Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Game #11

May 30, 1997. St. Louis 2, Los Angeles 1.

My dad and I parked ourselves in the second-from-the-top-row directly behind home plate on a cold night. I was vacationing during one of the worst years of my life...this in and of itself made it a wonderful night. Parents were living in Missouri at the time. I visited my grandmother in Illinois and met my dad at the ballpark.

Andy Benes and Ramon Martinez had a pitchers' duel. Every baserunner was critically important. Each pitcher had a critical hit for his team...Martinez's broken-bat, down-the-line double eventually scored the Dodgers' only run, and Benes's two-out double to the left-center field wall scored the Cardinals' first run. Both were brilliant, and neither figured in the decision. That's because the winning run was scored in the bottom of the ninth. After Gary Gaetti almost ended the whole thing with a homer (it died on the warning track) to start the 9th, John Mabry doubled. After a walk, Royce Clayton singled weakly to left, and Mabry was cut down at the plate by Todd Hollandsworth. Two out, runners on second and third. The Dodgers walked pinch-hitter Willie McGee to get to Delino DeShields. Two down, bases loaded, tie score, bottom of the ninth. Awesome! And...Mark Guthrie, new relief pitcher, came on and walked DeShields on four pitches. Game over. Tiny bit of a letdown, but a helluva lot of fun getting there.

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