Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jansen vs. Cabrera showdown sparks memory of Gagne vs. Bonds

In the top of the ninth, with a 2-1 lead, a man on second, and one out, the Dodgers on Tuesday night elected to have Kenley Jansen pitch to Miguel Cabrera instead of walking him. I don't know about you, but Victor Martinez with men on first and second sounds like a more survivable situation than Cabrera with man on second.

Jansen is about the best there is right now, but so is Cabrera. He just pumped his 98 and 99 MPH fastball/cutter in there a half dozen times and struck him out. He did end up giving up a hit to Martinez to lose the lead, but the confidence boost from going after the world's best hitter in that situation, and getting him, should last a long time.

It reminded me right away of a game I was at 10 years ago in San Francisco.  The moment is captured here.

Eric Gagne and Barry Bonds were both 'roided up to superhero proportions, which we all kind of knew at the time, but it didn't really matter. Gagne knew he could give up a home run and still have the lead, so he just went at Bonds with 99-101 MPH fastballs. Bonds just laughed at that and pulled it foul into the Bay before taking the next one and depositing it in the center field bleachers.

Best thing about these memories -- the Dodgers won both games.

Photo credit: File photo

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