Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 3, 1984
CHICAGO (AP) - Gary Mathews hit
two home runs to lead a record-
breaking parade of five Chicago
homers, backing Rick Sutcliffe's strong
pitching as the Cubs clobbered the San
Diego Padres 13-0 yesterday in the first
game of the best-of-five National
League Championship Series.
Besides Matthews, the Cubs got home
runs from Bob Dernier, Ron Cey and
Sutcliffe, who had a 16-1 record with
Chicago during a season that ended
with a club record equalling 14 straight
DERNIER, who scored three runs,
and Matthews, who had four RBI, hit
solo homers off Padres' right-hander
Eric Show for the Cubs' first two runs in
the first inning. Sutcliffe hit a leadoff
homer in the third, and Matthews ad-
ded a three-run homer in a six-run fifth
inning during which the Cubs sent 12
men to the plate against reliever Greg
Aided by a 20 mph wind blowing out
toward center field, Dernier's leadoff
homer cleared the screen behind the
left-field bleachers and landed in
Waveland Avenue. It came on a 1-0 pit-
ch from Show, who had yielded 18
homers during the regular season.
After Ryne Sandberg struck out, Mat-
thews hit his homer, a low line drive
about halfway up the bleachers in
left center. That home run ball came on
a 3-1 pitch, and the Cubs led 2-0 to the
delight of a crowd of 36,282 - some of
baseball's most rabid and deprived
SUTCLIFFE, meanwhile, had taken
aim at the rather large strike zone of
Cavanaugh with great success over the
first three innings. He struck out two
batters each in the second and third in-
nings, including McReynolds and Show
looking. He did not allow a baserunner
until Martinez walked to lead off the
Leading off the bottom of the inning,
Sutcliffe hit only the third League
Championship Series homer by a pit-
cher, smashing an 01 pitch from Show
into Sheffield Avenue, over the right
field bleachers. The only other LCS
homers by pitchers were by Don Gullett
of Cincinnati in 1975 and Steve Carlton
of Philadelphia in 1978.
Before the inning was over, Chicago
had scored two more runs, on air RBI
single by Leon Durham and a sacrifice
fly by Moreland. And the Padres were
in the hole, 5-0.
Dernier led off the Cubs' fifth with a
double, and Harris walked Sandberg.
And the Cubs had their two tablesetters
- who had scored more than 200 runs
between them - on base. Matthews hit
the next pitch from Harris into the right
field bleachers for his second homer of
Harris got the first out of the inning
when Durham grounded to second, but
Moreland followed with an infield,
single up the middle. Cey walked, and
Jody Davis drove in the fourth run of
the inning with a single. Another run
scored on Larry Bowa's fielder's choice
grounder, and after a bloop single by
Sutcliffe and a walk to Dernier, San-
dberg drove in a run with a single. The
inning finally ended when Matthews
Pondering the playoffs
By PAUL HELGREN
I wish I had Bo Schembechler's confidence. Somebody
asked the Tiger superfan if playoff fever would sideline
interest in this Saturday's Michigan-Michigan State
football game. Schembechler asked when the first three
games of the American League championship Series are
"Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday?" he repeated.
"Series will be over by the time we play.''
By all rights the playoffs should be over by Friday.
The Kansas City Royals don't belong on the same turf
with the Tigers, astro or otherwise. Had they been unfor-
tunate enough to be grouped with the American
League's eastern teams, the Royals would have been
buried in fifth place, 20 games behind Detroit. The
Tigers own baseball's best relief corps, one of the best
starting pitching threesomes and a lineup which boasts
eight hitters in double figures in home runs. They had
the lowest ERA in the AL and scored more runs than any
team in either league. They're also the first team since
the '27 Yankees to lead the league from start to finish.
Then tell me, please, why do I have this creeping sense
that disaster awaits this team?
It's nothing i can put my finger on. But. so far
everything has been too good to be true. Winning the
division came easy - suspiciously easy. The Orioles and
Blue Jays just rolled over and played dead. Could it be a
trap set by the baseball gods? Are Tigers fans set up for
a collective and gigantic fall? Will Detroiters pay for
their boastful and nauseating slogan (Bless you
something or other") with the sacrifice of their first-
born champion? One Detroit sportswriter said it's "win
or else" for the Bengals. That kind of pressure makes
I can't put my finger on it. Maybe I've been con-
ditioned too well as a Detroit sports fan. Maybe I'be beer
teased too often, brought to the altar of victory, only to be
cynically stood up with a sneer. "Sucker. Haven't you
Then again, maybe I'm just not used to this winning
thing. My teams have never won anything, you see. I've
been a Detroit sports fan since about 1970 and not one of
the four major sports teams has been a champion in that
period. Something like that shapes your whole outlook on
life. Cub fans - kindred spirits to Tiger backers -
would understand this. Those of you from New York or
Los Angeles would not. I try to console myself that this is
the reason for my pessimism. But still I'm uneasy.
