The San Diego Padres are proving they can make anyone a hero. Bob Melvin? Sal Butera? Robby Thompson?
All three beat the Padres with home runs this year.
Now, let's welcome the Dodgers' Mike Ramsey to the list. Although he didn't hit any homers Friday night, Ramsey had three hits, including an RBI double, and he wasn't the only one who had a fun time. There was catcher Mike Scioscia--his average is now .338--with three hits, and there was left fielder Pedro Guerrero with three hits.
And since the Padres managed only four hits off Bob Welch, they lost, 5-0, before a crowd of 48,980 at Dodger Stadium. It was the first shutout of the season for the Dodgers and the 20th of Welch's career.
"He was just about perfect," Padre first baseman Steve Garvey said of Welch.
But it was Mike Ramsey who had the Padres, mainly Manager Larry Bowa, cursing. He got all of his hits off Padre starter Ed Wojna, and Bowa was so embarrassed, he decided afterward to take Wojna out of the starting rotation.
"We'll go with a four-man," Bowa said. "How long? For a while. We can't get any worse."
Welch doesn't get much better. His fastball was clocked once at 90 m.p.h.
"That's about all I got," Welch said.
His only jam came in the fourth inning after a single by Tony Gwynn and a walk to John Kruk. There was only one out, but he got Kevin Mitchell to fly to right field. And then he struck out Garvey on three pitches.
"I threw him a fastball low and away (on the third one)," Welch said. "It thought it was a pretty good pitch."
Garvey corrected him: "A perfect pitch."
Meanwhile, the Dodgers botched only one thing Friday night--a first-inning rally. Ramsey and Guerrero each singled with one out, and Mike Marshall's ground-out moved them to third and second, respectively. Scioscia then stepped up, but Padre catcher Benito Santiago saw Guerrero straying too far off the bag and threw to second base.
Guerrero couldn't get back and was caught in a rundown. Ramsey, who had been on third, suddenly took off for home, and he, too, got caught in a rundown. Mitchell made the tag, ending the inning.
But the evening got progressively better for the Dodgers. In the second inning, they went ahead, 1-0. Scioscia collected his first hit--a ground single to right field off Wojna--and Franklin Stubbs followed with a double, Scioscia stopping at third.
Tracy Woodson got the RBI with a ground-out to shortstop Garry Templeton.
Then, the Dodgers put up three more runs in the third off Wojna. Mariano Duncan, Ramsey and Guerrero had consecutive singles (Guerrero's scored Duncan), and Marshall scored Ramsey with a sacrifice fly to right. Scioscia then singled through a drawn-in infield, and Guerrero scored.
That's when Bowa came out and got Wojna.
Scioscia, who has 10 hits in his last 17 at-bats, said: "They're falling in right now. Some of the hits aren't what you call textbook, but I'll take 'em."
As usual, Scioscia's best moment came on defense. In the seventh, Templeton popped up behind the plate, and the Dodger catcher started chugging after it.
"I'm not exactly Carl Lewis," he said.
But he did a long jump to catch it, anyway, sliding on his knees and grabbing it in front of the backstop.
The Dodgers scored their fifth and final run off reliever Tom Gorman in the fourth. Duncan singled, and Ramsey drove him home with his third hit--a double to left center. By now, Ramsay was batting .286.
Ramsey, a rookie, hadn't looked so good a few weeks back, when he was in an 0-for-14 slump. But he finally got a hit against the Padres last Saturday and had gone 6 for 20 until Friday night.
"I love it, man, because I was struggling there for a while," Ramsey said. "If you keep swinging, something will happen, you know. Was I 0 for 14? I don't know what it was. I just wasn't getting no hits."
The consensus on Ramsey is that he's pretty sure of himself.
"I believed in me. If you believe in yourself, man, you can do anything."
The Padres' Bowa doesn't quite believe in his team, however.
Someone wished him luck, and he said: "I'll (bleeping) need it."
Pitcher Rick Honeycutt, who has missed two starts with a pulled muscle in his rib cage, won't miss a third. Manager Tom Lasorda announced Friday that Honeycutt will start Sunday's game against the Padres. Honeycutt threw in the bullpen Wednesday and said he felt well enough to get going again. But he'll have to take it easy at the plate, because that's how he hurt his ribs--trying to swing too hard. . . . Pitcher Alejandro Pena, who had been out with the chicken pox, rejoined the team Friday and is available for bullpen duty. . . . Steve Garvey has made no secret that he'd like to work in somebody's front office when he's through playing. He says he could be a good team president. George Argyros, the Seattle owner who bought the Padres this spring but who can't take control until he sells the Mariners, said Friday he would consider Garvey for a front office postion. "Sure, I would," Argyros said. "I like Steve. He's a good guy. I have a high regard for him. He's been in baseball a long time, he knows the game and he has a lot of value in baseball." Argyros says he has not spoken to Garvey about a front office job, and he isn't sure if any changes will be made once he takes over. "I don't anticipate making any changes in the front office at this time," Argyros said "And I don't want to intimate that I've even investigated it enough to know the difference--because I haven't--but I like (General Manager) Jack McKeon very much and (chief operating officer) Dick Freeman very much." Garvey said Friday: "Hey, I'd like to think of it (the front office position) as an option. It's a very stimulating thought to be able to implement my ideas and to make the (Padre) organization as strong as it can be." Garvey, who is on the last year of his Padre contract, has said he wants to play one or two more seasons after this one. But if the right front office job came along after this year? "If the right situation came up, you can't turn it down," Garvey said. So this could be Garvey's last season after all. And what about the Dodgers hiring Garvey for a front office job? Asked about it Friday night, owner Peter O'Malley said: "I have always admired Steve Garvey greatly, but to comment beyond that would be inappropriate. The fact that he plays for another team and comes to bat in five minutes, I'd say it's inappropriate." . . . Add Argyros: Being a resident of Newport Beach, he could have easily driven up to see Friday's Dodger-Padre game. But Commissioner Peter Ueberroth has repeatedly warned Argyros not to have any contact with the Padres. And since Argyros recently was fined $10,000 by Ueberroth for making a congratulatory phone call to Padre Manager Larry Bowa, he plans to stay away from Dodger Stadium this weekend. "You never know where the phantom will be," Argyros said of Ueberroth. "No, I'm only teasing. Actually, I've been listening to the games and watching, and I'm interested. I imagine I could buy a ticket, but I don't think it would be appropriate."