R.B.I. Baseball Royal Rumble
The rules are simple in this single game elimination format:
R.B.I. Royal Rumble I
Game 1: St Louis @ Houston
The Royal Rumble intrigue occurs by the premise of one of these low level teams eliminating a contender behind a strong pitching performance in a single elimination setting. Unfortunately they were drawn out to face each other in the opening game!
Both managers sat their best pitcher, with the strategy of winning this game & saving the next game against a much better team. Cards ace John Tudor, & Nolan Ryan rode the pine in this match-up, as Danny Cox & Mike Scott took the hill.
Vince Coleman was the player of the game reaching base 4 times, but only scoring once. He scored in the 3rd, but was left stranded twice on 3rd base in the later innings. Kevin Bass' homer tied things up in the 5th. The game went to extra innings, where a misplayed flyball followed by a bloop single by Alan Ashby gave the Astros a 2-1 victory in the 10th inning.
Game 2: Detroit @ Houston
Just like Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog, Sparky Anderson looked ahead to the next game & decided to sit his ace against the Astros. Jack Morris got the start for the Tigers. The Ryan express took the hill for Houston.
Jose Cruz got things started in the 1st by hitting a home run for the Astros. Nolan Ryan did his part mowing through the Tigers line-up, & the Astros with a slim lead stayed in control.
A defensive error by Detroit got the Tigers in a jam. Terry Puhl then singled in a run, & then Billy Hatcher & his speed beat out a potential double play as Houston built a shocking 3-0 lead!
The Houston bullpen held on as Charlie Kerfeld came on in the 8th to try & nail down the save. In the 9th he got through 3 big bats as Evans & Nokes struck out, & got Madlock to ground out. Detroit only managed 5 hits & got a runner to 2nd base only once.
Game 3: National League @ Houston
The mighty National League was drawn out next & set the tone right away. Tim Raines led off the game with a single & stolen base, which was followed by a Dawson single scoring Raines. Eric Davis doubled after that, sending Dawson to 3rd. A throwing mistake on the play sent the ball to 1st instead of 2nd, and Dawson was able to score putting N.L. up 2-0 in the 1st inning.
Houston stayed in it with a Lopes homer in the 4th. Trailing 2-1 & Rick Sutcliffe showing signs of fatigue, Cruz beat out an infield hit. Then Glen Davis just barely cleared the fence with a 2 run homer to left center to put Houston up 3-2. From there Dave Smith & Charlie Kerfeld teamed up to finish off the game, and get Houston an amazing 3 game win streak. The National League bats went in the tank in the middle innings as guys like Andre Dawson & Eric Davis were getting decent pitches, but grounding out. National league opted to save Valenzuela for the next game, but that next game never came.
Game 5: San Francisco @ A.L.
In the 3rd inning McGwire, George Bell, and Jose Canseco pieced together hits as giving the A.L. a 1-0 lead. Kevin Mitchell answered with a solo home run.
Game 4: American league @ Houston
Houston had managed to avoid some of the best pitchers in R.B.I. Baseball, because their opponents overlooked them. The Astros didn't have to face John Tudor, Doyle Alexander, or Fernando Valenzuela. Jack Morris & Rick Sutcliffe still should have been able to shut down their line-up, but it just didn't pan out that way.
The A.L. took a different approach. The strategy was to put a reliever on the hill to start the game and see how things transpired before going with Jimmy Key or Brett Saberhagen. Tom Henke took the mound, & no hit the Astros over 4 innings. Meanwhile Nolan Ryan was racking up numerous strike outs & keeping the A.L. bats in check. With Ryan starting to wear out, George Bell was looking at 1 & 2 count with no outs. Houston pulled Ryan & went with Dave Smith, and Bell knocked the 1st pitch he saw into the left field bleachers for a 1-0 lead. Smith & Kerfeld kept things scoreless from there, but Houston was unable to mount a rally and was eliminated 1-0. The A.L. only had 4 hits, and 2 for Houston in the pitchers duel.