1984 World Series Re-Imagined: Game 4
What if Leon Durham hadn’t booted that ball? What if Lee Smith hadn’t let Steve Garvey take him deep? What if the Chicago Cubs had actually won the 1984 National League Championship Series against the San Diego Padres? We’re re-imagining the 1984 World Series through the use of the APBA Pro Baseball Game, with the Cubs facing the American League champion Detroit Tigers.
Game Three saw the Cubs win their first home World Series game since 1935, but they would need to make it two in two days to avoid going down 3-1 in the series. The pitching matchup was a repeat of Game One, with Steve Trout facing Jack Morris. The story after the jump.
HEBNER DIGS CUBS OUT OF HOLE, EVENS SERIES 2-2
CHICAGO (October 13, 1984) – Richie Hebner’s offseason job digging graves will have to wait. His Chicago Cubs aren’t quite ready for the undertaker yet after Hebner’s three-hit, three-RBI day lifted them over the Detroit Tigers 5-2 Saturday afternoon, squaring the World Series at two games apiece.
Hebner’s third-inning, bases-loaded triple was the key blow for Chicago, while Steve Trout pitched a complete game two-hitter and struck out nine as the Cubs dealt Jack Morris his first loss in a month. The key fifth game takes place Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Trout, the hard-luck loser of the first game Tuesday night in Detroit, held the Tigers hitless through the first four innings while the Cubs were scoring all the runs they would need. Bob Dernier singled through short to lead off the game, and scored on Ryne Sandberg’s double to right. Jody Davis’ second-inning single scored Ron Cey with the second Chicago run.
Morris – who won 19 games during the regular season and two more thus far in the postseason – ran into trouble in the bottom of the third. After retiring Sandberg and Gary Matthews on fly balls to center, the Tiger ace walked Leon Durham, then hit Keith Moreland. Cey then hit a slow roller down the third base line that stayed fair and died on the grass, loading the bases for Hebner. The 37-year-old veteran, playing only because the Designated Hitter rule is in effect in this series, then ripped a 2-1 fastball just fair down the first base line and into the corner, where it caromed off the wall and past left fielder Rupert Jones for a triple. Chicago managed just two hits the rest of the way, but Trout was masterful, retiring eleven straight at one point before Kirk Gibson touched him for a home run with two out in the eighth. The lefthander pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out Darrell Evans to end it.
After the game, Cubs manager Jim Frey announced his Game Five starter would be Scott Sanderson rather than Dennis Eckersley, whose turn was due in the rotation. Sanderson hasn’t pitched since Game Four of the NLCS against the Padres, but Eckersley has been roughed up in both of his postseason starts.
Game-winning RBI: Sandberg. E – None. DP – Detroit 1. 2B – Sandberg, Cey. 3B – Hebner. HR – Gibson (2). SH – Bowa.
Umpires: HP – Rich Garcia, 1B – Paul Runge, 2B – Mike Reilly, 3B – Doug Harvey, LF – Larry Barnett, RF – Bruce Froemming.