1990 October

1st  The Dodgers young ace Ramon Martinez wins his 20th game of the season 2–1 over the Padres. LA scores in the 8th and 9th for the win over Benes.

At Stade Olympique, Montreal uses two 7-run innings to stop the Cardinals, 15-9. Each team has 17 hits. Tim Raines has one hit—a grand slam in the 7th—and drives in 5 runs for the Expos, while Milt Thompson has two of the four homers for the Birds, now 70-90.

2nd  Oakland’s Bob Welch wins his 27th game of the year, beating California, 6–4. The 2 Hendersons—Dave and Rickey—score 5 runs total. Welch wins his 27 in just 238 innings, a ML-record average of one win per 9 innings, the best ratio for a 20-game winner. Welch had no wins out of the bullpen (as noted by Bill Deane), unlike Bob Grim, who won 20 games in 1954 in 199 IP. Fred Fitzsimmons, 16-2 in 134 innings in 1940, is the only starter with a better ratio.

3rd  Boston beats Chicago, 3–1, on the final day of the season to wrap up its 3rd AL East title in 5 seasons. Tom Brunansky ends the game with a spectacular sliding catch in the RF corner with the tying runs on base. Frank Thomas scores the only run for the Pale Hose and ends his spectacular rookie season with a .330 batting average and a rookie-record .454 OBA. The previous mark, an unofficial one, was set by Olaf Henrickson in 1911 when he hit .366 in 93 at bats. His OBA was .449.

Cecil Fielder becomes the 11th player ever to hit 50 HRs when he belts his 50th and 51st in the Tigers’ season finale, a 10–3 win over New York. He is the first AL player since 1961 to reach the 50 mark. Kevin Maas homers and Gary Ward, playing in his last ML game, hits a grand slam as Jack Morris (15–18) is the winner.  Maas ends the season with 21 homers and 41 RBI, the only player, till Barry Bonds in 2001 to not double his homer total in RBIs. The Yankees end their year with a dismal 67 wins and the worst record in the AL.

George Brett pinch hits a single in Kansas City’s finale, a 5–2 loss to Cleveland, to end the season at .329 and win the AL batting crown, his 3rd in 3 decades. Willie McGee’s .335 wins the NL batting title despite having been traded out of the league in August. He hits .324 overall.

Eddie Murray is 2-for-3 in the Dodgers’ 7–3 loss to San Diego. Murray ends the season with a .330 batting average, the highest in the majors, but he wins no title.

At Pittsburgh, Frank Viola wins his 20th when the Mets beat the Pirates 6–3. In front of his hometown fans, New York’s George Jelic homers—his first, last, and only hit in the majors. It comes off Doug Bair on his last at bat. Buc Jerry Reuss, in his only start this year, gives up one earned run, a HR to Teufel in the 6th, but gets no decision in his last appearance in the majors. Reuss, with 4 appearances this year, joins the exclusive 4-decade club (1969-90) and also closes out his career with 220 wins, but never 20 in a season, a ML record. Milt Pappas also won 200 that way as did Tanana this year. Tanana will end his career with 233 wins and no 20-win seasons.

4th  Trailing 3–0 after one inning, the Pirates come from behind to beat the Reds 4–3 in game 1 of the NLCS.

5th  Right fielder Paul O’Neill drives in both Cincinnati runs and throws out a runner at 3rd base to spark the Reds to a 2–1 win in game 2 of the NLCS, tying the series at one game apiece.

6th  Boston’s Roger Clemens pitches 6 shutout innings, but Oakland rallies for one run in the 7th, one in the 8th, and 7 in the 9th to win game 1 of the ALCS 9–1. The A’s 7-run 9th ties the ALCS record for runs in an inning.

7th  Late-season acquisition Harold Baines drives in 3 runs to lead the A’s to a 4–1 win over the Red Sox and a 2-0 lead in the ALCS.

8th  Mariano Duncan belts a 3-run home run and Reds relievers Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton, and Randy Myers combine to strike out 7 batters in 32⁄3 innings as Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh 6–3 in game 3 of the NLCS.

9th  The Red Sox fail to hold a 1–0 lead for the 3rd consecutive game as Oakland opens up a commanding 3-0 lead in the ALCS with a 4–1 victory. In Pittsburgh, Paul O’Neill and Chris Sabo each homer to lead the Reds to a 5–3 win and a 3-1 lead in the NLCS.

10th  After Red Sox starter Roger Clemens is ejected in the 2nd inning for cursing at home plate umpire Terry Cooney, Oakland beats Boston 3–1 to complete a 4-game sweep of the ALCS and earn its 3rd-straight trip to the World Series.

Bob Patterson gets Jeff Reed to hit into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded to save the Pirates’ 3–2 win over the Reds and send the NLCS back to Cincinnati for game 6.

12th  Danny Jackson, Norm Charlton, and Randy Myers combine on a one-hitter, as Cincinnati beats the Pirates 2–1 to win the NLCS in 6 games.

16th  In game 1 of the World Series, Eric Davis becomes the 22nd player ever to homer in his first WS at bat and the Reds go on to rout the A’s 7–0, ending Oakland’s 10-game post-season winning streak.

17th  In the first extra-inning WS game since 1986, the underdog Reds beat the A’s 5–4 in 10 innings to take a surprising 2-0 lead in the Series. Reds OF Billy Hatcher goes 4-for-4 to run his consecutive hit streak to 7, tying Thurman Munson’s WS record. He also has 8 straight hits going back to his last at bat in the NLCS.

19th  Cincinnati moves within one game of a shocking World Series sweep by beating Oakland 8–3 in game 3. 3B Chris Sabo slugs a pair of home runs for the Reds.

20th The talk of an Oakland dynasty is proven premature, as Cincinnati beats Oakland 2–1 to complete one of the most stunning sweeps in WS history. Series MVP Jose Rijo (2-0, 0.59 ERA) retires the last 20 batters he faces to give the Reds their first World Championship since 1976.  Not joining the celebration at the end is Eric Davis, who ruptures his kidney diving for a ball during the game and is taken to the hospital. It will take Davis several years to fully recover.

24th  The Red Sox announce that they will not renew the contract of veteran Dwight Evans, who had been with the club since 1972. Evans will eventually sign a one-year contract with Baltimore.