San Francisco Giants President Al Rosen said this spring that he’d be willing to bet his net worth that his team would not lose 100 games this season, as it had for the first time in its history in 1985.
Asked what he was worth, Rosen said Friday: “Enough so I’d be busted if I lost.”
Any more games like the Giants’ 9-8 win in 12 innings over the Dodgers Friday night and Rosen might be tempted to reconsider.
The Giants, who took advantage of four Dodger errors to build an 8-1 lead through six innings, blew that advantage when they turned the game over to their bullpen.
But after the Dodgers had tied the score, 8-8, on Mike Scioscia’s two-run double in the ninth, the Giants won it on Brad Gulden’s two-out single in the 12th.
Gulden’s hit came after Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda elected to have pitcher Tom Niedenfuer intentionally walk a batter named Clark--in this case the Giants’ rookie, Will Clark, not St. Louis Cardinals slugger Jack Clark.
The Dodgers had scored four runs in the seventh and three in the ninth. But then, with two out in the ninth and Scioscia on second, reliever Jeff Robinson, the fifth Giant pitcher, struck out Steve Sax and Enos Cabell to send the game into extra innings.
In the 10th, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out on two infield hits and an error by Giant second baseman Rob Thompson. But Robinson--throwing nothing but split-fingered fastballs--struck out Mike Marshall on three pitches and also fanned Franklin Stubbs.
In the 12th, ex-Dodger Candy Maldonado doubled and attempted to score on Dan Gladden’s single. But Stubbs, shifted from left to center as Lasorda used 20 players, charged the ball and threw a strike to Scoscia, who blocked the plate and tagged out Maldonado.
That was the second Giant runner that Scioscia had kept from scoring. In the second inning, he tagged out Chris Brown, who was attempting to score on Roger Mason’s single, Marshall getting the assist.
Any fears about the Dodgers’ hitting proved misdirected Friday.
They knew sooner or later they would hit. Friday, it came later as Stubbs cranked a three-run home run in the seventh and an RBI single in the ninth,
No one knows, however, whether this Dodger team can field.
The evidence suggests otherwise. The Dodgers led the majors with 166 errors last season, and after four errors Friday night before a restless crowd of 34,690 at Dodger Stadium, they’ve now made nine errors in their first five games of 1986.
One misplay proved especially costly. It came with two out in the third inning, when Ken Landreaux first turned the wrong way on Bob Melvin’s bases-loaded drive to center, then dropped the ball on a diving attempt.
Three runs scored, and four more followed in the fourth, three on Jeff Leonard’s second homer of the season.
The Dodgers, held to one run through the first six innings by Mason, scored four in the seventh against Mike LaCoss.
In the eighth, they put two more runners on, but ex-Giant Alex Trevino bounced into an inning-ending double play.
There were five hit batsmen in the game, three of them Dodgers.
Only the 1970 Dodgers (four runs in the first four games) had scored fewer runs at the start of the season than this team, which scored five runs in four games against San Diego.
“And we’re still 2-2,” Bill Russell said before Friday night’s game. “Who keeps track of those things?”
Russell came up with the Dodgers in 1969 but was sent down just before the start of the ’70 season.
“That must have been it,” said Russell, explaining why the Dodgers got off to such a slow start that season.
Five members of the Dodger starting lineup came into the game hitting below .200. Duncan was at .118, Landreaux .000, Greg Brock .154, Stubbs .143 and Scioscia .125.
Before the game, Duncan (2 for 17 after a club-record 10 triples this spring) took some extra batting practice with coach Manny Mota.
“He’s got to learn to lay off the high pitch, that’s all,” Manager Tom Lasorda said.
“We’ll get ‘em. We know they can hit. We know they’re going to hit.”
Until Stubbs cleared the 395-foot sign in center field in the seventh, it appeared that Lasorda would have to wait another night for Stubbs. The young left fielder came into the game with a streak of four consecutive strikeouts--three times he struck out against Andy Hawkins Wednesday night, then Goose Gossage fanned him as a pinch-hitter Thursday.
Friday night, Stubbs stranded five base-runners in his first three at-bats. After Giant starter Roger Mason walked the bases loaded in the first, Stubbs bounced out to shortstop Jose Uribe.
In the fifth, Landreaux singled, Bill Madlock was hit by a pitch and Brock singled for the Dodgers’ first run, making it, 7-1. But Mike Marshall flied to right, and Stubbs struck out to end the inning.
The Giants lost their third baseman, Brown, in the second inning after he fell into the Dodger dugout in pursuit of Scioscia’s foul fly. As he approached the dugout, Brown went into a slide, but when he saw he still had a play, he reached for the ball and fell onto the dugout floor.
The initial report was that Brown had suffered a bruised right shoulder and a bruised and cut left knee. He was taken to Centinela Hospital Medical Center.
Reuss, who had hoped to “put an end to all the BS” with a good outing Friday, instead was gone by the fourth. Reuss was done in by Landreaux’s bases-loaded error in the third.
In the fourth, Uribe singled, stole second, was sacrificed to third and scored on Gladden’s hit. After Gladden stole second, Reuss walked Clark, which brought Lasorda to the mound and Carlos Diaz out of the bullpen.
Diaz, who gave up an RBI single to Terry Kennedy, the only man he faced in the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss to the Padres Thursday night, got a break when Duncan turned Davis’ infield hit into an out at the plate, gunning down Gladden trying to score.
But then Leonard, now known as Jeffrey after going by Jeff since he broke into pro ball in 1973, belted his second home run of the season, and it was 7-0.
Dodger Notes Pedro Guerrero was examined Friday by Dr. Frank Jobe, who reported that Guerrero was experiencing minimal pain and had no fever in the aftermath of last week’s operation on his left knee. Guerrero will be examined again Tuesday. . . . Ex-Dodger Candy Maldonado visited Guerrero at his home Friday. “I’m hanging in there,” said Maldonado, whose pinch triple gave the Giants a win in their opener. “You’re always glad to be in a place that wants you.” Maldonado was traded to the Giants last December for catcher Alex Trevino. “The thing I miss the most is I can’t see Pedro play every day,” he said. “That’s all I miss about the Dodgers. Simple as that.” When it was suggested to Maldonado that if he were still here he’d be playing left field in place of the injured Guerrero, he shook his head. “They would have done the same thing, he said, alluding to the Dodgers’ signing of Cesar Cedeno. “Or platooned me.” . . . Giant pitcher Atlee Hammaker, who went on the disabled list last Monday with an apparently mysterious illness that had defied the diagnosis of half a dozen doctors, rejoined the team Friday and said he’ll begin throwing, assuming his sore left knee holds up. “They haven’t found anything to the point I can’t perform,” said Hammaker, who had complained of weakness this spring and recently completed a battery of tests at the Stanford Medical Center. “They won’t know anything for another 10 days.” Giant President Al Rosen, asked if the final diagnosis was no diagnosis, nodded his head. “If they can’t find anything, then I think it’s time to pick up the ball, walk to the mound, tell somebody you’re king of the hill and see how that works,” Rosen said. “We’ve tried everything else we can.” . . . Rosen was with Houston when pitcher J.R. Richard suffered a stroke after management had publicly questioned whether Richard really was ill. “If a player says he’s not doing well, you have to believe him,” Rosen said. “But when you’ve done that, gone to doctors upon doctors upon doctors, sometimes you have to say, ‘Let’s go get them.’ ”