February 22, 2012
April 7, 1984 - Ample Sample
Game #46 - New York Yankees, 5 @ Texas Rangers, 6
Check out that power-T on Sample's hat, it looks awesome. As a kid who lived in Texas for six years, I've probably attended more games at old Arlington Stadium than any other ball park, and this era of the Rangers' logo will always be my favorite.
This was a pretty exciting game. Sample led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer for the Rangers. It was his only hit of the game, but he would play a big role later. Yankees pitcher Joe Cowley had a rough go of it, giving up another run in the first to put the Yanks down 2-0. The Rangers added another three runs in the third after an RBI double by Larry Parrish and a two run homer from ex-Yankee Mickey Rivers. Meanwhile, Dave Stewart (weird to think of him not in an A's jersey) had pitched three perfect innings against the Yankee lineup.
In the fourth inning, though, New York started clawing back. Don Mattingly hit a two run homer, and in the top of the eighth they added another two runs to make the score 6-5 in favor of the Rangers. Texas brought in their closer (at least the pitcher I'm using as the closer for this Statis Pro league), Dave Schmidt. He got 3B Mike Pagliarulo to ground out for the first out. But pinch hitter Steve Kemp put the tying run on first with a single. Kemp was lifted for pinch runner Bobby Meachem. Meachem promptly stole second base. With Meachem on second, Willie Randolph stroked a single to center field and Meachem took off, determined to score. Billy Sample scooped up the hit and fired for home to prevent the tie. (Meachem has an on-base running rating of "A", which is the best you can have, while Sample's throw rating is "3", which is very average.) Fate favored the Rangers, however, because Sample gunned down Meachem to save the lead. Ken Griffey grounded out with Randolph on second, ending the game.
Winning Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Losing Pitcher - Joe Cowley
Save - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - Billy Sample, lead off home run, game saving assist
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield