In place of on-field baseball action postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Globe and Mail brings you a computer-simulated tournament involving four of the greatest Canadian teams, using the statistics-based software of the sports-game company Strat-O-Matic. Two first-round series eliminated the 1981 Montreal Expos and the 1985 Toronto Blue Jays, leaving the 1993 Jays and the ’94 Expos to compete for the mythical Macdonald-Cartier Cup. This matchup is Game No. 4 of the final series.
Todd Stottlemyre, not for the first time, took it on the chin.
The young right-hander with a golden arm but a hot head failed to make it out of the second inning against the 1994 Montreal Expos at SkyDome. A home run by Wil Cordero made the score 3-0, but it was a hard-hit single that followed, by Sean Berry, that chased the starter from the game. Stottlemyre fumed on the mound. Toronto manager Cito Gaston told him to hit the showers, a direction he may have taken literally. Dugout water-coolers and other breakable things cower in fear of Stottlemyre.
The Expos went on to beat the 1993 Blue Jays 7-3, evening the Macdonald-Cartier Cup best-of-seven final at two games each.
Butch Henry pitched just well enough and long enough to earn the win for Montreal. Reliever Jeff Shaw was more impressive, tossing 3 2/3 innings of one-hit ball for the save.
After the game, Gaston spoke about Stottlemyre. “His whole life he’s been used to just throwing the ball by hitters. You can’t do that at this level. You have to know how to change speeds, set guys up, throw them off their rhythm."
Is it a composure issue? “Todd has a habit of getting excited and becoming a thrower instead of a pitcher,” Gaston said.
“I’m aware of that,” acknowledged Stottlemyre, who, to his credit, spoke to the media afterward. “I do get too emotional and too excited. When I get too psyched up, I get out of whack.”
The Expos got their seven runs on 11 hits. Runners in scoring position didn’t stick around in one place too long.
Toronto fans had a few things to applaud. Paul Molitor bashed his fourth home run in as many games. The submarining right-hander Mark Eichhorn baffled Expo hitters for four innings of one-run relief work. And didn’t singer Sass Jordan belt out a fine version of O Canada before the game?
Scheduled starters for Game No. 5, back at SkyDome, are Ken Hill for the Expos and Juan Guzman for the Jays. Those two pitchers introduced themselves to each other in Game No. 1, won by Hill and the ’94 'Spos.
Monday, The Globe will run a game report and boxscore of Game No. 5 of the final round of our computer-simulated tournament. With the series tied at two games each, scheduled starters are Juan Guzman for the 1993 Jays and Ken Hill for the ’94 Montreal Expos.