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Didja Ever Notice?: The Other Game

Part of a continuing series of articles related to the events of October 25, 1986.

Bill Buckner played in 2,541 games, combining regular season, postseason, and All-Star Games.

Two of them ended with him making an error.

This is the story of the other one.

It took place on July 13, 1985 at the Kingdome in Seattle, and I'm guessing that not many people remember it, since it was fairly inconsequential to the pennant race. Brian Snyder might be the only one. It was a game in which he earned his only big league win, one that snapped his team's six-game losing streak.

The pitching matchup was Bruce Hurst against Matt Young, a battle of lefties, and Alvin Davis struck the first blow against Hurst with a second-inning homer to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.

Seattle added to that advantage when future Buckner teammate Spike Owen doubled home a run in the third. Boston answered with a run in the fourth, and then another in the fifth on Dwight Evans' 10th home run of the season.

Tied at two in the seventh, the Mariners again grabbed the lead off Hurst. Barry Bonnell's pinch-hit double made it 3-2 and home runs by Phil Bradley and Gorman Thomas in the eighth made it a 5-2 Mariners lead.

That should have been the final score, and would have, if not for the inefficency of the Mariners bullpen.

Boston put the first two runners on base to start the visitors ninth, but Buckner did his best to kill the rally, bouncing into a 4-6-3 double play. Seattle needed just one out to secure the win.

But we all know how difficult it is to get that last out.

Jim Rice singled in a run and Mike Easler walked. Still, Boston trailed 5-3 with two on and two out, and when Dave Sax appeared to hit a game-ending ground ball, to short, this looked to be a pretty unremarkable victory.

But wait! An error by second baseman Domingo Ramos trying to catch the throw kept the Mariners from a win. And go figure that Glenn Hoffman, the next batter, would single home two runs to tie the game.

Steve Lyons popped out (the only batter Snyder would face), but the damage was done, and the score was tied, 5-5.

In the bottom of the ninth, Hurst was pulled and relieved by none other than Bob Stanley. Ivan Calderon promptly greeted the new Boston moundsman with a double. Fearing the power of Mariners third baseman Jim Presley, the Red Sox granted him an intentional walk, and decided to take their chances with Bob Kearney.

Prior to a couple of weeks ago, Bob Kearney had one claim to fame, by my account. I remember, when I was little, reading an article about how Kearney was an odd fellow, and how he and his wife decided to name their child by blindly picking four Scrabble tiles. The four he picked were D-A-N-A. But Kearney didn't want his child to have that name, so they drew another letter, an I. Rather than name his kid D-I-A-N-A, the Kearneys went the illogical route, dubbing their daughter D-A-N-A-I. Poor kid.

Anyways, Kearney now has a second claim to fame. With two on and no out in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, Kearney dropped a bunt down the first base line. Buckner fielded and decided, in a poor choice of wisdom, to try to nail Calderon at third base.

The description, provided by Bob Finnigan of the Post-Intelligencer was as follows:

"Not only was his throw late, but when it rolled 15 feet past third baseman Wade Boggs, Calderon got up and sped home with the deciding run."

True Metnais know...That this game has 3 important things in common with Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

1- The final score of both games was 6-5.
2- The pitcher on the mound at the end of the game was Bob Stanley.
3- Bill Buckner went 0-for-5 with a game-ending error.

Metswalkoffs would like to thank Jeff Evans of the Mariners media relations department for his assistance in procuring details about this game.


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