32 Years Ago Today
One of my favorite games of all time.
The Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 13-11 in 12 innings.
It was a fantastic game. After six innings, it was 10-0 Red Sox.
Alex Sanchez started for the Jays. Sanchez was our first-round draft pick in 1987 and rose through the minors quickly. Perhaps far too quickly. Player development has changed a lot since those days. In 1988, his first full season of pro ball, he threw 207 innings. There is no way a team would do that today. With the shorter seasons in the minors, no pitcher (never mind one in his first full year in pro ball) would never throw 200 minor league innings now. In 2019 Yennsy Diaz led the Fisher Cats with 144 innings, which, after a quick look around, it was likely the most innings thrown by a Jays pitcher in the minors.
Sanchez made three starts and one relief appearance for us in 1989, his only season in the majors. This game was his last start. Sanchez got 1 out, gave up 3 hits, 1 home run, 3 walks, and 5 earned runs.
Xavier Hernandez came in and stopped the bleeding in the first. He gave up a run in each of the next 3 innings and 2 in the sixth, but he got us some innings, pitching 6.2 innings, allowing 8 hits, 5 runs, 2 earned, 3 walks with 2 strikeouts.
Xavier was also a rookie that year. He pitched in 7 games for us. After the season, we lost him in the Rule 5 draft to the Astros. He would have a 10-year MLB career, pitching in 463 games, mostly in relief.
Our comeback started in the seventh. We scored 2 runs. Red Sox starter Mike Smithson walked the first two batters (Lloyd Moseby and Ernie Whitt). In comes Bob Stanley. He walks Rance Mulliniks to load the bases. We score 1 when Nelson Liriano hits into a double play and another on a Junior Felix ground-rule double. But it seemed like a missed opportunity.
In the eighth, we scored 4. With one-out, we had three straight singles (George Bell, Fred McGriff, and Moseby) scoring 2. An out later, Mulliniks doubled, scoring another, and Liriano singled, making the game 10-6.
In the ninth, we scored 5. Tony Fernandez singled, Kelly Gruber walked, and Bell doubled. 10-7. After a Moseby walk to load the bases, Whitt hit a grand slam home run. We were up 11-10.
Unfortunately, Tom Henke, in his second inning of work, gave up a run in the bottom of the inning to put the game into extras.
Dennis Lamp threw a scoreless tenth and eleventh for the Red Sox, but Duane Ward matched him.
In the 12th inning, Tom Lawless led off with a single. Liriano bunted him to second, and Felix homered. 13-11 Jays.
Ward threw a 1, 2, 3 bottom of the inning, and we won.
Jays of the Day: Whitt (.612 WPA, mostly for the grand slam), Ward (.375, for 3 innings of no-hit relief), Felix (.298, 3 for 7, including the game-winning home run), David Wells (.113, who got the last out of the ninth).
Suckage: Henke (-.405, for the blown save), Sanchez (-.358), and McGriff (-.144, 1 for 6 on the day, he also made 3 errors, 2 were on one play, he booted a ground ball and, in a hurry to make up for it, threw it away).
The Jays moved to 23-31, second last in the AL East. Red Sox 24-27, 3rd in the AL East. But we were strong the rest of the way, finishing first, but lost to the A’s in the ALCS.
|Junior Felix RF||7||1||3||3||0||1||7||.291||.333||.473||.806||28||19||0.298||HR,2B|
|Tony Fernandez SS||7||1||2||0||0||1||7||.217||.245||.329||.574||30||20||-0.060|
|Kelly Gruber 3B||6||1||1||0||1||1||7||.283||.345||.418||.763||24||13||-0.022|
|George Bell LF||6||2||2||1||0||2||6||.260||.305||.429||.734||21||13||0.043||2B|
|Fred McGriff 1B||6||1||1||0||0||1||6||.295||.391||.565||.956||18||12||-0.144|
|Lloyd Moseby CF||4||3||1||2||2||1||6||.223||.313||.356||.669||21||11||0.008|
|Ernie Whitt C||5||2||2||4||1||0||6||.317||.413||.528||.941||25||11||0.612||HR|
|Rance Mulliniks DH||3||1||2||1||2||0||5||.230||.319||.278||.597||20||9||0.027||2B|
|Tom Lawless PR||1||1||1||0||0||0||1||.214||.303||.214||.517||2||2||0.097||SB|
|Nelson Liriano 2B||5||0||1||1||0||0||6||.309||.346||.426||.772||19||11||-0.062||SH,GDP|
|Jody Reed SS||6||1||1||1||1||1||7||.278||.346||.361||.707||31||18||0.325|
|Ed Romero 2B||6||2||1||0||1||1||7||.218||.271||.236||.508||25||15||-0.004|
|Wade Boggs 3B||4||2||2||0||3||0||7||.302||.395||.444||.839||29||13||-0.031||IW|
|Mike Greenwell LF||3||2||2||1||1||0||4||.298||.393||.455||.848||12||5||0.085|
|Danny Heep LF||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||.289||.372||.316||.688||15||11||0.003|
|Marty Barrett PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.251||.318||.332||.649||17||15||-0.113|
|Sam Horn 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.116||.191||.163||.354||7||4||-0.031|
|Dwight Evans RF||3||1||2||2||0||0||4||.295||.419||.486||.904||10||7||0.056||SF|
|Randy Kutcher RF||1||0||0||0||1||1||3||.263||.391||.316||.707||11||4||0.059||SH|
|Ellis Burks CF||4||1||2||5||0||0||6||.294||.369||.503||.871||22||15||0.117||HR,SF,SH,GDP|
|Carlos Quintana DH||5||1||1||0||1||1||6||.286||.375||.429||.804||25||14||-0.061||2B|
|Nick Esasky 1B-LF||5||1||1||0||1||1||6||.260||.312||.457||.768||18||11||0.009|
|Rich Gedman C||5||0||1||0||0||0||6||.207||.274||.289||.563||11||8||-0.114||SH|
|Mike Smithson P|
|Bob Stanley P|
|Rob Murphy P|
|Lee Smith P|
|Dennis Lamp P|
|Duane Ward, W (2-6)||3||0||0||0||1||3||0||2.49||0.375|
|Dennis Lamp, L (0-1)||3.2||3||2||2||0||0||1||3.86||-0.102|