WORLD SERIES / TORONTO BLUE JAYS vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES : Blue Jays Win Wildest Thing : Toronto’s Six-Run Rally Good for 15-14 Victory
Who in the crowd of 62,731 knew what was in store for them on a chilly, rainy, wind-swept Wednesday evening at Veterans Stadium? Who could have predicted it would be a World Series game of bad phones, falling walls, failing bullpens and bloody chins. A 4-hour 14-minute eternity when 24 runs would score through seven innings, and 29 through nine, the most in Series history.
“I think this might go down in the annals of one of the all-time World Series games,” a numb Philadelphia Manager Jim Fregosi said after his Phillies lost, 15-14, to trail the Toronto Blue Jays, three games to one.
“This was unbelievable.”
It was the longest game in Series history, a long night for a third baseman who hadn’t played the position since 1989, and an American League batting champion who was restored to his spot at first.
It was a night when Toronto Manager Cito Gaston couldn’t even get his bullpen phone to work, much less his bullpen. And for Fregosi, it was simply this: Dykstra, Daulton, and Thompson and and pray for showers. But there would be no rain delays, much less a rainout.
But if this Game 4 wasn’t already wild enough, in came the Wild Thing himself, Mitch Williams. He entered the game with one out in the eighth inning and runners on second and third, trying to protect a 14-10 Phillie lead. Two singles and a walk later, it was 14-13.
Then came a two-run triple to the gap in right-center by Devon White, and suddenly, a game in which the Phillies had begun the inning leading, 14-9, they were trailing, 15-14.
Toronto relievers Mike Timlin and Duane Ward shut down the Phillies the rest of the way.
“Our backs are to the wall, so to speak,” Fregosi said. “We have struggled in mid-relief most of the year, but we have been able to score enough runs to overcome that. I thought we might have scored enough tonight.”
It was the highest-scoring first inning in Series history (seven). It was 7-7 after four innings. Tony Fernandez knocked in five runs and scored two. Phillie starter Tommy Greene and Toronto’s Todd Stottlemyre gave up four walks each, and were gone before the end of the third inning, the earliest exit by two starters in 26 years.
“It kept growing like it was going to be a nightmare on Elm Street,” said Ward, who held the Phillies hitless the final 1 1/3 innings to get the save.
“Everybody that came into the game gave up a hit or two or nine, and it seemed that everybody that got up there was being hit all over the place until Timlin came in and shut them down.
“We just wanted to shut the faucet off and get out of here after four hours. But tomorrow, I think we will be pretty drained. It was an emotional roller coaster, going up and down, but we were on the butt end of it most of the game.”
The Phillies took a 9-7 lead in the bottom of the fifth on Darren Daulton’s two-run homer, then with one out, the rain, which had let up at the start of the game, began to fall heavily. Most of the crowd put up umbrellas and stayed in their seats.
Lenny Dykstra was at the plate . . . but not for long.
Dykstra drove the first pitch he saw from Toronto reliever Al Leiter into the right-field seats for a two-run homer to put the Phillies ahead, 12-7. It was his second two-run homer of the game. Milt Thompson, who hit a three-run triple in the first inning, also doubled in the Phillies’ 10th run. He drove in five runs altogether.
“When Dykstra and Daulton hit the home runs, we kept thinking, we have to hold them,” said White, who crashed into the center-field wall trying to catch Thompson’s first-inning triple. The ball fell in and with it fell a piece of wood from the wall. Workers were sent out to repair it the next inning.
“Coming from me, I kept thinking, we will get them tomorrow,” White said. “Not that you don’t think you won’t come back, but you just keep pushing.”
Things got even stranger. After Dykstra’s homer and Mariano Duncan’s liner to center, Gaston called for left-handed reliever Tony Castillo (1-0). But right-hander Mark Eichhorn came out of the bullpen and walked all the way to the mound.
Then he turned and walked back.
“We thought Tony was up and throwing, but he never got the message,” Gaston said.
Castillo came out of the pen, and was given all the pitches he needed to warm up. Then a security man came out and explained to third base umpire Dave Phillips that the bullpen phone wasn’t working.
