Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on October 13, 1984 · Page 29
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 29

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 13, 1984
Page 29
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DETROIT FREE PRESSSATURDAY. OCT. ia 1984 3D Is en 123 Sparky fretting over Tigers 9 batting funk Any team that steps into a World Series game and slaps the first three pitches for three hits and a run is going to start a lot of people thinking. First, the pitcher is going to wonder what in the world is going on. His manager is going to wonder, too, and so are thousands of fans, some delirious, others horrified. Watching the Tigers pepper Ed Whitson in the opening inning of Game 2 of the World Series Wednesday, Sparky' Anderson not only was wondering. He was hoping. For days, for several weeks, in fact, as the Tigers moved on toward the Series, he'd had this nagging concern about his team. "We just haven't been hitting like we can," he kept saying. "I know we can hit better than this." HE HAS THE numbers to prove it His lineup, whatever it might be on a given day, is filled with wall-bangers. Fretting a bit, he was supported not so much by the numbers as a feeling his batters weren't banging in their usual style. He knew he had a far better hitting team than the 31 I W Gcoifle !-jPuscas Padres. Over the season, the Tigers had rapped more home runs (187-109), more triples (46-42), more doubles (254-207). As a team, they had outhit the Padres .271 to .259. Going into Game 3 at Tiger Stadium Friday night, the Tigers found themselves being outhit by the Padres, .302 to .231. The difference was only four hits, but they were significant in Game 2. Friday, they jumped off to a 5-1 lead over the Padres in the first three innings, but strangely enough, they still had not exploded at the plate as Anderson wanted. Marty Castillo banged a two-run homer in a four-run, four-hit second inning for the Tigers, and they scored in the fifth not on a batter's hit but a hit batter a nip on Kirk Gibson's toe forcing in Darrell Evans, one of three Tigers to walk. . The Tigers had sent 17 batters to the plate in the second and third innings, and they produced only four hits and left six runners stranded. IN GAME 2, the Tigers got rid of luckless Ed Whitson so quickly the he wouldn't recognize a Tiger on a bubble gum card. Once Whitson departed, the Tigers got only two hits over the next eight innings and lost the game, 5-3. And that's what worried Sparky Anderson. He had hoped for something better. But then, he had been aware that the Tigers were in a power slump. "You got to give 'em (Padres) a lot of credit for relief pitching," Anderson said, "but we haven't been hitting, either." The Tigers swept the Kansas City Royals in three straight games to win the American League pennant, remember, but they didn't do it in robust style. True, they won the opener, 8-1 , with home runs by Larry Herndon, Alan Trammell and Lance Parrish. Ever since, Anderson has had his fingers crossed, hoping his pitchers' split fingers would keep the Tigers winning. KIRK GIBSON whacked a homer to squeak out the second game with the Royals, 5-3. In the pennant clincher, though, the Tigers managed only three hits while winning, 1-0. They began the World Series with a 3-2 victory, Herndon's homer being the difference. It was enough to get by, but not what Anderson views as the Tigers' style. It was the fourth straight game in which Anderson waited for his hitters to hammer away the opposition and ease the pressure on his pitchers. In the fifth, they lost. .. The Tigers had the Padres in a familiar bind in Game 2. For the 65thtime this season, they had taken a first-inning lead. Alas, they couldn't back it up. Problem is, nobody knows what could be done about it. "The one thing we know is we've got the bats," Anderson said. Sure. It's just a matter of using them. For the game, the Tigers were outhit, 10-7. ' Big catch stifles Padres By GENE GU1DI Free Press Sport Writer Chet Lemon has this this simple philosophy for playing center field: "I try to beat the ball to its destination." Lemon did that on a drive to deep center field Friday night but not before making a few thousand hearts flutter in Game 3 of the World Series. Lemon's catch of the long belt by Padres catcher Terry Kennedy came at . a key time. The Padres had closed to 5-2 and had a runner on base. But his lunging seventh-inning grab seemed to take the starch out of San Diego offense for the rest of the night. The Padres never mounted another threat as the Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the -Series. About the only person in the park who didn't seem worried when the ball left Kennedy's bat was Sparky Anderson. "Any ball hit to center field that don't go out of the park or don't hit off the top of the fence is going to get caught by Chester it's as simple as that," Anderson said. "The reason he's so good at that is because he works every day at getting a quick jump on the ball." LEMON SAID the catch might not have been so spectacular had he not followed the scouting report on the Padres' batters so closely. Most times with two strikes on him, the scouts say, Kennedy just punches at the ball. So Lemon moved in as shallow as he dared once Willie Hernandez slipped the second strike past Kennedy. "That's what he had been doing in San Diego with two strikes just trying to make contact," Lemon said. "When he hit it so hard, and I was playing in so close, I was worried at first that I might not get back. I ran back as hard as I could, then turned to the right a little, 'hich is why I stumbled a little as I came back to the left to make the catch." ANDERSON THINKS Lemon is the best center fielder around. So then why in 1982 did the Tigers' manager play