Wilmington Morning News - April 22, 1980
Mets’ Burris stuns Phillies on 5-hitter
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – It had to be billed as one of the biggest mismatches of the season. Steve Carlton and the Phillies against Ray Burris and the dreadful Mets.
And in the end, it was just that – a mismatch.
What nobody expected, though, was for Carlton and the Phils to be overwhelmed by the everybody's choice to finish last in the National League East.
A crowd of 23,856 sat in bewilderment at Veterans Stadium last night as Burris and reliever Neil Allen shut out the Phils 3-0 on five hits.
Burris, who had more than his share of successful games against the Phillies when he was with the Cubs, allowed just four hits – three by Pete Rose – before he left with one out and one on in the eighth when his pitching hand began to feel numb.
Allen, who gave up seven runs including a Dave Kingman grand-slam homer in one inning against Chicago last Saturday, allowed only a single to gain his fourth save of the year.
Carlton, who entered the game with a 2-0 record, gave up only five hits over seven innings, but the Mets made a loser of him when they scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
In the fourth, John Stearns singled to center, went to second on an infield out and scored on Joel Youngblood's single to left.
The Mets made it 2-0 in the fifth on singles by Elliott Maddox, Doug Flynn and Frank Taveras. Reliever Ron Reed gave up the, third run in the eighth when Taveras singled, went to second when Stearns was hit by a pitch and following a double steal scored on an infield out.
"After I walked Mike Schmidt in the eighth Joe Torre came out to the mound," said Burris, who has two of the four Mets' victories. "I told him I was tired and was having trouble gripping the ball because of numbness. I don't really know what caused it, but it was best I left the game."
"That's about as good as Ray Burris has pitched against us," said Greg Luzinski, who had one of the Phils' hits. "He had excellent location and was turning the fastball over."
"He kept our hitters off-stride with the slider and busted them with the fastball," said Manager Dallas Green. "On a night like this, you have to give him the credit. There's no question about that. We just did not generate any offense at all. In fact, this is the only game this year we have not been in.
"Every now and then you are going to run into a guy who is going to crank one up like that. I'll tell you one thing, Lefty (Carlton) is going to win 90 percent of his games if he pitches as well as he did tonight. Two runs should not beat this team."
Burris, who now has a 9-4 lifetime record against the Phillies, felt control was the key to last night's success.
"I had good command of all my pitches," he said. "I had good location from the first inning on. I was able to mix the pitches. I really think I am a better pitcher than my overall record indicates and think tonight's game helped get me over the hump.
"He was not overpowering tonight," said catcher Stearns, "but he was able to keep the hitters off-stride. We were a little concerned when his hand and wrist began to bother him because that is the wrist he fractured last September."