At 5:04, a moment of silence was held in memory of the earthquake victims, and then—to demonstrate the indomitability of Bay Area residents—the cast of the campy musical Beach Blanket Babylon led the crowd in singing San Francisco, which begins: "San Francisco, open your Golden Gate...."
Unfortunately, the Giants took the lyrics literally. Garrelts opened the gate, first by giving up a single to Lansford and then by giving a little chin music to Canseco. "When they threw close to Jose." said Steinbach, "I wanted to say, 'Thank you." You don't want to wake him up." Canseco promptly singled, thus ending his 0-for-23 Series slump. Dave Henderson followed with a double off the top of the rightfield fence, and it was 2-0, A's.
Oakland had increased its lead to 4-1 when Stewart ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and the bases loaded, Kennedy singled in two runs. Then Pat Sheridan hit a shot between first and second that looked as if it would tie the score. But McGwire dived to his right, snagged the ball and shoveled a pass to Stewart to get out of the inning. It was an extraordinarily big piece of glovework by a man usually known for his big bat, and it set the stage for the fifth, when Canseco blasted a three-run homer to left center and Dave Henderson hit his second homer of the game. Soon Oakland led 13-3. The Giants came up with four runs in the ninth, three on Bathe's pinch-hit home run, but by then many of the 62,038 fans had already left.
Things looked pretty dark for San Francisco. "Only 10 teams have come back from 2-0, and nobody's come back from 3-0," said Kennedy. "It would be unprofessional of me to make a statement that we're finished. We're going to try to be the first team that comes back. We've got to win four in a row against a club that's playing like this."
The Giants were pinning their hopes in Game 4 on Don Robinson, the gutty but gimpy pitcher whose last start had come more than a month before. Robinson was the only pitcher the A's thought they would have trouble with, but their apprehension diminished when Rickey Henderson knocked the third pitch of the game over the fence in left. In the second inning, Dave Henderson led off with a double, but Robinson appeared to be out of trouble when he intentionally walked Walt Weiss with two outs to get to Moore, who had batted only once before in a major league game. Moore waved feebly at Robinson's first two pitches. Then Kennedy called for an 0-2 fastball, and Moore sent it on a line to center. Centerfielder Brett Butler froze in disbelief and the ball carried over his glove and rolled to the wall. Said Kennedy afterward, "One word came to mind—typical."
Moore had an 8-0 lead when he gave up a two-run homer to Mitchell in the sixth, and La Russa decided to take him out at the end of the inning. Relievers Gene Nelson and Rick Honeycutt let the Giants back in the game in the seventh, and with the score at 8-6, two outs and a man on, La Russa brought in Todd Burns to face Mitchell. With the count at 2-2, Burns hung a breaking ball, and Mitchell sent it deep to left, but it came down in Rickey Henderson's glove, at the fence.
No sooner had the game ended than there was talk of a new A's dynasty, comparable to the one that won three consecutive world championships in 1972, '73 and '74. "Two World Series in two years, and they're just babies," said Rigney. But, as Steinbach said, "There are a lot of ifs involved. If everyone stays together, if everyone stays happy, if everyone stays healthy."
But if any organization was built for the long haul, it's the A's. As exuberant as they are on the field, they are extremely businesslike off it. When general manager Sandy Alderson was asked how long he would enjoy the moment, he said. "Oh, until the phone starts ringing on Monday." And pitching coach Dave Duncan took time out from the victory party to tell his pitchers he would be calling them in the next few days to talk about what they should do in the off-season.
After the game, Parker was asked for a scouting report on his team, for the sake of posterity. He answered, "Rickey Henderson: good as he wants to be. Carney Lansford: hardest working man in baseball. Jose Canseco: pure talent. Mark McGwire: a glove as good as his bat. Dave Henderson: a money player. Terry Steinbach: best catcher in the American League. Tony Phillips: the best-kept secret in baseball. Walt Weiss: the best young shortstop in the game. Dave Stewart: the complete pitcher. Mike Moore: the same. Dennis Eckersley: a strike-throwing machine. Tony La Russa: the best-prepared manager in baseball. And Dave Parker: takes a licking, but keeps on ticking.
"Say, do you think I can get an endorsement from Timex for saying that? Wait. What's the slogan for Rolex?"