Escondido Times-Advocate - August 22, 1980

Another NL East contender faced the Pads


MONTREAL – What a nice time to face the Padres.


The Montreal Expos, just two games behind Pittsburgh in the National Leagues Eastern Division, have to enjoy the thought of facing the NL Wests worst team in a three-game series beginning today.


It’s a good time to do some catching up.


The Expos will begin that series against the Pads – who have lost nine of their last 10 contests – this afternoon at 4:30. KFMB (760) will broadcast the game.


While the Expos begin their three-game series with the Padres, the Pirates start a three-game set with the Cincinnati Reds, who are just 1½ games out of first place in the NL West. It means that the Expos have a very good chance to close the NL East gap this weekend.


The Expos will face a very tired team of San Diegans today. Yesterday, the Padres lost a 17-inning, five-hour, seven-minute marathon in Philadelphia, 9-8.


In that loss to the Phillies, the Pads experienced a touch of deja vu – thanks to Jerry Mumphrey.


The Padre centerfielder, only six days after letting a routine fly ball drop in right-centerfield at San Diego Stadium to allow a pair of runs and make the Padres 3-1 losers to the Houston Astros in a 20-inning marathon, Mumphrey blundered again.


In a play that looked much like the one he muffed last Friday, Mumphrey allowed a Bake McBride fly ball to drop and consequently, allowed the winning run to score.


“The ball McBride hit was in the air too long not to be caught,” mumbled Padre manager Jerry Coleman before the Pads flew to Montreal. “We lost it, they didn’t win it."


As a result, the Padres are now 51-71, 17 games out of first place.


The loss spoiled a fine 9-inning pitching performance by left-hander Dennis Kinney (4-5). Kinney took the mound in the eighth inning and, after giving up a run, held the Phillies scoreless until the 17th.


“Just watching him gave me goose bumps,” said Padre catcher Gene Tenace. “He had the heart of a lion.”


Coleman added, “Dennis didn’t have his good stuff, but he pitched with his head and his heart.”


Kinney scattered 11 hits.


When Kinney climbed the mound, Rollie Fingers was the only reliever left in the Padre bullpen. Rick Wise, Mike Armstrong and Gary Lucas had worked the first seven frames, and Eric Rasmussen (back muscle spasms) and John Curtis (stiffness and soreness) were unavailable. Coleman did not want to have to use Fingers. He had pitched 2 innings Wednesday night.


“The first time I got in trouble,” Kinney said, “I looked around and saw nobody was warming up in the bullpen. I knew it was my game to win or lose.


“It was a new feeling and a good one," he added. “I was taken out of the first four games I lost this year and someone else let in the winning runs. This club hasn’t had much confidence in me, but its no accident that I’m in the big leagues.”


Kinney had not worked more than 4 innings in any of his previous outings this season.


Kinney got his chance to pitch 7 extra frames because Dave Winfield tied the score, 8-8, with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth. It was Winfield’s 15th homer of the season.


In the final nine innings of the game, San Diego managed just four hits.