PHOENIX — Pitcher Eric Show lasted 5 innings against the Oakland A's Wednesday before The Arm went dead.
Show, along with pitcher Dave Dravecky, is trying to come back from tendinitis of the elbow. Manager Larry Bowa says Show must return to normalcy if the Padres are to return to competency in the National League West--which is why his arm is now The Arm.
Wednesday's performance encouraged the team because Show gave up only one run (Dwayne Murphy's bases-empty home run) before he was taken out with two men on base. Reliever Ed Vosberg let both men score, but the Padres went on to win, 10-8.
Show said he had "lost it" by the fifth inning but is trying not to take runs and hits very seriously these days.
"For me this year, spring training is just to get in shape," he said. "I've gone through whole springs before without giving up a run, but who remembers that? So the best thing is just to get ready for the season, especially for me with my arm situation."
This was Show's longest outing of the spring. Last Friday, he went three innings against the Mariners (40 pitches). He threw about 70 pitches Wednesday--mostly fastballs coupled with a few sliders and change-ups. He's hoping to throw 80 or 90 pitches in his next appearance this weekend.
"My velocity? It wasn't as good as it's been on those big-strikeout nights, but it was above average for my career," he said of Wednesday's performance. "I haven't held back. What happens is I'll just lose it. It (his elbow) gets tight and starts to hurt in that particular area.
"It's still the weak link in the chain," he said. "It'll probably be the problem spot for a while."
Murphy's homer in the fifth inning was a ball hit deep to left-center.
"That was a good pitch," Show said. "A low fastball. But I'd lost something by then. Earlier, I was getting guys out with inside fastballs. I still had something on my fastball, so they couldn't get around to mash it."
Murphy mashed it. Still, progress is progress.
"No, this doesn't mean I'm all the way back," Show said. "But everything is still all positive right now. I'll know even more after my next start and the next one."
Bowa, however, won't get too excited about The Arm. Asked if Show had proven he has recovered completely,Bowa said: "I'm not that confident yet."
Bowa started rookie Shane Mack in center field and put rookie Stan Jefferson in left, giving the Padre outfield an entirely different look. Mack has missed much of the spring with a leg injury (he was spiked and needed stitches), but Bowa is giving him a chance to make the team as a utility outfielder.
Jefferson at times has upset Bowa with his tendency toward injury. He has had hand and head injuries, and he was rubbing his arm Wednesday after he made a long throw from left.
"I don't think his pain tolerance is very (high)," Bowa said.
Still, Jefferson had two doubles and two RBIs Wednesday, and Mack had an RBI single. Bowa says that only the right-field job--where Tony Gwynn roams--is sewed up.
"There's nothing to say we can't use Mack, Jefferson and Gwynn in the outfield," Bowa said. "That's just as good a possibility as going with (John) Kruk and (Carmelo) Martinez (platooning in left) and Jefferson and Gwynn. Kruk and Martinez don't have a lock on left.
"We're going to be a so-called weak offensive team--there's been some indication that we could be--(so) why not put the best defensive team out there and try to catch the ball? . . . What did Kruk drive in last year? Thirty runs? (actually, 38) Is that worth risking balls falling in left-center that should have been caught? That's a decision I've got to make."
Padre Notes In Wednesday's 10-8 victory, right fielder Tony Gwynn had three hits, left fielder John Kruk hit a three-run homer to left-center, first baseman Carmelo Martinez had two hits and two RBIs, catcher Benito Santiago had two hits and two RBIs, and Garry Templeton hit two line-drive singles. . . . Lance McCullers had left the team earlier in the week to attend his grandmother's funeral. He returned Wednesday and pitched the eighth and ninth innings. He gave up a two-run homer to A's first baseman Rob Nelson. "He was just overthrowing," Manager Larry Bowa said. . . . More reaction to Padre President Ballard Smith's decision not to sign free agent Tim Raines: fans were picketing San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium on Tuesday. . . . Bowa says he likes the way Kevin Mitchell is playing third base, but he thinks Mitchell should use a bigger glove. . . . Right-hander Greg Booker has some ligament problems in his pitching arm and probably won't throw again until next week. . . . The Padres' spring record is 7-5. They have one more game in the Phoenix area (today against the Giants) and then return to Yuma for a nine-game homestand.