DENVER — The Padres finished spring training with a thud, losing to the Chicago Cubs here Sunday, 3-1--their eighth straight defeat.
Usually, opening day brings optimism, but Larry Bowa, the Padre manager, exudes pessimism.
"Today, we might have made more mistakes in one game than I saw in the entire year at Triple-A (last season)," said Bowa, in his first year as Padre manager. "Physical and mental mistakes. In fact, at the end of the year, the Triple-A team (the Las Vegas Stars) was playing better than this team is playing right now. We're getting picked off bases. They're not executing in the field. We're giving teams five outs an inning. We're giving up 0-2 hits like it's nothing, from guys who've pitched in the big leagues for a while. We've had meetings over it. I've tried being mean, I've tried being nice."
The Padres open their season against the San Francisco Giants at 1:05 this afternoon, and Bowa says they might as well show up.
His batting order:
Marvell Wynne, center field.
Garry Templeton, shortstop.
Tony Gwynn, right field.
Carmelo Martinez, left field.
Steve Garvey, first base.
Kevin Mitchell, third base.
Benito Santiago, catcher.
Joey Cora, second base.
Eric Show, pitcher.
The only real surprise is Martinez. Bowa had planned to use John Kruk in left field against right-handed pitchers (right-hander Mike Krukow starts for the Giants today), but because Kruk is slumping and Martinez is streaking, Bowa made the switch.
"If he (Kruk) can't hit, he can't play," Bowa said Sunday. "His asset is hitting. That's pretty obvious."
Kruk--who struck out with two out in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on first base Sunday--has been in an awful mood for days, but says he knows what he's doing wrong.
"I'm jumping," he said. "I'm swinging before I see the ball. I was wondering why I wasn't seeing the ball, and Tempy (shortstop Garry Templeton) told me. He said I'm striding before the pitcher releases the ball."
Martinez, who struggled most of last season, was thrilled about Bowa's decision.
"I'll be ready," he said. "I'll be hacking."
Eric Show figures he can go about seven innings today. A sore right elbow kept him on the disabled list for much of last season, and he's not sure the injury is completely healed.
"I'm still waiting to see exactly what the long-term effect on my arm will be," said Show of the injury. "I feel pretty good, though. I'm hopeful and confident that the elbow won't be the reason that I don't pitch to the best of my abilities. But there's no guarantee about that."
Show has started either the Padre home opener or road opener for the past five seasons.
"It probably surprises people that I always seem to get named opening-day starter, no matter who the manager is," Show said. "There's always been controversy around me, but it's been off-field stuff. When the smoke clears, do I do the job? Yes."
Reliever Goose Gossage has a muscle pull in his left rib cage and may not be able to pitch today. His status is day-to-day. . . . Pitcher Storm Davis had his best outing of the spring Sunday, giving up just two hits and one run in six innings. "I'm ready for the season to start," he said. . . . Third baseman Kevin Mitchell has committed four errors in his last two games. . . . Right fielder Tony Gwynn had two doubles Sunday, giving him 33 hits for the spring--the most hits a Padre has ever had in spring training. . . . The Padres finished the spring with a 13-16 record, compared to 16-14 in 1986, 11-15 in 1985 and 13-17 in 1984.