There was plenty of blame to go around in the Los Angeles Dodgers dressing room and Burt Hooton was trying to take most of it.
"I lost it around the third inning," said the pitcher who yielded only three hits and one unearned run in the Dodgers' 3-0 loss to the Yankees in the second game of the World Series. "I felt strong but I didn't have the extra zip on the ball. It was a gradual thing. I was sound mechanically. I felt good. I made a few bad pitches; some they didn't hit."
Steve Garvey, who had two hits in three at bats, plus a walk, blamed the Dodgers' inability to score.
"It was a good solid game again," he said. "It's simple. If you don't score, you don't win."
Reggie Smith, who pinch hit in the eighth inning and had one of the Dodgers' four hits of winner Tommy John and reliever Goose Gossage, said he would request that he be put back in the starting lineup.
"It's fortunate we're going home," he said. "We can determine our fate there. We have the last at bat, our fans cheering for us and it's a matter of just getting the breaks and taking advantage of them."
Los Angeles Manager Tom Lasorda, always an optimist, said his team was worse off when it was down two games to Houston in the divisional playoffs.
"I think we're one game better off then we were then," he said. "And we're starting back with Fernando (Valenzuela)."
There was an unsung hero at the game. His name is Johnny Oates.
"George (Steinbrenner) and I had a long talk about this game the other day," Tommy John explained, "and I told him we have a guy in our own organization who knows the Dodger hitters better than anyone: Johnny Oates. George said, 'That's right, he caught for them didn't he? Let's get Johnny up here right away."
So Oates, much to his surprise, was summoned to New York from the Yankee instructional team in Florida. "The main thing Johnny was able to do for me was refresh my mind about the Dodgers to the little things you don't always remember," Tommy John said. "It helped too. But then again, I've always felt that Johnny Oates will be a major league manager some day. When I become a general manager, I plan to hire him."
The Yankees weren't the only ones hot: a fire broke out in the interview room at the stadium 2 1/2 hours after the game, chasing reporters and bringing five fire trucks, 27 firefighters and a battalion chief. A security guard said he thought it had begun in the wiring in a wall.
Of the 34 teams that have won the first two games of a Series, 27 have gone on to win the title.