SI Vault
 
TWO SMASHUPS AND A SLIPUP
Ron Fimrite
October 16, 1978
Garry Maddox proceeded solemnly among the multitudes that had come to rejoice in his humiliation, opening a narrow path through them as he trotted almost leisurely in from centerfield. It was as if rushing away from the disaster would acknowledge that it had actually happened, as if moving at a measured pace would make it a mere illusion. When he crossed into foul territory, Maddox slowed to a walk as dozens of agile youngsters leaped from the dugout roof and alighted all around him like vultures approaching carrion. He paused for an instant at the lip of the dugout and dreamily rubbed his sleeve over his eyes. Then he dropped from sight.
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October 16, 1978

Two Smashups And A Slipup

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Lopes homered, tripled and singled to drive in three of the four runs the Dodgers scored in Game 2. Only one run was required, because the lefthanded John, recovering nicely from a torn calf muscle, shut out the Phillies on four hits, coaxing them to hit into three double plays with his lowbreaking stuff. John was in such control he could afford a little horseplay. In the seventh inning, with Rick Monday on first, he dropped a sacrifice bunt down the first-base line that Cardenal fielded while falling to his knees. He waited on the baseline to tag John, but the Dodger pitcher ran backward instead, eventually recrossing home plate for an automatic out.

The dour Carlton was the whole shebang in Game 3, driving in four runs with a three-run homer and a single and scattering eight Dodger hits, one of which was another Garvey home run. Carlton, who has a policy of remaining mum in the presence of the press, was apparently so pleased with himself that he consented to be interviewed after the game. He was a bit rusty after so long a silence, and his answers were mostly monosyllabic—"Want to talk about your hitting?" "No"—but, by heaven, he was there instead of being sequestered in the sanctuary of the trainer's room, which is off limits to the press.

There was no approaching Carlton after the final game. He sat before his locker snapping like a terrier at those who violated his territory. All the joy was down the hall in the Dodger clubhouse, where Lasorda, drenched with champagne, bellowed time and again, "We're in the Fall Classic!" establishing that he owes his eloquence to the sports pages. Russell, the most underrated of the Dodgers, wandered happily through a thickening crowd, wringing hands and grinning sheepishly. Edwina Gilliam, the stricken coach's wife, broke Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's edict on women in the clubhouse to congratulate her husband's old pals. She sat with her back demurely to the room, alternately embracing and being embraced by the players. Sadly, Gilliam died the following night.

In the clubhouse of the vanquished, Garry Maddox dressed quickly. "It was a line drive right to me," he said. "I just missed it. It's probably something I'll hear about and never forget for the rest of my life."

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