|Cone's 1987 Topps Traded card.|
Dave LaPoint will pitch for T.C. in the first game with a 5-4 record, and 3.56 ERA to face off against Mexico City's David Cone who is sizzling at 12-4 with a 1.66 ERA (108 K's in 135 IP)!
Top of the 1st
Lead-off single by Barry Bonds, just beating the throw. Bonds moves up to second on a ground out by Dykstra, which was followed up with Harold Reynolds drawing a walk from LaPoint. The Tigers strikeout Kevin Mitchell. Kelly Gruber steps up with men on 1st & 2nd with 2 outs, Gruber hits it into the gap in left-center, Bonds scores, the throw comes in, Reynolds goes for 3rd while Gruber heads to second, Pete O'Brien of the Tigers cuts it off & throws the ball to second as they get Gruber on a close call. End of inning, but not before the Chihuahuas could tack one on. Mexico City 1, Traverse City 0
Bottom of the 2nd
David Cone of Mexico City is looking dominant as always with four K's early on, after two.
Top of the 3rd
Barry Bonds hits a one-out double. Lenny Dykstra pops out behind third base. Harold Reynolds hits one to left, which drops before LF-Jesse Barfield, Bonds is rounding third, and decides to test Barfield's cannon of an arm, the play at the plate... and he's SAFE! Reynolds holds at first, two outs. Mitchell would hit a deep fly to Mookie Wilson at the track in center for the third out. Mexico City 2, Traverse City 0
Top of the 4th
Tony Fernandez draws a walk with one out. Phil Bradley sends one to the wall, Fernandez threatens to go for home but holds, and Bradley is into second, standing, for his 20th double of the season. John Marzano hits this one into the left corner, Barfield really has to run for this one, Fernandez & Bradley scores, Marzano goes for second & is in safely; Back-to-back doubles for the small dogs! Dave Bergman grounds out & advances Marzano to third with two outs, as Barry Bonds steps up to the plate. LaPoint intentionally walks Barry Bonds, and decides to face .241 Lenny Dykstra. Dykstra hits it to Rafael Ramirez, a nice diving stop, the throw to second & they get the force at second for the 3rd out! The Ump signals time, Rafael Ramirez is still down, he will have to leave the game, we'll find out more about him later, as Felix Fermin will have to come in to play some short. Mexico City 4, Traverse City 0
Bottom of the 4th
Mookie Wilson leads off with a single, breaking up Cone's early bid for a no-no -- Tigers are hoping to start a little magic. Wilson is off to second on the pitch, Molitor smacks it up the middle, base hit! Runners on 1st & 3rd for Dave Winfield (batting .287 with 19 HR's), who has slowed down as of late. Winfield pops up for the first out. Joe Carter steps up, grounds it to short, Fernandez momentarily has a tough time getting it out of his glove, and is able to get the force at second, but no play at first as Mookie crosses home plate to put the Tigers on the board. Mexico City 4, Traverse City 1
Top of the 5th
Harold Reynolds draws a walk, that is the 4th walk allowed by Dave LaPoint already. Kevin Mitchell laces a single to left-center, Reynolds thinks about third, but the 3rd Base coach flashes the stop sign. Runners on 1st & 2nd, no outs for Kelly Gruber. Gruber grounds it to Fermin at short, no play at second, only first, as runners advance to 2nd & 3rd, with one out. Tony Fernandez strikes out for the second out. Phil Bradley steps in with a .287 average, the Tigers elect to face John Marzano (who had a double earlier) & his .125 batting average. Marzano hits up to the mound, LaPoint has it, and then drops it! The quick throw to first, just in time for the final out, oh baby! Just a lot of noise.
Bottom of the 5th
Tigers fans are starting to get active, hoping they can't start something in the 5th. With one out, Bob Boone laces a double to right. Tigers go to the bench, to bring in switch-hitting second baseman Johnny Ray for Tom O'Malley, Ray will likely play 2nd for the remainder of game, while pushing Molitor back to his natural 3B position. Cone misses the corner, as Ray draws up a free pass. Runners on 1st & 2nd, one out, Felix Fermin in for the injured Ramirez, swings right through the at-bat, Cone's 5th K. Two outs now for Mookie Wilson, hits it up the middle, Fernandez is there, the shuffle throw to second for the force, and that ends the threat.
Top of the 6th
LaPoint is still in there for the Tigers, despite not having a good performance, he's trying to eat up some innings. LaPoint cruises through the 6th, 1-2-3. Score remains: Mexico City 4, Traverse City 1
Bottom of the 6th
Lead-off single to right for Paul Molitor. Winfield grounds it to second, as Molitor was off & running, only play is at 1st for one out. Joe Carter pops out behind 3rd Base for the second out. Lefty Pete O'Brien couldn't take advantage of right David Cone, as he hits a deep fly to right for the final out.
Top of the 7th
Harold Reynolds draws a walk, now LaPoint's 6th walk allowed in this ballgame -- not good, with a dangerous runner like Reynolds. Reynolds is off & running for a steal attempt of second, Boone gets off a great throw, and nails the runner! LaPoint is very thankful. Kevin Mitchell hits one to the mound, LaPoint knocks it down, throws back to first, making it the 2nd out. Will LaPoint actually get through another inning?
Kelly Gruber hits a deep fly to right-center, as he gives Joe Carter a good run for the final out.
Bottom of the 7th
With one out, Bob Boone logs his second hit of the game, with a single to right. Tigers decide to pinch-run for Boone with speedy, but achy Tim Raines; Raines has 13 steals in the 66 games he has played. Johnny Ray hits one to Tony Fernandez, it handcuffs him, he still is able to get the throw off to first for the second out, as Raines moves to second. The Tigers fail to do anything as Felix Fermin hits one to shallow left, only to be chased down by Fernandez at short. 4-1, Mexico City still leads.
Top of the 8th
Scott Terry in to pitch again righties Fernandez, Bradley & Marzano, and succeeds getting through the side in 1-2-3 fashion.
Bottom of the 8th
Cone cruises through the inning 1-2-3.
Top of the 9th
Tigers send in southpaw Ken Dayley to face the Chihuahuas, as he gets through the side with no problems as well.
Bottom of the 9th
Cone is still in there for Mexico City, he has only allowed 5 hits to this point, while striking out 6 Tigers for the night -- he has already racked up 13 complete games for the season, going for #14. Joe Carter send this one deep to left, Bonds is going back, back, back to the wall, and puts it away.... I think Carter thought it was gone, and with the expression on Cone's face, I think he was thinking the same. Lefty, O'Brien who has been hot of late, foul tips this one into Marzano's glove, ring that up as strikeout #7 for David Cone. One more batter to beat in Jesse Barfield, who's only batting .184!
David Cone gets his 14th complete game of the season, and a few more votes in for possible A.L. Cy Young Award -- making his record 13-4 with an astounding 1.62 ERA! Despite not pitching great, Dave LaPoint did his job by not allowing any late inning runs, and eating up some innings to take the load off the bullpen. The Tigers just couldn't take advantage of their opportunities.
FINAL SCORE: Mexico City 4, Traverse City 1