Thursday, August 14, 2014

Game of the Day (8/13/84)

Indians 6, Yankees 5 (11). Cleveland began the game with rookie right-hander Roy Smith, who was making his eleventh career start. That still gave him more experience than New York lefty Jim Deshaies, who was making only his second MLB appearance. It was also his last of the year, and his last in Yankee pinstripes.

Smith allowed a Tim Foli single in the first, but left the runner on, and the Indians leaped out to a lead in the bottom of the inning. Brett Butler led off with a triple; Joe Carter's grounder to third got Butler thrown out at home, but Julio Franco singled and Andre Thornton walked to load the bases. Pat Tabler brought Carter home with a sacrifice fly, Carmelo Castillo singled to score Franco, and Chris Bando walked to load the bases again. Brook Jacoby then singled in two more runs; Bando was thrown out at third on the play, so the inning ended with the Indians ahead 4-0.

Don Baylor reached on an error to open the second, and the starters then combined to retire six hitters in a row. Omar Moreno led off the third with a single, and Bob Meacham moved him to second with a walk. Foli singled Moreno home, and Don Mattingly then singled to score Meacham. Mattingly's hit put the tying runs on base, but Smith set down the next three Yankees to leave them there. DeShaies walked Thornton in the bottom of the third, but left him on, and Smith tossed a 1-2-3 fourth.

Bando and Jacoby singled to begin the bottom of the fourth, and Mike Fischlin walked to load the bases with nobody out. Deshaies was pulled for Mike Armstrong, who got Butler to fly to center; Bando tagged up and scored, and Jacoby took third, but Fischlin was thrown out trying for second, thereby producing an unorthodox 8-6-4 double play that had the same results as a conventional 6-4-3 would have: one run in, another runner at third, and two outs. Carter flied out to leave Jacoby at third with the score still 5-2.

Smith and Armstrong exchanged immaculate fifths. Singles by Dave Winfield, Steve Kemp, and Butch Wynegar brought a run across for the Yankees in the sixth and drove Smith from the mound in favor of Mike Jeffcoat, who struck out the next two hitters to end the threat of further scoring. However, after Armstrong worked around a Jacoby single in the bottom of the sixth, Tom Waddell walked Meacham and allowed singles to Foli and Mattingly, drawing New York within a run. Ernie Camacho relieved and got through the next three hitters to preserve the slim lead, and Jay Howell retired the Indians in order to keep the margin intact.

Wynegar drew a walk to lead off the eighth and was pulled for pinch runner Victor Mata. Harrah walked as well, and Mata was then picked off of second via rundown (2-6-5-4 is the scoring). Just when it seemed like the rally might diminish into harmlessness, Moreno doubled Harrah home to tie the score. Camacho got through the next two hitters without further excitement, and Howell allowed a single-and-steal to Tabler and intentionally walked Bando in the bottom of the inning before stranding both of them.

Camacho was perfect in the ninth, as was Dave Righetti, and the game proceeded to extras. Steve Farr allowed a Harrah single and a Moreno walk in the tenth, but stranded both men, and Righetti worked around a Thornton single in the bottom of the inning. In the eleventh, Farr threw a 1-2-3 top of the inning, and the Indians got to Righetti in the home half when Jacoby singled, Tony Bernazard doubled, Butler was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Carter singled in the winning run.

It was a good day for Omar Moreno, whose two hits included a game-tying RBI double in the eighth, and Don Mattingly, who had 3 hits and 2 RBI. It was a better one for Brook Jacoby, who notched the first of what would eventually be nine career four-hit efforts and scored the game-winner in the eleventh.

And from a full-season perspective, it restored a bit of padding to the rapidly-shrinking Yankee lead in the excitement standings for the year. The New Yorkers had a dominant edge at the All-Star break, but the last month has pulled them down within range of the Pirates and Giants, with an average WPL of 2.95 to their 2.93 and 2.92, respectively. But barring any upcoming classics from their two NL competitors, the Yanks should hang onto the top spot for a bit yet.

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