Allentown Morning Call - April 21, 1980
Phils bats turn to taffy
By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Being traded from the New York Mets to the New York Yankees sounds about as inviting as. say. being busted from senator to dog catcher. But don't tell that to Ray Burns who sounds eager to kiss the ground at Shea Stadium.
"You don't know how good I felt coming over said Burns after shutting out the Phillies for eight innings in a 3-0 Mets' victory last night at Veterans Stadium before 23.856. "I owe everything to (manager) Joe Torre and the Mets' organization for giving me the chance. I don't know where I’d be now if they didn't."
The Phillies would like to suggest a few places, none of them the mound at Veterans Stadium. With the exception of Pete Rose, every Phillies' bat turned to taffy against Burris' assortment of heat, sliders and changeups. He tired alter walking Mike Schmidt with one nut in the eighth but Neil Allen came on and got the save.
Rose came into the game at .189 but left at .244 alter collecting two singles and a triple. And the Mets even had the last laugh on Pete as Allen got Rose on a flyball to center to end the game.
Greg Luzinski (sixth inning single) and pinch-hitter Del Unser (ninth inning single off Allen) had the only other hits lor the Phillies who fell below .500 with the loss.
"If we're going to do anything this year, we've obviously got to beat teams like the Mets." said manager Dallas Green who always could point out a nose on a face. "But the kid (Burris) pitched a helluva game. It was the slider that got us again just like in St. Louis (when Pete Vuckovich beat the Phils)."
Burris is now 9-4 lifetime against the Phils but this is his first win over them in a Mets' uniform. The others came when he was with the Cubs lor whom he pitched five seasons, three of them (1973-77) outstanding ones. But he slipped a little in 1978 to 7-13 and, at the beginning of the 1979 season, Cubs' manager Herman Franks decided to send him to the bullpen. Burns was not enthralled by the strategy.
"It hurt me a lot," said Burris who gave up all of his four hits with two outs. “I had been a successful starter lor that club for three years and all of a sudden I'm demoted.
"'Even after he (Franks I told me in spring training I was going to be relieving, he also told me I was the fourth starter. So we're up in Montreal early in the season and I hear over the p.a. system that Mike Krukow's starting. Then, the next possible time I could start, he goes with Dennis Lamp. I knew then my time was up in Chicago.
“I tried to talk to him about it but he let it be known to me that I had no right to even come into his office. He tried to tear my morale down and he did a good job of it."
By May 23 of last year. Burris was gone to the Yankees for Dick Tidrow. He pitched quite a bit in relief under Bob Lemon but, when Billy Martin took over, Burris didn't fit into his plans and the Mets got him on waivers on August 20. Torre immediately converted him back to starterdom.
"I went out and pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in my first start for them against the Reds." said Burris. "It was like I was born again."
Burns is 2-1 this year and is the first Mets' pitcher to get back-to-back wins.
Loser Steve Carlton was sharp in his seven innings but didn't get the support. He gave up a run in the fourth when John Stearns singled, went to second on an infield out and came home on Joel Youngblood's sharp single to left. A stronger armed leftfielder than Luzinski had a play on Stearns at the plate, but he went to second and did manage to nail Youngblood trying to stretch it into a double.
The Mets scored their only other run off Carlton in the fifth on singles by Elliot Maddox and Doug Flynn (the only back-to-back hits of the game to let you know how interesting it was), a fielder's choice and Frank Taveras' RBI single.
Ron Reed – he of the 9.00 ERA – mopped up in the eighth and ninth and that description is apt. He put the first two men on in the eighth (Taveras single and Stearns hit by pitch), then promptly ignored them as they performed a double steal of third and second.
The run eventually scored on Steve Henderson's slow-hit grounder to shortstop. Larry Bowa flipped to second lor one out on the play but John Vukovich. not in his native utility position which is third base, was too slow on the pivot to make the double play. And Garry Maddox's fine running catch on Taveras' liner in the left-center gap saved another run in the ninth.
Carlton has Mets problems
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Ray Burris and Neil Allen combined on a five-hitter, and Joel Youngblood and Frank Taveras drove in key runs last night as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0.
The Mets continued to trouble left-hander Steve Carlton. They now hold a 26-23 edge over the lefty, one of baseball's top pitchers. It was Carlton's first loss this season after two victories. Burris now is 2-1.
New York took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when John Sterns opened with a single, took second on an infield out and scored on Young-blood's single. The Mets made it 2-0 in the fifth on Taveras' RBI single.
Burris allowed four hits, struck out four and walked five in 7½ innings before needing Allen's relief help. Although Burris came into the game with a 1-1 record, he had an earned run average of 7.00 in 8⅔ innings.
Carlton worked seven innings and gave up five hits, struck out five and walked two. Allen received a save for New York, his fourth.
The Mets added an insurance run in the eighth inning off reliever Ron Reed. Taveras opened with a single and moved to second as John Sterns was hit by a pitch. After a double steal, Lee Mazzilli grounded out to Rose, the runners holding. Youngblood was walked intentionally and Taveras scored as Steve Henderson grounded into a fielder's choice.
Youngblood walked to start the second inning, the first Mets base runner against Carlton. Henderson flied out and Jerry Morales and Elliot Maddox struck out.
Pete Rose walked to open the Phillies first, but was forced by Garry Maddox after Bake McBride had flied out. Mike Schmidt struck out.
The Phillies threatened with two out in the third, when Rose singled and moved to second when Henderson bobbled the ball. McBride walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Burris, however, retired Maddox on an infield out.
Philadelphia also had two on with two out in the sixth on a single by Greg Luzinski and a walk to Bob Boone, but Larry Bowa flied out to end the inning.