Esoteric Boxscore of the Day

September 09, 2005

Is Dawson Up the Creek Despite Career Day?

September 24, 1985
Montreal 17, Chicago 15

MON   2  1  0    0 12  0    0  2  0  -  17 17  1
CHI 0 0 0 2 0 1 3 4 5 - 15 20 2
Today's Boxscore

How do you have a 12-run inning in a game that you're already winning, and still almost lose it? Ask manager Buck Rodgers, who must have thought he'd stepped into an alternate universe after crossing over the seventh inning!

It started out pretty normally, as you can see, a 3-2 game after which point the game entered the fifth dimension (or perhaps the wind started blowing out!). Montreal, ranked 24th of the 26 major league teams in scoring at 3.85 a game, had a blockbuster inning, pounding out 10 hits, including three homers, on the way to scoring 12 runs. Yikes! How'd that happen?

Cubs starter Roy Fontenot was coming off his worst start of the year, lasting only 2 2/3 innings and allowing three dingers. If he was looking for redemption this day, he didn't get it. He didn't make it out of the fifth, giving up three runs over the first four, then four more to start the fifth. Who ya gonna call? A 28-year-old September callup, that's who! Poor Jon Perlman never had a chance. In his fifth ever game, those Montreal bashers tagged the "youngster" for 8 runs on 6 hits and two walks. His sad line:
                IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR
Perlman 0.1 6 8 8 2 0 2
Oh, and the one out he recorded? A sacrifice bunt by the pitcher.

After some guy named Dave Beard came in to record the last out, the damage was done. Andre Dawson, who had already lit up Fontenot for a two-run homer in the first, hit not one, but two three-run homers in that crazy fifth! That's six RBI's in the inning (one more than his previous high in a game!) and a career-high eight for the game! Also, three Expos collected two hits in the inning (Dawson, Tim Wallach, Mitch Webster). They did somehow strikeout twice, though. But who cares when you're up 15-2.

So it was seeming like quite a nice day, the confines of Wrigley Field feeling extra friendly to Montreal. But then the winds shifted again...

Unsurprisingly, by the seventh inning, in a 12-run hole, Cubs scrubs had replaced five of the eight regulars. Nice move, Jim Frey. The best all day. You've now made up for bringing in the "kid". Why? Because from the seventh through ninth innings, the replacements went an astonishing 12 for 17 with nine RBI's, highlighted by Billy Hatcher (3-3), Chris Speier (3-3), Dave Owen (2-2), and Gary Woods (2-3).

Rodgers, justifiably, brought in his own September callup, John Dopson, for the seventh. Then things went, um, south for the 22-year-old--to the tune of seven runs on eight hits in 1 1/3 innings. There was still no panic, though, with a 17-10 lead. So he brought in another rookie, Randy St. Claire. That's when things got a little dicey. After finishing off the eighth and getting the first two outs in the ninth without further damage, he gave up his fifth hit to his last batter to cut the margin to 17-13.

After another reliever allowed two more to score on a double, the Expos actually had to bring in their closer, Jeff Reardon, to face the tying run! Hmmm...when his team took a 13-run lead, he probably wasn't thinking about his 35th save, ya think? He did, indeed, save the day by getting Steve Lake, the only ineffective Cub scrub (0-3) on an easy grounder. Just your routine 17-15, almost blow a 13-run lead kind of game! That is to say, a routine day in the friendly confines!

Some notes:
  • Don't forget Sal Butera's career day! He drove in only 12 runs in 120 at-bats that year...and a third of those (four) came in this game! (a career high) That leaves 8 RBI's in his other 116 AB's! Ugh. Oh, and his eighth-inning, two-run homer was the margin in the game!
  • It was also Dawsons fourth consecutive game with a round-tripper during a stretch of 10 games in which all 15 runs he drove in were on homers.
  • Dopson was such a flop in his 1985 cup of coffee--compiling an offensive 11.08 ERA in a year when the league average was 3.59--that he didn't see major league action again until 1988.
  • Here's the linescore for the first four innings:

        R H E
    MON 3 4 1
    CHI 2 3 1

  • ...and for the last five.

         R  H E
    MON 14 13 0
    CHI 13 17 1

And my favorite note...
  • Chicago scored a different number of runs in six consecutive innings!! From the fourth through the ninth, they scored 2, 0, 1, 3, 4, and 5. It's meaningless, but I just love that stuff!
Anything I missed? Leave a comment or drop me a line.


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