Friday, August 19, 2016

Game of the Day (8/19/91)

Cubs 3, Expos 2 (11). Both starting pitchers were in their mid-20's, and both of them had started Games of earlier Days in 1991.

That is about all that Montreal's Brian Barnes and Chicago's Greg Maddux have in common.

Barnes allowed a single and steal to Ryne Sandberg in the top of the first, but left him on; Ivan Calderon matched the single in the bottom of the inning, but didn't advance from there. Barnes set the Cubs down in order in the second, and the Expos threatened with two-out hits from Andres Galarraga and Bret Barberie before Maddux struck out Barnes to strand both of them. Marquis Grissom's double in the bottom of the third made him the only player on either team to reach on the inning; the same was true of Larry Walker's single in the home fourth, and he was caught stealing a short time later.

Chicago opened the scoring in the fifth. With one out, Luis Salazar and Shawon Dunston singled. Joe Girardi grounded to short, where a Barberie error allowed Salazar to score and put runners at the corners, and Maddux then hit into an RBI forceout. Montreal got a run back in the home half of the inning when Barberie singled, Delino DeShields doubled, and Grissom hit a run-scoring groundout, but Maddux retired Calderon to leave the tying run at third.

Barnes kept the bases clean in the sixth; Walker singled and was erased on a double play in the bottom of the inning. In the seventh, Dunston singled and stole second before being left there, and Maddux worked around a pinch hit by Dave Martinez. Jeff Fassero relieved in the top of the eighth and walked Mark Grace with two outs; Barry Jones then retired Sandberg. In the bottom of the eighth, Grissom singled and stole second, and Tim Wallach singled him to third one out later. Chuck McElroy relieved Maddux, and his first pitch went wild, scoring Grissom with the tying run. A Walker single put runners on the corners before Les Lancaster relieved and notched the next two outs (one of them at home on a grounder to the mound) to preserve the 2-2 tie.

Jones was perfect in the top of the ninth, and Lancaster allowed only a pinch single to Tom Foley, sending the game to extras. Shawon Dunston greeted Bill Sampen with a single in the tenth and was bunted to second; one out later, he tried for third on a not-wild-enough pitch and was thrown out, ending the threat. Paul Assenmacher threw a flawless home tenth.

In the eleventh, Sampen once again gave up a leadoff hit, this time to Chico Walker. Grace's double moved Walker to third, and Sandberg was intentionally walked to load the bases. Andre Dawson hit into a force at home, and George Bell flied out - but Sampen then walked Salazar on five pitches, forcing in the go-ahead run. Gil Reyes led off the home eleventh with a single, but Assenmacher would erase him on a game-ending double play.

There were eleven innings in this game. The Expos had at least one baserunner in ten of them, the Cubs in just six. The Expos had 14 total hits (with two doubles), the Cubs seven (one double). The Cubs had two steals to Montreal's one - but only Montreal's steal contributed to a run. Chicago drew three walks to Montreal's none, but that hardly makes up the rest of their production deficit.

In short, the Expos outplayed the Cubs in this game (despite not drawing a single base on balls - thanks, Greg Maddux!) They lost because they allowed the Cubs to bunch their hits together, and committed one error at the wrong time that led to Chicago's only regulation runs.

Which is especially rough on Brian Barnes, who pitched a brilliant game against one of the toughest opponents available, and still came away without a victory. Such is life as a starter for a team that finishes the year 71-90.

No comments:

Post a Comment