Birthday Baseball (An Occasional Series): Game 16- July 12, 1990
By now our readers know the story… I am looking back to see how the Yankees performed on my birthday each year since I’ve been born and then telling the story of what took place on that summer day.
As always, whenever I do research like this, my first two stops are always Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference.
Let’s head back to 1990 to see what took place in the Yankees game that night…
The Thursday night of July 12, 1990 brought the Chicago White Sox (48-31) to Yankee Stadium to face the Yankees (30-50).
Melido Perez, who, by 1992, would be a Yankee, was the starting pitcher for the White Sox. He came into the game with a 7-7 record.
On the hill for the Yankees was Andy Hawkins who was sporting a 1-6 record. It was about to get worse…
Here was the White Sox lineup:
Lance Johnson – cf
Robin Ventura – 3b (a future Yankee)
Ivan Calderson – lf
Dan Pasqua – dh (a former Yankee)
Carlton Fisk – c (future Hall-of-Famer)
Steve Lyons – 1b
Scott Fletcher – 2b
Sammy Sosa – rf
Ozzie Guillen – ss
The Yankees countered with the following lineup:
Roberto Kelly – cf
Steve Sax – 2b
Don Mattingly – 1b
Mel Hall – lf
Matt Nokes – dh
Jesse Barfield – rf
Jim Leyritz – 3b
Bob Geren – c
Alvaro Espinoza – ss
(Murderers’ Row this wasn’t…)
It was a rainy night…
The first inning went well for Andy Hawkins. He retired the White Sox in order on a fly out and two ground outs.
The Yankees then had a great scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Steve Sax walked. He then stole second and on a throwing error, reached third base. One out, man on third, and Donnie Baseball at the plate…
But Mattingly struck out and Mel Hall then flied out to end the inning.
The second inning proved non eventful for both squads. The Sox went down in order. Matt Nokes walked for Yanks, but never advanced past first base.
And then came the third…
(In 1990, it always felt like there would be an inning, or two, that would wreck a perfectly fine baseball game.)
With one out, Sammy Sosa singled. Ozzie Guillen then followed with a single of his own. Lance Johnson then hit a three-run home run. BOOM. White Sox 3, Yankees 0.
It was a rainy night…
The Yankees had two batters reach base via walk in the bottom of the third. (It was also a sign of the times that a walk was a rally and two walks was a big inning.) It mattered little, a double play rendered the first walk meaningless and a ground out followed the next one.
The fourth inning brought insult to injury. Carlton Fisk, who in 1990, was about 73 years old, led off with a walk. He then stole second and advanced to third on an error by shortstop Alvaro Espinoza. One out later, Sammy Sosa hit his second single to give the White Sox a 4-0 lead.
The Yankees responded in the bottom of the fourth in the following manner:
Mel Hall- strikeout swinging
Matt Nokes – strikeout swinging
Jesse Barfield – strikeout swinging
Seeing that the Yankees seemingly gave up, the White Sox poured it on in their half of the fifth inning:
Robin Ventura – single (with one out)
Ivan Calderon – double
Dan Pasqua – intentional walk
Carlton Fisk – a non-intentional walk, with the bases loaded!
White Sox 5, Yankees 0
That walk to Fisk ended Andy Hawkins’ night. He might have been happy to get out of the rain.
The Yankees went to Greg Cadaret. Steve Lyons greeted Cadaret with a two-run single making the score 7-0. One out later, with Sammy Sosa at the plate, Cadaret uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Carlton Fisk to score. It was now 8-0 in favor of the White Sox.
In the bottom of the fifth, after the first two Yankees struck out (making five consecutive strikeouts for Melido Perez), Alvaro Espinoza…flew out to right-center field. (Another sign of the times, a fly out constituted a rally.)
The Yankees called on Jimmy Jones to replace Greg Cadaret for the 6th. Jones retired the Sox in order.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees went down in order.
In the top of the seventh, Kevin Maas took over at first base for the Yankees.
With one out, Dan Pasqua doubled for the White Sox and…
That was that. The rains continued. The tarp was called onto the field.
The rest of the ballgame was cancelled (after a 63 minute rain delay).
White Sox 8, Yankees 0
Melido Perez threw a rain-shortened no-hitter! (Back in 1990, rain-shortened no hitters still counted a no-hitters. The rule change stating that a no-hitter had to be nine innings was a one year in the future.)
This was the first rain-shortened no-hitter in baseball since September 24, 1988 when Pascual Perez (Melido’s brother, and a Yankee at the time) threw one for the Expos against the Phillies.
For baseball, this was the seventh no-hitter of the 1990 season.
For the Perez brothers, they became only the second set of brothers to both pitch a no-hitter (joining Bob and Ken Forsch).
Yankees starter Andy Hawkins had just pitched his own no-hitter, a game he lost to the White Sox, eleven days before on July 1.
In September 1991, a rules committee determined that a no-hitter had to be a full nine innings. This rule took 50 no-hitters off the books. When that happened, both Perez brothers lost their no-hitters and Andy Hawkins lost his as well. (Andy Hawkins lost a no-hitter and then lost the no-hitter that he lost.)
Next we will head to 1991 and a game in California. The Yankees at the Angels. Scott Kamieniecki vs Mark Langston…
Yankees Record on July 12 (in this series – since 1968): 14-2
(There were no games played on July 12 in 1971, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1988, and 1989)
Don Mattingly on July 12 (through 1990): 8 for 19 (.421), 1 2b, 2 HR, 7 RBI, BB, SO
Graig Nettles (as a Yankee on July 12): 33 AB, 7 hits (.212), 1 run, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks. 1 RBI (I had hoped that my favorite player would have done better on my birthday.)