topped the circuit with 896 runs scored, 225 home runs, and a .451 team slugging average, and they finished among the leaders with a .272 team batting average, a .349 team on-base percentage, and a 4.02 team ERA.  Jack Morris, Walt Terrell, and Frank Tanana each surpassed 15 victories, with Morris leading the staff with 18 wins, a 3.38 ERA, 208 strikeouts, 13 complete games, and 266 innings pitched.  On offense, rookie receiver Matt Nokes hit 32 homers and drove in 87 runs.  Darrell Evans homered 34 times and knocked in 99 runs.  Lou Whitaker led the club with 110 runs scored.  Kirk Gibson hit 24 home runs, knocked in 79 runs, and scored 95 others.  Alan Trammell earned a close second-place finish in the A.L. MVP voting by hitting 28 homers, driving in 105 runs, scoring 109 others, and finishing third in the league with 205 hits and a .343 batting average.  

Meanwhile, Toronto finished third in the league with 845 runs scored, placed second with 215 home runs, and led the loop with a 3.74 team ERA.  Jimmy Key anchored the pitching staff, going 17-8 with a league-leading 2.76 ERA.  Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb contributed 15 and 13 victories, respectively.  On offense, shortstop Tony Fernandez batted .322, scored 90 runs, and stole 32 bases.  Jesse Barfield hit 28 homers, drove in 84 runs, and scored 89 others.  Lloyd Moseby hit 26 home runs, knocked in 96 runs, scored 106 others, and batted .282.  George Bell hit 47 homers, batted .308, scored 111 runs, and led the league with 134 runs batted in and 369 total bases, en route to earning A.L. MVP honors.
 
Having edged out Toronto for the division title, Detroit subsequently faced Minnesota in what appeared to be, at least on paper, an ALCS mismatch.  The Twins ended up shocking the heavily-favored Tigers, defeating them in five games and thoroughly outplaying them over the course of the Series.  The Twins outscored the Tigers by a combined margin of 34-23, winning their two home games and taking two out of three in Detroit.  Gary Gaetti earned ALCS MVP honors by batting .300, hitting two homers, and driving in five runs.  But Tom Brunansky proved to be an even bigger factor, compiling a batting average of .412, hitting two home runs, and knocking in nine runs.

The Twins continued to play exceptional ball at home during the World Series, routing the St. Louis Cardinals in the first two contests played at the deafening Metrodome.  However, the Cardinals grabbed a 3-2 lead in the Series by sweeping the middle three games played in St. Louis.  Minnesota’s “Jeckyl and Hyde” act continued when the two teams returned to the Metrodome for the remainder of the Fall Classic.  After winning Game Six by a score of 11-5, the Twins took Game Seven, 4-2, giving them the franchise’s first World Series triumph since the Washington Senators won in 1924.  Frank Viola was named Series MVP for posting two of his team’s four victories.

Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:

• June 2 – The Seattle Mariners used the first overall pick of the draft to select Ken Griffey Jr.

• July 18 - New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly homered in his record-tying eighth straight game.  By doing so, he tied a mark previously set by Dale Long in 1956.

• August 26 - Paul Molitor of the Milwaukee Brewers went hitless, ending his 39-game hitting streak – the seventh-longest in major league history.  

• Boston’s Roger Clemens earned A.L. Cy Young honors by compiling a 2.97 ERA, striking out 256 batters, throwing 282 innings, and leading the league with 20 wins, 18 complete games, and seven shutouts.

• Oakland's Mark McGwire (49 home runs, 118 RBIs, .289 batting average) earned A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.  His league-leading 49 homers established a new record for first-year players.

• Arbiter Thomas Roberts found the owners guilty of collusion after they failed to sign free agents.

• Milwaukee's Juan Nieves threw a no-hitter against Baltimore on April 15.

• The Brewers tied a major league record by opening the season with 13 consecutive wins.

• California’s Bob Boone set a new career record for catchers when he caught his 1,919th game.

• Reggie Jackson retired with 563 home runs and a major league record 2,597 strikeouts.

• Detroit's Darrell Evans set a major league record for players over 40 years old by hitting 34 homers.

• Cal Ripken's record skein of the most consecutive innings played (8,243) came to an end.

• The Hall of Fame inducted Billy Williams, Catfish Hunter, and Ray Dandridge.

• Kansas City rookie Kevin Seitzer batted .323 and tied for the American League lead with 207 hits.

• Detroit's Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker became the first keystone combo in major league history to play on the same team as regulars for 10 seasons.

• Detroit traded John Smoltz to Atlanta for Doyle Alexander.

• Kansas City manager Dick Howser died of a brain tumor.

• Hall of Famer Travis Jackson died at age 83.

• Oakland's Dave Stewart tied Roger Clemens for the league lead with 20 victories.

• Seattle’s Mark Langston won his third American League strikeout crown in four years by fanning 262 batters.

