PHOENIX — Not that it matters, but the Padres blew a baseball game in the worst way Tuesday.
They led Milwaukee, 3-2, heading into the ninth inning and had Goose Gossage on the mound. With two out and nobody on, somebody named Dale Sveum lined a single. Rick Cerone walked, and then Jim Gantner singled in Sveum.
Suddenly angry, Gossage got the final out.
In the 12th inning, San Diego took a 5-3 lead on Mario Ramirez's RBI single and Rusty Tillman's sacrifice fly, but the Brewers came back with another two-out rally, scoring three times in the bottom of the inning off Brian Snyder.
The clincher was a two-run double to right-center by center fielder Glenn Braggs.
This was nothing to brag about.
"That wasn't the real Goose you saw in the ninth," manager Steve Boros said. "It's tough for him to get psyched in the spring. If it were June 18th and not March 18th, I'm sure we would've been in the clubhouse with a win.
"He's simply not psyched up yet. And a big part of his game is emotion."
Shorstop Garry Templeton was standing near the batting cage one day last week when Kevin McReynolds playfully tapped him on the left shin.
Oops. That's the shin Templeton cracked late last year.
There was some pain that day and also some talk that the shin was not healed correctly. Apparently, Templeton was under the impression there still was a crack in his bone.
Trainer Dick Dent explained this was nothing to be alarmed about.
"No, if it were still cracked and painful, he wouldn't be able to do anything," he said. "In any X-ray, you can see where the old break is. That's all. It's as strong as ever."
Templeton, in fact, asked Boros if he could play a full game Tuesday, but Boros wanted to get some others in there.
Before he left the game, Templeton had two singles and scored a run.
Tim Flannery played shortstop and second base Tuesday. With Bip Roberts taking control at second, it looks as though Flannery will return to the role of supersub.
"I'm the sixth man," he said. "I'm Hondo Havlicek. . . . I'm like a man without a country."
Pitcher LaMarr Hoyt has been in a rehabilitation facility for nearly three weeks, and Boros said Tuesday: "I'm just assuming he'll be in 28 days and that we'll get him back the last day in March. I don't think we can count on having him the start of the year, but, hopefully, the third week in April, give or take a week."
Prediction: The Padres will bring infielder Joey Cora up to the big leagues sometime this year, especially if Templeton has health problems.
Drafted in 1985 after a collegiate career at Vanderbilt, Cora, 20, hit .324 last year in rookie ball at Spokane, and he went 3 for 7 (.429) for the Padres in Vancouver, B.C., last weekend. He's a leadoff-type hitter with great speed and great range, according to Boros. He has played shortstop and second base in the minors.
"I think he could be in the picture pretty fast," Boros said. "Maybe next year."
Deacon Jones, the Padre hitting instructor, was back in action Tuesday after spending the weekend hospitalized with chest pains.
And you know you're back when . . .
"Hey, Deac!" coach Harry Dunlop said. "We scored 20 runs this weekend while you were away, so who needs you anyway?"
Sandy Alomar Sr., the Padre first base coach, is only 5-feet 9-inches, but his sons--Sandy Jr. and Roberto--are 6-5 and 6-0, respectively.
How do you explain that?
"I don't know," said Alomar Sr. "Every kid nowadays--and I don't know if it's vitamins or not--but they go zoom! They're so big."
But then, how do you explain 5-foot-7 Bip Roberts?
Roberts was caught stealing Tuesday, but, in his defense, he was playing with a sore right thigh. He said he might take today off.
Carrie Bevacqua, wife of Padre Kurt Bevacqua, won the Mrs. California beauty pageant Sunday in Los Angeles.
Next up is her own little World Series: the Mrs. America pageant in three weeks in Las Vegas.
"I had no idea I'd do so well," said Carrie, 32, a former Playboy Club bunny. "It was tough competition. A lot of pretty girls, girls with Ph.D.s and girls involved with charity. It was so nerve-racking. I told my mom I didn't want to win because I didn't want to have to go through it again. But I was so proud of myself. It was exciting, a thrill almost like having a baby."