Saturday, October 25, 2003

Ten years later, the journey of the 1984 Cubs is completeThe Cubs open the 1994 World Series on my Super Nintendo against the Yankees in Wrigley Field, having won 92 regular season games to New York's 91. The Yankees ousted the team with the best record, the 102-win White Sox, in Game 7 of the ALCS, and thank goodness--the Sox' bats would have been far more terrifying to face after the Cubs edged the homer-happy Braves in the NLCS.
Game 1: Mike Morgan v. Jimmy Key. Morgan hangs a curve in front of Wade Boggs in the top of the 3rd and Boggs blasts it for a home run and a 1-0 Yankees lead. It stays that way until I pinch-hit Glenallen Hill for faltering leadoff hitter Dwight Smith in the bottom of the 6th; Hill sends one over the fence to tie it at 1. In the 7th, Sosa singles and then scores from first on a Rick Wilkins double to make it 2-1. Dan Plesac comes in to relieve Morgan in the 8th, puts the go-ahead run on base with two walks and one out, then gets Don Mattingly to hit into a double play. Scrub Eric Yelding hits for Plesac and gets a single, then scores on a Hill triple. Myers gets the save. Cubs win 3-1, lead the series 1-0.
Game 2: Greg Hibbard v. Jim Abbott. Steve Buchele, my best hitter in the postseason, strikes out with runners on first and second to end the 1st inning and keep the game scoreless. The Yankees load the bases in the top of the 2nd but I strike out the pitcher to get out of the inning. In the bottom half, Sammy Sosa leads off with a double and advances to third on a double by Wilkins. Then Wilkins is doubled up on a caught line drive and the pitcher strikes out to end the inning. Still scoreless. In the bottom of the 4th, Mark Grace skies one to the warning track but is retired. The next batter, Buchele cranks it over the wall and it's 1-0. I load the bases again in the 6th but fail to score. Hibbard strikes out the side in the 7th. Sosa triples with one out in the bottom half of the inning, but neither Wilkins nor Rey Sanchez can get the ball out of the infield. Still 1-0. But setup man Jose Bautista is dominant in the 8th, as is Randy Myers in the ninth, and the Cubs hang on. Cubs win 1-0, lead the series 2-0. On to the Bronx.
Game 3: Jose Guzman v. Scott Kamieniecki. Sosa's solo homer makes it 1-0 in the top of the 2nd. Jose Vizcaino gets on in the 3rd with an infield single, Dwight Smith bunts him over to second, and Karl Rhodes knocks him in on a triple to left. 2-0. Then Hill, in the lineup as a DH, blasts a 2-run shot to make it 4-0. Guzman is in command of the punchless Yankee lineup and has a one-hitter going. Sosa, who will go 4-4 on the night, gets on to lead off the 6th before another Wilkins homer makes it 6-0. Myers completes Guzman's one-hitter. The Yankees have 15 hits through three games to the Cubs' 29. Cubs win 6-0, and are one game away from a World Series sweep.
Game 4: Greg Hibbard v. Jimmy Key. Dwight Smith leads off the 1st with a triple and is tripled home by Rhodes, but no one can get Rhodes home. 1-0. Hibbard scatters five hits over eight innings on three days rest, but I can't get more than one baserunner on against Jimmy Key for the next six innings. Then Rhodes leads off the top of the 9th with a solo homer to make it 2-0, and we go to the bottom of the 9th. Myers allows a leadoff single but gets the next two batters. Danny Tartabull comes to the plate representing the tying run with two outs. Cubs' fans hearts leap to their throats as Tartabull launches one deep into center field, but Smith chases it back, camps under it, makes the catch, and delerium descends on Wrigleyville.

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