Twenty-two years ago this week, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers played a memorable game featuring starting pitchers Bill Swift for the Giants and nemesis Orel Hershiser for the Dodgers. Going into the ninth inning, the Giants held a 3-2 lead, with the formidable Rod Beck on the mound, trying to close it out.
In the top of the ninth, Todd Benzinger led off for the Dodgers and hit an infield single to the right side, that was handled by Giants first baseman, Cory Snyder, but he made a bad throw, allowing Benzinger to end up on second. Henry Rodriquez then flied out to Chris James in short left field, before Mike Scioscia lined an infield hit behind the bag at second base, allowing Benzinger to advance to third base.
Dave Hansen, third baseman for L.A, then hit a grounder to Snyder at first who got the force at second on Scioscia, allowing Benzinger to score the tying run, which was unearned due to the bad throw by Snyder. The Giants escaped further damage when Beck got Juan Samuel to strike out swinging.
In the bottom of the ninth, Matt Williams and Mark Bailey made infield outs, before Jose Uribe kept things alive by singling into left field, bringing up the number nine spot in the lineup, which would have meant Rod Beck.
Up to the plate stepped Will Clark, also known by his fans as Thrill, and that’s exactly what he did, hitting a thundering home run to right field to win the game 5-3. He hit his big fly off of Roger McDowell.
In a forgettable season, in which the Giants and Dodgers placed fifth and sixth respectively, this was a memorable game, with Will Clark once more demonstrating why he was dubbed the Thrill.