Sunday, August 7, 2016

Game of the Day (8/7/91)

Phillies 5, Cubs 4 (11). The matchup was two eventual journeymen, Chicago's Mike Bielecki against Philly's Terry Mulholland. Both men were on their second teams; Bielecki would eventually pitch for five, Mulholland for eleven (including multiple stints for the team he opposed in this game).

Mulholland allowed a single to Mark Grace in the first, but erased him when Ryne Sandberg hit into a double play. The Phillies then struck in the bottom of the inning, as Darren Daulton doubled, Wes Chamberlain tripled him home, and John Kruk tacked on an RBI groundout for a 2-0 lead. Mulholland's walk to George Bell produced the only runner to reach in either half of the second, and the Cubs came back in the third when Joe Girardi led off with a single, Grace plated him with a two-out triple, and Sandberg homered to put Chicago in front 3-2.

Bielecki worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the third. Mulholland allowed a leadoff double to Bell in the fourth, but kept him at second for the rest of the inning, and Kruk opened the home fourth with a game-tying homer. Dale Murphy then singled, but the Phils failed to get him into scoring position.

The fifth inning saw three singles - from Grace and Andre Dawson in the top of the inning and Dickie Thon in the bottom - but no runs. The sixth passed similarly, as Luis Salazar singled in the top of the inning and Chamberlain singled and stole second in the bottom, but both teams were scoreless once more. Grace walked and was stranded in the top of the seventh, and the scoring resumed in the bottom of the inning. Mickey Morandini started the rally by being hit by a pitch, was bunted to second, and moved to third on a two-out passed ball. Lenny Dykstra walked to keep the inning alive, and Daulton then singled home the go-ahead run.

The lead proved short-lived, as Salazar homered in the eighth to tie the game at 4. Philly threatened in the home half of the inning when Kruk walked and Charlie Hayes singled, putting runners at the corners with one out, but Morandini's grounder got Kruk thrown out at home and Bielecki then brought the inning to a close.

Mike Hartley took the mound in the top of the ninth and allowed only a two-out Grace single; Bob Scanlan relieved in the bottom of the inning and worked around a hit by Dykstra, sending the game to extras. Hartley countered a Bell walk with a double play in the top of the tenth, and Scanlan gave up a single to Murphy and a steal to pinch runner John Morris, then left the runner at second.

Mitch Williams produced a stunningly drama-free eleventh, setting the Cubs down in order with two strikeouts. Les Lancaster took over in the bottom of the inning and recorded a quick out of his own, but then gave up a single to Randy Ready and a double to Dykstra. Daulton was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Chamberlain proceeded to single home the winning run.

Two consecutive extra-inning games featuring the same two teams. In each game, a lead was overcome by home run in the eighth inning or later. And in each game, Mitch Williams appeared - and pitched a scoreless inning, being credited with wins both times.

I'm not entirely sure how that happened. But I'm going to interpret it as an omen that led up to one of the craziest World Series of all time two months later.

No comments:

Post a Comment