Monday, August 25, 2014

Game of the Day (8/24/84)

Yankees 6, Mariners 4 (10). New York's John Montefusco was rapidly approaching the end of a solid 1650-inning career. Seattle's Mark Langston was just getting started on one that would last nearly twice as long.

The Yankees loaded the bases in the top of the first on a Willie Randolph walk, a Dave Winfield single, and a Toby Harrah walk. With two outs, Don Mattingly stepped to the plate and singled in a pair of runs. Montefusco allowed singles to Alvin Davis and Ken Phelps in the bottom of the inning, but left both men on. Butch Wynegar walked and was stranded in the top of the second, and Seattle rallied in the bottom of the inning. Steve Henderson, Larry Milbourne, and Bob Kearney all singled to load the bases with nobody out. Spike Owen hit a sacrifice fly, and Jack Perconte singled to reload the bases. Phil Bradley struck out, and Davis grounded to third, but Harrah committed an error that allowed Milbourne to score the tying run.

Both starters allowed a double in the third. Langston's was rather more eventful, as he hit Don Baylor with a pitch with one out, then allowed the two-base hit to Mattingly with two away; Baylor was thrown out at home on the play to end the inning. Henderson doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning and made it to third before being left on. Bradley's two-out single in the home fourth made him the only runner on either team to reach in the inning. Winfield walked and was stranded in the fifth; Phelps walked and Henderson doubled in the bottom of the inning, but Al Cowens hit into a double play in between, killing off the scoring opportunity.

New York took the lead in the top of the sixth when Mattingly tripled and Victor Mata singled him home. Mike Armstrong relieved Montefusco in the bottom of the inning and promptly let Seattle rally. Kearney led off with a single, was bunted to second, and moved to third on a Perconte single. Perconte then stole second, and both runners came home on a Bradley double. Jay Howell replaced Armstrong and struck out Davis and Phelps to end the inning.

Randolph and Bob Meacham started the seventh with walks, but Langston retired Winfield, Baylor, and Harrah to leave them both on; Howell set the Mariners down in order in the bottom of the inning. In the eighth, the Mariners made a pair of substitutions, with Ivan Calderon taking over left and Domingo Ramos entering at third. Mattingly promptly grounded to Ramos, and the defensive replacement committed a two-base error. Brian Dayett followed with a double, bringing home the tying run.

Howell was perfect again in the eighth. Ed Nunez allowed a two-out Baylor triple in the ninth, but left him on; Howell then combined with Dave Righetti on a spotless bottom of the inning to send the game to extras. Mike Stanton relieved in the top of the tenth and walked Mattingly to start the inning. Dayett reached on a Davis error, and Mata sacrificed the runners to second and third. Wynegar was intentionally walked to load the bases, Randolph hit an RBI groundout, and Stanton then balked home a second run. Righetti tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the tenth to end the game.

There were quite a few highlight-worthy aspects to this game. The teams combined for three errors, one of them by a defensive replacement, and all three of them led to the scoring of game-tying or go-ahead runs. After Mike Armstrong's disastrous outing, the Yankee bullpen tandem of Jay Howell and Dave Righetti combined to retire an impressive 14 consecutive Mariners.

But as was often the case in games featuring the mid-80's Yankees, the biggest factor was Don Mattingly, who reached base in five different ways: single, double, triple, error, and walk. He scored three runs (two go-ahead and one tying) and drove in the first two of the game, while coming within Don Baylor beating a throw of adding a third RBI. All of that adds up to a healthy WPA of +.481, which was one of the four times in the '84 season Mattingly exceeded +.400.

Have I mentioned before that Don Mattingly had a really nice breakout season in 1984? Because Don Mattingly had a really nice breakout season in 1984.

No comments:

Post a Comment