Dodgers Again Prove Streak Is Quite a Creation : Baseball: Karros and Hansen fuel a 3-2 victory over the Cubs, their fourth in a row.
No baseball winning streak worth its salt comes without a theory, usually offered by a veteran relief pitcher or the team’s most unusual thinker.
On the Dodgers that is the same person. And Roger McDowell was ready Saturday after his team defeated the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, for their fourth consecutive victory and 10th in 13 games.
“It’s the Big Bangless Theory,” McDowell said.
“Other teams are going on the theory that without Eric Davis or Darryl Strawberry, we don’t have anybody who can hurt them,” said McDowell, who earned his seventh save. “And whether these teams are taking us lightly or not--and I think they are--we are now expecting to win with whoever we have.”
There was certainly something in the cool air at Wrigley Field Saturday, where 27,391 watched the Dodgers win for the sixth time in seven games since Davis joined Strawberry on the disabled list.
“I mean, what is reality?” asked Eric Karros, who provided the deciding run with his sixth home run, during the fifth inning. “I’m telling you, this team is not as bad as people have made it out to be.
“It is hard to believe that teams think they can just walk on us, but if that is the case . . . well, we aren’t letting it happen.”
While the Dodgers won with power--Karros and Dave Hansen drove in all the runs with two homers and a double--this victory was the Big Bangless Theory in action:
--Kevin Gross caught flu. Orel Hershiser was asked to take his place as the starting pitcher late Friday afternoon. Hershiser shrugged and gave up one earned run in five innings.
This included holding the Cubs scoreless in the fifth inning after Jose Vizcaino led off with a triple, bringing up the heart of the Cub order with the Dodgers leading, 3-2.
“I thought, ‘OK, this is a 3-3 game. Let’s just get out of here without them scoring any more runs,” said Hershiser, who because of an earlier day off was working on normal rest. “It did not look good for us.”
But Mark Grace flied out to shallow left field. Ryne Sandberg hit a grounder to a drawn-in Jose Offerman, who looked Vizcaino back to third and made a good throw to first base for the out.
Then, after Andre Dawson was walked intentionally, Derrick May flied out to Brett Butler in center field.
“We were blessed to get out of there still leading,” Hershiser said.
--Steve Wilson hurriedly replaced Hershiser in the sixth inning with a runner on first and none out after Hershiser suffered a jammed foot stepping on first base during the top of the sixth.
Doug Strange, the first batter, hit a line drive up the middle. Wilson threw his gloved hand across his body and caught it, starting a double play.
“It was lucky. Usually I have trouble with the ball on my left side,” Wilson said.
--Jim Gott replaced Wilson during the seventh inning and was faced with a runner on second and two out when Sandberg hit a line drive toward right field. Second baseman Lenny Harris leaped and snared it in the web of his glove to end the inning.
“That was a base hit all the way,” Harris said. “I just barely got my glove on it.”
--The Dodgers committed two errors and stranded five runners during the first four innings.
But Hansen doubled during the second inning to score Mike Scioscia and hit his third homer during the fourth to make the score 2-2.
Hansen added a single during the sixth inning, prompting Todd Benzinger to advise him that on his next at-bat, “Run until you get to third.”
“I had to laugh out loud at that one,” said Hansen, who grounded to first in his one chance to hit for the cycle in the eighth inning.
Hansen, who started the trip batting .147, is batting .462 in the last four games with two home runs. Karros has two home runs and six runs batted in in five games on the trip.
That both players are members of Tom Lasorda’s early afternoon workout sessions called Lasorda U. was not lost on the Dodgers manager.
“Those guys may get their diplomas sooner than they think,” Lasorda said.
Players say the clubhouse atmosphere certainly is more campus-like than before.
“At the beginning of the year, it seemed like we were all just professionals--going to work, carrying our brief cases, going home,” Karros said. “But now it’s like, we’re out there having fun.”
Today the Dodgers will be attempting to win a season-high fifth consecutive game and complete a three-game sweep. It would be their best showing here since the 1988 Dodgers used Wrigley Field as a springboard to greater things.