Sunday, April 4, 2010

Play at the Plate Part 11: Darrin Fletcher vs. Bobby Bonilla

1992 Topps Darrin Fletcher

May 26, 1991 Philadelphia Phillies @ Pittsburgh Pirates, Three River Stadium

It's the bottom of the 4th inning, the Pirates are batting with a 4-0 lead. Curt Wilkerson steps in against Jason Grimsley. Wilkerson strikes out swinging. Andy Van Slyke steps up and hits a line drive single to the right side. Bobby Bonilla comes to the plate. On the first pitch, Van Slyke steals second. Two pitches later, Grimsley uncorks a wild pitch, sending Van Slyke down to third. Bonilla walks on a 3-1 pitch. At this point, Jim Fregosi pulls off a double switch. Wally Ritchie comes in to pitch, replacing catcher Steve Lake in the 8th spot in the order. Darrin Fletcher replaces Grimsley, taking over the 9th spot. Ritchie doesn't exactly make Fregosi look like a genius as he hits Barry Bonds with the first pitch, loading the bases. In steps rightfielder Mitch Webster who shoots a 1-0 pitch between third and short and this is what happens next:

Van Slyke scores as leftfielder Jim Lindeman fires a strike to the plate and Bobby Bonilla is OUT! The Pirates extended their lead to 5-0 as Van Slyke scored and would go on to win 5-2.

I didn't choose this card for it's greatness. In fact, the picture is poorly cropped and Fletcher was caught half-asleep, or so it seems. I picked it for a couple of reasons.

First, Darrin Fletcher was only in the game for 3 pitches when this play happened. One of those pitches hit Bonds, one he caught and the third was hit into left field.

Second, why was Bobby Bonilla wearing #23 in 1991? He wore #25 before and after that season. I'm sure some blogger/reader will know the answer and I MUST know!

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