“They kept trying to give us signs, tall guy, short guy, left-hander right-hander, " Ward said. “Then we were on walkie-talkies, and then they didn’t even work. So they came out with another one, and I said, ‘Check the batteries on this one before you try to get it to work.’ ”
The bullpen fiasco was fitting, perhaps, because for these two clubs, nothing about their pitching was working.
It was Stottlemyre’s first World Series start, and sitting in the stands was his father, Mel, who had started three Series games for the Yankees in 1964.
When Stottlemyre took the mound for the Blue Jays, he and his father became the first father and son team to start a World Series game. But it became a record that won’t elicit a pleasant memory.
Neither would it be memorable for Greene, also making his first World Series start. It was already a miserable night at the ballpark, with the rain falling steadily all day, clearing about one hour before the game started at 8:14 EDT. But a light drizzle continued and grew heavier in the third inning. And by then, both starting pitchers were gone.
They should have left much earlier.
Greene and Stottlemyre combined for six walks in the first inning, both of them walking in a run. But for as badly as Greene did, giving up three runs in the first inning, Stottlemyre was worse, giving up four runs in the bottom half on four walks and Thompson’s bases-loaded triple. By the time they left the game, Greene was charged with seven runs on seven hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings, equaling his dismal performance in Game 2 of the playoffs. When Stottlemyre left after two innings, he had given up six runs on three hits and four walks. He had blood on his chin from a headfirst slide into third base, trying to move from first to third after hesitating at second base. He hadn’t been on the basepaths in 10 years.
“I went black for a few minutes when I hit the ground,” Stottlemyre said. “I didn’t know where I was at first, but when I got on my feet, I felt OK.”
Molitor, who hadn’t played third base in three years, didn’t get any chances until the fifth inning, but he played well.
“I think it was the wildest game I have been involved in,” Molitor said. “Just about everything happened. “
By the Numbers
A look at some of the significant numbers and records from Game 4: * 4 HOURS 14 MINUTES--Length of the game made it the longest in World Series history by one minute.
* 29 RUNS--The combined runs in the game set a World Series record, bettering by seven the previous mark set in 1936, an 18-4 victory by the New York Yankees over the New York Giants.
* 4 RUNS--Lenny Dykstra tied the individual record for runs in a game, accomplished seven times.
* 31 HITS--The combined hits fell one short of the mark set in Game 2 in 1960 by the Yankees and Pirates.
* 5 RBIs--Milt Thompson (Phillies) and Tony Fernandez (Blue Jays) came within one of the single-game record for RBIs, set by Bobby Richardson in 1960.
Down to Earth
In perhaps the wildest game in World Series history, it was fitting that Philadelphia Phillie pitcher David West actually lowered his earned-run average from where no man had boldly gone before. A look at his World Series outings:
1991 In two relief appearances for the Minnesota Twins against the Atlanta Braves, West faces six batters, walking four, giving up two hits and four runs, all earned. The stuff of which legends are made. ERA: Infinity
1993, Game 1 Picking up for starter Curt Schilling with one out and runners at first and third, West gives up run-scoring double to Devon White and two-run double to Roberto Alomar. Blue Jays won’t continue to double their pleasure, though, as West is removed. ERA: Infinity
1993, Game 4 West opens the sixth inning and, surprise, gives up a double to Devon White on the first pitch. Roberto Alomar settles for a single, scoring White. ERA: Infinity
West finds a hole in the ozone and escapes from infinity as he gets Joe Carter on a fly ball for his first World Series out. ERA: 162.00
John Olerud singles and Paul Molitor is hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Tony Fernandez grounds out to score Alomar, but West’s earned-run average is plummeting. ERA: 94.50
Pat Borders lines out to end the inning. West’s outing takes on Cy Young proportions compared to others in this game. ERA: 63.00
WEST’S WORLD SERIES PITCHING LINE
Games Innings Batters Hits Runs Earned BB HBP SO ERA 4 1 15 7 7 7 4 1 0 63.00