Los ANGELES--Battered and bewildered, the Los Angeles Dodgers stagger back into their own ballpark Tuesday night, hopiong to prolong a World Serics that has turned upsidse down on them.
The Dodgers left California last Thursday, sitting pretty with victories in the first two games against the New York Yankees. They returned Monday on the short end after New York swept three straight games at Yankee Stadium.
First the Yankees used Graig Netttles's glovse to short circuit Los Angeles in Game 3. The came a whacky basepath controvesrsy taht supplied a key run adn led New York to victory in Game 4. Finally, in Sunday's fifth contest, the roof fell in on the Dodgers as New York sprayed 18 hilts around Yankee Stadium and Thurman Munson drove in five runs in a 12-2 rount.
The Dodgers managed only six runs in the three games in New York, and half those came on ones swing when Reggie Smith tagged a homer in jgame 4. Their infield started springing leaks and the Yankees capitalized on almost every opportunity.
Los Angeles will try to halt the Yankee express with veteran Don Suton in Tuesday night's sixth game. New York will use caatfish Hunter, saving ace Ron Guidry for a poossible seventh game--hoping one isn't needed. Sutton was the third-game loser and Hunter was charged with the loss in Game 2.
Tom Lasorda, manager of the Dodgers, doesn't quite know how to explain what happened to this club in New York. "Wer're not too happy about it," he said.
Asked if he thought when he came to New York that the Yankees could beat his team three straight games, Lasorda shook his head. "I didn't believe it when I came here," he said, "but I do now."
While he wouldn't us the Reggie Jackson-basepath incident in Game 4 as an excuse. Lasorda still ws steaming ovesr the call. The Dodgers claimed Jackson had interfered with a throw on a potential double play and the incident costs them a vital run in their extra-inning loss.
"In the first game in New York, Nettles play really hurt us. I saw the play over and over again and I think Frank is an outstanding umpire and a great guy. It's just unfortunate that he saw it the way he did. That hurt us very, badly."
The Dodgers hurt themselves with shoddy fielding, wild pitches and passed balls that simply compounded the Yankee attack in the fifth game.
If the Yankes win Tuesday nilght's sixth game, it will mark the first time in Series history that a team has lost the first two games and them rebounded to win the next four. Five teams have come back form two straight loses to win the Series but all of them needed the seven-game limit to do the job.