Monday, September 8, 2014

Game of the Day (9/7/84)

Brewers 10, Orioles 8. Milwaukee's Bob McClure and Baltimore's Dennis Martinez were both in their low 30s in 1984, both split the '84 season between the bullpen and the rotation, and would both go on to pitch into their 40s. But McClure would do so almost exclusively out of the bullpen after this season ended, while Martinez established himself as a permanent starter.

Both starters were perfect in the first. The second... went rather differently. Martinez walked Cecil Cooper and allowed an RBI double to Ben Oglivie. One out later, Doug Loman singled Oglivie home, Jim Sundberg walked, and Ed Romero drove in Loman with a single to chase Martinez from the mound. John Pacella relieved and retired two of the next three hitters, but threw a pair of wild pitches in that time, which brought Sundberg around with the inning's fourth run.

Baltimore responded with remarkable promptness in the bottom of the inning. McClure hit Eddie Murray with a pitch, then allowed a Gary Roenicke double and two-run single to Ken Singleton. Two outs later, Rick Dempsey homered, bringing Singleton around and tying the game at 4. Pacella was perfect in both the third and fourth; McClure worked around an error in the third, but walked Rich Dauer, Dempsey, and Mike Young to load the bases in the fourth and was pulled for Paul Hartzell. John Shelby greeted the reliever with a go-ahead two-run single.

It was Milwaukee's turn to mount an immediate reply, and they did so, as Dion James led off the fifth with a walk and Jim Gantner homered to tie the game at 6. Pacella was pulled one out later, and Tom Underwood allowed a triple to Cooper, then retired the next two hitters to leave the go-ahead run at third. Baltimore struck again in the bottom of the fifth, as Eddie Murray drew a walk, John Lowenstein doubled him to third, and Singleton's single scored him with the go-ahead run and drove Hartzell from the game. Mike Caldwell allowed an RBI pinch single to Floyd Rayford, extending the lead to 8-6, then induced a forceout and a double play to end the inning.

Underwood and Caldwell traded off perfect sixth innings. Underwood walked James and Gantner to start the seventh, but Robin Yount hit into a double play and Cooper grounded to first to end the inning. Caldwell allowed singles to Murray and Benny Ayala in the bottom of the seventh and was pulled for Tom Tellmann; Singleton drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out, but Rayford and Joe Nolan both hit into forces at home, and Dempsey popped up to leave all three runners on.

Having averted the possibility of falling behind by more than two runs, the Brewers then set about closing that deficit; they did so when Loman drew a two-out walk from Sammy Stewart in the eighth and Sundberg homered to tie the game. Tellmann worked a flawless bottom of the inning, and Milwaukee pulled ahead in the ninth; Stewart retired the first two hitters, but was pulled after walking Yount, and Tippy Martinez allowed an RBI double to Cooper, followed by an RBI single to Oglivie. Ray Searage retired the Orioles in order to end the game.

This was a fun one. It had blown leads of 4-0, 6-4, and 8-6; the last of those leads was overcome in the eighth, and the winning runs scored in the ninth. Each of the three ties was forged on a two-run homer by a player not exactly known for power (Rick Dempsey, Jim Sundberg, and Jim Gantner, respectively). The game had more runs than hits, 18-17, which was possible mostly because of the 14 walks issued by the two pitching staffs.

And just to make the game appeal to my inner nerd a bit more, every single half inning of the game had an even number of runs scored.

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