Lemon in right field almost the entire season? "I wanted to make a center fielder out of Kirk Gibson because I didn't know if he was going to ever be a right fielder," Anderson said. "I thought center would be easier for Gibson to play. I knew right away I was making a mistake a drastic mistake but I wanted to give it a year to see what would happen. The move probably cost us a few games, but it wasn't . going to make any difference in the standings." Kit ' - VJTAJJn" No disco I music fori! San Diegq. By GLEN MACNOW Free Press Staff Writer Free Press Photo bv CRAIG PORTER Chet Lemon (above) chases down a long belt by Padres catcher Terry Kennedy in the seventh inning. Willie Hernandez (below) prepares to deliver the game's final pitch. Steve Garvey flew out to Chet Lemon in center. Tigers walk over San Diego, 5-2 TIGERS, from Page 1D , its third hour at 11:48 the last slo-mo Wave and other crazy grandstand acts were only fond memories. The fans had seemingly settled into a deep sleep by watching 11 walks by Padres pitchers, tying a Series record. "The ball just didn't go where I wanted it to," said starter Tim Lollar, who walked four in less than two innings. "They drove me crazy on the bench," said pitching coach Norm Sherry. "It was like a bad dream. You expect 11 walks in the rookie league, not in the majors." It took a seventh-inning entry of Willie Hernandez to give the game a semblance of order. Hernandez marched through the lineup as he has so many times this season, walking no one, but giving up a pinch-hit single to Luis Salazar in the ninth by hanging a screwball. "Worst screwball I ever saw him throw," Anderson said. MARTY CASTILLO, the Tigers' prankster who wore a "Ghostbusters" button during batting practice, hit a two-run homer in the second that was the emotional highpoint of the night. He made a name for himself a week ago with a fielder's choice that scored the Tigers only run in their pennant-" clinching victory over Kansas City. Castillo, a part-time player but full- time wise guy, hit only four home runs all year. "I'm happy to death," he said afterward. "When a pitcher makes a mistake like that (a belt-high fastball down the middle), you should hit it hard." Chet Lemon's running pirouette and fine catch of Terry Kennedy's two-out liner in the seventh also caused a stir. It came with a runner on second after the Padres already had scored a run, and was one of a couple of occasions San Diego almost found itself back in the game. "That really hurt," said Tony Gwynn. Wilcox compared Lemon to Willie Mays. Anderson said he had seen Lemon do so much, "it didn't excite me." "When he hit the ball, I knew we were in trouble,' Lemon said. "I just broke fast, put my head down and ran. ... It was just a fly ball when I got back there." IT WAS ALMOST midnight when the game ended, and until the final outs, it seemed the gathering had become comatose after watching the teams leave a total of 24 runners, setting another Series record. Wilcox wasn't as sharp as he was one week earlier, when he stymied the Royals by allowing two hits over eight innings. He lurched through six innings, giving up seven hits, one run and Free Press Photo bv Chief Photoorapher TONY SPINA four walks. Wilcox has had a lifetime of hurts in his shoulder and arm, but this time, he was bothered by a pain in the foot. "I got a little stiff between innings, but I don't know what's wrong with my toe," he said. "There's pain under the ball of my right foot. When I make a quick movement to first, it hurts a little bit." Bill Scherrer wasn't his usual self, either. He lasted two-thirds of the seventh, when the Padres scored on an infield single, a Steve Garvey double and a Graig Nettles sacrifice fly. That was the signal for Hernandez, who earned a save for his 2'3 innings of one-hit work. LOLLAR STARTED for the Padres, but the Tigers got to him in the second inning, after he had given up four of their seven hits. Greg Booker took over for him, but was even wilder, walking in the Tigers' next run. In the fourth, Greg Harris came in with the bases loaded after four Booker walks, and he hit Kirk Gibson on the foot, bringing in the fifth run. The San Diego bullpen has now allowed one run in 18 innings in three World Series games. Williams had Harris finish the game to allow the three-man "Committee" Dave Dra-vecky, Craig Lefferts and Andy Hawkins get some needed rest. "In the post-season, our starting pitching has been very, very bad," Williams said. "(Harris) certainly saved our bullpen tonight." In the minds of the Padres, the solution to beating the Tigers is simple: Reverse the score after the first two innings. , 2 "The games keep settling into thj same pattern," shortstop Garry Tem-pleton said after Friday's 5-2 Tigers victory. "We've got to keep them away from the big early inning, and get som; early runs ourselves. We've got to get to their starters from the first inning.5 THE PADRES sat dejectedly in their locker room after the Tigers too a 2-1 lead in games. Contrary to Wednesday night, when the Padres won in San Diego, no disco music blared over the clubhouse intercom The spaghetti buffet went largely un-l: eaten. Many Padres went into th? training room to avoid the swarm of reporters. While the Padres cursed their lost opportunities only two runs onrJCt hits, and 10 men left on base most, praised Tigers pitchers Milt Wilcox; and Willie Hernandez for keeping the San Diego offense in check. " "Their pitchers are good, they keep; moving the ball around," said outfield-', er Carmelo Martinez, who now is one-for-11 with six strikeouts after three games. "Wilcox kept throwing strikes, and that's the main thing." I "Wilcox challenges you," said first: baseman Steve Garvey. "They jumped; out to that 4-1 lead and Wilcox just wouldn't give." I But second baseman