• Kansas City’s Danny Tartabull hit 34 home runs, knocked in 101 runs, scored 95 others, and batted .309.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BAL 2116 5576 729 1437 701 .241 219 20 211 69 45 2329 .337 .372 .727 139 32 31
BOS 2055 5586 842 1554 802 .244 273 26 174 77 45 2401 .362 .374 .754 129 58 52
CAL 2172 5570 770 1406 709 .262 257 26 172 125 44 2231 .380 .380 .761 115 36 70
CHA 2103 5538 748 1427 706 .236 283 36 173 138 52 2301 .327 .379 .706 117 52 54
CLE 2173 5606 742 1476 691 .219 267 30 187 140 54 2364 .309 .354 .663 103 42 44
DET 2233 5649 896 1535 840 .215 274 32 225 106 50 2548 .381 .346 .775 108 56 39
KCA 2117 5499 715 1443 677 .253 239 40 168 125 43 2266 .351 .388 .739 127 42 34
MIN 2256 5441 786 1422 733 .262 258 35 196 113 65 2338 .363 .402 .765 128 39 47
ML4 2138 5625 862 1552 832 .251 272 46 163 176 74 2405 .352 .373 .726 104 50 63
NYA 2215 5511 788 1445 749 .232 239 16 196 105 43 2304 .338 .342 .693 150 38 38
OAK 2246 5511 806 1432 761 .214 263 33 199 140 63 2358 .363 .327 .738 113 48 50
SEA 2092 5508 760 1499 717 .226 282 48 161 174 73 2360 .356 .346 .735 132 50 38
TEX 2346 5564 823 1478 772 .231 264 35 194 120 71 2394 .340 .367 .726 116 51 42
TOR 2359 5635 845 1514 790 .247 277 38 215 126 50 2512 .362 .389 .751 136 35 30

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BAL 456 67 95 1439 870 547 6278 1555 226 92.100 802 880 17 5 30 52 8
BOS 398 78 84 1439 1034 517 6265 1584 190 71.710 763 825 47 13 16 37 9
CAL 406 75 87 1459 941 504 6221 1481 212 81.340 710 803 20 3 36 54 7
CHA 432 77 85 1449 792 537 6188 1436 189 94.050 691 746 29 8 37 35 3
CLE 470 61 101 1424 849 606 6395 1566 219 134.840 835 957 24 4 25 74 12
DET 409 98 64 1458 976 563 6267 1430 180 69.340 651 735 33 8 31 72 6
KCA 387 83 79 1423 923 548 6114 1424 128 81.070 612 691 44 11 26 54 6
MIN 451 85 77 1425 990 564 6205 1465 210 98.680 740 806 16 2 39 62 10
ML4 444 91 71 1463 1039 529 6345 1548 169 97.590 752 817 28 5 45 45 8
NYA 440 89 73 1448 900 542 6225 1475 179 116.170 706 758 19 3 47 61 9
OAK 490 81 81 1446 1042 531 6238 1442 176 124.100 706 789 18 2 40 52 10
SEA 413 78 84 1430 919 497 6167 1503 199 140.590 719 801 39 6 33 47 9
TEX 491 75 87 1443 1103 760 6390 1388 199 111.310 743 849 20 0 27 61 26
TOR 498 96 66 1454 1064 567 6103 1323 158 65.910 605 655 18 3 43 56 14

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BAL 2648 7296 5392 1772 132 .966 17275 145 57 0 5
BOS 2524 7211 5349 1731 131 .971 17236 109 60 0 30
CAL 2749 7359 5551 1667 141 .976 17492 72 58 1.00 11
CHA 2596 7459 5510 1814 135 .975 17373 98 51 2.00 11
CLE 2647 7293 5461 1657 175 .967 17072 111 51 0 16
DET 2831 7355 5488 1726 141 .981 17469 118 43 0 13
KCA 2544 7234 5199 1880 155 .946 17086 124 66 1.00 17
MIN 2758 7089 5338 1640 111 .982 17127 168 46 0 21
ML4 2721 7412 5603 1635 174 .966 17567 119 58 1.00 13
NYA 2706 7274 5451 1704 119 .979 17360 114 63 1.00 22
OAK 2800 7252 5408 1670 174 .975 17348 117 54 0 18
SEA 2614 7252 5320 1796 136 .977 17171 111 50 1.00 4
TEX 2843 7216 5310 1718 188 .939 17329 205 56 0 73
TOR 2860 7210 5337 1739 134 .960 17447 123 59 1.00 13

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Minnesota Twins 85 77 2081976 1 990
Kansas City Royals 83 79 2392471 2 923
Oakland Athletics 81 81 1678921 3 1042
Seattle Mariners 78 84 1134255 4 919
Chicago White Sox 77 85 1208060 5 792
Texas Rangers 75 87 1763053 6 1103
California Angels 75 87 2696299 6 941

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Detroit Tigers 98 64 2061830 1 976
Toronto Blue Jays 96 66 2778429 2 1064
Milwaukee Brewers 91 71 1909244 3 1039
New York Yankees 89 73 2427672 4 900
Boston Red Sox 78 84 2231551 5 1034
Baltimore Orioles 67 95 1835692 6 870
Cleveland Indians 61 101 1077898 7 849

Awards

More From Around the Web

This day in baseball history

September 03

  • 2007

    On September 3, 2007, Ichiro Suzuki collected his 200th hit ...

  • 2006

    On September 3, 2006, Ryan Howard belts three homers in the ...

  • 2003

    On September 9, 2003, Cardinal pitcher Bud Smith becomes the ...

More Baseball History
Tagged:
1987 ALCS, 1987 World Series, Alan Trammell, American League, Bert Blyleven, Bob Boone, Bret Saberhagen, Cal Ripken, Jr., Danny Tartabull, Darrell Evans, Dave Stewart, Dave Stieb, Detroit Tigers, Dick Howser, Don Mattingly, Doyle Alexander, Dwight Evans, Frank Tanana, Frank Viola, Gary Gaetti, George Bell, Jack Morris, Jeff Reardon, Jesse Barfield, Jim Clancy, Jimmy Key, John Smoltz, Juan Nieves, Kent Hrbek, Kevin Seitzer, Kirby Puckett, Kirk Gibson, Lloyd Moseby, Lou Whitaker, Mark Langston, Mark McGwire, Matt Nokes, Minnesota Twins, Paul Molitor, Reggie Jackson, Roger Clemens, Ron Guidry, Tom Brunansky, Tony Fernandez, Toronto Blue Jays, Wade Boggs, Walt Terrell

Comments

    Be respectful, keep it clean.
Login or register to post comments

Share US

Share |