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Calling A Game
Mike Scioscia
April 05, 1989
On the evening of Oct. 16, 1988, in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Orel Hershiser pitched a three-hit shutout in Game 2 of the World Series. The Dodgers beat the Oakland A's 6-0 and went on to become the unlikely world champions. Hershiser spun a 106-pitch masterpiece that night, but he would be the first to say that he didn't do it alone; his partner was Dodger catcher Mike Scioscia, who flashed the signals for every pitch. Scioscia recently met with SI's Peter Gammons and reviewed that game, batter by batter. Here's his analysis.
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April 05, 1989

Calling A Game

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Hassey hadn't seen a breaking ball in two at bats, so we started him off with two of them; the first was a called strike and the second was fouled off. At 2 and 2, after two outside sinking fast-balls that he didn't bite on, we went back to the curve and froze him—but it just missed the corner. After a fouled sinking fastball, Orel struck him out looking with a fastball on the outside corner at the letters. Hassey argued and might have been right. We might have gotten a break.

I could see that Orel was tired. After a couple of curves down and away—with a called strike on a fastball in between—Orel tried three straight times to throw sinking fastballs; all three ended up around Hubbard's letters, though he swung and missed on one. When Orel gets tired, he overthrows and loses his release point, so vital to that pitch. On the 3-and-2 pitch, he walked Hubbard on a sinking fastball inside, his first base on balls of the game. But until there was bigger trouble, [manager] Tommy [Lasorda] was going to stick with Orel because Orel was 7-0 over the past seven weeks. And the score was still 6-0.

We decided not to hold Hubbard on first, and the strategy paid off once again. With Woodson playing soft, Orel could afford to go off-speed and let Weiss pull the ball. So on the O-and-1 pitch we went to the sinker, and Weiss hit it on the ground right to Woodson, who made the force at second.


Baylor was pinch-hitting. The scouting report said he likes the first pitch, so we started him with a curveball. It was a strike, so we were in control. At 1 and 2,1 went to the mound to make sure Orel and I were thinking alike. We could have gone inside—which is the way to get him out. But I thought he'd looked defensive fouling off the last fastball and felt we could get him with any breaking ball. Orel threw one down and out of the strike zone, Baylor went around on a half-swing, and the inning was over.

No runs, no hits, no errors. Dodgers did not score. Score: 6-0.

Inning 9

If the game were as close as three runs at this point, Orel wouldn't have come out to pitch the ninth. He was very tired. He started the inning with a sinker in the dirt, and he eventually walked Lansford on five pitches.

To heck with the shutout, we needed three outs. So the infield was playing back, playing safe. On the 1-and-0 pitch Lansford stole second; one pitch later Orel threw the curveball and Henderson grounded it to Hamilton. One out, man on second.

When working from the stretch in the last couple of innings, Orel had had some problems keeping his sinker down, so now he considered going to a windup even with men on base. But he decided to stay in the stretch, at least for the moment. In a closer game we would have pitched around Canseco. He's the first guy we wouldn't let beat us. Orel just tried to keep sinking fastballs in good spots and got ahead 0 and 2 on two called strikes. Then he threw a sinker, and Canseco hit it on the ground to short. Two outs, man on second.

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