Looking Back: The Padres 1984 NLCS Game One
By Billy Brost
Since the San Diego Padres are once again on the outside looking in at October baseball, we at Friars On Base want to take the next few days and look back at the 30th anniversary of the Friars first run to the World Series. To make the next couple of weeks as enjoyable as possible for you, the Padres’ fan, we will start our retrospective with the a game-by-game review of the National League Championship Series between the Padres and the Chicago Cubs. We will then move on to the 1984 World Series series between the Padres and the Detroit Tigers. Sit back, relax, and enjoy our 30th anniversary retrospective of a magical season in Padres’ history!
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The San Diego Padres, led by manager Dick Williams entered the Windy City of Chicago with a record of 92-70, good enough for a 12 game cushion over the second place finisher in the National League West in 1984. The Cubs, and manager Jim Frey, only won the NL East by 6 1/2 games, but finished with four more wins than San Diego, at 96-65. Just over 36,000 fans were in attendance, for what was sure to be a competitive series.
The Cubs started 1984 Cy Young Award winner, Rick Sutcliffe against the likes of Steve Garvey, Tony Gwynn, Graig Nettles, and Kevin McReynolds. The Red Baron as Sutcliffe was nicknamed, had been dealt to the Cubs earlier that summer for Joe Carter and Mel Hall. He dominated the National League, leading the Cubs to the NL Eastern flag with a record of 16-1. He wasted no time putting the Padres away early in the first game of the NLCS in 1984.
San Diego didn’t even get their first base runner until the third inning, with a bases on balls from Carmelo Martinez. It was of no use however, as he stayed put. The Cubs already had a 2-0 lead at that point, as Bob Dernier led off the game for the Cubbies in the bottom of the first with a long home run, that was followed two batters later by a Gary Matthews long ball as well.
The Padres first hit of the game came from Garvey on a bunt. Again, the Padres’ bats couldn’t muster anything against the dominance of Sutcliffe, who ended up tossing 7 scoreless frames, and allowing only 2 base hits. Eric Show got the start for the Friars, and it was a game to forget quickly. Aside from the pair of home runs allowed in the first, Show also allowed Sutcliffe to take him deep, and three singles to go along with a sac fly, finished Show’s day off. His final line: 4 innings, 5 earned runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 2 strike outs, and 3 home runs allowed.
Things didn’t improve with the bullpen taking over for Show either. Greg Harris, the next pitcher for San Diego, got beat up worse than Show if that was possible. Over the next two innings, he allowed 8 more runs, on 9 hits, 7 of which were earned, and he too allowed a pair of home runs, once more to Matthews, the second to Ron Cey, the third baseman.
When the dust settled, the Cubs completely wiped out the Padres to open the NLCS by the score of 13-0. Luckily for the Friars, whether it was 1-0 or 20-0, it only counted as one loss in the series. The Padres were far from done, and the remainder of the series would shape up to be much more competitive. While the Cubs scored 13 runs in the opening round of the series, they would only go on to score 13 more runs during the final four games against the Padres.
With Game One in the books, return soon for our review of Game Two of the 1984 National League Championship Series between the San Diego Padres and the Chicago Cubs!