Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Game of the Day (9/1/84)

Reds 7, Pirates 5 (11). Pittsburgh's Rick Rhoden, in the midst of an excellent year in a career that had a few of them, faced Cincinnati's Frank Pastore, having the worst season of a career that had a few pretty bad ones.

The Pirates got one-out singles from Lee Lacy and Johnny Ray in the first, but Jason Thompson hit into a double play to end the inning. Eddie Milner and Pete Rose started the bottom of the inning with singles; one out later, Cesar Cedeno doubled to score Milner, and Brad Gulden singled Rose and Cedeno home, though Gulden was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double. Still, he had given the Reds a 3-0 lead.

The lead didn't last. Tony Pena singled and Jim Morrison walked to start the second; one out later, Rafael Belliard singled to load the bases, and Rhoden doubled two runs in. Marvell Wynne struck out, but Lacy singled Belliard home to tie the game, and Pastore was pulled for Bob Owchinko. Ray greeted the reliever with a go-ahead RBI single before Thompson flied out to end the inning.

Rhoden worked around a walk in the second. Carl Willis relieved in the third and saw Pena reach on a Nick Esasky error, then walked Morrison. Doug Frobel's flyout moved Pena to third; Belliard's grounder to the mound got Pena thrown out at home, and Rhoden grounded out to end the inning. Rhoden was perfect in both the third and fourth, while Willis worked around a Wynne single in the fourth and retired the Pirates in order in the fifth. Tom Foley hit for Willis in the bottom of the fifth and singled, but Milner erased him by grounding into a double play.

Tom Hume took the mound in the top of the sixth; Belliard greeted him with a single and moved to second on Rhoden's bunt, but advanced no further. Gary Redus singled and was picked off in the bottom of the inning, but Cedeno followed with a double and Gulden singled him home to tie the game at 4. Hume and Rhoden both worked 1-2-3 sevenths.

John Franco replaced Hume in the eighth, and Morrison greeted him with a single. Frobel bunted Morrison to second, and a wild pitch moved him to third. Belliard then grounded to third; Morrison held up long enough to get Esasky to throw to first, then broke for the plate. Rose threw home in time for Morrison to be tagged out to end the inning, then singled with one out in the bottom of the eighth to chase Rhoden. Kent Tekulve relieved and ended the inning. Franco was spotless in the ninth, while Don Robinson allowed a Dave Concepcion single and walked Esasky before retiring the next two hitters to send the game to extras.

Ted Power walked Thompson and allowed a Pena single in the top of the tenth, but stranded both runners; Robinson walked Milner and gave up a single to Rose that put the winning run at third, but one out later, Cedeno flied to left and Milner was thrown out trying for home. Wynne tripled with two outs in the eleventh, and Lacy singled him home to put Pittsburgh in front 5-4.

Robinson remained on the mound for the bottom of the eleventh. Gulden drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a passed ball, then took third on a Concepcion groundout. Esasky flied to right, allowing Gulden to come home with the tying run. Ron Oester followed with a single, and the Reds brought in pinch hitter Tony Perez, who was 42 years old and having a pretty rough 1984 season.

Naturally, Perez walloped a walkoff home run. It was his second and final homer of the season, and the last walkoff shot of his highly distinguished career, and it capped off an extra-inning comeback. It also accompanied a 3-hit game by Pete Rose, who had a few of those in his career (actually, this game started a run of four 3-hit games in a row). On the opposite end of the fame spectrum, scrub catcher Brad Gulden had one of the best games of his career, with 2 hits, 3 RBI, and a +.407 WPA. And that's just the Red lineup - Cincinnati also got eight straight scoreless innings from their bullpen after their starter was knocked out early, while Pittsburgh featured three hits from Lee Lacy and a two-run double by starting pitcher Rick Rhoden.

WPL gives this contest a 6.64, ranking it among the 20 best of the year so far, and among the 5 best games of 11 innings or fewer. And given that WPL does not give extra points for plays on which runners are thrown out at the plate (there were three in this game), it may be putting it too low.

No comments:

Post a Comment