DR. GROSSINGER’S PRE-GAME
The Hotel Raphael is nice, though it looks very much like my room at the William Penn. Mr. Headley has been coming to my bedside quite often now with a thermometer and World Series updates, and I have an odd feeling that my Pirates are going to rebound. Like they did that one magical year for my mother. Hopefully I’ll be well enough to join Lester at one of the games soon…
KANSAS CITY–It’s a crisp October day here in western Missouri, and all 40+ thousand of us are ready to continue this World Series party. Bruce Kison was nothing short of dreadful in his last two starts of the year, and come to think of it, the Pirates have been outscored 36-11 in their last four games.
So that’s why I’m not worried when Parker hits a solo rope over the fence with two outs in the 1st. My team has that same thang going that helped them start out the season 16-4. Sure enough, Porter rips a double off Kison in the 2nd, Mayberry puts one airborne, and we’re up 2-1 in a flash. Make that 4-1 on a Poquette single, Cowens single, Brett double and McRae (him again) sac fly in the 3rd.
Kison gets out of two straight gnarly jams following that, but Colborn has the Pirates’ number. He puts down twelve of them in a row until Fregosi dunks a single into center in the 7th. But it just never feels like the Royals are in trouble.
But they are Sheila. They are. It starts so innocent-like, with a Garner triple and Taveras sac fly beginning the 8th. But then Patek, who’s had fielding issues since April, boots a Stennett roller to bring up Al Oliver. Oliver scoops Colborn’s first pitch deep into the bleachers and we are tied 4-4!
No one can believe it, not even the Pirates, who take no chances by bring Goose Gossage in with one gone in the 8th. After they go out in order in the top of the 9th, Taveras starts the 10th with a deep double to right center. A grounder gets him to third, and after Mingori comes on to face the three tough lefties, Oliver walks. Cobra fans, though, Stargell lines to White who makes a lunging grab, and we’re out of the 10th.
Meantime Gossage is pumping out his goose eggs. Ggives up a single and walk last of the 11th but then gets White and Poquette. And whiffs Brett and McRae to end the 12th.
Then it’s the 13th. Why is it always the 13th? Oliver leads with a walk. Stargell singles him to third with one out and Littell comes on…to walk Robinson and load the bases. Fregosi then pops a fly out to Poqiette, Oliver tags and scores and the Bucs are up 5-4!
Gossage isn’t through making us all crazy, though. Working in his fifth inning (there’s no way he can pitch tomorrow, and may not pitch in Game 5), Porter leads with a single, Wilson runs and gets bunted over, and Mayberry walks. But Goose bears down, honks out Patek and pinch-hitter Lahoud and that gosh damned jolly roger is finally raised.
Tomorrow it’s a re-match of aces, Candelaria and Leonard, Pittsburgh trying no notch this spectacle at two games apiece, and standing room only seats are already on sale.
PIRATES 100 000 030 000 1 – 5 8 0
ROYALS 022 000 000 000 0 – 4 9 1
W-Gossage L-Mingori HRS: Parker, Oliver, Mayberry GWRBI-Fregosi
LATE UPDATE: Tonight’s Tweetcast of Game 4 will be here at a special time of 7:30 p.m. eastern, 4:30 pacific, with the game report appearing per usual on the blog the next morning.