Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ringo bracket: Blue Jays (87) defeat Rangers (87) in seven games

Game One: 87 Rangers 5, 87 Blue Jays 3 (11 innings)
WP: Howe (1-0)
LP: Eichhorn (0-1)
Save: Mi Williams (2)
HR: Moseby (1), Parrish (2), Sierra (2), O'Brien (1)

Game Two: 87 Blue Jays 5, 87 Rangers 4
WP: Eichhorn (1-1)
LP: Mi Williams (0-1)
Save: Henke (3)

Game Three: 87 Blue Jays 5, 87 Rangers 0
WP: Stieb (1-0)
LP: Guzman (2-1)
Save: Cerutti (1)
HR: McGriff (1)

Game Four: 87 Rangers 9, 87 Blue Jays 3
WP: Hough (1-2)
LP: P Niekro (1-1)
HR: O'Brien (2), Upshaw (1), G Bell (4)

Game Five: 87 Rangers 3, 87 Blue Jays 1
WP: Kilgus (2-0)
LP: Key (1-1)
Save: Mi Williams (3)

Game Six: 87 Blue Jays 8, 87 Rangers 7
WP: Cerutti (1-0)
LP: Mohorcic (0-1)
Save: Henke (4)
HR: Parrish (3), Upshaw (2), Paciorek 2 (2), McGriff (2), Moseby (2)

Game Seven: 87 Blue Jays 3, 87 Rangers 2
WP: Eichhorn (2-1)
LP: Hough (1-3)
Save: Henke (5)
HR: G Bell (5), Moseby (3)

The 1987 Blue Jays survived a series marked by bullpen meltdowns and injuries.

The Jays jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in Game One at Toronto's old Exhibition Stadium. Lloyd Moseby hit a two-run homer in the first off Rangers ace Charlie Hough, and errors by shortstop Scott Fletcher and catcher Mike Stanley brought home an unearned run in the second. But the Rangers got solo homers from Pete O'Brien in the fourth and Larry Parrish and Ruben Sierra in the fifth (back-to-back) for a tie, Hough ptiched into the ninth, Jimmy Key into the eighth. Mark Eichhorn gave up a triple to Pete Incaviglia sandwiched around a pair of walks in the 11th, and by the time John Cerutti got out of the mess the Rangers had two runs, which stood up in the bottom of the inning.

Toronto evened the series in Game Two. Garth Iorg doubled in runs in the fourth and sixth innings off Bobby Witt, and Jim Clancy turned the 2-0 lead over to lefty Jeff Musselman in the eighth. But Musselman got only one out, and the Rangers took a 4-2 lead (Stanley and Bob Brower with two RBIs apiece). Mitch Williams entered for the bottom of the eighth. After Sierra, playing center after Oddibe McDowell went down for the series, committed an error on the first play of the inning, Williams gave up a single, then got two outs. But Tony Fernandez followed with a double and Kelly Gruber drew a walk to load the bases. Jeff Russell entered and gave up a pair of hits. The three-run inning gave the Jays the lead again, and Tom Henke did not follow the meltdown pattern.

The series shifted to Arlington Stadium, and Dave Stieb got an immediate lead in Game Three when Fred McGriff hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Mosby had a sac fly in the fourth and Iorg drove in two more runs in the fifth. Stieb loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with one out; Cerutti relieved, got Sierra to ground into a double play and then threw three more innings of one-hit ball for the long save. Fernandez left in mid-game with an injury.

The Rangers won Game Four handily despite two injuries of their own, to Sierra and Fletcher. Hough prevailed in a matchup of knuckleballers (Phil Niekro). Hough went eight innings while Texas hit three triples off Niekro and Musselman. Niekro went seven innings, allowing four runs; Musselman gave up five in the bottom of the eighth.

Paul Kilgus gave the Rangers the series lead in Game Five with eight innings of one-run ball. He allowed six hits and walked one. The lineup got three runs off Key in the fourth -- single by Parrish, double by Incaviglia, singles by Tom Paciorek and O'Brien.

The series returned to Toronto, and for a brief while in Game Six the Rangers appeared to have it in hand. Incaviglia doubled and scored in the second. Willie Upshaw tied it with third-inning homer. In the sixth the Rangers exploed for five runs off Jim Clancy. Pacoriek led off with a homer, and after a walk and two singles, Parrish hit a grand slam. The Jays got three runs back off Witt in their half of the inning, with a solo homer from Mosby and a two-run shot from McGriff. Paciorek homered again off Cerutti in the seventh for a 7-4 lead.

And then the game, and the series, turned. Dale Mohorcic got the first out in the bottom of the eighth. But then Fletcher booted an apparent double-play ball, and McGriff, Ernie Whitt and Upshaw all had RBI hits while centerfielder Brower -- playing there because of the injuries to Sierra and McDowell -- added an error. Three of the four runs were unearned.

Hough and Stieb dueled in Game Seven. George Bell homered in the first; the Rangers tied it in the second. Moseby homered in the third. the Rangers finally answered with a run in the seventh to chase Stieb. In the bottom of the seventh, Moseby drew a one-out walk. Fernandez singled him to second, and with two outs McGriff singled him home. Eichhorn and Henker avoided the bullpen meltdowns that marked the series, and the Jays advanced.

Player of the series: Fred McGriff was 6-for-17 with seven RBIs, five runs, two homers and six walks.

Player availability: All Toronto injuries have expired. Clancy can pitch Game Two with penalty. Stieb cannot pitch until Game Three.

Projected rotation: Key-Clancy-Stieb-Niekro-(Key)-(Clancy)-(Stieb). Niekro gets the nod again if only to have him face his brother Joe in Game Four.

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