The first game was all A's.
Or, as they say, this was deja vu all over again. Singing the national anthem on Sunday evening were the Whispers, which would have again been an appropriate name for the Giants, whose bats were muffled this time by Oakland starter Mike Moore. The unexpected home run in this game was hit by Steinbach: a three-run shot in the fourth that, like Weiss's, closed out the scoring. The Giants' starter, Rick Reuschel, could get only 12 outs, exactly the number Garrelts had reached when he left Game 1. The final score: 5-1, instead of 5-0.
The Giants had tied the score 1-1 in the third when Robby Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to score Jose Uribe, who had gone to third on a single by Brett Butler after he had reached on a force play that had erased Kennedy, who had led off the inning with a single. Yes, you can fit the entire Giant offense in a single sentence.
Perhaps owing to the full moon, there were a couple of bizarre incidents to enliven the proceedings. Canseco walked to lead off the fourth for the A's, and then Parker hit a line shot off the wall, just where it meets the rightfield foul pole. It was an inch from foul and an inch from being a homer, and it ended up a double when it could have been a single. Parker, who stood at the plate to admire his handiwork, started lumbering when the ball caromed off the wall. Candy Maldonado's throw to second appeared to have beaten Parker, but second base umpire Dutch Rennert called him safe just as Canseco came home with the go-ahead run. Then several of the umpires went out to the spot where Parker's ball had hit the wall, not to confirm that it was fair, but instead to remove a fowl—a guinea hen—that had materialized on the field. Or maybe it was the Giants' team albatross.
The second bit of funny business came in the home half of the seventh. R. Henderson—who later said, Yogi-like, "I'm seeing the ball tremendously"—lashed his third hit of the night, down the leftfield line. The ball took a crazy bounce in foul territory and squirted under the A's bullpen bench. As Mitchell, the leftfielder, tried to find the ball, the A's bullpen crew sat like choirboys in a pew. "I was only trying to be nice," said Eckersley, under whom the ball had stopped. "How you doin', Mitch?" said A's utilityman Billy Beane politely.
Henderson ended up on third. "I didn't know what was going on," said Mitchell.
Indeed, all of the Giants seemed to be playing in a fog. Even Clark. He had a case of tonsillitis—no joke—and was Will the Nil for the night, 0 for 4 against Moore and reliever Rick Honeycutt. Matt Williams, who was so devastating against the Cubs, was 0 for 8 in the two games, and he probably won't see another fastball until March.
The A's hitters, meanwhile, knew exactly what to do against Reuschel: wait him out and force him to get the ball up in the strike zone. Only two of the 20 batters whom he faced swung at the first pitch. In the fourth, with two men on base and the score 2-1, Reuschel went to 2 and 0 on Steinbach, so he had to throw a strike. Steinbach connected with the ball at thigh level and sent it deep into the seats in leftfield. It was his first official World Series homer, although he, like Weiss, had hit some before in his backyard, on Jefferson Street in New Ulm, Minn.
"My brother and I had a great field set up in our backyard," said Steinbach. "We played with a tennis ball and a bat that we sawed in half. We had to hit left-handed because we had more room that way. If my mom had wash hanging, off the clothes was an out. In the garden was an out. On the roof of the church next door was a home run. Over the church was a grand slam."