In principle, the station of a third base coach is to lend both hitters and baserunners a helping hand, provided he never take that notion literally.
But because Moose Stubing got a little carried away in the first inning of Wednesday night's game at Anaheim Stadium, the Angels were forced to indulge the New York Yankees for 10 innings before sending out another cry for help for Wally Joyner, who did a week's worth of bailing with one swing of his bat.
By driving home Devon White with two out in the 10th, Joyner gave the Angels a 4-3 victory over New York and, in so doing, absolved:
--Stubing, the Angels' third base coach who was cited for offensive interference by touching Joyner while attempting to wave him home in the first inning. The contact cost the Angels a game-tying run.
--Bert Blyleven, the Angel starting pitcher who fell behind, 2-0, in the top of the first inning and wild-pitched home a third run in the second.
--Tony Armas, the pinch-hitter who was summoned with runners on first and third in the seventh inning and left everybody stranded by fouling out meekly to first base on an 0-and-2 pitch.
--Bobby Rose, the rookie called upon to pinch-run for Johnny Ray
in a 3-3 game in the ninth, only to get picked off second base by Yankee catcher Bob Geren.
All transgressions, ultimately, led again to Joyner, who also had driven in the game-winning run Tuesday night when the Angels beat the Yankees, 7-6.
It may be dangerous to dip into the well too frequently, but Joyner's recent resources for pressurized hitting run deep. Once more, he delivered, beating Dave Righetti by punching a single through the right side of the infield to score White from third base.
"He's just like a guy in the NBA who wants the ball in gut-wrenching time," Angel Manager Doug Rader said. "I'm sure he wants to be up there in those situations. Some guys are made that way.
"That's why he succeeds."
This story of Joyner's success--giving the Angels their fifth consecutive victory and keeping them within four games of first-place Oakland in the American League West--was rooted in the first inning, when a little touch-and-go by Stubing and Joyner cut short a rally of great potential.
Here's how a Moose call went against the Angels:
With the Yankees leading, 2-0, in the first inning, the Angels had Chili Davis on second base and Joyner on first with two out. Brian Downing followed with a line drive down the left-field line that scored Davis and had Joyner steaming into third.
Just then, the relay throw of Yankee left fielder Mel Hall kicked off the glove of cutoff man Alvaro Espinoza, sending the ball popping high into the air.
Stubing, having just flashed Joyner the stop sign, instantly reversed signals and began frantically waving Joyner home. In the process, however, his hand touched Joyner--an infraction that constitutes what it known as offensive interference.
Joyner had crossed home plate standing and trotted into the dugout when the umpires began waving the Yankee fielders into their dugout, signifying the end of the inning. By citing interference on Stubing, third base umpire John Hirschbeck automatically ruled Joyner out and the Angels were deprived a game-tying run.
"I thought I'd scored," Joyner said. "I didn't know what had happened until everybody started coming off the field."
In Joyner's words: "I was running really hard and I looked to third base for the sign. He was holding me up.
"But my momentum carried me past the bag and just then, the ball popped loose. Moose started me up again and I guess he just gave me a little shove to make sure I made it."
For a good while, the run loomed large. The Angels fell behind, 3-1, in the second inning and were still trailing, 3-2, as the game entered the ninth inning.
At that point, Yankee Manager Bucky Dent brought on Righetti to wrap up what would have been his 24th save.
But on Righetti's first pitch, Downing homered into the left-field seats, forging a 3-3 tie.
Before the inning was done, the Angels had the winning run on second base before another baserunning gaffe--this by Rose--took them out of another scoring opportunity.
After Downing's leadoff home run, Johnny Ray blooped a single to left field. The next batter, rookie John Orton, then laid down a sacrifice bunt and was safe at first when first baseman Don Mattingly's throw was late at second.
Rose, however, was caught leaning off second base and was primed for an easy pickoff by Geren, whose strong throw to Espinoza ambushed Rose.
Righetti then righted himself to strike out Jack Howell and retire Glenn Hoffman on a groundout to close out the inning.
Thus, the Angels were forced to play 10. They finally won it there, on a two-base error by Espinoza, who let White's routine grounder roll through his legs, and Joyner's game-winning single.
"The way everybody swung the bat tonight, I figured it was just a matter of time before we got to somebody," Rader said. "(But) a lot of strange things happened tonight."