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Forget Kirby and Hrbek; Remember Pagliarulo

October 10, 2002|Patrick Reusse | Minneapolis Star Tribune

Remember Mike Pagliarulo.

That should have been the battle cry for the Twins as they headed to Southern California.

There is this mystique surrounding the Twins' glories of 1987 and 1991 that it can be traced strictly to Metrodome magic.

If you're a Twins follower who believes in that, then there's a feeling of gloom this morning after the 6-3 loss to Anaheim.

But the Twins were in exactly this same predicament when playing a very strong Toronto team in the 1991 ALCS.

Four years earlier, the Twins had gone 6-0 in the Metrodome while winning the ALCS and the World Series. This led to the belief around here that hard turf and ear-splitting noise would carry the Twins to victory in any playoff showdown.

Then, in Game 2 of the '91 ALCS, Toronto right-hander Juan Guzman--followed by the hard-throwing bullpen duo of Tom Henke and Duane Ward--shut down the Twins for a 5-2 victory at the Dome.

The Twins headed for Toronto with the series tied, 1-1.

The third game of the league championship series went into extra innings. Pagliarulo hit a home run in the top of the 10th off Mike Timlin. The Twins won 3-2, then won two more against the deflated Blue Jays in the SkyDome and completed a five-game romp through the ALCS.

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