Friday, September 5, 2014

Game of the Day (9/4/84)

Mariners 6, Rangers 3 (13). Seattle's Jim Beattie was 29 and pitching well, but injuries would knock him out of the league within the next two years. Texas's Charlie Hough, on the other hand, was also pitching well, but was 36 - and still had another decade left in the majors. The power of the knuckleball!

Seattle picked up a run in the top of the first when Jack Perconte singled, Spike Owen bunted him to second, and Alvin Davis singled him home. The Rangers replied with admirable immediacy, getting a leadoff homer from Billy Sample, but Steve Henderson opened the top of the second with a homer to put the Mariners back in front. Beattie was perfect in the second, and his teammates added another run in the top of the third. Owen reached on catcher's interference with one out, and Davis followed with a double on which Sample committed an error that allowed Owen to score.

Beattie worked a 1-2-3 third, and Hough did the same in the fourth. The bottom of the inning saw Buddy Bell draw a one-out walk, and Larry Parrish and Pete O'Brien singled him around to make it a 3-2 game. Hough allowed a double to Owen in the fifth, while Beattie worked around singles by Curt Wilkerson and Wayne Tolleson in the bottom of the inning. Parrish's single in the sixth made him the only runner to reach for either team.

Hough and Beattie were both flawless throughout the seventh and eighth innings. Hough kept the bases clear in the ninth as well, giving his teammates one last shot at the persistent one-run margin. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, George Wright doubled. Beattie then threw a wild pitch, moving the runner to third, and pinch hitter Mickey Rivers singled him home to tie the game.

Hough worked around a Jim Presley leadoff single in the tenth. Dave Beard relieved Beattie in the bottom of the inning and allowed a hit to Tolleson, who moved around to third on a bunt and a groundout. Bell walked, and Ed Nunez relieved Beard and hit Parrish with a pitch to load the bases. Ed Vande Berg then replaced Nunez and coaxed a groundout from O'Brien to end the inning. Hough walked both Ken Phelps and Al Cowens with two outs in the eleventh, but left them on; Wright led off the bottom of the inning with a single, and Vande Berg balked him to second one out later. After the second out, Tolleson singled to short, and Wright was thrown out at home... trying to score from second... on an infield single.

Dave Schmidt relieved Hough in the twelfth and worked around a pinch double by Orlando Mercado; Bob Stoddard retired the Rangers in order in the bottom of the inning. Owen led off the thirteenth with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and took third on a Davis groundout; Schmidt then intentionally walked Phelps, allowed an RBI double to Cowens, a successful squeeze bunt to Phil Bradley, and an RBI single to Darnell Coles. Parrish walked and O'Brien doubled to begin the bottom of the thirteenth, but Dave Geisel relieved Stoddard and retired the next three Rangers to end the game.

Under normal circumstances, a starting pitcher might hope that lasting 9 innings and giving up 3 runs would qualify him for a win; he would at least expect to have outlasted his opponent in such an outing.

Apparently, facing a knuckleballer does not qualify as a normal circumstance - because Jim Beattie went what would normally be the distance, and Charlie Hough exceeded him by two innings. But then, that may have been partly because the Rangers were hoping to stay out of their pretty-bad-behind-Dave-Schmidt bullpen for as long as possible.

On the bright side, the top of the thirteenth kept them from having to worry about their non-Schmidt relievers. Maybe they should have left Hough in longer.

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