Game 1: Braves 3, Blue Jays 1
First Francisco Cabrera, then Damon Berryhill. One catcher put the Braves into the World Series, another gave them a victory in Game 1. Berryhill hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, and Atlanta starter Tom Glavine did the rest. Glavine pitched a four-hitter, giving up his only run on Joe Carter's home run.
Toronto's starter, Jack Morris, was the guy with the big postseason reputation, and he was living up to it -- cruising along with a one-hitter -- until the sixth. In fact, until Berryhill nailed a forkball that didn't fork, Morris had thrown 18 consecutive shutout innings against the Braves, dating back to last year's Series, when he was with the Twins.
Glavine also had a postseason reputation -- it just wasn't a good one. Though he's won 20 games for two seasons in a row, Glavine was coming off a playoff outing in which he'd yielded eight runs in the second inning.
"It's just a matter of relaxing and letting things happen instead of trying to force things," Glavine said.
Toronto 000 100 000 -- 1 4 0
Atlanta 000 003 00x -- 3 4 0
Game 2: Blue Jays 5, Braves 4
First Francisco Cabrera, then Damon Berryhill, then Ed Sprague. The Blue Jays' Sprague joined the list of postseason catcher-heroes with a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning.
The Braves had closer Jeff Reardon -- the major leagues' all-time saves leader -- to protect a 4-3 lead. Reardon struck out Kelly Gruber to end the Blue Jays' eighth, and retired Pat Borders to start the ninth. Then Reardon was unable to close. Rookie Derek Bell worked a walk before Sprague, son of Orioles scout Ed Sprague, hit a line drive into the left-field bleachers.
"I struck out in the ninth inning against Dennis Eckersley in the playoffs because I was too anxious," Sprague said. "I think that at-bat helped me tonight."
Braves starter John Smoltz had outpitched the Blue Jays' David Cone. Smoltz went 7 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits, three runs and striking out eight. Cone lasted 4 1/3 , allowing four runs, five hits and five walks. Cone made a bigger contribution with his hitting -- he was 2-for-2 with an RBI.
The Braves had gone to their running game, putting Deion
Sanders -- whose biggest splash of the postseason had been in dousing CBS announcer Tim McCarver during the National League pennant celebration -- into the lineup, hoping to capitalize on Cone's inability to hold runners. It worked -- Atlanta stole four bases in the first five innings.
If the Blue Jays hadn't won, they might have started a movement to get instant replay into baseball. Toronto lost an apparent run in the fourth, when Roberto Alomar seemed to slide under Smoltz's tag at the plate after a wild pitch, but was called out.
And if Toronto fans didn't think that the umpires were against them, the pre-game ceremonies might have convinced them that the U.S. Marines were. A Marine color guard accidentally presented the Canadian flag upside down.
Toronto 000 020 012 -- 5 9 2
Atlanta 010 120 000 -- 4 5 1
Game 3: Blue Jays 3, Braves 2
Cito Gaston, psychic. The Blue Jays made their manager appear prescient in Game 3.
Before the game, Gaston had said he was sticking with Kelly Gruber -- whose postseason slump would reach a record 0-for-23 in this game -- because "maybe tonight he'll break out of it." Gruber hit a game-tying home run in the eighth.
During the early stages of the Blue Jays' rally in the bottom of the ninth -- when Toronto had one man on with no outs -- Gaston told Candy Maldonado he was going to come through. Maldonado said: "Cito came up to me tonight and said, 'You've got a chance to be the hero of the game.' " Maldonado hit a one-out, bases-loaded single to center to break a 2-2 tie and win the first World Series game played outside of the United States.
The play of the game was made by Blue Jays center fielder Devon White, who raced to the fence for a leaping catch to rob David Justice of an extra-base hit. Hall of Famer Ernie Banks called the catch "right up there with Willie Mays, Duke Snider, all of them."
The catch almost resulted in a triple play. It probably should have resulted in a triple play. Terry Pendleton, acting on the assumption that there was no way White would flag down the ball, passed Deion Sanders on the bases for the second out. But the Blue Jays unnecessarily threw to first base to get Pendleton. This lured Sanders off second base and into a rundown. Kelly Gruber chased Sanders back to second and dived at him, seeming to tag Sanders on the foot before he got to the base. But the umpire ruled that Gruber had missed Sanders.
Atlanta 000 001 010 -- 2 9 0
Toronto 000 100 011 -- 3 8 1
Game 4: Blue Jays 2, Braves 1
Jimmy Key gave himself a little going-away present in Game 4. Actually, it wasn't so little.
Key, who likely is headed for free agency and another team, pitched 7 2/3 strong innings for the Blue Jays, stopping the Braves on one run and five hits.