Not surprisingly, the teams played sloppily. There were five errors between them, three by the losers. California Starter Tommy John threw three wild pitches, and the ordinarily impeccable Bob Boone had a passed ball. It was a real mess, but it seemed a masterpiece to the desperate Brewers and their drenched but undaunted fans. The dauntless heroes were righthander Moose Haas, starting his first game in nearly four weeks after being banished to the bullpen, and Mark Brouhard, a reserve outfielder who spent part of the season in Triple A ball. Haas had a no-hitter for 5⅔ innings and, despite the two arm-deadening rain delays, lasted until Baylor's grand-slam homer, which made the score 7-5, did him in with one out in the eighth. He allowed only five hits and struck out seven. Brouhard, playing left in place of the then-ailing Oglivie, had a single, double and two-run homer, scored a league playoff-record four runs and drove in three. He hadn't started a game since Sept. 5 and hadn't even played in one since Sept. 11. "I'm just glad I got the opportunity," he said afterward, "but I hope Benji is back alive tomorrow."
John, for his part, was more dead than alive. He was pitching with only three days rest, prompting some critics to suggest that Mauch was reverting to his form of 1964 when he worked two of his Phillie starters, Jim Bunning and Chris Short, to a frazzle and, in the process, blew the National League pennant. John would have none of this cruel speculation. He actually prefers pitching with three days rest, he said after the game, and anyway, "I could've rested a month and it wouldn't have helped out there today. I was throwing the ball 60 feet, not 60 feet, six inches."
The pattern of this strangest of playoff games was established in the second inning when the Brewers scored three runs on only one hit. John walked Simmons leading off—one of five walks he would issue—and then wild-pitched him to second. Brouhard scored Simmons with a single up the middle that set off an A Night at the Opera sequence. Lynn fielded the ball in center and threw to Doug DeCinces at third, in an attempt to nab Don Money, who had also walked. But the ball bounced away from DeCinces, allowing Money to score. DeCinces retrieved Lynn's errant throw, wheeled and, in trying to nail Money at the plate, threw the ball so far over Boone's head that it bounced into the first-base box seats. Brouhard, who was coming into third by this time, was promptly waved home by Plate Umpire Steve Palermo with the third run. John wild-pitched twice more in the fourth before Mauch finally came out to get him. It was a sad comedown for the pitcher who had gotten the Angels rolling with his 8-3 win in the first playoff game.
The Brewers' comeback started in earnest the day before with a 5-3 win under sunny skies that nevertheless produced an almost equally unusual game. Rain wasn't a factor here. Shadows were. And a fan. Don Sutton, throwing a nasty slider from the sunlight of the mound to a shaded home plate until about the sixth inning, shut the Angels out on only four hits for the first seven innings. The game started just before 2:30 p.m., when the shadows from the upper deck of County Stadium begin their passage across the field. "It's tough to play when you can't see the ball," said DeCinces.
By the eighth inning, Sutton, too, was working in shadow. His 37-year-old right arm was also wearing out, and Boone, leading off the inning, hit his first pitch deep to left. Oglivie raced to the wall and leaped. The ball was caught, but not by Oglivie. As photographs and television replays would show, a young male fan reached over the fence and made a clean catch of the ball above Oglivie's glove. But Leftfield Umpire Larry Barnett, who could have ruled fan interference and declared Boone out, signaled home run instead. Oglivie leaped again, this time in rage. He would jump once more, four batters later, while reaching for Lynn's double down the line, and bang his ribs so badly against the fence that he would be unable to play on Saturday. The sure-handed fan, meanwhile, was escorted from the ball park after his catch as protection from angry bleacherites. On viewing the replays, Barnett acknowledged that the proper call would have been fan interference.
But the damage was done and the bogus homer ignited a three-run Angel rally that knocked Sutton out of the game. Unfortunately for California, his replacement was the 240-pound Ladd, an offseason sheriff's deputy, who handcuffed the Angels the rest of the way. The Brewers recently converted him from an 89-mph sinker pitcher to a 92-mph fastballer, and the new "gas," as Simmons called it, had the Angels flailing.
Still, the day belonged to Sutton, who, in little more than a month in Milwaukee, has become a local hero. Since joining the Brewers on Aug. 30, in a trade with Houston for minor-leaguers, he has won four regular-season games, including the division clincher against Baltimore on the final day, plus Milwaukee's first Championship Series win ever. "I really can't believe all of the things that have happened to me lately," said Sutton after Friday's win. "The last five or six weeks have given me more than most of the rest of my other years combined. The reception I've gotten here, the response of the fans.... I could feel my heart beating in my throat out there today."
In Anaheim, where the series began, it was Angel, not Brewer, pitching that dominated. On Tuesday, John, supported by Baylor's five RBIs, pitched a complete-game 8-3 win, and on Wednesday, Kison went the distance in a 4-2 triumph. John was a different pitcher in his first confrontation with Harvey's Wall-bangers. Expecting the sinker, they got the curve, even when John was behind in the count. "Against a ball club like the Brewers," John explained, "you have to change your M.O. You can't establish any one pattern." John did allow a second-inning, two-run homer by Thomas, but far from being rattled by it, he seemed to settle down.
Boone also played an important early role for the Angels. "He knows how to make an out," says Angel consultant and former manager Bill Rigney, meaning that Boone can sacrifice bunt, advance runners from second with no outs by grounding to the right side and hit the ball in the air for sacrifice flies. In Game 2, he drove in two runs with no hits, producing one with a sacrifice fly and the other with a suicide squeeze bunt. Boone is the ninth hitter in the Angels' order. The eighth, Tim Foli, knocked in one run with a single and set up Boone's second RBI with a sacrifice. Mauch calls the game played by his stars at the end of the order Little Ball. Long Ball was represented in the second game by Jackson's third-inning homer that caromed off the green canvas drapery behind the fence in centerfield. "It's fun hitting it into the green," said Jackson, "because the fans can see it better."
It had been a promising start for the Angels. They had won the first two easily, and their beachball-bouncing fans—128,585 of them for the first two games—cheered them on as if they were champions already. But Jackson, certainly an optimist, knew all along it wouldn't be quite that easy. "The Brewers are too good a team to be embarrassed like that," he said, pausing before Game 4 outside County Stadium under ever-darkening Milwaukee skies. He was right.