Looking Back: The Padres 1984 NLCS Game Two


Thanks for coming back to follow along, as Friars On Base continues to review and celebrate one of the greatest seasons in San Diego Padres’ history, the 1984 campaign. The last time we were together, we took a look back at the opening salvo between the Padres and the Chicago Cubs during the 1984 National League Championship Series. Unfortunately for the Friars, their first-ever postseason game was one to forget, as the Cubbies rolled the Padres behind an epic effort from that season’s Cy Young winner, Rick Sutcliffe. No runs came home for the Padres, and Chicago ended the drama early, taking Game One by the final of 13-0.

Moving forward to Game Two, the Padres were hoping to limit the offensive fireworks at Wrigley Field, and attempt to get back into the series heading back home to San Diego after the contest. Manager Dick Williams sent lefty Mark Thurmond to the hill to take on Steve Trout for Chicago. Unfortunately for San Diego, the Cubs continued to hit, just not scoring nearly as many runs as their had in the previous contest.

Cubs’ outfielder Bob Denier was making an early case for NLCS MVP, getting Chicago on the board. He singled to left, advanced to third on a ground out by Ryne Sandberg, and came home on another infield ground out, this time to the shortstop, by Gary Matthews, who had homered twice in Game One. At the end of the first inning, the Cubs held a 1-0 lead.

The Padres didn’t wait quite as long to record their first knock of the game, as outfielder Carmelo Martinez hit a one-out single to reach base. Terry Kennedy and Luis Salazar couldn’t get Martinez home, and the Cubs held their slim one-run lead. The Cubs threatened again, with Larry Bowa reaching on a single, and advancing on a Trout sacrifice bunt. Denier then drew a walk, but Thurmond worked out of any further damage, getting Sandberg to fly out to deep center field, preserving the lead at 1-0.

San Diego once again had a chance to even things up, as the pitcher Thurmond, helped his own cause and reached base with a one-out single, but Alan Wiggins ended the threat for the Padres, grounding into an inning-ending double play. Chicago padded their lead in the bottom half of the third, as Keith Moreland singled to right, and came around to score on a Ron Cey double. He then advanced to third on an ill-advised throw to the plate in an attempt to retire Moreland. Cey came home when Chicago catcher Jody Davis hit a sac fly. Leon Durham ended the damage by popping out in foul territory, making the score Chicago 3, San Diego 0 at the end of three innings. 

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The Padres had seen enough, and clawed their way back into the contest, as Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn started the Friars’ rally by doubling to the left field gap. He advanced to third when Steve Garvey grounded out to Durham at first, and then came home on a Kevin McReynolds sac fly. At the end of their half of the fourth, it was Cubs 3, Padres 1.

The Cubs came roaring back, as Dernier reached on a fielder’s choice after Trout had previously singled. He came home when Sandberg sent a blast deep to left. That ended the day for Thurmond, who last all of 3 2/3 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 7 hits. Andy Hawkins replaced Thurmond, and the Padres were facing an uphill battle the rest of the way. Hawkins ended the threat after a Matthews walk, and at the end of four, it was Cubs 4, Padres 1.

Trout and Hawkins exchanged zeroes for the next inning and a third, before Hawkins was replaced by Dave Dravecky. It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Padres made one last attempt to get back into Game Two. Wiggins drew a walk, and Gwynn advanced him to second on a ground out. Garvey came through with an RBI single, cutting the lead in half. McReynolds grounded out, forcing Garvey at third, and ending any further threat.

Steve Trout, just as Rick Sutcliffe had done in Game One, pitched a gem, going 8 1/3 innings, allowing only the 2 earned runs, scattering 5 base hits and striking out 2. He was relieved in the ninth by Lee Smith, who slammed the door and preserved the 4-2 Cubs win. The loss put the Padres on the brink of elimination, and the Cubs to their first Fall Classic since 1945. The series would now shift to Jack Murphy Stadium out in San Diego, as the Friars would have to take it one game at a time if their were to get back into the series.