Philadelphia Inquirer - April 21, 1980
Phils make the pitches, but Expos get the win
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
MONTREAL – Dallas Green watched his bullpen make a whole lot of good pitches yesterday. And Dallas Green would much rather watch his bullpen make good pitches than hang 18 sliders, no question about it.
But, as has been well-established, Dallas Green is not easy. All the good pitches and all the fine intentions on Earth are not in themselves enough to make Dallas Green a happy manager.
"You've got to look at the bottom line," Green said after all those good pitches still turned into a painful 7-6 loss for the Phillies. "And the bottom line is, they didn't come out too well."
First, Green watched Lerrin LaGrow power one over the outside corner on Montreal's Ellis Valentine in the seventh. And he watched Valentine dump an end-of-the-bat RBI single into left that ate up what was left of a two-run Phillies lead.
Then Green watched Tug McGraw jam Ron LeFlore an inning later. And he watched LeFlore punch a single to center that erased another Phillies lead.
Then in the ninth, he watched McGraw bore one inside on Larry Parrish. And Parrish looped another single that set up a game-winning Gary Carter sacrifice fly one pitch later.
"They didn't hit the ball too gang-damned hard those last couple innings," Green said, sympathetically.
It was, however, about the only thing Green said sympathetically.
"Cripes, we've got to be able to hold a lead," Green muttered. "The gul-damned offense is doing everything it knows how to do, for cripe's sakes. Cripes, there's only so many times you can come back.
"Our offense is doing everything we've asked it. We've played the game right. We've bunted when we had to bunt. We've played the way we've had to play. We're doing everything you've got to do to score runs.
"The pitchers just have to take responsibility for what's going on on this team. We all said pitching's going to be the key. I've said the pitching doesn't worry me. But they've got to start doing it between the white lines."
The Phillies ground back on Bill Lee yesterday, which is never one of their more fun things to do. They were down, 3-1, in the first, after Randy Lerch was ripped for three runs and five two-out hits (including back-to-back homers by Andre Dawson and Valentine).
But they caught up in the fifth on a two-run triple by Bake McBride. McBride is 6-for-10 with nine RBIs with men in scoring position.
Then Greg Luzinski made it 4-3 with a homer in the sixth. And Garry Maddox made it 5-3 with a two-out RBI double in the seventh.
But Lerch gave up singles to Tony Bernazard and LeFlore starting the seventh. So Green went to LaGrow after Rodney Scott bunted the runners over.
LaGrow got Dawson on a chopper to third for the second out, Bernazard scoring. But Valentine plunked his end-of-the-bat job into left to tie it.
The Phillies regained the lead in the eighth, set up by Chris Speier's wild throw on Luzinski's leadoff grounder. Then Bob Boone singled. Larry Bowa bunted them to second and third. And Luis Aguayo lined a sacrifice fly to Ron LeFlore, the No-Armed Man.
But Warren Cromartie (14-for-his-last-23) opened the eighth with a looping single to center. Speier tried to bunt him to second, and dumped a weak one in front of the plate. It started spinning toward the first-base line, but Boone grabbed it, slipped to his knees and had no choice but to go to first.
"I should have let it go," Boone said. "You've got to keep the guy off second. But it was close enough for me to get to it and have a play on the guy at second. That's what I was looking for. But as soon as I started going down, I had to go to first. I just figured, well, we got an out anyway."
McGraw then came back and fanned Bernazard with a fastball for the second out. But LeFlore tied it with his hit. And McGraw had to battle back from 3-and-O on Jerry White to strike him out and get to the ninth.
The Phils went down 1-2-3 to Elias Sosa. Then McGraw got off to a rocky start in the ninth by walking Dawson, the leadoff hitter.
"You can't walk anybody, not in game-winning situations. Tug knows that," Green said. "He didn't want to walk him. You've just got to pitch better. You can't walk people. In fairness to Tug, he hadn't been out in eight or nine days. But he's a professional. He's paid to do a job."
McGraw came back and struck out Valentine with an out-of-the-strike-zone fastball. But Parrish stroked a flare to center. Maddox charged it, hoping to hold Dawson at second. But he couldn't make a clean pickup on a very tough short hop, and Dawson cruised into third. The play originally was scored an error on Maddox, then changed.
"If I stay back, the guy goes to third automatically," Maddox said. "The only way he holds at second is if I catch it or if he thinks I'm going to catch it. So all you can try and do is short-hop it."
Carter followed with a fly to medium-deep left. Luzinski had no chance at the plate, so the Phils were stuck with a loss that, come Sept. 1, might be pretty excruciating to remember.
NOTES: Manny Trillo (sprained right ankle) is expected to be out about a week. . . . Lerch allowed only four singles after the first: "He was just overthrowing the bail' in the first," Green said. "He tried to throw the ball through a brick wall. Once he got loose, he flipped the ball and he got the good tail on it again."