Crazy World Series between Los Angeles and Houston recalls a crazy 1993 showdown
Game 5 of the 2017 World Series ended with the most runs scored in the Fall Classic in more than twenty years, a ten-inning affair that also set a record number of home runs. Yet a memorable World Series game saw the two pennant winners cross the plate nearly thirty times, and they managed to do so without the extra inning.
In the fall of 1993, Toronto entered the fourth game in Philadelphia after winning two of the first three. It would be a contest that makes the 2017 Series, which has been hailed as crazy and crazy, seem pretty quiet.
The Blue Jays set the tone early, as future Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson led off the game with a double. He was quickly joined on the base trails after Devon White walked, and eventual Series MVP Joe Carter singled.
Another future Hall of Famer, designated hitter Paul Molitor, took a bases loaded walk to put the Blue Jays up 1-0. Shortstop Tony Fernandez then hit a two-run single that allowed Toronto right-hander Todd Stottlemeyer to get on the mound with a 3-0 lead.
Stottlemeyer then proceeded to walk four batters in the bottom of the first before allowing a triple to outfielder Milt Thompson, giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead. An inning later, a two-run home run by outfielder Lenny Dykstra extended that margin to 6-3, only for the Blue Jays to mount their first comeback in the third.
Three singles and a pair of walks gave Toronto four runs for a 7-6 lead, which was erased in the fourth on a double by Dykstra and an infielder RBI single by infielder Mariano Duncan. Similar to the end of the sixth inning of Game 5 in 2017, the two teams were stuck at seven.
The Phils seemed to have put the game out of their league when they hit five runs, including home runs by Dykstra and wide receiver Darren Daulton. Toronto managed to add two of their own in the sixth, cutting the deficit to 12-9.
Those two runs were quickly regained by Philadelphia, who scored one in each successive inning to get back to five. Then ten men went to the plate in Toronto’s eighth inning, when six Blue Jay running backs crossed the plate to take a 15-14 lead.
Closer Duane Ward entered the eighth and retired all four batters he faced to save Toronto, which was now just one game away from winning its second consecutive World Series Championship. It was another two games before the Blue Jays finished off the Phillies, who made sure of everything with Joe Carter’s historic home run.
That roller coaster in game four highlighted one of the best World Series in the sport, one that would have to satisfy baseball fans when the next season rolled around. Unfortunately, there would be no Fall Classic in 1994 due to a breakdown in labor negotiations.