Hershiser Does It Again--and So Does Gwynn
For the second straight night, Padre second baseman Alan Wiggins failed to appear at Dodger Stadium. But if Orel Hershiser had been allowed to designate a missing Padre, his choice undoubtedly would have been Tony Gwynn.
For the second time in five days, Gwynn was all that kept Hershiser from a no-hitter. The suspense went out of this one early: Gwynn, who broke up Hershiser’s no-hit bid with a seventh-inning double last Sunday, grounded a single to the left of second baseman Bob Bailor with one out in the fourth inning.
But that was the last hit the Padres would get as Hershiser faced the minimum 27 batters for his first one-hitter and a 2-0 victory over San Diego in front of a crowd of 50,335 at Dodger Stadium.
Dave Dravecky, on the losing end of Hershiser’s two-hitter last Sunday, took the loss again Friday night. Dravecky was victimized when his left fielder, Carmelo Martinez, misplayed Pedro Guerrero’s two-out liner to the bottom of the left-field wall for a double that scored both Dodger runs in the third.
Has Hershiser (3-0), who dispensed with the Padres in two hours and has not allowed an earned run in his last 22 innings, taken his place among the best pitchers in the league?
“If he keeps that stuff up, yeah, he has,” Padre catcher Terry Kennedy said.
“He has good command right now. He didn’t throw anything like this against us at the end of last year.”
Hershiser, who called this the best game he has ever pitched, has been especially hard on Steve Garvey, striking him out five times in the last two games.
“He’s thrown two great games against us,” said Garvey, who is bothered by a pulled left hamstring he injured last Tuesday in a rundown. “He spotted pitches well and mixed speeds. I’ll seriously consider using a Prince racket next time.”
Gwynn, who also walked in the first inning, was San Diego’s only base-runner, but both times he was erased in rundowns.
“The first time was a hit-and-run and they pitched out,” Gwynn said. “There was no way to get all the way to second, so I froze. The next time, I thought the pitch was fouled off and it wasn’t, evidently. I look at it basically as dumb base-running, but fortunately it had no bearing on the game. We just didn’t score any runs, and we didn’t come close to scoring any runs.”
Gwynn said he thought that Hershiser pitched a better game last Sunday, when he kept the ball down and got a lot of ground-ball outs. But Hershiser said that with the Santa Ana winds blowing in from left-center field Friday night, he had the luxury of pitching the ball up.
“It definitely was an advantage for me, especially in back-to-back starts, to be able to vary the sequence,” Hershiser said.
“The wind was only helping the ball to right field, so I was able to throw a lot of off-speed breaking stuff to the right-handed hitters and let them pull the ball, and hard stuff away to the left-handed hitters.”
Hershiser, asked if he would send a limousine to the hotel to make sure Gwynn got to the ballpark--a variation of Manager Tom Lasorda’s crack about Kurt Bevacqua--replied:
“I’d pay for a limousine to pick him up and take him the opposite way. He’s an outstanding hitter. Hopefully, he won’t say he figured me out, like last time. I’d rather he said he just hit a good pitch.”
Dravecky, who pitched out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the second, wasn’t as lucky in the third, when he allowed two-out singles to Bill Russell and Al Oliver. Guerrero then lined a 3-and-2 pitch that ate up Martinez, who watched helplessly as the ball caromed off the bottom of the fence.
“I got a late jump and made a wrong turn,” Martinez said. “I should have had it.”
The Dodgers, who have won four out of six from the Padres, are in first place despite playing with just 21 players. The latest injured Dodger: Greg Brock, out of the lineup only two games after coming back.
The problem, as usual, is Brock’s elbow. The unusual part is that this time it’s his left elbow.
Brock’s injury comes a day after the Dodgers sent Sid Bream to Albuquerque. A Dodger official said that Bream wasn’t scheduled to leave for the New Mexico farm club until today. But no matter. The Dodgers would have to wait 10 days before they could recall Bream. Mike Marshall started at first for the first time since last July 30, and R.J. Reynolds started for the first time in 1985 in right field.
Brock said his left elbow started bothering him late in Thursday’s game.
“When I got up this morning I couldn’t pick up anything,” Brock said. “I swung a bat and dropped the bat.
He said the elbow also bothered him during spring training, but the problem went away overnight so he didn’t think it was serious.
“It hurts if I put any kind of pressure on it,” Brock said. “It turns out to be a joke. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s blown me away enough; I just laugh at it, I guess.
“I’m almost embarrassed to say it’s the other one. People must think, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ ”
Lasorda was anything but amused. One club official said that when Brock went into Lasorda’s office before the game, loud cursing could be heard.
Lasorda, asked if he were upset by Brock’s disclosure, said: “I’ll tell you how upset I was. I put my arm around his shoulder. . . . I just told him, I want you to be honest with me. I tried to impress that on him.”
Brock said that Lasorda asked him why the injury hadn’t been diagnosed sooner. “I told him because this one didn’t bother me yesterday.”
Dodger Notes Tony Gwynn, on the effect of the absence of Alan Wiggins: “I can’t speak for everybody else, but it’s affected me. He’s not only on my team, but he’s my friend. I’m worried about him. . . . It’s harder for me than maybe it is for a lot of other guys. I mean, I still don’t know what’s going on. It’s tough to bust your tail every night. . . .” When does Gwynn think about it? “Just during idol time when I’m sitting around, before the game and after the game like right now, or in between innings when I’m playing catch,” he said. “I’m thinking: ‘Is he listening to the game?’ Once we’re playing I don’t think about it. . . . If I knew what was going on, it would be a lot easier to deal with. This way, we don’t know anything.” . . . Orel Hershiser said he had never faced the minimum 27 batters in a game. “I once threw a no-hitter in college (Bowling Green) against Kent State, but I think I walked a couple of guys.” . . . Bob Welch, scheduled to start tonight, was scratched again because of his sore right elbow. His place will be taken by Tom Brennan, who started against the Padres last Saturday and was not involved in the decision in the Dodgers’ 4-3 loss. “It (the elbow) just hasn’t come back to where I can help the club,” Welch said. “It’s bothersome, but there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s very, very tender.” Welch, whose injury has been diagnosed as a strained ligament in the right elbow, also has had a bone spur there that could eventually require surgery. “That’s a last alternative,” Welch said, “but it’s always there. The idea that Pedro Guerrero, who came into the game batting .213 with two homers and six RBIs, traditionally is a slow starter is not supported by the record. Guerrero’s numbers last April were .179, two homers and eight RBIs, but in the previous three seasons his April numbers read: 1983--.329, 6 homers, 15 RBIs; 1982--.308, 4 homers, 10 RBIs; 1981--.262, 2 homers, 5 RBIs. Asked if Guerrero will start hitting soon, Manager Tom Lasorda said: “You can put that in the bank. Guys like him and Mike Schmidt, it’s a matter of getting started.” . . . Dave Anderson, out with a bad back, was in uniform but wasn’t expected to play. “But, God forbid, if somebody gets hurt, he’ll play,” Lasorda said. . . . Fernando Valenzuela, Sunday’s starter, has a chance to break the big league record for most consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to start a season. The record is held by Hooks Wiltse of the 1912 New York Giants, who pitched 40 innings without an earned run. Valenzuela has 33 innings. . . . Both tonight’s game and Sunday afternoon’s game are sellouts.