Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Game of the Day (8/10/91)

Giants 4, Dodgers 3. San Francisco's Don Robinson was 34 and in the second-to-last of his 15 major league seasons. LA's Ramon Martinez was 23 and in the fourth of 14. (It was also the last year before his brother, who was also a pitcher of some note, debuted.)

Robinson walked Kal Daniels in the top of the first, and Martinez gave up a double to Will Clark in the bottom of the inning, but both men were left on. In the top of the second, Lenny Harris singled and stole second, and Jose Offerman drew a two-out walk, but Martinez struck out to strand both runners. Matt Williams led off the home second with a home run to open the scoring. A single-and-error then put Kevin Bass on second, and he would advance to third before stopping there.

With one out in the top of the third, Juan Samuel tripled. Daniels then flied out too shallow to score him, but after a Darryl Strawberry walk, Eddie Murray brought in the tying run with a single. Clark was hit by a pitch and left on in the home third, and LA pulled ahead in the fourth when Mike Scioscia homered.

San Francisco retied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Williams doubled and Terry Kennedy singled him home. Jose Uribe would single Kennedy to second, but Robinson and Darren Lewis both whiffed to leave them on. In the top of the fifth, Brett Butler walked and stole second only to be doubled off on Samuel's line drive. The home fifth saw singles from Clark and Kevin Mitchell, but they would be left at first and second.

LA recaptured the lead in the top of the sixth. Murray and Harris both singled, putting runners at the corners with one out; Robinson then walked both Scioscia and Offerman to force in the tiebreaking run. Kelly Downs was called to the mound and coaxed a force at home from Martinez, then drew a lineout from Butler to end the rally. The home sixth saw a walk to Willie McGee and a Darren Lewis single that put runners at first and third with two away, but Martinez retired Robby Thompson to strand both men. Samuel singled and took second on a groundout in the top of the seventh, but was left there, and Martinez worked a perfect home half of the inning. Scioscia led off the top of the eighth with a single, but Downs erased him on a double play.

Dave Anderson hit for Downs to start the bottom of the eighth, and singled. He was bunted to second, then took third on a groundout. McGee walked, and Roger McDowell was summoned to replace Martinez. Lewis then singled, scoring Anderson with the tying run, and Thompson followed with another hit that plated McGee and put the Giants in front. John Candelaria stopped the bleeding by retiring Clark, but Francisco Oliveras and Dave Righetti combined on a flawless ninth to seal the win for the Giants.

It's a little hard to choose an angle on this game. Nobody set a career high in anything; nobody had more than two hits, or drove in more than one run, or hit their first or last home run.

There is at least a bit of statistical oddity in this one. The Dodgers accrued eight hits and seven walks in this game, including a triple and a home run. They also stole two bases without being caught once. And yet, the events were sequenced in such a way that the team only had eight total at bats with runners in scoring position. Given that they managed only one hit in those at bats (plus a solo homer and a bases-loaded walk), it's not much of a surprise that the Giants (who had 12 hits, including two doubles and a homer, and drew two walks - but made that into 15 RISP AB) came out on top.

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