Maybe with more time to think and put this all in perspective, I could sum up this game. Probably not, though, so I’ll just throw out a few unbelievable things to think about.
This is a team that hadn’t erased a four-run deficit to win a single time this year. Not once. Only once had they erased a three-run deficit to win. And yet, they erased two four-run deficits in the game, one in the ninth inning.
This is a team that is last in the league in homers and they hit seven on the night. Four in an inning. Four in a row. Three on consecutive. Off the game’s best closer ever.
This was a team in a must-win game. Not a "it’d be nice if we took this game from the Padres." Players before the game were calling it must-win. And falling behind 4-0 isn’t a great way to come out the gate. But in a must-win situation, this team won in arguably the best game anyone here has ever seen. Greg Maddux just told me he’s never seen anything like it. Same with Grady Little, Dave Jauss, Derek Lowe and just about anyone you could talk to downstairs.
Mariano Duncan seemed to fire up the team in the first inning, whether he meant to or not. That almost seems like ancient history – a different game almost – but the papers tomorrow will surely be talking about bulletin board fodder. I’ll let them tell that story.
In the clubhouse, James Loney was giddy. He didn’t want to get dressed and let the night end. He could be in this game 20 years and never see anything close to what we just witnessed.
Don Hartack, our official scorer, just came over to tell me that we had 47 total bases as a team. Marlon Anderson had 13. And his teammates were giving him grief because he didn’t stop at second on his homer to complete the cycle (his fifth hit of the game). And this is a guy we got to pinch-hit for us, but Grady said he liked the idea of putting him in the game tonight. Good idea.
Four homers in a row. Hasn’t happened since 1964. Has only happened four times in Major League history.
Oh, and by the way – this all happened on the largest Monday crowd in Dodger Stadium’s history. The largest attendance for a four-game series in Dodger Stadium history.
Another person just came over to me and told me that this was more exciting than Finley’s homer. Maybe it was. How can you judge something like that? I guess for that game, all 56,000 fans were still here, hanging on every pitch. By the time Nomar did his fist-pumping around the bases, quite a few were in the parking lot or on their way home. That’ll teach them.
And finally, how about Nomar, playing tonight’s game in Gibson-esque fashion with a bad knee, a bad quad, a bad oblique…and a bad first four out of five at-bats. But when it counted most, he hit the biggest homer of the season on a night with no shortage of big homers.
It’s midnight. Time to head home. Another game to play tomorrow that’s just as big as this one.