18-1 : Giants Rout Padres; Pitcher Homers Off Pinch-Hitter
After this Giant mess was over, San Francisco catcher Bob Brenly let out a big whoop and said:"Who’s the official scorekeeper?Who’s the official scorekeeper?We’ve got to send him some flowers!”
The Giants--who are making opponents cower--ran up a score Monday. They defeated the San Diego Padres, 18-1, and if you want some images, there were plenty.
There was LaMarr Hoyt, the San Diego starter, sitting aimlessly at his locker stall. Three years ago, he won a Cy Young Award, but now he only sighs. Asked the difference between 1983 and 1986, he said: “Luck.”
Here’s what he meant: Monday, the Giants scored five times in the first inning on seven singles, three of those hits never leaving the infield.
And there was Vida Blue, waving in runs from the bullpen. In the seventh inning, San Francisco’s Candy Maldonado ripped a ball to deep right with two men on, and Blue grabbed the nearest towel and made like a third-base coach. “Run, run, run!” he screamed.
And there was San Diego Manager Steve Boros--out of pitchers--turning to his top pinch-hitter, Dane Iorg, and asking him to take the mound in the eighth.
Iorg said: “Why not?”
Then, Giant pitcher Mike LaCoss hit the first home run of his career.
Said LaCoss: “It definitely was a tainted home run.”
Then, Giant infielder Mike Woodard hit the first home run of his career.
Said Woodard: “Describe it? It was like batting practice. They gave me the game ball. But I’ll hide this one in the back of my locker. When I get one off a real pitcher, I’ll put it up front. This one will have an asterisk by it.”
Said Iorg: “Well, I wouldn’t want to pitch with the game on the line. But I’ve thrown batting practice. I can throw strikes. I proved that today. . . . Some fans were yelling at me. They were saying: ‘Can I hit off you? Will you stay after so I can take some hacks? I know I can hit you!’ ”
Said teammate Tim Flannery: “Well, my wife could hit you, too.”
Iorg actually got out of the inning by striking out Giant outfielder Randy Kutcher with a slider.
“I throw fastball, change-up, slider, breaking ball, whatever,” Iorg said. “Actually, I don’t think it’s been defined yet.”
After the game, Iorg approached catcher Bruce Bochy, saying:"Hey, Bruce, how hard was I throwing? In the 80s?”
Bochy answered: “80s? That’s you’re ERA.”
His ERA is really 36.00
“Thirty-six?” Bochy said. “That’s how hard he was throwing--36 m.p.h.
“He didn’t have no control, no velocity, got behind hitters, didn’t cover first and crossed me up. I think he lost his job as the 11th pitcher. I wanted to see what Dane had. He’d been talking like he had good stuff. . . . “
You want more images?
The Giants are still in first place.
“I know it’s premature to say we’re going to win it,” Giant pitcher Mike Krukow said. “But we’re going to win it.”
They have won 5 straight, 6 of 7 and 15 of 23. The last time they scored 18 runs was 1965. Monday, they had 21 hits.
“This was reminiscent of a 9 o’clock spring training game in Yuma, Ariz., four months ago,” Brenly said. “But that’s the great thing about baseball. You can score 700,000 runs in a game, and come back the next day and hardly be able to score a run.”
Speaking of next days, the Giants drew 47,000 Sunday but had only 10,604 at Candlestick Park Monday.
“The way we’re going right now, we’re at a rate of (drawing) about a million-six, which is still, for most clubs, a disaster,” team owner Bob Lurie told the San Francisco Examiner. “Most clubs draw over two million. And we’re not even at our break-even. Our break-even happens to be under 2 million. Most clubs have break-evens at 2 million or more. And we’re not even close to that.
“So, sure, I think the attendence (Sunday) is marvelous. Sure, we’re excited about it. We’re excited about being in first place. Last year was a bankruptcy year. Eight hundred thousand people. We’re working at a pace almost double of that. But you can’t say that’s good by major league standards today.
“I can’t get excited and say that this is a major league park. The mayor even agrees that it’s not a major league park. Everybody in baseball agrees.”
But nobody agreed this would happen.
The Giants in first.
The Padres managed only three hits off LaCoss, who ran his record to 7-2, but Flannery admitted: “I’d rather lose like this than 1-0.”
The Iorg ordeal added the comic relief.
“Dane blew it,” Flannery said. “We were down 14-1 when he came in, but we were gonna come back. He blew it.”