It’s official, ladies and gentlemen – the Gary Hairys are officially playing some pretty good baseball. Following 3 more series sweeps, the Hairys’ record now stands at an inconceivable 18-2 (.900) which for my money is the best start to a season EVER. Feel free to argue. Am I saying this is the best team ever? Absolutely NOT. We’ve had great hitting, adequate pitching, marginal defense, and a LOT of luck. We could just as easily be playing .500 ball, but it just seems that the games where our pitching sucks, our hitting is awesome and carries us and vice versa. In a word, synergy – the Hairys have been blessed with it in abundance so far. So far being the key words – in the crazy world of PTP, nothing is certain and this team could go very easily fall on hard times and limp towards the finish. But I hope not.
I’ll try to keep these recaps brief, but some of the games merit a little more verbage than others. Game 1 against the Scorpions is one of those games. Coming off a scintillating victory over the Hogs, this game was CRAZY – just count the lead changes and ties:
Top 1: RBI double by Dawson, RBI single by Lynn off Scorp starter Fernando.
Bottom 1: Sick 2 out rally off Hairy Darling who is AWFUL – Evans single, Schmidt walk, Murray single, Bass walk, Randolph single tie the game before the 3rd out is recorded.
Top 2: Garner solo bomb, 3-2 Hairys.
Bottom 2: Another 2 out meltdown by Darling – Winfield single, Evans walk, Schmidt single, Murray walk before Darling finally gets out of it, leaving the bases juiced for the 2nd straight inning – I guess it could have been worse than tied at 3 at this point. Stays that way as Scorp D kills Hairy runners. Scioscia throws out stealing Eric the Red and Pena is nailed at home by Bass.
Bottom 4: Winfield single, Schmidt double, Murray single, Bass sac fly and it’s 5-3 Scorps and that’s it for Darling, who needed 97 pitches to make it through 3.2 WRETCHED innings where gave up 5 runs on 9 hits plus 5 walks. Thanks for the effort, Ron.
Top 5: Hairys turn to comeback – Rice 2-run bomb ties it at 5 followed by an Eric the Red solo blast to give the Hairys a 6-5 lead. Scioscia (av throw) nails his 2nd would-be base-stealer.
Top 6: Vulgar display of Hairy power continues as Franco hits a solo, 7-5 Hairys. Brett nailed at home by more Scorp D.
Bottom 6: Hairy reliever Lopez melts down: Evans walk, Schmidt single, Murray walk, Bass fielder’s choice makes it 7-6 Hairys. St. Claire comes in and gets torched as well – Randolph single ties it and a Scioscia single give Scorps an 8-7 lead.
Top 7: Eric the Red does NOT like being behind so he hits another solo bomb to tie it at 8. St. Claire gets a HUGE pick off of Dykstra at 1st in the bottom half. Brett gets nailed at home AGAIN by Bass so we stay tied at 8. Henke picks Bass off 1st in the 8th. HUGE. Eric the Red then gets picked off first in the 9th by Orosco followed by Coleman getting thrown out by Scioscia. Yeah right. EXTRAS.
Top 11: Rice double, Eric single, Pasqua 3 run BOMB, 11-8 Hairys. Game over, right? Not EVEN –
Bottom 11: Schmidt lead off jack, 11-9 Hairys. Murray single, Bass single=men on the corners, no out. Smith yanked for Lucas. Tolleson single scores Murray, 11-10 Hairys. Successful double steal=men on 2nd and 3rd with NO OUT. Ockey cannot believe he is going to lose a 3-run lead and $#!% the bed on this classic game. Lucas gets a H-U-G-E strikeout of Bochy, bringing up Alfredo Griffin. Ockey sees the squeeze possibility and pitches out. Money. Bass is a sitting duck, 2 gone. Griffin flies out to end it.
Summary: Hairy pitching SUCKS, Scorp D is AWESOME, Ockey makes DUMB decisions, but the Hairys hit SIX freaking bombs during their 20 hit 11 run fiesta.
Game 2 vs. Scorps – standard in comparison to Game 1. Hairys get 4 runs off Mattingly and Franco RBI doubles and solo bombs by Pasqua and Valle off a valiant effort by Scorp Youmans who is forced to throw 143 pitches following the extra inning Game 1 marathon. Hairy Tudor takes a shut-out into the 7th when Bass homers. Smith finishes with 1.2 innings of perfect relief with 3 K’s.
Game 1 vs. Crows – Sort of like Game 1 vs. Scorps. Starter Ojeda is NOT good, giving up 5 runs on 10 hits and 3 walks in 5.2 innings. Thankfully, the Hairy offense rolls, scoring 5 off of Crow Rasmussen in the 4th via Hawk 3 run bomb and Franco 2 run bomb. Crows tie it with a hit parade in the 6th, but the Hairys get 3 more in the off a Mattingly solo bomb (his 1st) and a 2-run bomb by the Hawk.
Game 2 vs. Crows – An extra inning pitcher’s duel with Gooden vs. Krukow. Krukow is VALIANT pitching 10 innings giving up only 2 earned runs on 6 hits with 6 K’s. But, he hurts his cause in the first as Backman doubles to lead-off, moves to 3rd and scores as Krukow boots a Mattingly grounder. Gooden shuts out the Crows until the 5th when a Rickey RBI single ties it. A Coles solo shot in the 6th gives the Crows a 2-1 lead. Eric the Red thinks that’s bullcrap so he takes the first pitch he sees in the 7th and CRUSHES it – Rickey doesn’t budge – just looks up as it sails over the wall. Awesome. Tied at 2. Valle is huge throwing out 2 base-stealers in the last two innings. We got to extras. Top 10 Backman singles and you know who’s pinch-running. Vince steals 2nd AND 3rd then scores on the suicide squeeze and Ockey thinks he’s got it in the bag. Not EVEN – Bottom 10 – Pinch hitter Collins singles, steals 2nd and moves to 3rd on a ground-out. Sax is walked to set up the DP, but then Smith walks Knight to load the bases. Mattingly then comes up HUGE as he foils the suicide squeeze with a SWEET shovel to home that nails Collins. 2 out. Smith does the unthinkable and walks in the tying run. Ockey is wicked-pissed. Lee Smith comes in to pitch the 11th and is really bad – Mattingly single, Pena walks, Rice single, Lynn walks to score one, Eric the Red singles to score another for a 5-3 win.
Game 1 vs. Bengals. Welch gets shelled as Backman (who had one bomb in real life) goes yard on his way to a 3 RBI day. Valle and Eric the Red both homer in the 3rd and a Pasqua 2-run single makes it 7-2. Downs pitches adequately for the win. Relief pitching is TERRIBLE as they piss away the big lead but hang on for an 8-7 win. Scary.
Game 2 vs. Bengals. Darling with his 2nd straight HORRIFIC start. He walks the bases loaded immediately then gives up 2 hits for a nice 4-0 hole right off the bat. Thankfully, Blyleven is pitching for the Bengals. Hairys get 4 hits and RBI’s from Brett and Lynn to make it 4-2 after 1. Darling give up a bomb to O’Brien to make it 5-2. The Blyleven does the inevitable – Rice and Lynn go back-to-back jacks to tie it at 5 in the 3rd. Pasqua solo shot next inning gives Gary a 6-5 lead. Hairys get insurance in the 8th – Lynn walks and in comes Coleman. He steals 2nd and catcher Lowry takes a big dump into his banana cup when he sees Coleman run and chucks his throw into center field so Coleman goes to 3rd and scores on an Eric sac fly. Smith finishes for his 6th save.