Eisenreich's homer foils strategy Key play

October 18, 1993|By Jim Henneman

TORONTO -- There was no mystery about the key play in Game 2 of the World Series. The three-run home run by Jim Eisenreich that capped a five-run third inning by the Phillies established the tone of the game early.

The circumstances surrounding the game-breaker were what made it unusual. Eisenreich, a left-handed batter, is not considered a home-run threat, and right-hander Dave Stewart has been a master in avoiding the big inning.

Stewart had given up two runs on flared singles by John Kruk and Dave Hollins. With runners on second and third and one out, Stewart had an open base and right-handed batting Pete Incaviglia on deck. He had also been struggling, however, with his control (Lenny Dykstra and Mariano Duncan walked to start the inning).

That may have influenced the strategy to go after Eisenreich rather than load the bases for Incaviglia, who had flied to the warning track in left the previous inning. Stewart got ahead in the count, 0-and-2. But on the next pitch, his control failed him again -- this time within the strike zone.

Eisenreich didn't get full extension on the letter-high pitch, but drove the ball 391 feet over the center-field fence.

The home run increased the lead to 5-0, and the lead proved to be insurmountable for the Blue Jays, who poked at the Phillies, but couldn't come up with a big inning of their own.

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