The Los Angeles Dodgers are up two games to none over the New York Yankees.
Top of the fifth inning. Yankees lead 2-1. Dodgers at bat.
Two outs. Steve Yeager on second. Davey Lopes on first.
Reggie Smith smashes a ground ball down the third base line.
It looks like it is headed for the left field corner. Yeager should score and the speedy Lopes should score as well…
Third baseman Graig Nettles gets his glove on the ball to stop it. It is too late to get a force out or to get Smith at first so the bases are loaded for Steve Garvey.
Garvey slams the ball down the third base line on a hop.
Nettles manages to back hand the ball and then whirls to fire it to Brian Doyle
to force Smith at second.
By this point, the game could easily be 4-2 for the Dodgers. In fact, in reviewing the statistics of this game, it is hard to believe the Yankees would go on to win by a score of 5-1.
Yankee pitcher Ron Guidry, who averaged a little more than two walks per nine innings that season, gave up seven in this one. He also gave up eight hits.
In the next inning, the Dodgers got two of those hits and one of those walks to load the bases with two outs.
Lopes smashes the ball down the third base line. It could have been good for as many as three runs…
But Nettles again makes a sensational play to stop the ball. Then he throws to Doyle for another force play to end the inning.
With these three plays, Nettles saved as many as six runs. The game doesn’t always end up the way it should or the way it could. That is why we watch.