1987 American League Championship Series: Wikis

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1987 American League Championship Series
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Minnesota Twins (4) Tom Kelly 85–77, .525, GA: 2
Detroit Tigers (1) Sparky Anderson 98–64, .605, GA: 2
Dates: October 7–October 12
MVP: Gary Gaetti (Minnesota)
Television: NBC
TV announcers: Bob Costas and Tony Kubek
Radio: CBS
Radio announcers: Brent Musburger and Bill White
Umpires: Joe Brinkman, Durwood Merrill, Drew Coble, Al Clark, Mike Reilly, Jim McKean
 < 1986 ALCS 1988 > 
1987 World Series

The 1987 American League Championship Series pitted the Minnesota Twins, the AL West champions, against the Detroit Tigers, the AL East champions. Minnesota won the Series four games to one, en route to winning the 1987 World Series four games to three over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Contents

Background

The Detroit Tigers finished the 1987 regular season with the best record in all of baseball, at 98–64 (.605). They won the American League East by two games in thrilling fashion over the Toronto Blue Jays, overcoming a 3+12-game deficit and clinching the division on the last day of the season with a 1–0 win over the Jays. The Twins, by contrast, finished with the worst record of any of the four teams that made the playoffs, at 85–77 (.525). Although they held off the Kansas City Royals by two games to take the division, they were clearly seen as the underdogs against the power of the Tigers in the 1987 ALCS. After their elimination in the 1987 ALCS, the Detroit Tigers would not see the playoffs again for 19 years, clinching their next playoff berth on September 24, 2006.

Summary

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Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers

Minnesota wins the series, 4–1.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance
1 October 7 Detroit Tigers – 5, Minnesota Twins – 8 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 2:46 53,269[1]
2 October 8 Detroit Tigers – 3, Minnesota Twins – 6 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 2:54 55,245[2] 
3 October 10 Minnesota Twins – 6, Detroit Tigers – 7 Tiger Stadium 3:29 49,730[3] 
4 October 11 Minnesota Twins – 5, Detroit Tigers – 3 Tiger Stadium 3:24 51,939[4] 
5 October 12 Minnesota Twins – 9, Detroit Tigers – 5 Tiger Stadium 3:14 47,448[5]

Game summaries

Game 1

Wednesday, October 7, 1987 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 5 10 0
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 4 X 8 10 0

WP: Jeff Reardon (1–0)  LP: Doyle Alexander (0–1)  
HRs:  DET – Mike Heath (1), Kirk Gibson (1)  MIN – Gary Gaetti 2 (2)

The 1987 AL playoffs opened at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, with the Tigers throwing Doyle Alexander against the Twins' Frank Viola. In the bottom of the second, the Twins opened the scoring when third baseman Gary Gaetti homered off Alexander to give Minnesota a 1–0 lead. However, Detroit answered back the very next half-inning, as catcher Mike Heath socked a home run to center field to tie the game. The game remained tied until the bottom of the fifth, when the Twins erupted for three runs. Gaetti led off the inning with his second round-tripper of the game, and Randy Bush followed by stroking a triple to right field and coming home on a double by Tom Brunansky. Steve Lombardozzi sacrificed Brunansky to third, and he scored on a subsequent base hit by Dan Gladden to make it 4–1.

Beginning in the top half of the sixth, however, Detroit staged a comeback. Kirk Gibson smacked a solo home run that inning, and then Heath ripped an RBI single in the seventh that scored Larry Herndon to cut Minnesota's lead down to one. In the top of the eighth, the Tigers took a one-run lead with a pair of sacrifice flies off Twins reliever Jeff Reardon that scored Gibson and Alan Trammell.

In the bottom of the eighth, however, Minnesota took the lead for good. A double by Kirby Puckett brought Gladden home to tie the game, and Don Baylor and Brunansky drove in the go-ahead runs off Willie Hernández with a single and double, respectively. A single by Johnny Grubb and a walk to Lou Whitaker was all the Tigers could muster against Reardon in the ninth, as Gibson struck out to give the Twins an 8–5 victory and a 1–0 lead in the series.

