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ON A ROLL
Steve Wulf
October 23, 1989
The Oakland A' bowled over their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco Giants, to lead the Series 2-0
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October 23, 1989

On A Roll

The Oakland A' bowled over their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco Giants, to lead the Series 2-0

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The Giants continued the tribute during the game by playing like the Whiffenpoofs. Against A's starter Dave Stewart, they whiffed six times, poofed foul five times and didn't get a runner as far as third until the ninth inning as Oakland won 5-0. Oakland didn't even need much help from native son Rickey Henderson, who had a humdrum 2-for-5 night with one RBI and (gasp) no stolen bases; or Canseco, who went 0 for 3; or Eckersley, who didn't even have to warm up.

Who needs them when you have Tony Phillips and Walt Weiss? Combined, the two infielders weigh as much as 245-pound DH Dave Parker and a batboy, but they had a heavy influence on the offense. Phillips drove in the game's first run with a single in the second inning, and he singled again in the sixth. Weiss, who had three homers all season, sent a cut fastball from Giants starter Scott Garrelts just over the right-field fence to lead off the fourth and give the Athletics their 5-0 lead. Weiss's homer came 20 years almost to the day after a middle infielder named Al Weis hit a big homer to help clinch the World Series for the '69 New York Mets.

"I remember Al Weis," said Weiss, who was five years old in 1969. "Not much, of course, but I do know he had only one s, so he couldn't have been related." In World Series lore, though, they will be related—as members of the large fraternity of heroic little guys.

Weiss also remembers the who, what and where of every one of his six previous major league homers. " Baltimore was the first," he said. "To get the ball back, I had to get the fan an autograph from Mark McGwire. Then Minnesota. Then Detroit. I hit two on April 5 this year against Seattle, then one in late August in front of all my friends at Yankee Stadium. This one, though, has to be the biggest. A home run in the World Series is something every kid does now and again in his backyard." For those scoring at home, Weiss's backyard was on Sylvan Way in Suffern, N.Y., behind Good Samaritan Hospital.

Weiss injured his knee on May 17 while turning a double play, and he had to sit out 2� months; when he came back, he couldn't reclaim his job from Mike Gallego. But A's manager Tony La Russa, playing a hunch, made him a surprise starter for Game 1. "This goes a long way toward salvaging my season," Weiss said.

Oakland jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second. Dave Henderson walked to lead off the inning, and with one out, Terry Steinbach singled. Phillips singled, scoring D. Henderson and sending Steinbach to third. Weiss then hit a soft grounder to Clark, whose throw to the plate was low and to the right, and the sliding Steinbach kicked the ball out of Terry Kennedy's mitt. R. Henderson followed with a single to score Phillips.

In the third inning, Parker hit a solo homer—his first home run in 12 World Series games—and did his usual slow trot. Asked what he was thinking as he circled the bases, Parker said, "Wow, another point for us." Asked how he stayed warm between at bats, he said, "I called my wife down in the elevator and hugged her until it came my time to hit."

The night belonged to Stewart, who got his first shutout of the season. When asked if he thought the game was a tad boring, A's pitching coach Dave Duncan said, "Good pitching is boring. Great pitching is really boring."

All agreed that Stewart's pitching was really boring. "We ran into a buzz saw," said Clark.

"I'm a humble person," said Stewart, "but I'd have to give myself an A."

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