On this day, 18 years ago, Mark Portugal outdueled knuckleballer Charlie Hough in a 8-3 victory over the Florida Marlins at the Astrodome.
Quick side note: I had written one of these Wednesday, but due to internet problems, lost the whole post right as I was publishing it. That rarely happens on the great system SB Nation has put together, but it did this time (due to my sucky internet setup). I got discouraged by the whole thing, and it took me a day to get back on that horse. My apologies.
Back to the game...for those of you not familiar with Hough, he was one of a long line of knucleballers. Unlike the latest incarnation (Tim Wakefield), Hough bounced around to four different teams and spending over a decade with two of them (the Rangers and the Dodgers). He pitched for 25 seasons, pitching over 200 innings in '93 at 45 years old. In this one, he only threw 3 innings, giving up seven hits and five runs while striking out two.
Portugal won his 12th game of the season in this one, throwing 5 2/3 innings while allowing eight hits, three runs (two earned) and two walks with three strikeouts. He turned things over to Tom Edens, Xavier Hernandez and Doug Jones to finish out the game, with X pitching two of those innings for a hold.
Portugal pitched for 15 seasons, winning 109 games with a 4.03 career ERA. The '93 season was clearly his best, as he went 18-4 with a 2.77 ERA in 33 starts over 208 innings. All of those were career highs and led to Portugal finishing sixth in the Cy Young voting, behind winner Greg Maddux.
Lots of offense in this one, as Kevin Bass was the biggest contributor, going 3 for 5 with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs. Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley also added home runs while Jeff Bagwell went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Here's the graphic replay of the game, thanks to Back to Baseball.