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Padres Rough on Leary, Dodgers : Show Earns His Career-High 16th Victory in 8-4 Decision

September 28, 1988|BILL PLASCHKE | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Bill Russell managed. Only two regulars started. And Tom Lasorda, he yakked in the radio booth, schmoozed in the press box and spent the rest of the time walking around like a fan in a souvenir uniform.

Tuesday night at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium for the newly crowned National League West division champion Dodgers was all very post-clinching cool. Except for one thing.

Struggling Tim Leary pitched. And Leary was socked, leading to the Dodgers' downfall in an 8-4 loss to the San Diego Padres before 13,235.

One of four pitchers apparently informed earlier in the day by Lasorda that he would be in the playoff rotation, Leary acted as if he had just been told he was being released. The game wasn't six batters old when he had already given up four hits and three runs. It wasn't 45 minutes old when Brian Holton was warming up in the bullpen.

By the time Leary departed in the fourth inning with two out and Carmelo Martinez on third, he had allowed six runs. Ricky Horton came on and allowed a run-scoring single to Marvell Wynne to score Martinez and make Leary's totals for 3 innings look like this: Eight hits, seven runs, six earned runs.

"He hasn't pitched well, we know that," Lasorda said in a rare understatement.

The Padres were led by a pitcher heading the other direction. Eric Show won for the ninth time in his last 10 decisions, and for a second straight time over the Dodgers. His 16 victories (with 11 losses) are a career high.

For the Dodgers, the only thing more rotten than Leary's pitch location was his timing. It came shortly after Lasorda announced one-half of his playoff pitching rotation, while leaving little doubt as to the makeup of the other half.

In Game 1 at Dodger Stadium Tuesday night at 5, it will be Orel Hershiser against the New York Mets' Dwight Gooden. In Game 2 at Dodger Stadium Wednesday night at 7--a change from the previous noon starting time because of the nationally televised vice presidential debate--it will be John Tudor against David Cone.

Lasorda would not announce the starters for Games 3 or 4 next weekend in New York, but he held a pregame meeting with his playoff starters, and besides Hershiser and Tudor, also in attendance were Leary and Tim Belcher. Because of Leary's struggles, Belcher has become the favorite to face Ron Darling in Game 3, which would leave Leary to face Sid Fernandez in Game 4.

The only reason the makeup of the rotation would change is if Belcher was needed in relief in one of the previous games, and then Hershiser would come back to start on three days of rest.

Leary, 17-10 with a 2.98 ERA, didn't stick around the clubhouse afterward to confirm it but, yes, Lasorda feels he is pitching weary.

"I think he's tired, he had over 100 innings in winter ball . . . he has to be tired," Lasorda said. "We have to give him rest, and critique what he's doing wrong, and hope to get him back on the right track."

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