On a night the Padres lost, 7-2, to San Francisco and were mathematically eliminated from the alleged pennant race, this inevitable question was raised:
Which Padre players will be eliminated, too?
The answers will undoubtedly come later, but, then again, maybe sooner than you’d think. Padre General Manager Jack McKeon is getting itchy, saying Monday night: “I’d trade players now if anyone else would. But people are waiting. If you want to trade, why wait for the winter meetings, though. I mean, if you know what you want, why wait? I have a pretty good idea what I want.”
Uh, Jack, do you want 37-year-old Kurt Bevacqua, who committed two errors and hit into a bases-loaded double play Monday night?
McKeon would not say, but he already has a Tuesday meeting planned with Bevacqua, who sat with his head down Monday, saying: “It just wasn’t real good timing to have this happen.”
So Bevacqua, a hero in 1984, doesn’t know what to think about 1986. Some other players don’t, either. And not only will McKeon meet with Bevacqua today, but he will also meet with Manager Dick Williams and Williams’ coaches to hear their side of what went awry in ’85. The meeting is expected to last 45 minutes to an hour.
“It’s no big deal,” McKeon said. “Nothing tomorrow will make or break a decision on our club for next year. But I’ll ask questions, questions like ‘Would you include this guy in a trade?’
Actually, today isn’t exactly the best day for any sort of meeting. The Padres gave up seven unearned runs Monday and left 16 base runners on base.
But Bevacqua hurt most Monday.
“It was a pretty bad game,” he said. “I just don’t like letting people down . . . Thurm (starter Mark Thurmond) threw a hell of a game, and three of the runs they put across wouldn’t have been there if not for the errors I made.
“Am I worried about my job? I don’t know if worried is the right word. I know I can still play. I know the people here tonight would doubt it, though.
“I could’ve redeemed myself with that one at-bat (with the bases full in the seventh). I didn’t want to overswing, but I wasn’t aggressive going after the ball. And it wasn’t the pressure that got to me. That was a perfect situation for me. I live that. Just the worst thing that possibly could’ve happened happened.”
As for Monday’s game, it featured two teams going nowhere, slowly.
The Padres scored their first run in the first inning when Jerry Royster ran in from third on Atlee Hammaker’s wild pitch. And the Giants moved ahead, 2-1, in the second, scoring two unearned runs.
Kurt Bevacqua’s fielding error started the rally, and, with two outs, Padre pitcher Mark Thurmond picked off Joel Youngblood as the Giant rightfielder was stealing, but shortstop Garry Templeton missed the tag at second.
Jose Uribe promptly singled, scoring Youngblood with the go-ahead run.
Unfortunately for San Francisco, Giant catcher Bob Brenly didn’t hit a home run, but, in what Giant writers describe as a meaningful accomplishment, Brenly still can become the first catcher to lead the Giants in home runs since Buck Ewing did it in 1885--exactly 100 years ago.
Brenly has 19 homers, while Jeff Leonard and Chris Brown each have 16. It looks bad for Buck.
Another Giant statistic comes courtesy of first-year shortstop Mike Woodard, who has hit in each of his 12 major league games this year. He’s a fast one. On Monday, he grounded a ball slowly to Templeton and seemingly would be thrown out. But, with Woodard being so quick, Templeton didn’t even have time to throw.
Wooosh. Woodard was standing on first.
Woodard was stranded there, however, which new manager Roger Craig has become accustomed to in his five days with the Giants.
Still, he defends his club, saying “I ain’t been playing with a full deck. My best player, Chili Davis, is hurt. Jeff Leonard is hurt, and so is David Green (although both Leonard and Green played Monday). Two of my starting picthers are probably out for the season. I’ve never seen so many injuries in my life.”
It is sort of kooky. Davis was hurt about a week ago when he slipped on the slick dugout steps in Cincinnati and dislocated his left shoulder. He’s out fo the year.
Craig, though, manages to keep his mood upbeat. He was the Padre manager in 1978 and 1979 and lives in nearby Alpine. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it home Monday to see his three dogs and three horses.
“My dogs are outside,” he said. “They don’t mind ‘cause they never come inside the house anyway.”
A sarcastic sort asked if his dogs can pitch.
“They can catch,” Craig said, entirely serious. “One goes and gets my paper every morning.”