I mentioned in an earlier post that my dad, who introduced me to Statis Pro and is a Brooklyn-born, life-long fan of the Dodgers, has an irrational disgust for Tom Niedenfuer. His father (my grandfather) used to claim that every time he saw Ralph Branca pitch, something bad happened for the Dodgers - like the shot heard 'round the world. My dad believes Niedenfuer was his Branca, the Dodgers always suffered misery when my dad watched him pitch. I can remember as a kid my dad would leave the room if the Dodgers were on TV because he didn't want to jinx their chance at winning.
Anyway, my dad happened to come into town as I was finishing this game up. It was a tied game, 2-2, heading into the bottom of the ninth after pitchers Bob Welch and Mike LaCoss each performed well for their respective teams. I announced to my dad that I was bringing in Niedenfuer. He immediately told me not to. I told him he was ridiculous, that Niedenfuer was their closer and the best Statis Pro rated pitcher available in the pen. Here's what happened next:
- He gives up a lead off single to Bill Doran. However, he picks Doran off of first for the first out.
- He gives up a single to Terry Puhl.
- He gives up a single to Jose Cruz, Puhl moves to second.
- He bobbles a simple grounder from Enos Cabell, loading the bases with still just one out.
- He walks Jerry Mumphrey for the game ending, winning run.
Winning Pitcher - Bill Dawley
Losing Pitcher - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Jose Cruz, 5-5, HR