Today Marks the sixth anniversary of what is widely considered one of the greatest games in Dodger history. Perhaps this could be the greatest single game feat in Baseball History. the four consecutive home run game. More commonly referred to as the 4+1 game. (Garciaparra’s walk-off in the tenth inning that won it is considered the +1)
On September 18, 2006, the Dodgers were playing the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. The starting pitchers were Brad Penny for the Dodgers, and Jake Peavy for San Diego. At that time, the Dodgers and Padres were battling for the division title, and both teams were only separated by a half game. In this unforgettable game, the Dodgers were down by four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and hit four consecutive home runs to tie it up. After falling behind again by a run, the Dodgers won on a walk-off two-run home run by Nomar Garciaparra.
The Dodgers had actually fell behind 4-0 in the first inning. Yes, Penny gave up four runs before the chairs were warm. Sound familiar? Of course the San Diego lineup was littered with former Dodgers. Dave Roberts, Josh Bard, pitcher Rudy Seanez, and my childhood Dodger hero, Mike Piazza, who was in his final season in the National League. The game lasted ten innings, and three hours and fifty three minutes.
"Believe it or not! Four Consecutive Home Runs!~ Vin Scully"
The game featured 21 runs, and 34 hits total between the two teams. The Dodgers banged out 19 hits. There were seven home runs hit in the game, all by the Dodgers. Marlon Anderson hit two, and went 5 for 5. Jeff Kent also had four hits.
After the Padres went up 4-0 early, the Dodgers battled back to tie it at 4-4. They scored one run in the first, one run in the second inning, and two runs in the bottom of the third. The Padres re-took the lead by scoring two runs in the top of the eighth to make it a 6-4 game. The Dodgers scored in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to 6-5.
San Diego then went on to score three runs in the top of the ninth. As the Dodgers took their turns to bat in the bottom of the ninth, they found themselves in the unenviable position of being down by four runs, 9-5, with only three outs to give.
Incredibly, the Dodgers would tie the game on four consecutive home runs. The first two shots were hit off of Jon Adkins. The last two were off of closer Trevor Hoffman. The first home run was hit by Jeff Kent. The second home run was blasted by J.D. Drew. The third home run was hit by Russell Martin. The fourth home run was hit by Marlon Anderson. As soon as Anderson hit it, he knew it was out, and raised his hands above his head, pumping them in the air as he rounded the bases. The scene was unforgettable. It was pandemonium at Dodger Stadium. The game had to be stopped for a few minutes because the Dodger dugout was going bananas.
The game was tied at 9-9, and went to extra innings. The feat was so incredible, there had only been one time ever, that a team had hit four consecutive home runs in one inning, and never to tie or win a game in the bottom of the ninth. Dodger fans were witnessing something truly rare, and amazing that night.
Once the dust had settled, the Dodger bullpen relinquished the lead, sending us into shock. The Padres plated a run in the top of the tenth, and took a 10-9 lead. Heading into the bottom of the tenth, I just remember thinking to myself, this is the most Dodger way to lose a game I had ever seen. Of course, I thought. They have one of the most incredible accomplishments in Baseball history, and they were going to still lose. It figured. Or so I thought. But then, Marlon Anderson led off the bottom of the tenth inning with a walk. Then Nomar Garciaparra slugged a two-run home run into the left field pavilions seats, and the Dodgers had won it 11-10. Aaron Sele was the winning pitcher, and former Dodger Rudy Seanez took the loss. As Garciaparra rounded the bases and came home to score the winning run, Vin Scully said it best…..
"Unbelievable! ~ Vin Scully"
That about sums it up. It was a truly incredible feat, that may never be repeated again. Utterly unforgettable.