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Baseball's Best
October 14, 1992
1992 NLCS | Game 7
Sid Bream's modern-day "mad dash" wins the pennant for Atlanta

FULTON COUNTY STADIUM, ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- The series took seven games to determine a winner, but it will forever be remembered for just a single play.

VIDEO LINESCORE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pirates 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 7 1
Braves 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 7 0
Starters: Doug Drabek vs. John Smoltz
WP: Jeff Reardon   LP: Doug Drabek
DEF: PIT: Andy Van Slyke's catch in center (2nd), Jeff King's play at third (B6th)

For the third year in a row, the Pirates were playing for the right to go to the World Series. And like the previous year, when the Braves made a remarkable worst-to-first turnaround, Pittsburgh's road to the Pennant wound through Atlanta.

Trailing the series three games to one, the Pirates managed to force a Game 7 against Braves starter John Smoltz at Fulton County Stadium. However, not only did Smoltz already win Games 1 and 4, he won them against Doug Drabek, who was sent back out to the mound by the Pirates for the series finale.

For much of the ballgame, things seemed to be falling the Pirates' way. Smoltz allowed a run in the first inning and then a second tally in the sixth. Meanwhile, Andy Van Slyke made a spectacular catch in the second and Drabek worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth. Indeed, Drabek seemed to have redeemed his earlier losses by pitching eight shutout innings.

Then he came back out to the mound for the ninth.

After a double by Terry Pendleton, a costly error by second baseman Jose Lind and a walk to Sid Bream, the bases were suddenly loaded with none out. Drabek was replaced by Stan Belinda, who promptly allowed a run on Ron Gant's sac fly to make the score 2-1 Pirates. Damon Berryhill then walked to reload the bases, and Brian Hunter popped out.

So with the bases loaded, two out, and the season on the line, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox called on little-used Francisco Cabrera to pinch-hit for Jeff Reardon. With only 10 at-bats all season to prepare for this moment, Cabrera slapped a single to left. The first run scored easily to tie the game. Then Bream, the former Pirate, came lumbering toward the plate from second. The game came down to the injury-riddled legs of Bream vs. the Gold Glove arm of left fielder Barry Bonds.

Bonds fired home to catcher Mike "Spanky" Lavalliere, who grabbed it and applied the tag. Not in time. Bream slid in safely, sending the Braves back to the World Series. Atlanta would miss the playoffs only once the rest of the decade. The Pirates haven't been back since.

Copyright 1992 by the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball



Broadcast Info
Original broadcast team:
Sean McDonough, play-by-play
Tim McCarver, color analyst
Jim Grey, reporter


Series Game x Game
Game 1 - October 6, 1992
Pirates 1 5 1
Braves 5 8 0
Game 2 - October 7, 1992
Pirates 5 7 0
Braves 13 14 0
Game 3 - October 9, 1992
Braves 2 5 0
Pirates 3 8 1
Game 4 - October 10, 1992
Braves 6 11 1
Pirates 4 6 1
Game 5 - October 11, 1992
Braves 1 3 0
Pirates 7 13 0
Game 6 - October 13, 1992
Pirates 13 13 1
Braves 4 9 1
Game 7 - October 14, 1992
Pirates 2 7 1
Braves 3 7 0
Braves win series, 4-3

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