Exclusive Club Gains Two More
If Bronswell Patrick and Eric Plunk had it to do over, they would put their pitches just a little further out of Sammy Sosa’s reach.
Instead, the two Milwaukee Brewer relievers will go down as the guys who gave up home runs No. 61 and 62 to Sosa.
“I’m not much of a sports fan,” said Plunk, who gave up No. 62 on a 2-and-1 fastball. “That’s cool that [he topped Roger Maris], but it’s just one more than 61, that’s all.”
With the Cubs trailing, 10-8, Sosa sent the fastball over the left-field fence for No. 62. That tied him with Mark McGwire for most home runs, one ahead of Roger Maris’ former mark.
Plunk said he felt he had to challenge Sosa, but he could have placed the ball a little better.
“I didn’t have much time to react,” he said. “I knew he obviously hit it pretty good. I’ve pitched in a lot of small parks, but this one is a bandbox when the wind is blowing out.”
Sosa’s two-run homer in the fifth inning--No. 61--gave Chicago an 8-3 lead. That ball also sailed over the left-field fence, and Sosa pumped his fists when he saw it was gone.
“Normally for me to be effective, that pitch has to be down in the strike zone,” Patrick said. “This one stayed up. I should have started it at his knees and made it break into the dirt.”
Steve Trachsel, who gave up No. 62 to McGwire last Tuesday, started for the Cubs on Sunday. Trachsel was out of the game by the time Sosa hit No. 62, and said he hadn’t even thought about playing a part in both McGwire and Sosa’s 62nd home runs.
Asked if he was off the hook for giving up the record-setting homer, Trachsel shrugged.
“You tell me,” he said. “It’s hard to say. It’ll probably be the guy who gives up 66 or 67.”