Dodgers’ Big Difficulty Is Dravecky : Padre Left-Hander Throws Three-Hitter and Wins, 4-0
There was a hit play in the 1970s titled, “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road.”
The Dodger version of the mid-80s goes something like this: They get their act together on the road, only to fall apart at home.
After scoring an average of six runs a game on their just-concluded trip, the Dodger offense suddenly has disappeared once again.
A new standard in meekness was achieved Tuesday night, when the Dodgers managed a season-low three hits off left-hander Dave Dravecky, all singles, in a 4-0 loss to the San Diego Padres before 46,890 in Dodger Stadium.
It was only the second time this season that the Dodgers have been shut out, both times against the first-place Padres, who made it two in a row against Los Angeles and now lead the fourth-place Dodgers by five games.
The loss also dropped the Dodgers’ record to 13-14 at home, where they had a sub-.500 record last season (40-41), their first in 15 seasons in Dodger Stadium.
“Maybe we ought to put AstroTurf on the field,” Mike Marshall said.
He was kidding, of course, but after cutting the rug in Houston and Cincinnati last week, the Dodgers have turned wallflowers again.
The Dodgers’ only offensive gesture of the night came when Bob Welch threw a fastball in the direction of Steve Garvey’s head. Otherwise, they filed out of here as quietly as their fans, who deserted Dodger Stadium in droves after the Padres went ahead by four runs in the sixth.
“We’ve only played two games here,” said Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda when asked what had had happened to the Los Angeles bats. “Did you think we were going to score six runs every game?”
Not against Dravecky (6-4), who did not allow a Dodger runner past first base. He struck out six Dodgers in the first five innings and was pestered only by Mariano Duncan, who had two of the Dodgers’ hits.
“Dravecky threw as good a game as I know he’s ever pitched,” Marshall said. “I faced him now the last three or four years, and that’s the hardest he’s ever thrown.”
Dravecky wasn’t inclined to disagree.
“He (Marshall) is probably right,” Dravecky said. “I don’t know what it was, but I felt real strong tonight.”
Apparently, Dravecky was so overpowering that at one point, four straight Dodgers attempted to bunt. None succeeded.
“You know what? I really didn’t notice that at all,” Dravecky said.
What could not be overlooked, however, was the fact that Pedro Guerrero--almost impossible to get out on the road--went hitless in four trips and is 0 for 7 in the series.
“I can’t think that I’m the one who has to do it all,” Guerrero said. “But when I’m hot, the (other) guys get hot, that happens. But we’re probably trying a little too hard at home.”
Guerrero, of course, isn’t the only Dodger to be silenced by the Padres and Dravecky, who didn’t allow a hit until Steve Yeager singled with two out in the fifth. Another is leadoff man Steve Sax, who went hitless in four trips and is 0 for 9 in the series.
“We’ve scored two runs in two ballgames,” Lasorda said. “What do you say it was? It was either good pitching or bad hitting. That would be a good answer.”
Tim Flannery, one of San Diego’s two stand-ins for erstwhile leadoff man Alan Wiggins, helped to solve Welch with two run-scoring singles.
“It’s easier than not playing,” said Flannery, when asked about platooning with Jerry Royster. “It’s two of us instead of one, and we’re having fun. We don’t know how long it will last, but we’ll cross that bridge later.”
Welch, making his second start since coming back from a 20-day rehabilitation in Florida, is trying to cross a few hurdles of his own. He lasted into the sixth, by which time the Padres were in double figures in hits.
“I made some good pitches tonight and some that weren’t so good,” Welch said. “Give the Padres credit. They swung the bat and deserved to win.
“It’s been a struggle for me just to get on the mound. I need to get out there and make some more pitches, get comfortable.
“I feel fine and that’s a good sign.”
It appeared that Welch may have sent a message to Garvey when he decked him with a third-inning fastball.
Garvey, who came into the game batting .444 lifetime against Welch, arose from the brushback to double down the left-field line, beating Guerrero’s off-the-mark throw with a head-first slide.
That gave Garvey five hits in seven at-bats in the series. So much for intimidation.
“It was close,” Garvey said, “but if it was (intentional), it doesn’t make any difference. But there was no intent--I guarantee it.”
Diplomacy is always easier when you’re five games ahead of the other guy.
Steve Yeager threw out Tim Flannery attempting to steal in the sixth inning, and Tony Gwynn in the seventh, running his record to 12 runners caught in 16 attempts. . . . The Dodgers are 0-9 in Tuesday games. . . . Rookie Ed Wojna, who has replaced Mark Thurmond in the Padres’ rotation, will start Friday against the Giants. . . . Manager Tom Lasorda, asked about Steve Garvey’s comment about the longer grass in the Dodger Stadium infield: “What are you asking me for? I don’t even cut the grass at home.” . . . A glove belonging to Fernando Valenzuela is one of the articles included in a time capsule placed in the new International Tower Building at 888 South Figueroa Street. The capsule supposedly will be opened in 2085. . . . Greg Brock, who hit his 10th home run Monday night, didn’t hit his 10th last season until August. . . . The Padres’ Andy Hawkins (11-0) pitches against Jerry Reuss (4-5) tonight. . . . Lasorda is scheduled to receive the “Official Cavalier of Merit” award from the Italian government in ceremonies at the Italian consulate this morning. The award is in appreciation of Lasorda’s assistance to the Italian Olympic baseball team. . . . The Dodgers vented some frustration at official scorer Wayne Monroe, who charged Garry Templeton with an error on Mariano Duncan’s slow roller. After a phone call from the dugout to the pressbox, Monroe credited Duncan with a hit, making the Dodgers more effective against the official scorer than against Dave Dravecky.