DETROIT — Heading into today’s game Mike Caldwell had allowed 15 runs (13 earned) covering his previous 9 2/3 innings. Today? Well, today was a bit different.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth of a 2-2 game, there was every reason to go to the bullpen. Caldwell had been masterful, allowing two runs on four hits through eight innings. The batters due up were Lance Parrish, Mike Ivie and Larry Herndon, all batters who had homered off of Caldwell during the past week (Parrish and Ivie today). Rollie Fingers and Jim Slaton were ready in the bullpen. Why not just be happy with the eight innings Caldwell provided?
But Harvey Kuenn stuck with him. Nine pitches later, the inning was over. Caldwell strolled out for the tenth. Another nine pitches later, the tenth inning was over.
It was an amazing display. In ten innings, Caldwell threw merely 103 pitches. And Dan Petry matched Caldwell, allowing only two runs while going 10 innings as well. Thankfully, the Brewers offense got Caldwell a win. He more than deserved it.
Ned Yost, who had pinch hit for Ted Simmons in the ninth, would get a second at bat in the 11th after strikeouts by Robin Yount and Cecil Cooper to lead off the inning. Yost lined a shot to deep left center over Kirk Gibson‘s head for his first major league triple. After Ben Oglivie was intentionally walked, Alan Trammell would boot a ground ball by Gorman Thomas that would allow the eventual winning run to score.
It’s a game like this one that makes a fan believe that the Brewers are for real. Terrific pitching and timely hitting against one of the league’s best teams on the road.
Could it be? Are the Brewers one of the league’s best teams?
Game Notes: Third base coach Harry Warner was ejected in the third inning after arguing with umpire Bill Haller about Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker not being close enough to the bag when turning two … Ted Simmons broke an 0-for-14 slump with a single and a double.