Alan Wiggins,! who has six hits in the three Series, games, disagreed, saying he is "not superbly impressed" with the Tigers'' pitching staff. "THEY THROW that typical Amer-" ican League stuff," he said. "A lot of off-speed s . If we can play them even over the first inning or two, we'll do well." Several Padres said they expected the Tiger Stadium crowd to be much; louder. Most said they thought Tigers; fans were quieter than those in the-first two games at Jack Murphy Stadi-' um. "I expected it to be louder," said pitcher Tim Lollar. "We had been told this is a loud stadium." Still, Templeton said the Padres must start winning on the road. Includ-' ; ing the National League playoff series against the Chicago Cubs, San Diego is 0-3 on the road and 4-1 at home. Z "We won on the road during the; season," Templeton said, "so there's nc reason we can't do it now. We just"! have to stop hitting the ball to Lemon! and avoid the big early inning. We'll do; it. Watch us tomorrow." ? Padres' Show keeps his right-wing pitch to himself By MARK KRAM Free Press Sports Writer He has been through the explanation a hundred times, but only when people ask and only if he perceives a sincere interest in understanding what he has to say. The subject is the ultra-conservative John Birch Society. Eric Show is one of three San Diego Padres pitchers affiliated with the group, which strongly opposes communism. Birchers have been accused of being racist and anti-Semitic. Show's terammates Dave Dravecky and Mark Thurmond also claim allegiance to the organization. They refused to discuss the subject. But Show was willing to talk in detail. He says the prevailing image of the society is . inaccurate. . "If I were to discover that any of the allegations leveled against the society were true, I would leave it immediately," Show said. "I investigate my beliefs carefully, and I am convinced the reputation the society has is false. I am not prejudiced. The strict definition of the word is to pre-judge. I do not pre-judge." THE JOHN BIRCH Society, named for an American intelligence officer shot by the Chinese Communists in 1945, was founded in 1958 by retired business executive Robert Welch expressly to fight communism. Show, 28, joined the society four years ago. IJe said he was attracted to the group because he thought It offered solutions to the "grave problems" that confront the United States: foreign infiltration of the government; the subjuga tion by government of individual responsibility; and the decline of piety. These, essentially, are the basic tenets of the John Birch Society as Show understands it. He calls himself a "traditionalist" in the truest sense, a philosophical descendant of Thomas Jefferson and an enemy of the insurgency that he says threatens to destroy us. "The problem is there; we just have to acknowlege it," Show said. "I knew the reputation of the society I had heard the stories and I was unsure if I wanted to get, involved. I was still uncertain when I realized what they . were saying was true, but I decided if you ignore your beliefs, the only word to describe you is hypocrite." If it seems out of place for an athlete to be spouting politics, it is. Show is an exception, regardless of how one responds to his political persuasions. He is intelligent, probing and articulate. Is he any different from entertainers who use their celebrity status to support a cause or point of view? Show says no. "It you look at the entertainment industry closely, actors and musicians often attempt to promote a political statement," Show said. "Music videos especially. Groups such are Jefferson Starship and Clash express a point of view, but it is usually left wing. Because I am an athlete does not mean I do not have opinions." HE IS CAREFUL to keep them to himself. Show says he does not intrude on others with his beliefs "unless they ask" and that his beliefs have not disturbed his team mates. Show said Padres general manager Jack McKeon cautioned him to keep politics "out of the clubhouse." He says he lias. "That is understandable," Show said. "They asked me to assure them it would never happen and it never has. The players on the team view it with no more interest than if I were a Mormon or a jazz guitarist." He has been a member ot tne John Birch Society since 1980, but Show didn't become identified with the group until the Padres started winning. He expected it to be an issue in the National League Championship Series, but his performance was such that he was rendered virtually anonymous. Show started the first and fifth games and was ineffective, giving up eight runs in 5'3 innings of work. His ERA in the playoffs was 13.50. He is scheduled to start the fourth game of the World Series today. "There probably would have been more focus on my political beliefs if I had done well," Show said. "I would have liked to have done better, but I am just as pleased that it has not been an issue. The important thing, right now, is baseball." Dravecky and Thurmond agree. Thurmond said he joined the John Birch Society a year ago, but failed to understand how it related to the Padres, the World Series or baseball irf general. "That has no place here," Thurmond said. "I am here to win a World Series." Today's starting pitchers 1 !-- ' Ail Tigers 0 PITCHER: Jack! Morris, 28, right-hander.5 '84 RECORD: 19-11, 3.65 ERA. O POST-SEASON: 2-0, 1.68ERA. O LIFETIME: 107-75,; 3.66 ERA. , D PERSONAL: Morris struck out nine while pitching a complete game In the World Series opener. Psdrcs O PITCHER: Eric Show, 28, right-hander. " D'84 RECORD: 15-9, 3.40 ERA. D POST-SEASON: 0-1 j 13.51 ERA. ; LIFETIME: 41-30, 3.45 ERA.,, , , ... ,, B PERSONAL: Show lost the first gam of the nl playoffs, a viha uo five runs in five innings.

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