Tim Flannery’s bases-loaded single in the 11th inning gave the Padres a 4-3 victory over Cincinnati in their home opener Friday night, and if there’s one thing about new San Diego Manager Steve Boros, he certainly gives everyone a chance to play.
Pitcher Mark Thurmond got to be a pinch-hitter.
Pitcher Dave Dravecky got to be a pinch-runner.
And Flannery came through in a pinch in front of 52,934 fans.
Marvell Wynne had opened the 11th with a single to center, and then Red reliever Ted Power made the biggest blunder of the night. Jerry Royster, following Wynne, bunted. Power slipped as he threw to first, and the ball drifted wide of second baseman Ron Oester, who was covering. Wynne ran to third.
Next, Garry Templeton was walked intentionally to load the bases. Padre catcher Bruce Bochy then grounded to shortstop Dave Concepcion, who was playing in, and Concepcion forced Wynne at the plate.
The bases still were loaded when Flannery jolted one of Power’s pitches to deep center, way over the head of center fielder Eric Davis, who was playing shallow.
So, after all that, nobody will remember Tony Gwynn’s near-home run with the score tied 2-2 in the eighth. He had smacked one deep to left-center, but 23-year-old Davis leaped up and caught it, the force of the ball clapping his glove against the fence. Gwynn, for a second, thought it had gone out, and he was in the midst of a home run trot. But Davis hurled the ball in to the pitcher.
And nobody will remember Bo Diaz’ ninth-inning homer that gave the Reds a 3-2 lead. He hit it off of reliever Craig Lefferts, who had replaced starter Eric Show the previous inning. Show had not thrown poorly, giving up only six hits and two runs--Dave Parker’s third-inning homer brought in both--but he was lifted for pinch-hitter John Kruk with the score tied 2-2 in the seventh.
Boros made every move possible. There was Thurmond pinch-hitting for Goose Gossage in the 10th because Kruk had been used in the seventh and because Dane Iorg, Bochy, Bip Roberts, Wynne and Royster had been used--Roberts and Wynne as pinch-runners--in the ninth.
Nobody else was left.
It was not a sane ninth inning. Trailing 3-2, Steve Garvey led off and grounded out, but Terry Kennedy singled to right off of Red reliever John Franco. Roberts pinch-ran for Kennedy and reached second when Oester mishandled pinch-hitter Iorg’s ground ball. Iorg was safe at first, too.
Dravecky was sent in to run for Iorg only because the pitcher is adept at breaking up double plays. The other night in Los Angeles, he had decked Mariano Duncan on a possible double play, and Boros remembered. Royster then singled to left, which resulted in a play at the plate. Roberts had been waved in by third base coach Jack Krol, and he just beat left fielder Tracy Jones’ throw.
It was tied.
Now, Boros replaced Dravecky with Wynne, for he wasn’t worrying about double plays any more. Royster and Wynne were moved to second and third on Templeton’s ground out, and, with two outs, pinch-hitter Bochy was walked intentionally.
The bases were loaded for Flannery.
He popped out, sending the game to extra innings.
Parker said hello to his old friend Show in the third inning. On Show’s first pitch to him, Parker belted a two-run homer over the right-center field fence--a line drive that had little arc to it.
Show had seen it all before. A year ago, Parker was 5 for 10 with two homers against Show.
Later that inning, Kevin McReynolds said hello to his old swing. With Gwynn on first base, McReynolds hit John Denny’s 3-1 pitch over the left-field fence, and this one did have an arc to it. The game was tied. The sellout crowd stood for him, and McReynolds responded by tipping his cap.
What? McReynolds showing emotion? His agent, Tom Selakovich, had urged him to do so, and he followed through. Last season, McReynolds never emerged from Manager Dick Williams’ doghouse, and some fans (and teammates) thought he was dogging it, thereafter. But he had six hits in his first four games, and now this.
Teammate and former roommate Kruk said of McReynolds: “I told him: ‘I’m gonna get you out of your shell, get you talking.’ And he said: ‘No you ain’t.’ ”
But McReynolds’ bat is talking pretty loud.
Gwynn’s bat perked up a little, too. He had been 3 for 17 (.176) prior to Friday, but he had two singles and suddenly was up to .263. Later, he grounded out and was down to .250. This game plays havoc with your nerves, he said.
Other hitting items: Graig Nettles, who’d been hitless in seven at-bats, had his first hit--a line single in the fourth. Carmelo Martinez struck out his first three times up, and now has nine for the season, the team high. The Reds’ Kal Daniels, a 22-year-old rookie, had his first major league hit. It was a single lined hard to first, scooting under Garvey’s glove.
Pete Rose, who has 4,204 career hits, didn’t play Friday because he had placed himself on the disabled list last week. He’d had the flu.
He won’t say how many games he’ll play this year.
“I don’t really like to put a number on it,” he said. I’ll really just see how things go. If I do the job, I’ll play a lot. If I don’t, I won’t play a lot. I don’t think I can sit here and give you a number (of games). If you do that, then you have a tendency to start doing something I’ve never done in my career--pick your spots. That’s one thing about me. I’ve played against the Fernando’s (Valenzuela) and against the Dwight Goodens’ and Nolan Ryans’ and J.R. Richards’ and Sandy Koufax’ and (Don) Drysdales’ and (Juan) Marichals’ and Bob Friend and Warren Spahn, and I didn’t duck any of them, and I’m not going to start now. If I can do the job, I’ll be in there. I don’t care who’s pitching.”