February 15, 2012

April 6, 1984 - Hero to Goat in One Inning

Game #32 - Boston Red Sox, 5 @ Oakland Athletics, 6

This was one of the most exciting games of the young season so far. Red Sox starter Al Nipper and A's starter Bill Krueger kept the bats quiet through the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, though, Tony Armas hit an RBI double and SS Jackie Gutierrez squeezed in another run to give Boston a 2-0 lead. Gutierrez added a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth to make it 3-0.

In the bottom half of the inning Oakland rallied back. Rickey Henderson reached on an error and stole second while Joe Morgan walked. Carney Lansford promptly recorded his first hit of the season - a three run homer. Two batters later, 1B Bruce Bochte added a solo shot to give the A's their first lead of the game, 4-3.

In the top of the eighth the Red Sox would strike back. DH Tony Armas had singled, bringing up Gutierrez again. In Statis Pro there is a sequence of events when "clutch batting" occurs. Gutierrez randomly received this benefit which provides a huge advantage to the hitter. Sure enough, the "fast action card" determined that Gutierrez hit a home run! In the real 1984 he only hit two, so this shot came as quite a surprise. This gave the Sox the lead again, 5-4.

In the bottom half of the same inning, big Dave Kingman stepped in with two outs. He recorded his first hit of the season and, just like Lansford, it was a home run too! Game tied, 5-5. In the top of the 9th with Wade Boggs on first base, the A's called in ace reliever Bill Caudill. 2B Marty Barrett went with the hit and run and moved Boggs to third while he was safe at first. With runners on the corner and the dreaded Dwight Evans at bat and Jim Rice on deck, it didn't look good for the A's. But Caudill struck out Dewey and Rice grounded weakly in front of the catcher as the A's escaped the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth lefty specialist John Henry Johnson struck out Mike Davis, and the Sox brought in their closer, Bob Stanley, to finish things off. But SS Tony Phillips eked out a hit and stole second base. Rickey Henderson was up and hit a normal ground ball to SS Jackie Gutierrez. But the throw got away from Jackie and sailed past first baseman Mike Easler! Phillips scored on the error - A's win!!! Poor Gutierrez - he had four RBI's in the game and looked to be the hero. Alas, it wasn't meant to be for Beantown...

Winning Pitcher - Bill Caudill
Losing Pitcher - Bob Stanley
Player of the Game - Caudill, 2/3IP, 1K
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

The Red Sox are off to a 1-3 start to the season while the upstart A's are 3-0.

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