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Moore of the Same: A's Halfway to Crown

The Phillies win a thriller tonight, 8-6. We now resume our regulary scheduled program, already in progress.

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Scrapbook Memories celebrates the 20th anniversary of Oakland's last World Series triumph. Tonight: Game 2 of the 1989 World Series.

After seeing their team suffer a second convincing defeat at the hands of the mighty A's, Giants' fans had to be asking themselves, "we waited 27 years for this?"

(Holy crap; they're still waiting.)

Even 20 years to the day later, this is a fairly easy recap. Probably because it was over by the fourth inning.

If Dave Stewart (complete-game, five-hit shutout) was a "buzz saw" to the Giants in the Series opener, Mike Moore (seven innings, four hits, one run) was a buzz kill.

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Rickey got things going in the first with (surprise!) a walk, then he (gasp!) stole second, before (shocker!) scooting home on a double by Mr. Reliable, or if you prefer, Carney Warney.

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The Giants had the gall to tie the game off Moore in the third, which only served to anger the Elephants. Here's how Steve Wulf of Sports Illustrated described it:

The Giants tied the score 1-1 when Robby Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to score Jose Uribe, who had gone to third on a single by Brett Butler after he had reached on a force play that had erased Kennedy, who had led off the inning with a single. Yes, you can fit the entire Giant offense in a single sentence.


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Jose Canseco walked leading off the fourth against San Francisco starter Rick Reuschel. Then things got weird. Dave Parker doubled off the wall to score Canseco. Problem is, Parker thought it was a homerun, went into his patented slow trot, and then had to burn rubber to beat Candy Maldonado's throw to the bag, much to the Giants' dismay- and disagreement. The umpires then had to remove a guinea hen that had wandered out in right field, near the place where Parker's ball landed, only in fowl, er, foul, territory.

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When play resumed, Dave Henderson took a walk, Mark McGwire struck out, and Terry Steinbach stepped to the plate.

As Game 1 hurler Scott Garrelts had done to low-ball hitting Dave Parker, Reuschel did the same to the similar-styled Steinbach with the exact same result. Gone. The place went berserk and I ran up and down the aisle bashing every fan in site. It was only the fourth inning, but this baby was over. Seriously, they should have stopped the game.

More wackiness ensued in the seventh, as Wulf explains:

R. Henderson-who later said, Yogi-like, "I'm seeing the ball tremendously"-lashed his third hit of the night, down the leftfield line. The ball took a crazy bounce in foul territory and squirted under the A's bullpen bench. As Mitchell, the leftfielder, tried to find the ball, the A's bullpen crew sat like choirboys in a pew. "I was only trying to be nice," said Eckersley, under whom the ball had stopped. "How you doin', Mitch?" said A's utilityman Billy Beane politely.

Just like in Game 1, all of the scoring took place before the fifth frame. Mike Moore exited in the eighth to a standing ovation, but I think Tony La Russa only brought in Rick Honeycutt and Dennis Eckersley (who combined for two perfect innings) so they wouldn't die of boredom.

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As the Giants tried to put their fingers on the root of the problem that caused them to score just one run on nine hits in eighteen innings, catcher Terry Kennedy summed it up perfectly.

"I have two theories on why we're not hitting," said Kennedy. "One of my theories is Dave Stewart. The other is Mike Moore."

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The Series would indeed shift to San Francisco, and I remember thinking the 1989 season would not go past Wednesday night.

I mean, really, what could possibly go wrong?