Show was the losing pitcher Tuesday night in a game that gave us something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Show was the blue one, because he felt he deserved better than his fifth loss of the season. In the first inning, the Mets scored a run because second baseman Joey Cora bobbled a perfect double-play ball that could have ended the rally. Show's anger festered as he walked three consecutive Mets--Kevin McReynolds, Darryl Strawberry and Howard Johnson--to force in a run.
The Padre frustration continued. In the third inning, Kevin Mitchell struck out with two outs and the bases loaded. In the fifth, Stan Jefferson was called out by second-base umpire Dick Stello, but the television replay showed Jefferson beating the tag. That cost the Padres a run because, minutes later, first baseman Carmelo Martinez blasted a three-run home run to deep left, tying the score at 4-4.
Finally, in the ninth, the Padres loaded the bases with two outs. And Met reliever Roger McDowell was looking rattled. After Jefferson singled to load the bases, McDowell tried to smack the ball into his glove in disgust, but the ball missed his glove and nearly rolled into left field--tempting Marvell Wynne to try to score from third. Wynne stayed put and Cora grounded out to end the game.
Show felt this was all completely unfair, even though Manager Larry Bowa thought the Padres gave it the good ol' college try Tuesday night.
"It was like it was providence, fate," Show said. "I didn't have seven runs to work with (as Dave Dravecky had Monday night) or balls hit right at people. And I'd like to know what a strike is. I'd like a definition of the strike zone. There were some weird calls (by home-plate umpire Gerry Davis). I just felt I was battling things beyond my control, but that's been the story of my career.
"I don't know who pulls the strings of fate as far as a baseball game goes, but it could have gone a lot differently. As usual, it didn't."
Bowa pulls the strings for the Padres, and he took Show out with the score tied in the seventh inning after Keith Hernandez singled and former Padre Kevin McReynolds walked. Darryl Strawberry, who was the next batter, had hit a vicious double off Show earlier and was 11 for 21 lifetime against Show.
So Bowa brought in Goose Gossage, (something old), who ended having his best outing of the season. Gossage said he threw some "damn good sliders" to Strawberry, but he walked him anyway because Strawberry had the maturity to stay away from the off-speed pitches.
This loaded the bases for Met third baseman Howard Johnson, who lined a ball to deep right, scoring Hernandez with the winning run. Gossage, who was recently on the disabled list with a rib injury, then got out of the inning quickly and threw a scoreless eighth inning as well.
"It felt good to have some adrenaline again," said Gossage, who for the first time this season was pitching with a game on the line. "I'm still kind of in spring training now, but I felt good. And I love throwing in New York. I'm not berating San Diego fans at all, but everything is more aggressive in the East. You have to be as aggressive as the people are here. That's why I was aggressive tonight. Heck, I like rowdy."
It wasn't enough for the Padres, but in the ninth, they showed something new and something borrowed. With two out and no one on, Bowa sent Wynne to pinch-hit for shortstop Garry Templeton, a new development. Templeton--a switch-hitter--is having trouble from the left-side of the plate and was batting only from the right side Tuesday night. Bowa used Wynne against the right-handed McDowell.
"I gave my left-handed swing a day off," said Templeton, who also admits his knees hurt more when he swings left-handed. "I'm thinking too much left-handed. Right-handed is my natural side anyway. I told Larry if the situation comes up where another guy is hitting pretty good, get my butt out of there."
Wynne--who had had a pinch-hit single the night before--singled again. But Cora, who could be on borrowed time, made that final out.
Cora has had trouble at the plate and in the field lately, and Bowa admitted Tuesday that Cora might be sent down to Triple-A as soon as this weekend.
"A lot depends on these next couple games," Bowa said.
Padre Notes Jack McKeon, the Padre general manager, continues to have trade talks with both the Mets and Yankees, and the Yankees definitely have an interest in Padre shortstop Garry Templeton. McKeon says one member of their front office--he's not sure which one--asked who he would trade, and McKeon answered: "Anyone . . . except Tony Gwynn." Then, the Yankee official said: "That includes your shortstop?" And McKeon said yes. Again Tuesday, McKeon said he's looking for power hitters in return, and team sources said he likes such people as third baseman Mike Pagliarulo and outfielder Dan Pasqua, among others. . . . McKeon says rookie center fielder Stan Jefferson could be a leadoff hitter in the mold of a Tim Raines or Rickey Henderson. "Someday, he could hit 20 homers," McKeon said of Jefferson. Right now, the Padres are higher on Jefferson than any of the other players acquired in the Kevin McReynolds deal (outfielder Shawn Abner, third baseman Kevin Mitchell and minor league pitchers Kevin Armstrong and Kevin Brown). . . . Met left fielder McReynolds, asked if his ex-team, the Padres, miss him, said: "I don't think they miss any one person. They have a lot of gaps to fill. Every team needs power, and the way I look at it, Tony Gwynn probably will lead the team in home runs with between 15 and 20." Of former Manager Dick Williams (they used to feud), he said: "I think it's evident what I think of him. Why should I change my feelings? I don't see him in any different light." Of last year's Manager Steve Boros, he said: "I enjoyed playing for him last year. He helped me as much as anybody in my three years there, just the quiet confidence he had in me. He realized the type of player I was and could accept the fact. That's all you can expect from a manager." On whether he goofed by turning down a six-year, $4.5-million contract in 1985: "I still think I did the best thing. I could have had six years, but basically it would have been the same money Tony Gwynn has, and how does he feel now? Not happy."