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West Division

East Division

Series Wrapup

Story

In 1991, the Atlanta Braves became the first National League team in 101 years to win the pennant after finishing last in the league the previous season.  After compiling a major-league worst 65-97 record one year earlier, the Braves rose to the top of the N.L. West standings in 1991, finishing the campaign with a mark of 94-68 that enabled them to edge out the Dodgers for the division title by a single game.  Boasting the senior circuit’s best starting rotation, the Braves overcame a 9 ½-game deficit to Los Angeles over the course of the season to capture their first division crown in nine years.

Atlanta’s staff featured a quartet of outstanding starters that combined to win a total of 67 games between them.  Tom Glavine served as the ace of the staff, earning N.L. Cy Young honors by finishing 20-11, with a 2.55 ERA, 246 innings pitched, and a league-leading nine complete games.  Steve Avery placed second on the team with 18 victories and a 3.38 ERA.  Charlie Leibrandt and John Smoltz combined to win another 29 games.

Ron Gant and Terry Pendleton paced a Braves offense that finished second in the league with 749 runs scored.  Gant hit 32 homers, drove in 105 runs, scored 101 others, and stole 34 bases.  Pendleton hit 22 home runs, knocked in 86 runs, scored 94 others, and led the league with 187 hits and a .319 batting average, en route to capturing N.L. MVP honors.

While the Braves rose from the depths of the National League, the Pittsburgh Pirates repeated as Eastern Division champions, finishing the season with a record of 98-64, 14 games in front of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals.  The Pirates featured solid pitching and a potent offense that topped the senior circuit with 768 runs scored. 

John Smiley, Doug Drabek, and Zane Smith served as Pittsburgh’s top three starters.  Smiley finished 20-8, to tie Glavine for the league lead in victories.  Drabek followed up his 1990 Cy Young campaign by winning 15 games and compiling a team-leading 3.07 ERA.  Smith finished 16-10 with a 3.20 ERA.

Pittsburgh’s outstanding outfield led the team on offense.  Andy Van Slyke hit 17 homers, drove in 83 runs, and scored 87 others.  Bobby Bonilla hit 18 home runs, knocked in 100 runs, scored 102 others, and batted .302.  Barry Bonds placed a close second to Pendleton in the league MVP balloting by hitting 25 home runs, knocking in 116 runs, scoring 95 others, batting .292, stealing 43 bases, and topping the circuit with a .410 on-base percentage. 

However, Van Slyke, Bonilla, and Bonds all fizzled against the Braves in the NLCS, allowing Atlanta to triumph in a closely-contested seven-game series that saw three contests end in 1-0 scores.  The three players combined to hit just one home run and drive in only three runs.  Bonds and Van Slyke were particularly ineffective, posting batting averages of .148 and .160, respectively.

Atlanta subsequently faced the Minnesota Twins in the World Series, with each team winning all of its home games.  Unfortunately for the Braves, Minnesota’s Metrodome hosted four of the seven contests, enabling the Twins to capture their second world championship in five years without winning a single Series game on the road.  Series highlights included a game-winning homer by Kirby Puckett in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game Six, and an extraordinary pitching duel between Jack Morris and John Smoltz in Game Seven that ended in a 10-inning, 1-0 victory for Minnesota.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• July 6 – The National League announced its two expansion franchises for 1993: the Colorado Rockies and the Florida Marlins.

• October 6 – New York Mets pitcher David Cone tied a National League record by striking out 19 Philadelphia Phillies in a 7–0 Mets win over their rivals.

• November 18 – Free agent Bobby Bonilla left the Pittsburgh Pirates for the New York Mets, becoming in the process the first $5 million a year player in major league baseball history.

• Houston’s Jeff Bagwell (15 home runs, 82 RBIs, .387 OBP, .437 SLG PCT) earned N.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• Atlanta became the first major league team since the 1889-90 Louisville Colonels to win a pennant after posting the worst record in its league the previous year.

• New York’s Howard Johnson led the National League with 38 home runs and 117 runs batted in.  He also placed near the top of the league rankings with 108 runs scored, 302 total bases, and a .535 slugging average.

• Dodger Brett Butler batted .296 and led the league with 112 runs scored and 108 walks. 

• Butler’s Los Angeles teammate, Darryl Strawberry, hit 28 homers and drove in 99 runs. 

• Montreal’s Marquis Grissom led the league with 76 stolen bases.

• Atlanta's Otis Nixon finished second in the league with 72 steals but sat out the final month of the season after being suspended for failing a drug test.

• David Cone of the Mets led all National League pitchers with 241 strikeouts.

• Montreal’s Dennis Martinez pitched a perfect game against the Dodgers on July 28, winning 2-0.

• Two days before Martinez's gem, Mark Gardner of the Expos lost a no-hitter to the Dodgers, 1-0 in 10 innings.

• Martinez led the National League with a 2.39 ERA and five shutouts.  He also tied Tom Glavine for the league lead with nine complete games.

• Chicago’s Greg Maddux topped the circuit with 263 innings pitched.

• Cardinals reliever Lee Smith set a new National League record by saving 47 games.

