December 10, 2018

Two Cy Young Winners Play the Outfield

July 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Dodgers used their entire roster, playing both a reigning and a future Cy Young Award winner in the outfield, to outlast the Cubs 2-1 in a 21-inning marathon. Extending over two August afternoons, the game took six hours and ten minutes to complete, establishing a new mark for the longest game ever at Wrigley Field. It was the longest game by innings the Dodgers had played since leaving Brooklyn 25 years earlier.

When darkness ended play after 17 innings on Tuesday August 17, 1982, the game was tied at 1-1. The Cubs had jumped ahead with a run in the first inning against Dodger starter Burt Hooton. Rookie third baseman Ryne Sandberg opened with a single and promptly stole second. He went to third on Larry Bowa’s sacrifice, and scored on Bill Buckner’s ground ball. Los Angeles tied it in the second. After Dickie Noles got the first two batters, Bill Russell doubled and catcher Mike Scioscia singled him home.

The Dodgers used six more pitchers, and the Cubs, four, but neither team could score over the next 15 innings. Chicago almost won it in the eighth when Bowa appeared to slide home ahead of the throw on Leon Durham’s two-out double. But Scioscia, who had the plate blocked, took second baseman Steve Sax’s relay from right fielder Pedro Guerrero, and slapped the tag on Bowa. Umpire Eric Gregg called him out, and when Cubs’ manager Lee Elia argued the call too vigorously, Gregg ejected him.

They resumed in the 18th inning at noon Wednesday, before the regularly scheduled meeting between the two teams. Things got really interesting in the top of the 20th, when umpire Dave Pallone ejected Dodger third baseman Ron Cey for demonstratively protesting his being picked off first. Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda, trying desperately to keep Cey in the game, came out to protect him and he too got tossed. In all, five men were ejected; Gregg threw out Cubs’ coach John Vukovich in the 19th inning, and Cubs’ outfielder Jay Johnstone in the 21st.

Lasorda (managing from the clubhouse) now had to replace Cey in the field, but he already had used 23 of his 25 players and all of his position players. The only Dodgers still available were Fernando Valenzuela, the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young winner, and Bob Welch, who would win the Cy Young with Oakland in 1990.

Lasorda moved right fielder Guerrero to third base and sent Valenzuela out to right field, where the folks in the bleachers gave him a standing ovation. Lasorda said later that he chose Valenzuela over Welch because of Fernando’s hitting. Coach Danny Ozark normally set the Dodger defense, but in this case, it was Lasorda who was positioning the outfielders. He moved Valenzuela from right field to left, depending on the batter, while shading center fielder Ken Landreaux so that he could cover for the slow-footed Valenzuela.

Valenzuela played right field against the right-handed hitting Sandberg, but when switch-hitting Larry Bowa, also batting right-handed, came to the plate, Lasorda moved Fernando to left (where he was again saluted by the “bleacher bums”). Lasorda assumed that Bowa would be unable to pull the ball against Dodger lefty Jerry Reuss, and he was right; Bowa lined out to right fielder Dusty Baker.

The Dodgers had expected to see bullpen ace Willie Hernandez when the game resumed, but instead the Cubs used veteran right-hander Allen Ripley. LA threatened in the 18th and 19th innings, but Ripley held them and was still out there when the Dodgers pushed across the winning run in the 21st.

With one out, Sax doubled and went to third on a wild pitch. After Landreaux walked, Baker flied to Keith Moreland in right. Sax took off after the catch, and once again there was a controversial play at the plate. Gregg started to make the out call, but then spread his hands indicating that Sax was safe. The Cubs complained and the fans booed, but Gregg stayed with his call. (The attendance the previous day was 26,576, and for today’s regularly scheduled game it would reach 27,429).

Lasorda replaced Valenzuela with Welch—a faster man—in the bottom of the 21st, and after Reuss disposed of the Cubs in order, the Dodgers had their victory. Reuss would also start the second game, pitch five innings, and get credit for LA’s 7-4 victory.

            Los Angeles                       Chicago
                ab  r  h rbi                         ab  r  h rbi
Sax 2b           9  1  3  0          Sandberg 3b      9  1  1  0
Landreaux cf     8  0  2  0          Bowa ss          8  0  4  0
Baker lf,rf      8  0  1  1          Buckner 1b       8  0  4  1
Guerrero rf,3b   9  0  1  0          Durham cf        8  0  2  0
Cey 3b           7  0  3  0          Johnstone rf     2  0  0  0
Valenzuela rf,lf 1  0  0  0          Je. Morales cf   3  0  1  0
Welch lf         0  0  0  0          S. Thompson rf   1  0  0  0
Garvey 1b        8  0  1  0          Ripley p         2  0  0  0
Russell ss       7  1  2  0          J. Davis c       8  0  0  0
Scioscia c       4  0  2  1          Henderson lf     8  0  2  0
Belanger pr      0  0  0  0          J. Kennedy 2b    8  0  2  0
Yeager c         5  0  1  0          Noles p          1  0  0  0
Hooton p         2  0  0  0          Wills ph         1  0  0  0
Orta ph          1  0  0  0          Tidrow p         0  0  0  0
Niedenfuer p     0  0  0  0          Molinaro ph      1  0  0  0
Monday ph        1  0  0  0          Le. Smith p      0  0  0  0
S. Howe p        0  0  0  0          Woods ph         1  0  0  0
Roenicke ph      1  0  1  0          Proly p          1  0  0  0
Stewart p        0  0  0  0          Campbell p       1  0  0  0
Marshall ph      1  0  0  0          Moreland rf      2  0  0  0
Forster p        0  0  0  0              Total       73  1 16  1
Beckwith p       1  0  0  0
Wright p         0  0  0  0
Jo. Morales ph   1  0  0  0
Reuss p          1  0  0  0
    Total      75   2 17  2

                      Los Angeles    010 000 000 000 000 000 001-2
                      Chicago        100 000 000 000 000 000 000-1

E--Buckner 2, Russell, Ripley. DP--Los Angeles 2, Chicago 1. 
LOB--Los Angeles 21, Chicago 15. 2B--Durham 2, Russell, Cey, Sax. 
SB--Landreaux (25), Sandberg (26), Baker (13).
S--Bowa, J. Davis, Garvey, Landreaux. SF--Baker.

                              IP       H   R  ER  BB  SO
LOS ANGELES
Hooton                         6       4   1   1   1   2
Niedenfeur                     2       3   0   0   0   2
S. Howe                        2       2   0   0   1   3
Stewart                        2       1   0   0   0   1
Forster                        1       0   0   0   1   1
Beckwith                       3 2-3   5   0   0   1   2
Wright                           1-3   0   0   0   0   0
Reuss (W, 11-9)                4       1   0   0   0   2
CHICAGO
Noles                          5       4   1   1   1   3
Tidrow                         2       1   0   0   1   0
Le. Smith                      2       3   0   0   0   2
Proly                          3       5   0   0   1   0
Campbell                       5       1   0   0   1   3
Ripley (L, 4-6)                4       3   1   1   4   5

WP--Le. Smith, Ripley. T--6:10. Attendance--26,576.

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