Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Steve Garvey spoils Padres family day

On the 1977 Padres schedule, July 16 was listed as "Player's Family Game." Is this one of those games where the players play on the field with the kids, like you would see on early 90s Upper Deck cards? If it was on the schedule, I am guessing that was done not in an empty stadium but with fans watching.

The stresses of playing in the family game before the real one must have worn out the hitters, as there were only seven hits in the game. The game was scoreless into the top of the eighth, when the Dodgers pushed across a run in a way that started with a play you never see anymore. With one out and nobody on, Steve Garvey, who by this point in July had 22 home runs, and just played in his fourth straight All Star Game, bunted for a hit. Can you imagine Mark Teixiera or Albert Pujols doing that today? It's a pet peeve of mine that more good hitters don't do this, especially how often the defense is practically giving the guy the bunt hit. If a good hitter had this in their arsenal, they could not only get a few key hits bunting the way Garvey did here, but by forcing the fielders to defend against the bunt, they could open more holes in the infield for ground ball and line drive hits. Great play, Garvey!

Rant over, back to the game. With Garvey on and one out, Dusty Baker hit a ground ball to third, retiring Garvey but putting Baker on first. Baker then went to third on a Glenn Burke single and was driven home by Steve Yeager for the only run of the game, won by the Dodgers 1-0.