Camden Courier-Post - April 17, 1980
Phils bloop way to win over Cards
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
ST. LOUIS – The Phillies are only five games into what may well be an abbreviated 1980 season, but already the unusual is becoming commonplace.
Take, for instance, yesterday's 8-3 victory over the Cardinals in Busch Stadium. The final score would seem to indicate the Phillies got more than a few token hits off a St. Louis starting pitcher. Not so. Actually, the score serves only to disguise what was a genuine pitcher's duel between Steve Carlton and Cardinal righthander Bob Forsch.
Yesterday's game, however, is merely among a series of early-season Phillies oddities. There was, first, the error shortstop Larry Bowa made on opening night in Veterans Stadium. Bowa had not made an error in his home park in more than a year. Then Greg Luzinski, of all people, became the first Phillie to steal a base. And, who would have guessed that Pete Rose would come out of the first five games hitting a wilting .143?
ABOUT THE only thing predictable with the game that gave the Phillies a series split with St. Louis was the performance of Carlton, who fed the fastball hitting Cards a diet of breaking pitches and went into the ninth inning with a four-hit shutout.
Carlton, who now owns two-thirds of the club's winning interest, was presented with an 8-0 lead going into the ninth courtesy of one of the more bizarre six-run rallies in memory. The lefthander tired, though, after striking out Ken Oberkfell to open the ninth, and relinquished four straight hits and three runs before giving way to righthander Dickie Noles.
That's right, Noles. Manager Dallas Green's designated long-relief man during spring training and a starter last season, went in to get the last two outs of the game.
"THE (SHORT RELIEF) role is one he can fill, in my opinion," said Green, who is shuffling his bullpen in search of just such a person. "I like the way Dickie comes at hitters. He challenges them. I've always had it in the back of my mind that he would make a damn good bullpen man."
Interestingly, Forsch pitched on the second anniversary of his no-hitter against the Phillies. He threw well, allowing just five hits and two runs before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth. It’s the first the Phillies have seen of the St. Louis bullpen and, apparently, they liked what they saw.
The uprising – using that term loosely – came at the expense of Cardinal relievers Roy Thomas and Don Hood and began with a single by Mike Schmidt, who would bat a second time and make the final out of the inning.
Greg Luzinski followed Schmidt with a bloop single to right before Bob Boone stroked an RBI double just fair down the third base line. The hit was Boone's second of the game, raising his average to .400.
AFTER LARRY BOWA popped to left, Manny Trillo bounced a two-run single through a drawn in infield. At least, that's the way it will read in today's boxscore. Actually, St. Louis shortstop Garry Temple-ton would have gotten to the ball had he not collided with Boone on the play.
"I ran into Templeton," said Boone. "We both made a move at the same time. There was nothing I could do to get out of the way."
Third base umpire Joe West called Boone for obstruction as soon as the play developed. But he was inexplicably overruled by second base umpire John McSherry, The Cardinals argued the ruling, but lost.
Hood was brought in to pitch to Carlton and, after striking him out, induced Rose to ground harmlessly toward Templeton. Except, there's no such thing as a harmless ground ball hit Templeton's way. The error-prone shortstop dropped the ball, keeping the Phillies alive.
IT SEEMED only natural, then, that Bake McBride hit a looping, two-run opposite-field double and Garry Maddox an RBI single to put the finishing touches on the Phillies' biggest inning to date.
"It wasn't like we pulverized the ball," smiled Maddox. "You're talking about a questionable interference call that cost them a run and a couple of bloop hits."
Maddox was pulled for a pinch runner in the ninth, a move that did not particularly please the Phillies latest highest paid player. Maddox had aggravated a sore hip while swinging in the seventh.
"The hip has been bothering me on and off for a month," explained Maddox, who signed a six-year pact worth $4.2 million on Tuesday. "But it's nothing serious, nothing to make me miss a game or anything like that."
PHIL UPS – Greg Gross woke up Tuesday morning with a stiff back and was unavailable for pinch-hitting duty during the two-game series... Righthander Nino Espinosa tested his ailing right shoulder (tendinitis) yesterday, throwing 130 pitches... Similarly afflicted Warren Brusstar is scheduled to resume, throwing next week... Phillies are off today, begin a three-game series in Montreal tomorrow... The win was Carlton's seventh straight, five in a row since last September.
Talks go into recess with little solved
NEW YORK (AP) – The two sides negotiating a new labor contract for major league baseball took parting shots yesterday before beginning a two-week recess. When the parties return May 6, there will be less than three weeks before the players’ May 22 strike deadline.
"To say there was no progress in this negotiation isn't right because someone would come back and say that a couple of miniscule points were straightened out," said Marvin Miller, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. "But as far as the main item on compensation is concerned, it is safe to say there was no progress."
"We thought that the players were ready to make a significant movement but anything they did was insignificant," said Ray Grebey, negotiator for the 26 owners, "They surprised us in this sense."
Federal mediator Kenneth Moffett reported that yesterday's negotiations had taken a turn for the worse.
"The end of the meeting was less than cordial between the negotiators," Moffett said. "The general tenor was not cordial. The whole feeling was somewhat heated… Don't say that; say less than cordial. The tone of the discussion has changed. No one is shouting, but the tone has changed."
The contract talks, under the cloud of the players' threat to resume their strike of the final week of the exhibition season on May 23 if an agreement has not been reached by the previous night, have been stalled over the matter of free-agency compensation.
"The owners' proposal on compensation was on the table, not the players' proposal," Miller said.