It turned out to be a crucial mistake, but the Brewers skipper can take some solace from last night’s snafu involving Will Smith, brought into the game without warming up in the bottom of the 7th.
A similar thing happened to a Hall of Fame manager 31 years ago, and it was no early season loss soon to be forgotten. That defeat helped place a dagger in the Braves’ heart in their bid for a second consecutive division crowd, though it’s better remembered for a R.J. Reynolds squeeze.
After Marshall flew out to open the bottom of the sixth, Brock walked, Reynolds singled him to second, and the Midas behind the recent Yankee dynasty, Atlanta manager Joe Torre, replaced Barker with Tommy Boggs.
Rick Monday, his heroic days behind him, batted for Fimple and was called out on strikes for the second out. But Ken Landreaux, the Dodgers’ regular center fielder, pinch-hit for Hooton and walked to load the bases.
Torre went to the mound and signaled for a pitcher to replace Boggs. None other than Terry Forster – the fall guy of 1982 – emerged from the right-field bullpen.
But then a strange thing happened. Torre signaled again – for a right-handed pitcher.
The strange thing was not that Torre wanted a righty to face Sax. It was that he wanted a righty when none had been warming up.
On the telecast, Vin Scully reported that Tony Brizzolara had warmed up earlier in the game, but in this inning, it had clearly been Forster who was backing up Boggs. Brizzolara had been cooling off for some time.
As a puzzled Forster stood on the edge of the warning track and the outfield grass, looking back and forth between the mound and the bullpen, Torre insisted that Brizzolara come in to face Sax.
In Brizzolara came. He threw four pitches to Sax – in the dirt, low, low and high. In the Dodgers’ third run came, and out went Torre to replace Brizzolara with Forster.
Roenicke likely remembers that game, as he was a back-up OF for the Dodgers. Hell, I wasn’t there and I’ll never forget it.