On June 5, 1987, through four and one half innings, the Dodgers were beating the Reds, 6-0, and had outhit the Reds, 12-0, before the Reds came back to win the game, 8-6. A seventh inning Eric Davis three-run homer provided the winning margin for the first place Reds.

Lefty Rick Honeycutt started for the Dodgers and retired the first 11 Reds he faced, and 12 of the first 13 through four innings with Davis being the only Reds baserunner due to a fourth inning walk. Buddy Bell led off the bottom half of the fifth with a single, the Reds’ first hit. One out later, Bo Diaz doubled home Bell. Diaz moved to third on a ground out. Dave Concepcion doubled home Diaz and Tracy Jones followed with a single to score Concepcion to pull the Reds within three, 6-3.

Davis opened the Reds half of the sixth with a walk and promptly stole second and third bases. 1987 may have been Davis’s best year as he batted .281 with 34 homers, 101 rbi, and 50 stolen bases. Dave Parker singled home Davis but the Reds still trailed, 6-4, through six innings of play.

Diaz and Ron Oester both singled to open the Reds’ seventh. Two strikeouts later, Barry Larkin singled to score Diaz with Oester stopping at second. Davis followed with his 20th home run of the year to finish the scoring with the Reds prevailing 8-6.

Through the first four and a half innings, the Dodgers outscored the Reds, 6-0, and outhit them 12-0. Through the second portion of the game, the Reds outscored the Dodgers, 8-0, and outhit the Dodgers, 12-0. The Reds’ bullpen tandem of Frank Williams, Guy Hoffman, Rob Murphy, and John Franco retired the last 14 Dodgers in a row to finish the game.

The Reds spent much of the first half of the season battling for first place. This June 5 win gave them a two game lead over the eventual West Division champion San Francisco Giants. The Reds biggest first place lead was four games as late as July 23rd, before the Reds relinquished first place for the season on August 21st. The Reds finished second, six games behind the Giants.

Two of the Reds players in this game have already passed on. Diaz was killed in 1990, just one year after his final year with the Reds when a satellite dish he was installing at his home in Caracas, Venezuela, fell and crushed him. Williams, who was orphaned as a child, saw his career end just one year after his last season with the Reds due to injuries suffered in a car accident. He became a homeless alcoholic who used a British Columbian sports memorabilia store as his surrogate home address. He suffered a heart attack and died in January, 2009.

3 Responses

  1. Python Curtus

    I didn’t know this about Williams. I kind of thought he was underappreciated in his time with the Reds—-maybe in his entire career

  2. pinson343

    That’s sad about Williams. With all the money they make, you’d think the players (and affluent former players) would do more to provide help for struggling former players.

  3. pinson343

    The 1987 Reds were a talented, balanced team that was expected to win the division. They collapsed in August, including – if I recall correctly – getting swept twice by the Giants. The collapse was inexplicable, there were no major injuries. It made me wonder about Pete Rose as a manager.

    It was Eric Davis’ best season, he started out very strong and appeared to be a cinch to have MLB’s first 40/40 HR/SB season. His hitting tailed off in the 2nd half and he limped home in September, bothered by some injury.