SAN DIEGO — As far as the Padres were concerned, jogging was not a favorable topic Saturday night at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.
According to Manager Dick Williams, pitcher Eric Show felt a groin pull while jogging before the game. Show still pitched the first three innings, long enough to watch two Montreal Expos jog around the bases with home runs.
It was the beginning of a 7-1 loss to Montreal before a T-Shirt Night crowd of 43,065. The Padres could have made footsteps toward the Dodgers, who lost their third straight game to Philadelphia, but instead remained seven games behind in the NL West.
By the time the game concluded, Show had jogged--or limped--his way out of the Padre clubhouse. Williams was left to answer for the man who has allowed a team-high 22 home runs.
"The home run hurt him again," Williams said. "I don't think he's leading the league in home runs."
Neither are the Expo hitters. They are tied for ninth among 12 NL teams in home runs.
For most of the season, Show and Williams have been at odds with each other in numerous instances. Though Show was not around to answer questions Saturday, Williams gave him support.
"In his defense, he was jogging in the outfield earlier today and felt a pull in his groin," Williams said. "He stretched it out and got it loose. That could have had some effect."
Another factor was the ball-and-strike counts on the home runs. Terry Francona hit a 3-1 pitch over the right-field wall and Vance Law hit a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall.
"Anytime you're ahead in the count, you have the pitcher in a hole," Expo Manager Buck Rodgers said. "That's why it's so important to get ahead. When you're ahead in the count, you're going to be looking for the fastball."
That's exactly what both Francona and Law received. And they did exactly what a hitter is supposed to do when he gets the pitch he's looking for.
Bill Gullickson did the pitching for Montreal, stopping the Padres on six hits. He allowed only three Padre runners past first base.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect from San Diego's standpoint concerned the managerial tactics of Williams.
After Thursday's 8-5 loss to Montreal, Williams was criticized for leaving pitcher Dave Dravecky in too long during the Expos' seven-run seventh. Saturday, Williams at least gained acceptance from the crowd by becoming Captain Hook.
Williams yanked Show for a pinch-hitter after he allowed the two early homers. And in the fifth, Craig Lefferts was removed after allowing two walks and a run-scoring single.
Both decisions were applauded by the fans.
The fans were not so kind to Show, however. They booed him mildly when Francona hit his solo homer in the second. Then the boos intensified when Law hit his two-run homer in the third.
They finally cheered when Bobby Brown batted for Show in the third.
"I had to try to get back in the game," Williams said. "So, we went with a pinch-hitter in that situation."
With the Padres trailing after 3 1/2 innings, 3-0, the stadium took on a playoff atmosphere. The crowd stood when Tony Gwynn approached the plate, hoping to revive the pennant fever that once lived in San Diego.
Gwynn kept the fans on their feet with a single. After Steve Garvey flied out, successive singles by Graig Nettles and Terry Kennedy scored Gwynn and keep the crowd standing. However, Gullickson proceeded to quiet the Padres and their fans by retiring the next two batters.
Lefferts, a star in last year's postseason, allowed three earned runs in the fifth. Two of the runs charged to Lefferts scored after he was replaced by Roy Lee Jackson.
There were encouraging signs by the pitching staff. Gene Walter and Tim Stoddard each pitched two shutout innings of relief.
Stoddard pitched last year for the Chicago Cubs, who won't be going anywhere this postseason. Barring a sudden Padre surge and Dodger collapse, his new teammates won't have any postseason baseball dates, either.