Don’t let the final 12-3 final score fool you. The game was MUCH closer than that for most of the night and only after weaseling out of several scary situations with the tying run at the plate or worse did the Hairys pull away in the final inning.
This game was great on so many levels – from a morale stand-point, this was one that the Hairys needed desperately after getting all-out throttled in every facet of the game in Game 1. And from an entertainment stand-point, this was about as good as a PTP game can get. Behold:
Charles Johnson was injured for this game only
Rick Aguilera was injured for this game and 8 more days
Rafael Furcal was injured for this game and 2 more days
Mike Sirotka was injured for this game and 3 more days
Carl Everett was injured for this game only
Scott Rolen was ejected from this game
Tony McKnight was ejected from this game
John Franco was ejected from this game
That’s EIGHT players forcibly removed from the game via injury or ejection. Holy crap. Here’s how it went down. The Hairys got out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to Furcal’s single and swipe, No-mah’s sac and the Hurt’s single. But who cares – the Hairys led 1-0 in Game 1 as well and look how that thing ended. The bottom half of the 1st was an indication that this game was going to be out of the ordinary as weird plays abounded. Rolen drops a grounder then picks it up and makes a terrible throw, but still gets the out at 1st. Sheff K’s, but the ball rolls loose and he is barely nipped at first – then Mac launches one to center that “sounded good”, but comes up on the track. Thank goodness. The Hairys repeat their 1st inning fortunes as Ochoa singles/swipes and is brought in by a single from maniac Stynes. 2-0 Hairys. It was 4-0 after Charles Johnson wrapped a 2-run bomb around the foul pole for his 6th homer of the year. In the meantime, The Rocket was firing on all cylinders as he retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced before giving up an RBI single to Grebek.
So, it’s 4-1 as we head to the 6th. Charles Johnson draws a lead-off walk off of Hog starter McKnight. Then, all hell breaks loose. Bri, I need you to teach me how to save the play-by-play dialogue boxes because this one was a BEAUT. I swear it was like 3 pages long. With this new patch, the pbp seems to have taken on a definite increase in flair, sass and verve and it was KILLING IT last night in Game 2. So anyway, Rolen gets drilled. He hobbles around, dusts himself and just when you thought all was well, he gets pissed, charges the mound and it is ON. Rolen and McKnight each land some blows and are ejected. Charles Johnson charges in from 1st but is cheap-shotted from behind by roid-rage’d Mac and is injured. Crazy Carl Everett comes racing in from center field whooping like Geronimo, but gets clubbed in the knee by Hairys bat-boy Travis – HE’s done for the day. And then, just when it appeared the scrum couldn’t get any worse, pussy-willow pitchers Sirotka and Aguilera lead the charges out of their respective pens, but each trips and gets trampled by their own squad. Sirotka gone for this one +3 and Aguilera this one +8. That’s right – EIGHT – when I first saw that I figured dude must have got himself shiv’d in that melee. Easily the worst injury in ptp history. Good thing he sucks balls and I won’t miss him a bit. Chaos eventually returns to order and Ted and Jerry are left with mouths agape and holes in their lineup to fill. Stynes is responsible for the only scoring after the war with another RBI single. Furcal lines out to 2nd and somehow injures himself for another 2 days in the process. That’s ELEVEN days worth of injuries for Ockey in one half inning of absolute MAYHEM. And it was glorious.
Things continue to be oh-so-weird as Big Mac steals a base (wtf?) in the 6th and then in the 7th, Polanco and Ortiz (who each had like 17 hits in the series) start a rally that results in a run scored and the bases loaded with Big Mac up again and a 5-2 score. Clemens has walked 2 straight batters and Ockey is straight crapping himself as launches one to center. But again, it is a few feet short and all is well. The Hairys go in order meekly in the top of the 8th and the Hogs threaten AGAIN in the bottom as Clemens is chased and the Hogs have the tying run at the plate in the form of Burkhart. Thankfully, he does NOT K, but instead grounds into an inning-ending GDP.
The Hairys want some insurance at this point and boy do they get it as they send 12 men to the plate in the 9th and drop a 7-spot on the Hog relievers. Who else but Stynes starts it with a double (to boost his avg back up to a ridiculous .558). Ozzie Timmons, playing for the injured Furcal, lobbies for more playing time and will get it as he goes 2-2 with a bomb and 4 RBI IN THE INNING. As the top of the frame comes to a close, we get probably the funniest PBP I’ve ever seen – something to the effect of “Well, after sending 12 men to the plate, it is FINALLY over. I don’t know how many RBI’s they had or who got them – my scorecard’s a mess. What I DO know is that it is now 12-2 for Gary.” Simply hilarious. The Hogs get another run to make it 12-3 and at last it is over and a classic game is added to ptp history.