Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Game of the Day (4/14/91)

A's 7, Mariners 6. Oakland's Dave Stewart faced Seattle's Erik Hanson. Both right-handers had thrown very well in 1990, and neither of them would ever pitch quite that effectively again.

Of course, since Stewart had just turned 34, this wasn't unexpected in his case. Hanson, however, had not yet seen his 26th birthday.

The Mariners got to Stewart in the top of the first. With one out, Greg Briley and Edgar Martinez drew walks, and Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alvin Davis each followed with an RBI single. Hanson worked around a Dave Henderson double in the home half of the inning, and Seattle tacked on a few more runs in the second. Jay Buhner and Dave Valle opened the rally with singles, and Omar Vizquel walked to load the bases. Harold Reynolds brought in two men with a double, and Briley added a sacrifice fly for a 5-0 lead.

Hanson allowed only a single in the second, and appeared settled in; Stewart seemed to join him a couple of innings too late, throwing a flawless third. Oakland's lineup restored some semblance of hope in the bottom of the third, starting with a leadoff single by Mike Gallego and a walk to Walt Weiss. After a forceout, a walk to Jose Canseco loaded the bases, and Harold Baines doubled to bring a pair of runs in. Terry Steinbach reached on a Vizquel error to pull his team another run closer, Mark McGwire walked to reload the bases, and Willie Wilson hit into a run-scoring forceout to make it a 5-4 game before Hanson finally ended the inning.

Stewart was perfect in the fourth and worked around an error in the fifth, while Hanson issued a two-out walk in each inning, but nothing else. The scoring resumed when Buhner led off the top of the sixth with a homer, padding the lead to 6-4; Stewart then allowed singles to Valle and Briley and walked Martinez to load the bases. Joe Klink replaced Stewart and drew a groundout from Griffey to end the threat, and Oakland rallied in the home sixth. Gallego drew a one-out walk, but was caught stealing. Weiss then singled, however, and Henderson followed with an RBI double. Not only did Weiss score on the play, but an errant throw by Reynolds allowed Henderson to follow him home with the tying run.

Klink combined with Steve Chitren on a hitless top of the seventh, and Russ Swan relieved Hanson and kept the bases clear in the bottom of the inning. Chitren worked around an error in the eighth; Wilson drew a leadoff walk and was bunted to second in the bottom of the inning, but Michael Jackson replaced Swan and stranded Wilson at second. Chitren walked Martinez to open the ninth, but Dana Allison replaced him and ended the inning via a Griffey sacrifice and a Davis line drive double play.

Henderson walked to start the home ninth, and moved to second on a wild pitch one out later. Jackson intentionally walked Baines and struck out Steinbach, bringing McGwire to the plate, and McGwire ended the game with an RBI single to left-center, giving the A's their first lead on the game's last play.

Dave Henderson had a lengthy, varied, and overall quite effective major league career; he is probably best known for his postseason heroics, but he also had his share of fine seasons, and 1991 would turn out to be one of his best. This game (3 for 4 with two doubles, a walk, an RBI, and a career-high-tying three runs scored, including both the tying and winning runs, good for a WPA of +.482) would end up being one of his best of the season.

It also would prove not to be his best game of the week. But we'll get to that later.

No comments:

Post a Comment