Tamed 'Wild Thing' makes no excuses

October 21, 1993|By Nick Cafardo | Nick Cafardo,Boston Globe

PHILADELPHIA -- He was the first to be dressed. He stood there with his brown locks flowing down against his neck and onto his back. He pulled on a dungaree jacket with the words "Sawyer Brown Outskirts" on the back and began to explain, as only Mitch Williams can, what on earth happened in an eventful 15-14 loss that has buried the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-1, in the World Series.

"I stunk. It's that simple," Williams said. "Nothing affected me on the mound. Don't try to make excuses for me. I felt good when

TC went out to the mound. I love being out there. I loved being out there tonight.

"The worst part about tonight is that I stunk in front of the whole nation instead of a few people in Philadelphia."

Actually, Williams stank before 103 countries that broadcast the event.

Williams punctuated a devastating evening for the Phillies when he came into the game with one out, men on second and third, in the eighth inning. Philadelphia was leading, 14-10.

Williams allowed a one-run single to Tony Fernandez, the Toronto shortstop's fifth RBI of the game. It was 14-11. Philly fans normally put their coats over their heads when Williams enters a game. His teammates had towels over theirs. Usually their worst fears don't come true. But last night they did.

Williams walked Pat Borders. He struck out pinch hitter Ed Sprague with a pitch down the middle that Sprague just looked at. But he threw a fat pitch to Rickey Henderson, who slammed a single in front of Lenny Dykstra. Two runs scored, 14-13.

"It was a bad pitch to Henderson," said Williams. "I got a fastball up. He has every reason to hit the ball for a hit. I don't know what it was. Some days you have a little more on the fastball. Other times you don't. This was one of those times."

Williams was losing it. Devon White then brought the worst fears of Philly fans to fruition. Batting right-handed -- the Mild Thing against the Wild Thing -- White tripled to right-center, scoring the tying and go-ahead runs.

The Phillies' locker room was virtually barren after the game. Williams stood in one corner. Dave Hollins, who was charged with a two-base error in the eighth, was in another area. Dykstra popped out, speaking into his chest, and got a little touchy when asked whether the Phillies will come back.

"No, we're gonna quit," snapped Dykstra.

"They just hit the ball all over the place," Dykstra went on. "It was one of those nights when both teams came back every time. We had a big lead. We blew it."

Williams took wave after wave of questions. Several times he walked away but came back and answered more questions. His eyes were red, obviously having shed tears.

"The thing about it is, I can't wait to get back out there," he said. "I hope I'm out there again tomorrow, because things will be different. You just can't say we're done, see ya later. It doesn't work that way with this team. Now we have to prove that."

And, finally, he walked away for good.

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