After 4 Rainouts, Dodgers Pour It On Giants in 10-3 Rout
The Dodgers emerged from the visiting clubhouse early Saturday afternoon and, to their astonishment, found that the sun actually had made an appearance for the first time in almost a week.
After four consecutive rainouts, the Dodgers not only were well rested but also restless to play a game. They didn’t even need a brief reintroduction to the sport, pounding the San Francisco Giants, 10-3, behind Mike Marshall’s grand slam and Alfredo Griffin’s three-run triple.
If the Dodgers had any rustiness caused by the rainouts, it was not apparent on this sunny day. Orel Hershiser, working on seven days’ rest, allowed one run in six innings to improve his record to 4-0. His earned-run average increased slightly from 1.03 to 1.11.
“Hey, this would be a good rotation for me,” said Hershiser, subjected to derisive chants from some in the crowd of 33,271 at Candlestick Park: “Pitch once every eight days.”
Even after such an impressive return, following the forced hiatus, Dodger players said that it somehow didn’t feel right to be back at work.
“You do come back strong after that time off,” Griffin said. “But you don’t have timing. We score 10 runs today. Why not let’s take a couple more days off before playing again.”
Why not, indeed. The Dodgers (10-4) benefited from this two-games-a-week formula, winning both and forging ahead of the Houston Astros into first place in the National League West. The time off also enabled two injured regulars--Kirk Gibson and Steve Sax--to return.
While the Dodgers seemingly made all the right moves Saturday--”You guys (reporters) haven’t been able to second-guess me all week because of the rainouts,” Manager Tom Lasorda chortled--Giant decision-makers had a bad day.
It began even before the first pitch, when a vote of Dodger players overturned the Giants’ plans for making up Friday night’s rainout on Monday night--originally a day off for the teams. Since teams are not required to come to the ballpark for more than 20 consecutive days, the Dodgers could--and did--veto the plans of Giant General Manager Al Rosen. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader in July.
“It’s difficult for me to understand why a team that had four days off can invoke the 20-day rule,” an indignant Rosen said. “Seems to me they would want to go back to work.”
The Dodgers’ return to action Saturday was made easier by a few questionable decisions by Giant Manager Roger Craig, who saw each backfire.
With the Giants trailing, 6-3, in the ninth inning and only first base open, Craig chose to have pitcher Atlee Hammaker intentionally walk Pedro Guerrero, bringing up Marshall against right-hander Don Robinson.
A year ago this week, Craig made the same move in an extra-inning game at Candlestick Park, and Marshall hit a game-winning three-run home run. That night, Marshall punctuated the blast by pointing a finger at Craig.
Second-guessers were the only ones pointing at Craig Saturday. Marshall powered an inside fastball over the left-field fence to crush any Giant comeback hopes. It was Marshall’s first home run this season and his sixth career grand slam.
“I don’t blame any manager for walking Pete,” Marshall said. “He’s one of the top five hitters in the National League. It’s important that I do the job, because batting in the fifth slot is important on this team. The most important thing is that, next time, maybe Pete will get to hit.”
Regardless of the result, Craig said his decision was logical.
“Ninety percent of the people in this room would have made that move,” Craig said. “Guerrero was hitting .460 off Hammaker, and I’d rather have a right-hander like Marshall hit against Robinson. Give the guy (Marshall) credit.”
Before that, though, Craig may have been guilty of another error in judgment. He let starter Mike Krukow try to pitch out of a seventh-inning jam in what had been a 1-1 tie.
Krukow walked Marshall, who went to second on Mike Davis’ ground-out. After Mike Devereaux flied to right field for the second out, Krukow walked hot-hitting Mike Scioscia and pinch-hitter Danny Heep, loading the bases. Up came Sax, who bunted down the third-base line, surprising Giant fielders and Marshall. Marshall scored, and Sax beat out the bunt without drawing a throw to first, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
“I thought about it in the on-deck circle, and I was hoping not to give it away,” Sax said.
Craig stayed with Krukow against Alfredo Griffin, hitting .210 going into that at-bat. But Griffin slashed a very high, very inside fastball down the right-field line for a triple, giving the Dodgers a 5-1 lead. Although Griffin has only 13 hits this season, he leads the Dodgers with 13 runs batted in.
“I hope it’ll be like that all season,” Griffin said, referring to his hits-to-RBIs ratio. “Then, you can call me a money player.”
More impressive than the Dodger hitting, which has been dormant most of the season, has been the success of the pitching staff.
The Giants didn’t exactly knock around Hershiser for their only run against him. Kevin Mitchell led off the fourth inning with a single, then stole second as Will Clark struck out. Mitchell went to third on Hershiser’s wild pitch and scored on Mike Aldrete’s two-out single beyond the reach of Guerrero at third base.
“You can’t feel like you’re finely tuned after such a layoff,” Hershiser said. “But it ends up like any other outing. You take the tools you have that day with you. That’s a pretty tough (Giant) lineup to go through. Even if you’re throwing well, you’re always struggling.”
Tim Belcher, not scheduled to start again until Thursday because of the rainouts, took over for Hershiser and struck out the side in the seventh. Belcher also struck out the side in the eighth, but sandwiched between the strikeouts was Clark’s two-run home run that cut the lead to 5-3.
Jay Howell, who had made only two appearances all season, protected that 10-3 lead, retiring the side in the ninth.
After Howell struck out Robby Thompson to end the game, the Dodgers returned to the clubhouse and went through their postgame rituals. It was the first time in five days that they hadn’t had their showers on the field.
More on the Dodger-Giant rivalry, pregame style: Immediately after Friday night’s rainout, Giant management announced that the makeup game would be played Monday night--originally a day off for both teams. The Giants checked with the National League office and were given permission to reschedule without checking with the Dodgers. That move upset some of the Dodgers. The Giants apparently were not aware of a rule preventing a team from playing more than 20 consecutive days. The Dodgers voted Saturday morning for a compromise by playing a Monday afternoon game. “This is our ballpark,” Giant Manager Roger Craig said. “We’ll dictate when we want to play.” Giant General Manager Al Rosen told Tom Lasorda, the Dodger manager, that his “inmates are running the asylum.” The Giants finally decided to play a doubleheader July 26, nearing the end of a 15-day Dodger trip. “We had the option not to play,” said Dave Anderson, Dodger player representative. “A lot of the guys didn’t think it would be beneficial for us to play a night game (Monday), then fly home and start a series the next day. We would have liked to play Monday, but in the afternoon. A lot of our (reserves) voted to play Monday because they want to get in a game. I think the Giants should have looked at our schedule and figured out that they should have talked to us. But that 20-day rule was complicated by the fact we had rainouts. But the rainouts count as days worked.” . . . Lasorda briefly became enraged when a Candlestick Park security guard would not let one of coach Manny Mota’s sons into the clubhouse. Lasorda yelled at the guard until he finally relented. The Giants have a rule barring relatives from the home clubhouse, but there is no rule for the visitors.. . . . Fernando Valenzuela (1-2), the Dodgers’ scheduled starter last Tuesday through Friday, is scheduled to pitch today against Mike LaCoss (1-1).
Are you a true-blue fan?
Get our Dodgers Dugout newsletter for insights, news and much more.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.