Jays run down Phils in 15-14 slamfest Six in 8th leaves Toronto win short of championship

October 21, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The ball rattled around Veterans Stadium for the better part of 4 1/2 hours last night, stopping only occasionally to allow the base runners to catch their breath. The World Series had never seen anything like it.

The Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays hooked up in the highest-scoring game in the history of the fall classic, combining for 29 runs before the Blue Jays stumbled over the finish line with a 15-14 victory that pushed the Phillies to the brink of elimination.

Tony Fernandez drove in five runs and Devon White drove home four, including a two-run triple that brought the Blue Jays from behind in a six-run eighth inning. The dramatic comeback gave Toronto a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven Series and put them in position to win their second straight world championship tonight when Juan Guzman takes the mound against Curt Schilling in Game 5 at the Vet.

The sellout crowd of 62,731 had screamed itself hoarse cheering Len Dykstra through a couple of long home runs. The Phillies faithful had pumped up the volume for a five-RBI performance by Milt Thompson. But there was nothing but stunned silence when the Blue Jays overcame a five-run deficit in the eighth against relievers Larry Andersen and Mitch Williams.

What happened?

"We just didn't score 20 runs," said Phillies manager Jim Fregosi.

It was an offensive display so outlandish that the likes of it had not been seen since the days of Lou Gehrig and the New York Yankees dynasty.

Actually, not even then. The 29 runs shattered the single-game scoring record for World Series play, which had stood since the Yankees defeated the New York Giants, 18-4, to combine for 22 runs in Game 4 of the 1936 Series.

"I think it will go down in the annals as one of the all-time World Series games," Fregosi said. "It was just unbelievable."

The Phillies scored the run that broke the record in the seventh inning, but that was before the Blue Jays erupted in the eighth with three run-scoring hits off Williams. Relievers Mike Timlin and Duane Ward succeeded where Williams could not, and the 90th World Series was put on one day's notice.

"We feel great about our chances of wrapping it up," said Rickey Henderson, whose two-run single in the eighth set up White for a game-winning gapper to right-center. "We've got Guzman going tomorrow night and [Dave] Stewart going on Saturday. We've got our aces going out there. We just need to score some runs for them."

There no longer is any doubt about either team's ability to do that. The Phillies scored five runs in the fifth inning, four of them on long home runs by Dykstra and catcher Darren Daulton. They went into the eighth looking like a team about to even the series at two games apiece with a chance to jump on top in a pivotal Game 5 at home.

The Blue Jays even surprised themselves with the six-run comeback, judging from manager Cito Gaston's decision to let reliever Tony Castillo hit for himself to lead off the seventh inning -- an apparent sign of surrender.

White, who reached base four times in the game, was surprisingly honest about it.

"We knew we needed to push it early and we knew it wasn't going to be easy," White said. "Then Daulton and Dykstra hit those homers and I was thinking, 'We'll get them tomorrow.' It wasn't that I was giving up, but you don't usually come back like that. We've just got a good offensive team that keeps coming at you."

Indeed, the Blue Jays are coming on strong and the Phillies appear to be in full retreat. They face the discouraging prospect of having to win three straight games -- two of them in Toronto -- to make their unlikely last-to-first fantasy come true.

The question now is can they recover from last night's wild ride to send the Series back to Canada.

How wild was it?

* Dykstra had two home runs, a double, a walk and four runs scored after just five innings. The four runs tied a World Series record.

* Tommy Greene and Todd Stottlemyre lasted a combined 4 1/3 innings and gave up 13 runs on 10 hits and eight walks, but neither was the pitcher of record by the end of the fourth.

* Four batters -- Thompson, Dykstra, White and Fernandez -- had at least four RBI. The five-RBI performances by Thompson and Fernandez each came up one short of tying the World Series record. Fernandez ran his RBI total for this Series to nine, a record for shortstops.

* The two clubs combined for 31 hits to come up one short of the World Series record in a game that lasted 4 hours and 14 minutes. It was the longest nine-inning game in World Series history.

In Game 3 the night before, the first inning was delayed 72 minutes by rain. Last night, the game was delayed by the first inning, which lasted 40 minutes and featured enough bad pitching to last the Colorado Rockies through their second season.

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