He sat at his desk in the visitors’ clubhouse Friday night, eating. Patiently, Manager Tom Lasorda tried to answer questions about his team’s 6-4 loss to the New York Mets.
Between answers, though, it became increasing clear that the frustration of playing without his regular second baseman or a dominating left-handed reliever is beginning to take its toll.
On a cold, damp night at Shea Stadium, starter Tom Candiotti left after seven innings, turning a 4-3 lead over to the bullpen. But by the end of the eighth, the Mets had scored three runs on two walks, a hit batter, an error and one hit. The Dodgers went quietly in the ninth, with John Franco earning his fifth save. Bret Saberhagen (3-1) pitched eight innings for the victory.
“Let’s put it this way, I’m not happy,” Lasorda said. “These are the kind of games that keep you up all night.”
With one out, Darren Dreifort, who started the eighth inning, walked David Segui, and Lasorda brought in left-hander Gary Wayne (1-3) to pitch to left-handed pinch-hitter Joe Orsulak.
“You bring a left-handed pitcher to pitch to the left-handed batters, that’s what we got him down there for,” Lasorda said.
Wayne got two strikes on Orsulak, pitching him outside before Mike Piazza called for a breaking ball. But Wayne, who had faced Orsulak before, shook Piazza off. “I wanted to bust him in, because when I faced him with the Orioles, he dived for it and hit it, and he was diving at stuff tonight.”
But Wayne’s pitch was a little too far inside, and he hit Orsulak, putting runners at first and second with one out.
"(Wayne) is 0-2 to the left-hander and winds up hitting him,” Lasorda said. “He’s got to get him out, if he does, there are two out and a runner on first base and that changes it all.”
Todd Hundley followed with a single to left field to score the tying run. Then, Lasorda started pacing.
Wayne had Tom Cangelosi down 1-and-2, then walked him. “He had him struck out, but the umpire said it was low,” Lasorda said.
On a double switch, Todd Worrell was brought in to relieve Wayne and Cory Snyder, who was in right field, took over at second base for Jeff Treadway, who had made the final out of the eighth inning. Mitch Webster went into right and would lead off the ninth inning, batting in the pitcher’s spot.
On the bench was Delino DeShields, who joined the team for the first time since suffering a concussion last Saturday night, but he won’t be available until Sunday.
So Lasorda used his third-string second baseman, who has played the position only five times in his career.
Jose Vizcaino hit a routine grounder to Snyder, who tried to backhand it to make the throw to the plate, but the ball skipped under his glove and into right field. The Mets scored two runs to go ahead, 6-4.
Worrell struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
“I was playing back and it hit on the edge of the dirt and didn’t come up,” Snyder said. “It was a double-play ball and a clutch play that I needed to make, and I didn’t.”
Snyder made his first career start at second base on Wednesday.
“If the second baseman is in the lineup, he would have played there,” Lasorda said. “When you are a man short, what are you going to do?”
DeShields wasn’t on the bench when Snyder made the error; he was already back in the clubhouse.
“I saw it, though,” he said quietly.
And on that subject he said nothing else.