The 2014 baseball season has officially come to an end. Congrats to former San Diego Padres’ skipper Bruce Bochy, who by the way, was Terry Kennedy‘s backup during the 1984 Fall Classic, and to former Cy Young winning ace of the Friars, Jake Peavy, as Boch was his third ring as skipper of the Giants, and Peavy brought home his second title in two years. Unfortunately for the Padres, there are no ticker-tape parades to enjoy, as it’s been almost a decade since the franchise has had a winning season, let alone reaching October to play for a World Series championship. Let’s conclude our “Looking Back” series with Game Five of the 1984 Fall Classic, between the Detroit Tigers and the Padres.
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Through the first four games, two things have killed the Padres during the ’84 clash. The first is the inability to get timely hitting when they get runners in scoring position. The second and most important, is that their starting pitching has been some of the worst in World Series history. Eric Show, Tim Lollar, and Ed Whitson, while serviceable during the regular season, have been appetizers for the mighty Tigers’ bats, led by Alan Trammell. Can the Friars stave off another disappointing start in Game Five to extend the series, or will the Tigers finish them off once and for all? Let’s get underway.
The Padres opened Game Five with a great opportunity to draw first blood, but again, weren’t able to get anything done. Alan Wiggins singled, stole second, and advanced to third on an error. Wiggins attempted to force the issue, but was out at the plate on a fielder’s choice, Lou Whitaker to Lance Parrish. It deflated the Padres, and they went down in their half of the first inning.
The Tigers jumped all over the Padres’ starter, Mark Thurmond who, like his fellow staff mates, didn’t make it out of the third inning. As a matter of fact, he didn’t make it out of the first inning. The writing was on the wall for the Padres. After a Whitaker single, he was forced at second by Trammell. The next hitter, Kirk Gibson, took Thurmond deep for a two-run blast, giving the Tigers the early 2-0 lead. Lance Parrish followed with a single, stole second, and came home on a Larry Herndon single, who advanced to second on the attempt to get Parrish at the plate. Thurmond was done, and for the most part, so were the Padres.
Staff savior Andy Hawkins was brought in by manager Dick Williams to save their season and the series, but it was too little, too late. The Padres did get a run back in the top half of the third inning against Tigers’ starter Dan Petry. The Padres were not dead yet. At the end of three, the Tigers held a 3-1 lead, but that was about to change.
In the Padres’ top half of the 4th inning, Petry did his best Thurmond impersonation. Kurt Bevaqua walked, and after a Carmelo Martinez strike out, shortstop Gary Templeton doubled to left, moving Bevaqua to third. Bobby Brown then hit a sac fly to cut the lead 3-2. Wiggins came through again, singling to center and driving in Templeton to tie the score at 3 each. Petry was sent packing, lasting just 3 2/3 innings, allowing 3 earned runs. Bill Scherrer came on in relief and got out of any further trouble.
Hawkins worked out of trouble in the bottom half of the fourth, and the game moved to the fifth all tied up. San Diego went down without a fight, but the Tigers had seen enough. In the bottom of the inning, Gibson led off with a single, and advanced to second on a Parrish ground out. Herndon drew a walk, and Hawkins was done. Craig Lefferts came in for Hawk, and issued a walk to Chet Lemon. Pinch hitter Rusty Kuntz hit a sac fly to shallow right field, and Gibson scored. The Fightin’ Tigers were back up, 4-3.
The scored remained the same until the 7th inning, when Lefferts struck out Gibson, and Rich Gossage came out of the bullpen. Not a smart move by Dick Williams, as Lance Parrish took Goose yard, giving the Tigers a two-run lead. At the end of 7, it was 5-3 Tigers.
The Padres clawed their way back in the top of the 8th inning. Superstar reliever Willie Hernandez entered the game, relieving Aurelio Lopez. After the first two outs of the inning were made, Kurt Bevaqua once again came up huge for San Diego. He homered, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 5-4. That was as close as the Padres would get.
During the bottom half of the eighth, the wheels completely came off for the Friars. Marty Castillo led off and drew a walk for Detroit. Lou Whitaker then reached on a fielder’s choice via the sacrifice bunt. Castillo was ruled safe, as Padres’ shortstop Gary Templeton was not on the bag when he received the throw on the bunt. Both runners safe, nobody out. Trammell then moved both runners up on a sac bunt of his own, and after initially being told by skipper Dick Williams to intentionally walk Kirk Gibson, Goose Gossage talked his manager into letting him face the Detroit outfielder. Another huge mistake by Williams. Gibson launched what was basically a World Series-clinching, three-run home run off of Gossage, putting the Tigers comfortably up 8-4 with three outs remaining for the Padres.
In the top of the 9th, Templeton grounded out, pinch hitter Bruce Bochy singled, and was run for byRon Roenicke
. Wiggins was unable to continue hitting as he had earlier in the game, and popped out to Parrish in foul territory.Tony Gwynn
was San Diego’s last home, and he hit a soft fly ball to left field, ending the game and the World Series. The Tigers were champions of the world!
The difference in the series, was Detroit’s ability to jump on San Diego’s starting pitching during the first third of the game, outscoring the Padres 16-6 during innings 1-3 of the series. The Padres then outscored Detroit 6-3 in the series during innings 4-6, and were only outscored in innings 7-9 by Detroit, 4-3. The series MVP was shortstop Alan Trammell, who went 9-for-20, with a pair of home runs, six RBI, a stolen base and batted .500 during the Tigers’ 5-game series victory.
For the Padres, it would be their last World Series appearance until 1998, when Tony Gwynn would be nearing the end of his career, and 1984 pennant-winning teammate, Bruce Bochy, was in the dugout as the team’s skipper. Unfortunately, the 1998 Yankees were a juggernaut and would sweep that series.
As for the Tigers, they would come close to another World Series in 1987, but would go down to the eventual champion Minnesota Twins in the ALCS, and wouldn’t see the World Series again until 2006, when they were defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals. They would lose to the San Francisco Giants in the 2012 World Series, and continue to fall just short each year thereafter.
Thank you for following along as we relived the 1984 postseason run of the National League champion San Diego Padres. Hopefully a year from now, we can be talking about what a great 2015 season the revamped San Diego Padres had! Take care.