Early Curtain for Show, Padres : Baseball: Tim Wallach drove in eight of the Expos’ 15 runs and Oil Can Boyd pitched a shutout.
Eric Show was sure this was going to be the day he finally won a game.
Before he took the mound for the Padres against the Montreal Expos Sunday at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, Show said, “I feel great. I feel like I’m going to kick butt out there. I feel like every day is the day, but I feel it more than ever today.”
So much for premonitions.
Show not only didn’t prove himself a prophet; he suffered through the worst outing of what so far has been a season of total disaster. He was gone after just 2 1/3 innings, during which he was mauled for six hits and seven runs, and the Padres’ shaky bullpen took it from there to a resounding 15-0 defeat.
If you want to stretch the point a bit, you can say that Show might have met a better fate if he could have avoided pitching to Tim Wallach. The Expo third baseman produced six of the seven runs off Show with a pair of three-run homers en route to tying the club record of eight runs batted in.
But while Wallach was the prime culprit, there were more than enough other untoward things to make Mother’s Day forgettable for the slump-ridden Show. The winningest pitcher in Padre history with 94 victories now has an 0-5 record, a 7.88 earned run average and a future punctuated by a question mark.
“I had another bad day, basically,” Show said afterward. “Three-run homers are going to do you in every time. It’s not my arm, and it’s not my stuff. I’m just not making the pitches I have to make.”
Whatever the reason for Show’s latest failure, the 16,197 paying fans showed him no mercy. They booed him after both of Wallach’s home runs, when he walked to the dugout after the three-run first inning, and when he was finally yanked with one out in the third.
To his credit, Show took such rude treatment gracefully.
“They have a right to boo,” he said. “When their team is down 3-0 by the first inning and 7-0 by the third, they have a right to boo They pay their money. If I’m a fan and come to the ballpark on Mother’s Day, I’m excited about getting a win.
“I’ve never been a fan, so I don’t understand the mindset of the fans. But I can understand why they’d be upset, and booing is their way to express that. I’m sure that if I were in their shoes, I’d be upset, too.”
Almost obscured by Show’s troubles and the general dreariness of the Padres’ play were several first-rate performances on the other side. Wallach, who added a double and a single to his two home runs, had company among the elite from Oil Can Boyd, who survived nine hits for his first shutout in five years; Larry Walker, who victimized Calvin Schiraldi with the Expos’ third three-run homer, and Mike Fitzgerald, a .241 lifetime hitter whose three-for-three day boosted his average from .189 to .250.
Wallach, who joined Chris Speier and Andre Dawson in the Expo record book with his eight runs batted in, said, “This was my best game ever. Those weren’t bad pitches I hit, either. The first one was on the inner part of the plate, and the second wasn’t terrible.”
On a more general note, Wallach said, “I’ve always been pretty much a streaky hitter. I can be as good as anybody or as bad as anybody. I’d love to get as hot as I can as long as I don’t get as cold as I can.”
Boyd, new to the National League after a stormy stay of seven years with the Boston Red Sox, entered the game with a 1-2 record and a 5.86 ERA. He had not won since his debut on April 11, although he had pitched well his last time out.
“I talked to myself all the way through the game,” said the eccentric right-hander. “That’s something I stopped doing two years ago, but the last two games, I’ve been doing it again. Basically, I’m hearing my own thoughts.”
Show’s thoughts, meanwhile, turned to what might happen next in a career that has been laced with ups and downs. He even brought up the possibility of going to the bullpen.
“Whatever changes they have to make, I’ll go along with,” he said. “I want to make it clear that I’m not suggesting anything, but if I’m not helping the team this way, I want to do something to help. I want to be productive, and I haven’t been productive lately--in my last two starts, at least.”
Actually, Show has been beaten up in his last three starts. He has yielded 17 hits and 15 runs in 6 2/3 innings, not once lasting as long as four innings. The Padres have lost those three games by a cumulative score of 34-6.
When Manager Jack McKeon was told about Show’s willingness to do bullpen duty, he laughed and said, “I get a kick out of that. Now the guy is telling me what I’m going to do. I thought I was managing this ballclub.”
Still, it wouldn’t be a major upset if Show went to the bullpen, especially since Mike Dunne, who is due in from Las Vegas to join the staff, is essentially a starter.
Pitching Coach Pat Dobson more or less confirmed this possibility when he said, “Sometimes when you get in one of those ruts and you have four days between starts to think about it, your mind goes in a thousand directions. If you’re in the bullpen and you’re suddenly told to get up and go into the game, it may be the lesser of two evils.”
Inevitably, Show’s ineffectiveness has caused speculation that he hasn’t come all the way back from the back ailment that led to surgery last August. He insists, though, that his back isn’t bothering him.
“My back is OK,” he said. “It’s just a matter of location and concentration.”
Dobson backed up Show’s contention, saying, “Did you notice that five of his seven outs today were strikeouts? A guy has to have good stuff to do that. It’s just a case of making bad pitches at the wrong times.”
Although Show has been the subject of trade rumors lately, as has teammate Dennis Rasmussen, it would be tough to find any takers at this point.
Expo Manager Buck Rodgers may have been charitable when he said, “Show had value in the past, but it will take a few more starts to make a fair evaluation.”
The 15-0 beating by the Montreal Expos Sunday was the Padres’ worst since June 23, 1986, when they were humiliated by the Giants in San Francisco, 18-1. The 15 runs were the most scored against the Padres since July 29, 1987, when they lost to the Reds in Cincinnati, 15-5. Their most lopsided shutout defeat has been 19-0, at the hands of the Dodgers June 28, 1969, the first season of their existence. . . . As modest as Mike Pagliarulo’s eight-game hitting streak is, it is only one short of the career high he set with the New York Yankees in 1988. It started with his installation in the Padres’ lineup in Chicago May 5, and has included 10 hits in 26 at-bats for a .385 average. . . . The loss to the Expos broke the Padres’ three-game winning streak and dropped them below .500 at 15-16. They remained in second place in the National League West, but now trail the leading Reds by 7 1/2 games. . . . Andy Benes will be back on schedule tonight when he starts against the Philadelphia Phillies after pitching on short rest with disastrous results his last time out. Because a rainout pushed Benes back a day in Chicago on the Padres’ last trip, his next turn came on three days’ rest instead of the usual four. He was staked to a 5-0 lead against the St. Louis Cardinals, but was knocked out in the fifth inning after failing to retire any of the six batters he faced. The Cardinals scored seven runs in the inning and went on to win, 11-5. Asked if the interruption of his routine had caused him to run out of gas, Benes said, “I don’t think so. I kept the ball down and they hit it in the holes. I figured it was going to be my turn, so nothing was said.” Still, Benes said he probably would be better off to avoid short rest whenever feasible. “I don’t think I’d ever want to do it regularly,” he said. “Actually, I had six days’ rest a couple of times because of off days, and that was good for me.” . . . Attention trivia buffs: Sunday’s defeat was the Padres’ third in a row on Mother’s Day and left them with an all-time Mother’s Day record of 12-10.