Thursday, May 29, 2014

Game of the Day (5/28/84)

Padres 5, Mets 4. San Diego's Eric Show faced New York's Ron Darling. Both would have long and respectable careers; Darling's was longer, but Show was better-established at the time this game was played.

Darling allowed a single to Graig Nettles in the first and a walk to Carmelo Martinez in the second; both runners reached with two outs and neither made it past first. Show permitted only a Mookie Wilson single in the first, but had a much more eventful second. Darryl Strawberry and Hubie Brooks started the inning with singles, putting runners at the corners. Mike Fitzgerald singled as well to score Strawberry; Brooks was thrown out trying for third on the play, but Fitzgerald moved to second on the throw. Ron Gardenhire then doubled Fitzgerald home and took third on that throw (how a double with a runner on second resulted in a throw home, I do not know), and Darling added a sac fly to make it a 3-0 lead.

Show helped himself get back in the game by manufacturing a run in the top of the third - he singled, took second on a bunt, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Tony Gwynn's groundout. He then threw a trio of scoreless innings, which were countered by back-to-back 1-2-3 frames from Darling that preserved the 3-1 margin into the top of the sixth.

Gwynn led off that inning with a triple and scored on a Nettles groundout. Steve Garvey then reached second on a single and a Darling error, and Terry Kennedy singled him home with the tying run. Show hurled a flawless sixth, Brent Gaff walked Wiggins but then saw him caught stealing, and Show was perfect again in the seventh.

In the top of the eighth, Gaff walked Nettles with one out. Garvey singled, moving Nettles to third and taking second on the throw, and Kennedy was intentionally walked to load the bases. Kevin McReynolds grounded to third, but Gardenhire muffed the play, and the two lead runners both scored to break the tie. Goose Gossage allowed a solo homer to Wilson in the bottom of the inning, but then settled in to record a two-inning save.

1984 was part of a transitional period for bullpen usage, and this game exemplifies the older method: when a relief pitcher comes in, he pitches until performance or lineup turnover require his removal. Both teams used only one reliever in this game, each of them appearing for multiple-inning stints despite giving up runs.

Also, the Padres won by a single run, and starting pitcher Eric Show's bat and legs produced a single run back in the third inning. Pitcher hitting: yes, it has actual value.

That's about all I have on this one. It's a solid enough game, but not anything particularly special, even if it did feature two of the next three NL pennant winners.

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