A walk here and a balk there, and the Padres were back in the game. Then, a double from a lame-duck catcher won the game and sent those famed Philly fans into a tizzy.
Grown men stood up in their seats and made obscene gestures at reliever Steve Bedrosian, who couldn’t even throw a strike warming up. Ballard Smith, Jack McKeon and Bobby Brown also stood up in their seats, but they clapped.
Bobby Brown? He was the last player released by the Padres this spring, and he has just opened an ice cream store in nearby Atlantic City. He came up for the game, sat between team president Smith and general manager McKeon and then bolted into the Padre clubhouse afterward and said, “See! You guys never lose with me around!”
But they sure made it interesting. The Padres trailed, 5-1, entering the ninth, but the final score Wednesday night was 7-5. They scored all six of their runs with two outs. And this was how Manager Steve Boros celebrated his 50th birthday.
“Yep, it was my birthday, and what a great birthday present,” Boros said. “I’ll remember this day a long time. . . . This was something we hadn’t done all year long. Maybe this is gonna be a lot of fun this last month.”
How they scored . . .
Facing Phillie starter Mike Maddux, Graig Nettles opened the ninth with a single. But Garry Templeton and pinch-hitter Marvell Wynne made outs. Tim Flannery singled Nettles to second, and then the game appeared to be over when Tony Gwynn grounded to second baseman Juan Samuel.
“I was gonna jog down the line, but I took one step and got down the line pretty quick. I looked up and Samuel booted it,” said Gwynn.
Bedrosian (22 saves) replaced Maddux.
In warmups, he threw a wild pitch.
He walked John Kruk with the bases loaded; he gave up an RBI single to Kevin McReynolds (who had four hits and raised his average to .290); he balked in a run with the bases loaded; he walked Steve Garvey; he gave up a three-run, game-winning double to catcher Terry Kennedy.
“I guess I started aiming the ball,” said Bedrosian, who also said he wanted to get out this place and go to bed.
Kennedy, meanwhile, says he has already been told that Benito Santiago--the Padres’ Triple-A catcher--will start in the big leagues next season. So Kennedy is sure he’ll be traded.
“I think of my situation that I know I’m on my last days here and I could go through the motions, but I don’t want to do that to the team,” Kennedy said. “Whatever the future holds, that’ll happen. Right now, I’ll play.”
Kennedy’s eyes grew wide. Then he addressed the entire clubhouse:
“Hey guys! Can I ride the team bus now?”
Padre Notes Padre President Ballard Smith will complete this trip with the team, but he said he will not hold a club meeting. “We’ve had enough meetings,” he said. Smith admitted he has made mistakes this season. “The major mistake I made was not paying enough attention to the ballclub,” he said. “But that will no longer be the case.” . . . Lance McCullers, Goose Gossage’s replacement, has closed out all four Padre victories on this trip and has earned two saves and one victory. McCullers originally was drafted by the Phillies, but was traded to San Diego in 1983 and says he has always tried too hard against his ex-team. “I used to get hit by them because of that,” he said. “Now, I’m finding it’s more fun to strike them out. My buddy, Chris James, plays for them now, and I struck him out. He said, ‘Ah man,’ and I said: ‘It was right there for you.’ It’s fun.”
PADRES AT A GLANCE
Scorecard FIRST INNING
Phillies--Redus singled to right. Thompson walked. Hayes grounded to first, Redus taking third and Hayes stopping at second. Schmidt homered to left, his 30th. Wilson and Samuel flied to center. Three runs, two hits.
Padres--Garvey bunted toward third for a single. Kennedy flied to center. Nettles singled to center, Garvey stopping at second. Templeton doubled to left, Garvey scoring and Nettles taking third. Hoyt struck out. Flannery grounded to second. One run, three hits, two left.
Phillies--Walter pitching. With one out, Thompson singled to right and stopped at second on a wild pitch. Hayes singled to left, Thompson scoring and Hayes stopping at second on a throw to the plate. Schmidt was walked intentionally. Stoddard replaced Walter. Wilson beat out a grounder to short for a single, Hayes scoring and Schmidt stopping at second. Samuel flied to center. Reynolds grounded to the pitcher. Two runs, three hits, two left.
Padres--Nettles singled to center. Templeton flied to center. Wynne, batting for Stoddard, flied to left. Flannery singled to center, Nettles stopping at second. Gwynn reached on Samuel’s error, loading the bases. Bedrosian replaced Maddux. Kruk walked, Nettles scoring. McReynolds singled to left, Flannery scoring, Gwynn taking third and Kruk stopping at second. Roberts ran for Kruk. Bedrosian balked, Gwynn scoring and the runners advancing to second and third. Garvey walked, loading the bases. Kennedy doubled to left center, McReynolds, Roberts and Garvey scoring and Kennedy taking third on Thompson’s error. Nettles flied to center. Six runs, four hits, one error, one left.