Terry Kennedy did a hop, skip and a jump around the bases. Boy, he could dance. No one had ever seen this side of him.
Not even him.
But here’s why. In the bottom of the ninth Tuesday night, Kennedy hit a game-winning three-run homer to right field that gave San Diego a 5-4 stun-from-behind victory over the Chicago Cubs.
“Oh, I never like to show up the opposing team, but I’d never won a game with a home run in the ninth before,” Kennedy said with so many reporters around him that neighbor Garry Templeton couldn’t even make it to his locker.
“No, never in the bottom of the ninth before. I’d been waiting a long time. Lefty (pitcher Craig Lefferts) did it the other day, and I was peeved. I said, ‘Man, I’ve never done that.’ But, boy, this was nice. I couldn’t hold it in anymore.”
And Cub Manger Jim Frey couldn’t either. His Cubs had come from behind in the ninth to win here Monday night, but how could they do this to him? Blow a 4-1 lead in the ninth?
A radio reporter asked him how he could get his team going again, and he snapped: “I don’t (censored) know, son. I don’t have any idea what it’ll take for anybody to do anything. I just wanted to win this this damn game. That other (censored) doesn’t mean nothing to me right now. Not a (censored) thing.”
He stormed away.
And poor Rick Sutcliffe had stormed his way through eight full innings, yielding only three hits until the ninth. He had battled against LaMarr Hoyt, who started for the first time this season after undergoing substance abuse treatment, and Sutcliffe was clearly superior--though Hoyt gave up only two runs (one earned) and two hits in five innings.
But Sutcliffe didn’t give up a hit until the fifth.
“I’m telling you,” Tony Gwynn would moan later. “What a game, what a game, what a game. We could’ve thrown in the towel. Sutcliffe was throwing like the ’84 playoffs.”
But Marvell Wynne, leading off the ninth, waited for a Sutcliffe fastball and singled to right. Gwynn then forced Wynne at second, but beat out the double play. Then, Steve Garvey singled.
With left-handers Graig Nettles and Kennedy coming up, Frey relieved Sutcliffe with lefty Ray Fontenot.
“He (Sutcliffe) got in trouble,” Frey said. “He looked like he was struggling. And they had lefthanders coming up. It looked like a spot for a left-handed pitcher.”
Things got goofed up.
Jerry Royster, pinch-hitting for Nettles, singled in Gwynn. Two runners still stood on base.
And Padre Manager Steve Boros let Kennedy hit, rather than turning to right-handed hitting Bruce Bochy.
Kennedy tried not to be too careful.
With the count 2 and 0, Kennedy clenched his teeth and swung hard for the fences.
“So I figured I better just make good contact,” Kennedy said.
He apparently did.
Goose Gossage lost Monday’s game, then lost his temper. Here’s what happened: After Gossage gave up two ninth-inning runs, Manager Steve Boros stuck up for him and said: “I didn’t want to use Goose tonight. He has to be tired.” Naturally, reporters went and asked Gossage how tired he was, and Gossage said (uh, screamed) he wasn’t tired whatsoever. He then had reporters follow him into Boros’ office. Boros was in the shower. “Steve, Steve,” he said. “Did you tell these guys I was tired?” Boros peeked out of the shower and answered: “No. What I said was . . . " Gossage interrupted: “See, see. I thought I threw better tonight than I did yesterday.” Boros replied: “Why don’t we just talk about this in private.” But Gossage told Boros: “I’ll let everyone know when I’m tired. Including you.” Much later that night, Boros and Gossage did have their meeting, and Boros said Tuesday: “We got it all squared away. I’m sure everybody made a big deal out of it, but it was just a case where Goose never wants to make an excuse about his performance nor does he want anyone else to do so for him. And I didn’t. I just offered an opinion.”