Great Pitchers Duels in Padres History: Kevin Brown vs Darryl Kile, 9/20/98

On September 20, 1998, at Qualcomm Stadium, nearly 38,000 fans witnessed a fantastic duel (among the best of the ’90s) on a Sunday afternoon. This was the final regular season home game for San Diego.

The Rockies’ Darryl Kile would lead the National League in losses this year, while Kevin Brown would finish third (behind teammate Trevor Hoffman and winner Tom Glavine) in the Cy Young Award race. Kile had been a Cy Young contender himself the previous season, and on this day, he pitched like one again.

              IP H R ER HR BB SO GSc
Darryl Kile 10.0 3 0  0  0  2  7  91
Kevin Brown  9.0 4 0  0  0  0  8  87

The Padres put a couple of men on in the first inning, but Steve Finley rapped into a 4-6-3 double play to kill that threat. Brown gave up two singles in the second before retiring Jeff Reed and former Padres infielder Terry Shumpert.

After that, neither team got a runner into scoring position until the eighth. In that inning, the Rockies almost plated a run.

Brown had retired 18 straight Colorado batters when Reed led off with a bloop single over third base and Shumpert followed with a line single to center that Finley misplayed. Reed, a slow runner to begin with, got a poor jump and was thrown out at home on a perfect relay by shortstop Andy Sheets. Despite getting bowled over on the play, catcher Carlos Hernandez applied the tag and held onto the ball. Brown then struck out Kile to end the frame.

Both pitchers stayed in shutdown mode (Colorado pitching coach Frank Funk said, “It was like a Don Drysdale-Bob Gibson matchup out there”) until Brown was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the ninth. Right-hander (and one-hit wonder) Dan Miceli worked a scoreless 10th and retired the first batter he faced in the 11th before yielding to southpaw Randy Myers (another one-hit wonder).

Myers came on to face left-handed hitters Larry Walker and Darryl Hamilton. As was customary in his second stint with the Padres, Myers didn’t get the job done. Walker doubled to left-center on a 1-2 pitch, and Hamilton followed with a ground ball single up the middle to drive home the game’s only run.

Afterward, Brown had this to say about the game:

You’ve done your job, but it doesn’t mean you’re happy with the results. You’re not happy when you lose. No way to be. It’s ridiculous to even consider feeling that. You take what you can out of it, what positives you can.

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On another note, I am pinch-hitting at SweetSpot today. Stop by and say hey.

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4 Responses »

  1. Couldn’t you have redacted the name of Randy Myers? Hulk angry now.

  2. What was Bochy gaining by letting Kevin Brown pitch 9 innings in a meaningless game? The Padres by that time already had locked up 1st place in the NL West.

  3. @German

    There was still a slim chance to get home-field advantage against the Astros. Before games began that Sunday we were 2 games back of Houston with 6 to play. That’s the only reason I can think of, and I’m not sure the risk was worth it. Brown didn’t show any ill effects in the NLDS or NLCS, and his meltdown against the Yankees came after a bout of flu (I think). But it seems unnecessary in retrospect.