Monday, August 29, 2016

Game of the Day (8/29/91)

Cubs 5, Giants 4. Both teams started 25-year-old pitchers who were on the way to career high innings totals (to this point, at least).

Which is about as much similarity as I can claim between San Francisco's Trevor Wilson and Chicago's Greg Maddux.

The Cubs got off to a fast start in the top of the first. Mark Grace walked with one out, and Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson singled to bring him around with the game's first run. George Bell then added a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. The Giants countered with equal swiftness, however, starting when Darren Lewis led off with a walk, was balked to second, and moved to third on Willie McGee's single. Will Clark and Kevin Bass both struck out, but on strike three to Bass, McGee stole second, and a throwing error by Cub catcher Joe Girardi allowed Lewis to come home and moved McGee to third. Matt Williams then added an RBI single to even the game at 2.

Both teams mounted threats in the second. Girardi singled with one out in the top of the inning, and the Giants tried and failed to throw him out when Maddux bunted, putting runners on first and second. But the next two hitters made outs, ending the inning with no scoring. Kirt Manwaring opened the home half with a single, but was later erased when Wilson hit into a double play. Bell's two-out double in the third was unaccompanied by any other production from the Cubs, but San Fran broke through again in the bottom of the inning. Clark walked, Bass singled, and Williams walked to load the bases with two outs. Robby Thompson then singled to score Clark, but Bass was thrown out at home, ending the inning there.

Each team picked up a one-out double in the fourth (from Girardi and Jose Uribe, respectively), and each team left the man on. In the top of the fifth, Dawson hit a two-out triple, and the next hitter made it seem like Dawson had wasted a good bit of effort running all the way to third; Bell homered, putting the Cubs back in front 4-3.

Maddux was settling in at this point, working 1-2-3 innings in both the fifth and sixth. Meanwhile, Jerome Walton led off the top of the sixth with a single only to be caught stealing, and Wilson set the Cubs down in order in the seventh. Uribe led off the bottom of the seventh with a double, and Wilson bunted him to third. Lewis then singled, scoring Uribe with the tying run. Lewis advanced to third on a steal-and-error, but Maddux recovered to strand him there.

Despite having hit for himself in the bottom of the seventh, Wilson was pulled in favor of Francisco Oliveras in the top of the eighth. Bell singled with one out and was replaced by pinch runner Ced Landrum, who moved to second on a balk. One out later, pinch hitter Chico Walker was intentionally walked, and pinch hitter Dwight Smith followed with a go-ahead RBI single. Maddux struck out to end the inning, then remained on the mound - and set the Giants down in order in both the eighth and ninth innings to end the game.

Things that happened in 1991 which would never happen in 2016, part (a whole lot): Starting pitcher who has already given up three runs is not only left in long enough to give up the tying run in the seventh inning, but left in the game for the eighth and ninth after doing so.

And it worked! I mean, it largely worked because the pitcher on the mound was one of the ten best of all time. But it still counts.

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