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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

Gwynn Likes Hitting, Not Getting Hit

September 25, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

It was totally out of character for Tony Gwynn, about as rare as a prolonged batting slump for the seven-time league batting champion.

When he was plunked on the right elbow by a Scott Radinsky pitch in the ninth inning, the usually affable Gwynn lost his temper, removing his batting helmet and glaring at the Dodger left-hander as he went to first.

Although Radinsky later denied he was throwing at Gwynn, the Padre outfielder was convinced the Dodgers were responding to San Diego right-hander Joey Hamilton, who had hit Eric Young and Todd Zeile.

"The guy on the hill, he's going to tell you it got away, but I've played this game a long time. I know what was happening," said Gwynn, in his 16th season.

Sure enough, Radinsky said that did not intentionally hit Gwynn.

"Stuff gets away," he said.

Nor did he know that Gwynn was glaring.

"I wasn't even looking," Radinsky said.

"I don't like it when people hit me on purpose, especially when I didn't do anything," said Gwynn who doesn't want anything to interfere with his bid for an eighth batting title and fourth in a row.

With two hits in four at-bats, giving him a career-high 220 for the season, Gwynn is hitting .374. That put him eight points ahead of the runner-up, Larry Walker of the Colorado Rockies. Gwynn has three games to play, Walker four.

*

Add hit batters: The bad blood between the teams wasn't through bubbling.

In the bottom of the ninth, reliever Trevor Hoffman threw a pitch behind Zeile.

Asked if he was throwing at the Dodger third baseman, Hoffman had no comment, but Hoffman later denied he was throwing at anybody.

"I've had 12 hit batters this year," Hamilton said. "It's not a surprise. I throw the ball inside. They should know me well enough by now to know that I'm not throwing at them.

"If I hurt anybody, I'm sorry. It's not anything I'm trying to do."

*

With one hit, Mike Piazza has 192 this season, one short of the major league record for a catcher in a season, held by Joe Torre (1964) and Ted Simmons (1975).

*

With a crowd of 39,184 Wednesday night, the Dodgers finished the year with 3,318,886, the most since they drew 3,348,170 in 1991.

This year's total is the fifth best in team history and the 12th time the Dodgers have surpassed three million, a major league record.

ON DECK

Opponent--Colorado Rockies, four games.

* Site--Coors Field, Denver.

* Tonight--6 p.m.

* TV--Channel 5 tonight, Friday and Sunday, Channel 11 Saturday.

* Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330).

* Records--Dodgers 85-73, Rockies 82-76.

* Record vs. Rockies--4-4.

TONIGHT'S GAME

DODGERS' HIDEO NOMO (13-12, 4.27 ERA) vs. ROCKIES' PEDRO ASTACIO (12-9, 3.86 ERA)

* Update--It was sweet for former Dodger right-hander Astacio to come back to Dodger Stadium last weekend, after being traded by the team last month, and beat his former teammates in a crucial game. It would be sweeter still for him to do it again with the team clinging to a faint of hope of somehow overtaking the front-running San Francisco Giants in the National League West. A year ago, Hideo Nomo came into Coors Field in September and threw a no-hitter in this hitter's paradise. The Dodgers won both of their previous games at Coors Field this season. The Dodgers finished their home schedule with a 47-34 record. With only these four games remaining on the road, they are 38-39 away from home.

* Friday, 6 p.m.--Dodgers' Ismael Valdes (9-11, 2.71) vs. Rockies' Jamey Wright (8-11, 6.16).

* Saturday, 1 p.m.--Dodgers' Ramon Martinez (9-5, 3.79) vs. Rockies' Frank Castillo (12-11, 5.53).

* Sunday, noon--Dodgers' Chan Ho Park (14-8, 3.38) vs. Rockies' John Thomson (7-9, 4.41).

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