Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Game of the Day (9/16/84)

Dodgers 7, Reds 5 (10). LA's Fernando Valenzuela and Cincy's Mario Soto were both ace-level starters at times in the early '80s, and both would break down within the next three years.

Soto was perfect in both of the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, Gary Redus drew a leadoff walk and stole second, but was thrown out at third on Ron Oester's flyout, and Valenzuela retired the Reds in order in each of the next two innings. Meanwhile, Soto allowed his first baserunners in the third, walking both Valenzuela and Steve Sax before leaving them on.

The first hit of the game came from Pedro Guerrero with one out in the top of the fourth. Soto also allowed a Bill Russell double in the fifth, but nothing else. LA finally broke through on the scoreboard in the sixth, as Dave Anderson singled, Ken Landreaux doubled, Mike Marshall singled in one run, and Mike Scioscia's bunt drew an error from Soto that brought two more runs home. However, in the bottom of the inning, Redus drew a two-out walk, Oester singled for the first Cincinnati hit of the day, and Dave Parker followed with a game-tying three-run homer.

The Dodgers threatened in the seventh when Landreaux and Guerrero singled, but Soto stranded them both; Nick Esasky singled in the bottom of the inning and was also left on. Sid Bream walked and pinch runner Franklin Stubbs stole second in the top of the eighth, but Soto retired the next two hitters to end the threat, and the Reds pulled ahead for the first time in the bottom of the inning after Ken Howell replaced Valenzuela. Eddie Milner hit a pinch single with one out, Oester singled him to third, and Parker brought him home with a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 lead.

LA responded swiftly in the ninth. Sax reached on a Tom Foley error to start the inning, Anderson bunted him to second, and Landreaux singled him around to tie the game. Landreaux then took second on a wild pitch and came home in turn on Guerrero's single. Marshall ended the inning by hitting into a double play, and the Reds rallied in turn when Duane Walker led off the bottom of the inning with a pinch single, Dave Concepcion bunted him to second, and Foley flied out. Walker took third on the flyout, and Landreaux committed what I assume was a throwing error to send him home with the equalizer.

Soto was finally pulled in the tenth, with John Franco taking his place. Stubbs drew a one-out walk, and Candy Maldonado singled him to second. Pinch hitter RJ Reynolds struck out, but Sax singled in the go-ahead run, and Anderson doubled in another, though Sax was thrown out at home on the play to end the inning. Pat Zachry took the mound and issued a walk to Wayne Krenchicki, Carlos Diaz replaced Zachry and recorded two outs, but also allowed an Oester single between them, and Burt Hooton was finally summoned to retire Cesar Cedeno with the tying runs at second and third, ending the game.

Both teams had their starters carry no-hitters through a full cycle of the batting order; Fernando Valenzuela didn't give up a hit until the Reds were on their third circuit. After that, though, both teams had some big hitting performances. For the Reds, Ron Oester had three hits and Dave Parker had four RBI, three of which came on a game-tying homer with the fourth putting Cincinnati in front for the only time. Meanwhile, LA's Pedro Guerrero had four hits, including a double that set up the game's first run and a single to drive in the go-ahead tally in the ninth.

And yet, the most noteworthy effort of the day may well have come from a reliever. Dodger fireman Ken Howell entered a tie game in the eighth and gave up the go-ahead run; his teammates took the lead in the top of the ninth, and he allowed the Reds to tie it up in the bottom of the inning. And then the Dodgers pulled ahead once more in the tenth, and Howell's fellow bullpen arms made it hold up.

All of which gives Howell the following pitching line: 2 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), -.551 WPA... and the win.

No comments:

Post a Comment