Thursday, July 28, 2016

Game of the Day (7/28/91)

Expos 2, Dodgers 0. Montreal's Dennis Martinez was 37 years old, but playing on only the second of what would eventually be five teams. LA's Mike Morgan was over half a decade younger, and yet had already played for more teams (six) than Martinez would join in his entire lengthy career. Oh, and his travels were only half over.

Mike Morgan pitched magnificently in this game. He kept the bases entirely clear of Expos until Ron Hassey led off the sixth with a single; two outs later, Delino DeShields walked, but Morgan stranded both runners. In the seventh, Dave Martinez reached on an error by Alfredo Griffin to start the inning. Two outs later, Larry Walker tripled home the game's first run, and Hassey then hit into a second Griffin error to bring in another. Montreal threatened again in the eighth, as Dennis Martinez and DeShields singled; a wild pitch moved them to second and third, but Morgan stranded them there.

And that was it. Nine innings, four hits, one walk, five strikeouts. Two runs, both unearned, both courtesy of Alfredo Griffin.

So what was the Dodger lineup doing during this time? Nothing. As in, literally nothing. Dennis Martinez faced 27 men, and retired all of them - also known as a perfect game.

The closeness of the game makes this one of the more exciting perfect games I've seen. (As opposed to those other extremely boring perfect games you hear about all the time...) Even though the Dodgers had no baserunners, they still always had the chance to win, given that the man on deck was at worst the tying run throughout the game.

In short: This was what the writers of the US Constitution might call a more perfect game.

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