• The Expos were forced to finish their season on the road after a section of Olympic Stadium collapsed.

• The Dodgers posted a league-leading 3.06 team ERA.

Seasons of the National League

1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
ATL 2349 5456 749 1407 704 .194 255 30 141 165 76 2145 .327 .276 .664 104 45 86
CHN 2297 5522 695 1395 654 .199 232 26 159 123 64 2156 .311 .278 .624 87 55 75
CIN 2217 5501 689 1419 654 .165 250 27 164 124 56 2215 .282 .248 .587 85 41 72
HOU 2302 5504 605 1345 570 .152 240 43 79 125 68 1908 .304 .203 .562 87 43 63
LAN 2375 5408 665 1366 605 .177 191 29 108 126 68 1939 .332 .239 .623 109 46 94
MON 2209 5412 579 1329 536 .164 236 42 95 221 100 1934 .303 .228 .561 97 47 64
NYN 2206 5359 640 1305 605 .171 250 24 117 153 70 1954 .292 .240 .582 97 52 60
PHI 2215 5521 629 1332 590 .150 248 33 111 92 30 1979 .307 .204 .574 114 49 52
PIT 2224 5449 768 1433 725 .211 259 50 126 124 46 2170 .342 .297 .690 111 66 99
SDN 2173 5408 636 1321 591 .139 204 36 121 101 64 1960 .279 .195 .534 122 38 78
SFN 2296 5463 649 1345 605 .185 215 48 141 95 57 2079 .294 .247 .577 91 33 90
SLN 2244 5362 651 1366 599 .225 239 53 68 202 110 1915 .323 .280 .622 94 47 58

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ATL 507 94 68 1453 969 481 6051 1304 118 79.360 564 644 18 3 48 66 13
CHN 520 77 83 1458 927 542 6224 1415 117 111.590 655 734 12 2 40 48 12
CIN 516 74 88 1439 997 560 6133 1372 127 67.380 613 691 7 1 43 60 9
HOU 527 65 97 1455 1033 651 6255 1347 129 91.780 646 717 7 3 36 46 17
LAN 529 93 69 1457 1028 500 6089 1312 96 39.680 497 565 15 7 40 48 12
MON 528 71 90 1441 909 584 6061 1304 111 90.090 583 655 12 6 39 51 9
NYN 475 77 84 1437 1028 410 6030 1403 108 62.680 569 646 12 4 39 59 14
PHI 483 78 84 1462 988 670 6332 1346 111 102.980 628 680 16 6 35 81 6
PIT 515 98 64 1457 919 401 6046 1411 117 79.470 557 632 18 9 51 40 12
SDN 496 84 78 1454 921 457 6092 1385 139 110.460 578 646 14 4 47 49 13
SFN 496 75 87 1441 905 544 6132 1397 143 86.800 646 697 10 6 45 44 14
SLN 531 84 78 1434 822 454 5996 1367 114 94.200 588 648 9 0 51 33 7

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ATL 2712 7386 5358 1865 163 .977 17430 149 59 0 14
CHN 2775 7373 5384 1852 137 .973 17478 139 64 0 19
CIN 2612 7215 5427 1643 145 .974 17278 140 60 0 20
HOU 2755 7295 5451 1659 185 .925 17440 143 60 1.00 16
LAN 2771 7305 5345 1826 134 .975 17496 145 60 0 8
MON 2538 7450 5461 1834 155 .959 17283 149 81 1.00 22
NYN 2680 7252 5290 1800 162 .968 17245 134 74 0 12
PHI 2561 7313 5528 1648 137 .964 17557 151 48 0 9
PIT 2661 7425 5405 1886 134 .975 17480 142 74 1.00 9
SDN 2551 7393 5514 1752 127 .969 17435 109 65 0 9
SFN 2717 7289 5380 1779 130 .972 17302 129 83 0 9
SLN 2602 7283 5432 1729 122 .973 17219 121 81 0 8

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Atlanta Braves 94 68 2140217 1 969
Los Angeles Dodgers 93 69 3348170 2 1028
San Diego Padres 84 78 1804289 3 921
San Francisco Giants 75 87 1737478 4 905
Cincinnati Reds 74 88 2372377 5 997
Houston Astros 65 97 1196152 6 1033

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Pittsburg Pirates 98 64 2065302 1 919
St. Louis Cardinals 84 78 2448699 2 822
Philadelphia Philies 78 84 2050012 3 988
New York Mets 77 84 2284484 5 1028
Chicago Cubs 77 83 2314250 4 927
Montreal Expos 71 90 934742 6 909

Awards

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Tagged:
1991 NLCS, 1991 World Series, Andy Van Slyke, Atlanta Braves, Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Brett Butler, Charlie Leibrandt, Darryl Strawberry, David Cone, Dennis Martinez, Doug Drabek, Greg Maddux, Howard Johnson, Jeff Bagwell, John Smiley, John Smoltz, Lee Smith, Mark Gardner, Marquis Grissom, Otis Nixon, Pittsburgh Pirates, Ron Gant, Steve Avery, Terry Pendleton, Tom Glavine, Tony Gwynn, Zane Smith

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