Game 2

Thursday, October 8, 1987 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 7 1
Minnesota 0 3 0 2 1 0 0 0 X 6 6 0

WP: Bert Blyleven (1–0)  LP: Jack Morris (0–1)  SV: Juan Berenguer (1)  
HRs:  DET – Chet Lemon (1), Lou Whitaker (1)  MIN – Kent Hrbek (1)

For Game 2, the Twins sent Bert Blyleven to the hill against Detroit's ace, Jack Morris. In the top of the second, the Tigers opened the scoring when Chet Lemon cracked a two-run home run off Blyleven. In the bottom half of the inning, however, the Twins stormed back, as Gaetti doubled to right and scored on another double by Brunansky. After a walk to Greg Gagne, catcher Tim Laudner lashed the third double of the inning off Morris, scoring both Brunansky and Gagne for a 3–2 Minnesota lead.

The Twins extended their lead in the fourth, as Bush singled and then stole second and third. After consecutive walks to Brunansky and Gagne, Gladden singled to left to drive in Bush and Brunansky. Kent Hrbek then added a solo homer in the fifth, giving Minnesota a 6–2 lead. Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker touched Blyleven for a solo homer in the eighth, but the Twins hurler would allow nothing more, striking out the side in the ninth to hand the Twins a 6–3 victory and a 2–0 series lead.

Game 3

Saturday, October 10, 1987 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 0 6 8 1
Detroit 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 2 X 7 7 0

WP: Mike Henneman (1–0)  LP: Jeff Reardon (1–1)  
HRs:  MIN – Greg Gagne (1), Tom Brunansky (1)  DET – Pat Sheridan (1)

The series shifted to Detroit for Game 3, with the Tigers' Walt Terrell facing the Twins' Les Straker. The two pitchers matched zeroes for the first two-and-a-half innings until the bottom of the third, when Detroit's Pat Sheridan doubled to left, moved to third on a single by Whitaker, and scored on a force out by Gibson that sent Whitaker to third. After Gibson stole second, a balk by Straker scored Whitaker, and a single by Trammell brought in Gibson. A double by Herndon then scored Trammell and Lemon to give the Tigers a 5–0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, the Twins cut Detroit's lead to 5–2 with a Gagne home run and a Bush single that scored Hrbek, and in the sixth they cut the lead down to one run with a two-run homer by Brunansky. In the top of the seventh, a two-out single by Gaetti drove in Gladden and Gagne to give the Twins a 6–5 lead and put them on the cusp of taking a 3–0 series lead.

Facing the prospect of blowing a 5–0 lead and falling behind three games to none in the series, the Tigers rallied in the bottom of the eighth. The Twins brought in closer Jeff Reardon to get a two-inning save. After a lead-off single by Larry Herndon, Reardon got Tom Brookens to pop out to Hrbek. Pat Sheridan then stepped up to the plate, 1–6 lifetime vs Reardon. Sheridan launched Reardon's first pitch into the upper deck in right field to give the Tigers the lead back, 7–6.

In the top of the ninth, Mike Henneman retired the Twins in order to put the Tigers back in the series.

Game 4

Sunday, October 11, 1987 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 5 7 1
Detroit 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 7 3

WP: Frank Viola (1–0)  LP: Frank Tanana (0–1)  SV: Jeff Reardon (1)  
HRs:  MIN – Kirby Puckett (1), Greg Gagne (2)

Game 5

Monday, October 12, 1987 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 9 15 1
Detroit 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 1 5 9 1

WP: Bert Blyleven (2–0)  LP: Doyle Alexander (0–2)  SV: Jeff Reardon (2)  
HRs:  MIN – Tom Brunansky (2)  DET – Matt Nokes (1), Chet Lemon (2)

Composite box

1987 ALCS (4–1): Minnesota Twins over Detroit Tigers

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota Twins 0 8 1 5 5 3 3 6 3 34 46 3
Detroit Tigers 1 2 6 3 1 2 1 6 1 23 40 5
Total attendance: 257,631   Average attendance: 51,526

Series quotes

Reardon has it...the Minnesota Twins are in the WORLD SERIES!!!
NBC's Bob Costas calling the final out in Game 5

Notes

External links


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