Opening Day (April 1, 2013) is 61 days away. We are counting down the 100 Walk Off Home Runs in Angels franchise history. Today we look at #61, a blast by Lance Parrish that only had to happen because of an error by his Future Hall of Fame teammate Dave Winfield...
August 8, 1990 - Future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield was acquired in May of 1990 by the Angels in exchange for pitcher Mike Witt. The future Hall of Famer was the last great marquee player acquired by Gene Autry. Winfield played in 262 games in 1990 and 91 for the Angels and had superb seasons at the plate, hitting 47 home runs and recording an OPS+ of 129 and 120 in his age 38 and 39 seasons. He won a ring in Toronto the following year with even better numbers.
Winfield's defense in RF was, however, terrible. The numbers reveal just how bad... His Total Zone Total Fielding Runs Above Average was -18 (negative eighteen) each year he was in Anaheim. That is really bad.
In the top of the seventh inning of this Wednesday night game, Winfield misplayed a Carlos Quintana flyball. The score was tied 2-2 and there was only one on. But that runner scored on the error and the floodgates opened.Going into the seventh inning stretch, it was 6-2 Red Sox.
Winfield singled to lead off the bottom of the eighth and singled, scoring on a Lee Stevens double. Brian Downing drove in Stevens and it was suddenly 6-4.Dante Bichette drove in Downing and it was now just a 6-5 Red Sox lead going into the top of the ninth.
Bryan Harvey struck out the side - Wade Boggs, Ellis Burks and Mike Greenwell - in the top of the ninth. With two on and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Bosotn manager Joe Morgan (not the broadcaster) brought in Dennis Lamp to face Catcher Lance Parrish. It was a good move as Parrish struck out. Angels skipper Doug Rader brought in Max Venable to pinch hit for 3B Kent Anderson. A base hit later proved Rader the genius as the score was tied 6-6.
Harvey and Lamp pitched scoreless tenth innings, Willie Fraser pitched the eleventh only giving up a base hit and Lamp came back out for the bottom f the frame to face the semi-goat of the game. Could Winfield redeem himself, add to the luster of the rally he began at the start of the eighth and erase all memories of those four unearned runs in the seventh? Nope. He grounded out and Lee Stevens struck out.
Brian Downing got a base hit but Morgan stayed with Lamp. Lance Parrish then hit a deep drive into the night sky, well over the LF wall and the Angels were 8-6 winners in extra innings of a rollercoaster of a game. IT was Lance's second walk off of the 1990 season.
It had been four hours and sic minutes since Kirk McCaskill had thrown the night's first pitch starting for the Angels, it was Lance Parrish who was the hero, it was Willie Fraser who got the W and who combined with Harvey, Mark Eichhorn and Cliff Young for 4.1 innings of scoreless relief, but it was future hall of famer Dave Winfield who got to breathe the biggest sigh of relief.