PHILADELPHIA — Larry Bowa and Davey Lopes now wear the opposite uniforms of 31 years ago, but neither one can escape his place in the controversy that surrounded them when the Phillies and Dodgers met in the 1977 NLCS.
The memory still stings here in Philadelphia, where they call that momentum-shifting Game 3 in the best-of-five series "Black Friday." The Phillies were one out away from taking a 2-1 series lead, but the Dodgers eventually got the tying run on third.
Lopes hit a sharp grounder to third that caromed off Mike Schmidt and to Bowa, who was playing shortstop for the Phillies. Bowa fired to first, but umpire Bruce Froemming called Lopes safe as the tying run scored. The Dodgers went on to win the game, and the series 3-1.
Naturally, a day before the NLCS in Philadelphia, Bowa was asked to reminisce.
"I've seen it enough times," said Bowa, now the Dodgers' third-base coach. "I know what the outcome is every time I look at it. But I've got all kinds of film on it. I've slowed it down. I've speeded it up, and I get the same call. … I know Davey says let it go. But he was out. He knows he was out."
Lopes, now the Phillies' first-base coach, didn't hesitate to engage in the debate.
"To tell you the truth, I've never seen the play, don't want to see the play. Why Larry keeps dwelling on it I have no clue. … It wasn't the last game. They had plenty of opportunities to turn and reverse that. They didn't do it. Stop crying and get over and move on."
KEEPING THE ROUTINE: Phillies sluggers Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are hitting a combined .154 (4-for-26) this postseason, but manager Charlie Manuel said he hasn't told the slumping hitters much because both have regimented routines.
Utley hits balls off a tee, while Howard will do a soft-toss daily.
"We're getting back to that even keel," Manuel said. "Human nature plays a big part in the game. It's hard to sit and explain to someone how you feel and what's going on with you."
SAITO COULD MISS SERIES: Dodgers closer Takashi Saito, who is reportedly having trouble with his mechanics, could be moved off the roster, which must be set today, and replaced by lefty reliever Hong-Chih Kuo.