Allentown Morning Call - April 26, 1980

Phils first 5 hitters 2 for 21 against Vukovich


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Mount Green, that ominous but heretofore becalmed volcano that presides over the Philadelphia Phillies, erupted last night. It didn't swallow up the City of Philadelphia or anything, but it was a calculable eruption nevertheless. 


"I listened to that stuff last year about this club having to put it all together," said Dallas Green. "About the pitching being there when the hitting wasn't and the other way around. Well, I'm here to say that they are all out there together right now. There should be no excuses." 


This is not, you realize, the heat of the August pennant race. We haven't even celebrated May Day yet. But the Phillies are 5-7 now and that, was enough for their manager to cast more than a little aspersion on their collective character after last night's 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals before 30,516 at Veterans Stadium. 


It's not quite accurate to say the Cardinals. Just say Pete Vuckovich and George Hendrick. Vuckovich continued his slider-curveball-changeup magic against the Phils, allowing only one run before coming out in the ninth. It was his seventh straight win over the Phils. And Hendrick spoiled an otherwise outstanding effort by Randy Lerch with bases-empty home runs in the fourth and sixth innings. 


Back to you Mount Dallas.


"Pete Vuckovich. Is Pete Vuckovich going to the Hall of Fame? Sure he's tough. But what's that now. seven times? Seven times with, say, three at-bats each game. That's 21 times against the guy. If you can't figure out a guy in 21 times, you ain't never gonna' hit." 


And Green's remarks were not addressed at John Vukovich. either. The first five hitters in the Phillie lineup collected only two hits in 21 times at-bat. Greg Gross was 0-for-5 and both Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski were 0-for-4. 


Green's oratorical lava flowed not only over the Phillies' bats, but also over their motivation, particularly that of Bake Mc-Bride. McBride, who was never one of Green's favorites, has an injured left knee. He sat out of Thursday's exhibition against the Reading Phillies and didn't enter last night's game until the bottom of the ninth as a pinch-hitter for Luis Aguayo. 


The Phils trailed Vuckovich 3-1 but McBride singled to open the inning. He looked a little shaky as he hobbled to first but Green didn't put in a runner for him. Del Unser, batting for Lerch, then singled cleanly to right and any healthy runner would've made third. McBride stayed at second. 


"He would've helped the TEAM if he had done it," said Green of McBride's timid baserunning. "It's amazing how one guy can get his arm nearly torn off referring to a play involving first baseman Pete Rose I and come right back and another guy can get a day and a half rest and do something like that." 


Anyway, after Unser's hit, Vuckovich departed for Bob Sykes after scattering nine hits, six of them to the bottom of the order. Rose then sacrificed the runners to third and second.


Gross then sent a shot up the middle. Sykes gloved it. spun around and threw home to get McBride by some 15 feet in front of the plate. McBride could've thought the ball went through but Green didn't see it that way. 


"I'm not real sure why he came home in that situation." said Green, "but we'll find out tomorrow." McBride, meanwhile, was unavailable for comment. He was receiving treatment for the knee from trainer Don Seger. 


With runners on the corners after the out at home. Sykes walked Garry Maddox on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Just what you want to do: Load the bases for Schmidt. But Mark Litell came in and got Schmidt to bounce weakly in front of the plate and catcher Ted Simmons picked it up and simply tagged Unser to end the game. 


Green's final comment on Vuckovich was: "Look, give the guy his due but don't make him a superstar." 


However. Luzinski sounded like he was indeed talking about a superstar in his postgame comments about Vuckovich. now 3-1 on the year with two of those wins over the Phils and one over the Pirates.


"He's got a good breaking ball and he changes speeds well." said Luzinski who struck out twice. "The most important thing is that he has command of what he wants to do. Sure, you can analyze him and maybe pick something up but he doesn't make the same mistake twice." 


Go tell that to the mountain. Greg. 


The Phillies scored their only run off Vuckovich in the bottom of the third when Lerch singled and came around on Maddux's double down the left field line.


NOTES: Second baseman Manny Trillo was put on the 15-day disabled list with a right ankle sprain. Ramon Aviles was due to arrive from Oklahoma City before tonight 's 7:05 game against the Cards at the Vet…


Rose was injured in the eighth when Tom Herr ran into his arm as he took a wide throw from Schmidt at third. It looked bad at first but Rose shook it off and stayed in the game despite pain.