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Rijo walked two batters in the second, but after that he was literally perfect. Mixing in what he called his best slider of the year with a fastball clocked at 90-plus mph, he set the A's down in order in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. Stewart worked out of jams in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh, although he later said, "Those jams were cake."
The cake crumbled in the eighth. Or rather, the balloon popped. At the start of the inning, a yellow balloon came wandering across the infield behind the mound. Stewart walked over to the balloon and playfully spiked it. Said Dibble, "In the bullpen we knew immediately that Stewart had done a stupid thing. He had burst his own balloon."
Larkin led off with a single. Herm Winningham, who had replaced Hatcher, laid down a two-strike bunt that neither Stewart nor Quirk could field in time. When the next batter, O'Neill, laid down another bunt, Stewart picked up the ball and threw wide of first. First base ump Randy Marsh said the throw pulled Willie Randolph off the bag, although replays showed that he was wrong and that O'Neill was out. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Braggs. who had replaced Davis, grounded into a force play at second, and Larkin scored the tying run. Then Hal Morris hit a sacrifice fly to deep rightfield, and suddenly the Reds were ahead 2-1.
Rijo caught Dave Henderson looking to lead off the bottom of the ninth for his 20th straight out, but with the lefthanded Baines coming up, Piniella went out to the mound. Said Piniella later, "I asked him if he wanted to stay in, and he said, 'That's up to you.' When a pitcher tells me that, I know it's time."
So he summoned Myers in from the bullpen. La Russa countered with—this sounds funny—pinch-hitter Jose Canseco. Canseco grounded out to Sabo, and Lansford popped out to Benzinger. Thus ended the game, the Series and the dynasty. "It's over big time," said Rijo.
Said Schott, "Wasn't it nice of the men to let me win one? My only regrets are that the fans in Cincinnati and Schottzie couldn't be here to celebrate with us." Then, patting her left side, she said, "I did bring something of Schottzie with me." Inside her dress, apparently, was some hair of the dog.
Though the Reds couldn't share the celebration with many fans, they did party late into Saturday night on the Coliseum field with family and friends and scores of TV crews. Drinking something out of a Gatorade container—sparkling cider, no doubt—Browning said, "I can't wait to tell Tucker that he was born while we were becoming world champions."
Browning then tilted his head back, laughed the laugh of a madman and said. "World champions. Kind of has a nice ring to it. don't you think?"