The San Diego Padres pitching staff in 1984 was not flashy by any means. Right handed pitchers Ed Whitson and Eric Show anchored the staff, while lefties Tim Lollar and Mark Thurmund occupied the 3rd and 4th spot.
The fifth spot was a rotation between Dave Dravecky and Andy Hawkins. The team didn’t have one fireball pitcher in the starting staff. In fact Tim Lollar was probably the hardest thrower, but you could hardly describe him as a fireball fastball pitcher.
Ed Whitson was a crafty veteran pitcher with a nice little sinker and an assortment of pitches. His out pitch was his palm ball, or a variation of a change-up. Eric Show was a competitor, he didn’t have over powering stuff, but wasn’t afraid to attack hitters. He also had a great pick off move and was very hard to steal off of.
Eric Show also swung the bat very well and was used as a pinch hitter by Dick Williams on many occasions. Mark Thurmund was a light throwing left hander that relied on location over stuff. He had an excellent off speed arsenal.
The bullpen was a successful combination of Craig Lefferts and Goose Gossage. Lefferts was a left-handed specialist with a tricky screwball and a decent slider. The most memorable thing about Craig Lefferts was his flat-out sprint to the pitching mound from the bullpen when called to the game. That always was a fan favorite. I can remember being in the Murph watching him sprint across the field, with the crowd going nuts. Pretty cool thing for a guy who was a setup man, in the days where set-up men were not appreciated as vastly.
Rich “Goose” Gossage provided the stability in the end that resulted in 25 saves that season for the Padres. Gossage also recorded 10 wins out of the bullpen that season for the Friars. His 2.90 ERA and 84 strike outs was key to the Padres success. Lefferts was 3-4 in 1984 with a 2.13 ERA and 10 saves. This dynamic duo was big for the Padres. Gossage is a 2008 hall-of-fame member receiving 85.8% of the vote.
Not to be forgotten are Greg Booker a hard throwing right-handed pitcher who amassed a 3.30 ERA in 1984. Booker later served first as Padres bullpen coach, then a season plus as the Padres pitching coach. From 1997-2003 he was a coach in the Padres organization. Luis DeLeon, Greg Harris, Floyd Chiffer and Sid Monge made up the rest of the bullpen for the Padres. Harris had a decent ERA of 2.70 but only got into 19 games. That era of baseball, was much different, starting pitchers went seven innings almost all the time. Middle relievers were not needed as much, plain and simple.
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