Of course, the action, if you can call it that, didn't begin until the top of the fourth, when Carter hit a solo home run for the Blue Jays. It appeared to be an important blow, as Glavine would give up only four hits to Toronto and Morris would give up only four to Atlanta. That would be all that either team was afforded. However, the Braves got three of their knocks in the sixth inning, putting two runners on when number-seven hitter and backup catcher Damon Berryhill came to bat with two outs.
Berryhill is not exactly a backup catcher, having started for Atlanta since Sept. 19, the day after the Braves' regular catcher, Greg Olson, fractured his right fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle while on the wrong end of a collision at home plate. "It took an injury to [former Brave catcher] Mike Heath for Greg to shine," Lisa (Mrs. Greg) Olson told Ann (Mrs. Damon) Berryhill at the time. "I hope Damon shines the same way."
And on a 1-and-2 pitch in his first World Series game, Damon did. From the left side of the plate, the switch-hitting Berryhill drove a Morris forkball over the rightfield fence for a 3-1 Atlanta lead that would soon become the final score.
Berryhill hit (rather, didn't miss) the game-winner with a 32-inch, 34-ounce Cooper bat manufactured in Canada. As if this isn't internationally incestuous enough, the 28-year-old Berryhill mentioned that he'll spend the off-season, as he does every year, surfin' U.S.A. In fact, he healed himself after career-threatening rotator-cuff surgery in 1989 by paddling through the surf near his native Laguna Niguel, Calif., on his beloved board. "A Bulkley Tri-Fin 6'6"," he said proudly, if a bit inscrutably (at least to landlocked Atlantans). And was there a surfing equivalent for this evening's proceedings? "There is the perfect wave," said Berryhill, who had found his thrill, "but that's not tonight. Tonight was better."
Soon a disembodied voice came, Ozlike, from behind a closed door in the Atlanta clubhouse. The unidentified voice could be heard to say: "Don't go out there, Tom. Don't say a word to them." But Glavine did emerge eventually, this time, however, not allowing himself to be sound-bitten by the rabid media jackals. Glavine gloated, instead, about his first complete game since July 3, and well he should have. "The more negative things we hear, the better it makes us," he said of the Atlanta starting pitching staff. "It's tiresome reading that stuff. Steve [Avery] is tired of it, too. People forget I won 20 games this year. After Game 6 I didn't hide. I said I stunk.... I didn't have any questions about myself, but tonight I answered a lot of questions for people around here." Glavine stopped short of telling the TV crews and reporters surrounding him what, exactly, they could do with their boom mikes and notepads, but the message was clear: Outta my sight till tomorrow night.
As baseball has no commissioner, the World Series baseballs have no signature, though Sunday night's spectators for Game 2 did include de facto commish Bud (Molehill) Selig, so nicknamed because he's no Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
On the field, Toronto hitting coach Gene Tenace threw batting practice. He prefaced his final BP pitch to Sprague by telling him to imagine the following situation: Two outs in the ninth with runners on and the Blue Jays down. And then Tenace threw a batting-practice fastball that Sprague popped up, the ball dying on the outfield grass.
Sunday's home plate umpire was Mike Reilly, who works for Kellogg's in Battle Creek, Mich., in the off-season, and Game 2 figured to be Special K night in Atlanta, what with National League strikeout leader John Smoltz pitching for the Braves and major league strikeout leader David Cone going for the Blue Jays.
As billed, Smoltz struck out five of the first six Toronto batters he faced. Yet despite Blue Jay reliever David Wells's wearing a talismanic rubber Conehead on the visitors' bench, Cone gave up four runs in just 4⅓ innings. He couldn't whiff anything—anything, that is, except a certain equine scent with which the Jays were by now all too familiar.
With two out and Roberto Alomar on third base in Toronto's half of the fourth inning, Smoltz threw a wild pitch that Berryhill blocked but had to chase. As Alomar came bolting down the line, our Game 1 hero retrieved the ball and threw to Smoltz at the plate a half second too late to get the runner sliding headlong into home. But ump Reilly cereal-killed the Jays' rally, wrongly punching out Alomar to end the inning. The Jays remained scoreless: Nuttin', honey. So when Toronto scored two runs in the fifth and added another in the eighth but still entered the ninth trailing 4-3, Reilly's call was looking larger than a Jack Morris forkball.