Pitcher John Casey had just beaten Mass. Envelope, 14-4, last night to keep Triple D’s alive in the Park League playoff finals, and he had looked good doing it.
Well, he looked good if you excluded the four triples he gave up.
And the seven-run lead his teammates gave him after the first inning.
And a fastball that wouldn’t draw a speeding ticket from an Alabama state trooper.
“That’s what happens when you lose your fastball after three innings. You pitch and duck,” Casey said. “What the hell, you either win or lose, and if we beat them every inning we’re not going to lose the game.”
Triple D’s couldn’t afford to lose this one. The defending Park League champions were down in games, 3-0, to Mass. Envelope in the best-of-seven series.
“You want to take them one at a time,” Mass. Envelope manager Mark McHugh had said before last night’s game at Fallon Field in Roslindale. “But as confident as (my) team is, I bet we sweep.”
All bets were off after the first inning when Triple D’s led, 7- 0, on four hits, four walks, two errors and a hit batter. Envelope starter Bill Buckley lasted one-third of the inning before Ernie Tasho relieved him. Envelope finished with six errors, although an infield that has more bumps than Chuck Wepner’s face probably had something to do with it.
Anyway, after that first inning Casey attacked Envelope hitters from different angles, going sidearm sometimes and over the top others.
“After the fourth inning I couldn’t move. This is the longest I’ve been in for two years,” said the 23-year-old Casey, an assistant Tufts football and baseball coach who came back from a slipped disc three weeks ago. “But if I’d let up seven runs, they would have had to carry me off the field tonight.”
“If you’d let in seven runs,” said his manager and uncle, Leo Casey, “I would’ve chased you off the field.”
“You probably would’ve caught me, too,” the pitcher said.
The teams play Game Five at 7 tonight at Casey Field in Dorchester.
“I don’t know how to say it,” John Casey said, “but they’ve got a bunch more big mouths than we do.”
“No, no,” his manager answered, hoping not to offer Envelope any more reasons to wrap up the championship. “They’re a good bunch of guys.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see us come back,” the pitcher said.
“Neither would I,” said the manager.
Copyright © 1982 Boston Globe, all rights reserved. Written by Ian Thomsen.