Something about this Royals team gives me an uneasy
feeling, too. They remind me of the 1973 New York
Mets. I think it was Sparky who first made this com-
parison. The '73 Mets, like the Royals, got an early
Christmas present by virtue of belonging to a division
where nobody wanted to (or was able to) win. They were
a club of leftovers from a past champion (like the
Royals) that squeaked into the Fall Classic with slimey
82-79 record. Their opponents, the Cincinnati Reds
(remember who their manager was?), posted 99 wins.
They drooled at the opportunity to humiliate the N.Y.
The Metropolitans won the series, three games to two.
They damn near won the World Series, too.
Maybe things are different now. Times have changed,
they tell me. Look at the Cubs. They beat the Kroc out of
the Padres yesterday. Didn't the Cubs used to be losers,
too? Perhaps this is the year - of the loser. That's not
a pleasant thought, either, because the Cubs have been
losers longer than the Tigers.
God, how I'd hate to lose to a team whose best pitcher
is an ex-Cleveland Indian and whose best everything
else is an ex-Philadelphia Phillie.
But a worse fate than that would be losing to the
Royals. Who's their best hitter? Steve Balboni? Gimme
a break. Their second-best starter is 10-11? Super. Then
how come the Tigers took only seven of 12 games from
them this year? How in the world did they sweep four
from us at home? Why do they have a relief pitcher,
whose name sounds like it should have the words
"Kellogg's Frosted" before it, save 44 games?
Nothing to be afraid of, right Bo? Then why do I have
By MIKE MCGRAW
When a group of people become a "team of destiny,"
there is no stopping them. Balls bounce off pitcher's
backs and become game-ending double plays. No-name
second basemen hit game-tying home runs off the
league's best reliever. And pitchers start hitting the ball
into the street.
The Cubs are exactly such a team.
After 39 years of waiting, most Cub fans never
honestly believed their team would ever appear in
another World Series and took enjoyment in winning a
few games in the optimistic months of April and May.
But the impossible finally happened this season. The
Cubs won the National League East. Such an
achievement can only mean that the curse is over. Win-
ning is once again possible in Wrigley Field. So while
they're at it, they might as well win the whole thing.
Regardless of the Cubs already-determined
destination, they are -still the best team in baseball.
There is no question that the National League is the
more powerful of the majors and the Cubs dominated
play there this season. The Tigers may have won more
games, but the competition they faced was far weaker.
There are three keys to a good team in baseball: sound
fielding, a strong bullpen, and lots of power at the plate.
The Cubs are among the very top of the National League.
in all three categories.
The key to the Cubs' defense was the trade made just
before the regular season began which put Bob Dernier
in center field. The most effective weapon a club can
have is a speedy gloveman in the middle of the outfield
that can erase potential extra-base hits.
In the bullpen, the Cubbies have the big Louisianan,
Lee Smith. And when the shadows start to creep out over
home plate at Wrigley, as they will do early in the after-
noon in October, no hitter can see Smith's 100 mile-per-
hour fastballs, let alone try to hit them with a bat.
Balls flying onto Waveland Avenue is as common a
sight in Chicago as Harry Carey drinking a Budweiser.
There are only three spots in the batting order in which
there are Cubs with fewer than 15 home runs- one, eight
Put all these factors together and you have a cham-
pionship ball club. But there is another reason why the
Cubs will win it all, their experience.
With all the ex-Phillies and Dodgers on the squad, there
are few in blue pinstripes that haven't tasted the thrill of
post-season baseball. And that can be a factor when you're
battling a bunch of players that have never been there
before, like for example Detroit.
This does make things a little less enjoyable for
longtime Cub enthusiasts when they notice that only
three players on the 25-man roster - Smith, Henry Cotto
and Rick Reuschel are originalCubbers. But that's
something we can live with.
And I'll tell you something else, there's the in-
timidation factor that will loom large come World Series
time. You put a guy like Kirk Gibson or Tony Gwynn
out in the sunshine in right field with the Bleacher Bums
yelling behind him and he's going to crack. Fans will
likely be watching Gibson lose a ball in the sun or crash
into the ivy on more than one occasion.
And look at the support they'll get. Everyone in the
world is going to be pulling for the Cubs to win the Series,
except for maybe a few local Bless You Boy-ers. Forget
all that crap about the Braves being America's Team. A
fan on Rush Street said it best when he leaned into a
microphone on division-clinching night and uttered,
"This is a victory for all of Arferica."
But the bottom line is the Cubs deserve to win it more
than any other team. I personally remember the Tigers
and Royals being in the playoffs before and nobody
cares about baseball in San Diego. None of these teams
will make acceptable champions.
The last time the Cubs captured the World Series was
1908, a time when few people besides Ronald Reagan
were alive. Face it. The Cubs should win it. It's long past
And nobody is going to stop them.
Cubs' leadoff man Bob Dernier opens the first game of the National League playoffs by smacking a first inning home
run off San Diego pitcher Eric Show.
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