Camden Courier-Post - April 26, 1980

Vukovich stops Phillies


By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies fell to their old nemesis Pete Vuckovich last night in predictable fashion. As he had done-six consecutive previous times, the St. Louis Cardinal righthander had the Phils right where he wanted them – at the plate – in a 3-1 victory,


Vuckovich, who beat the Phils with a complete game 11 days ago in St. Louis, hurled eight strong innings before relinquishing pinch singles to Bake McBride and Del Unser to open the ninth.


The Phils eventually loaded the bases with two out against reliever Bob Sykes, but righthander Mark Littell came in to retire Mike Schmidt and seal the Phillies' second straight loss.


Manager Dallas Green was not particularly pleased with this latest Phillies stumble.


"WE SEEM to wait until the last minute all the time to make it enticing enough for people to think we have a good team," Green seethed. "One of these days we're going to have to put it all together early and often if we're as good as we say we are."


McBride, who irritated his left knee in Montreal and had it drained of fluid on Wednesday, was given the night off until the ninth, when Green sent him in to pinchhit for second baseman Luis Aguayo. McBride singled cleanly to center, but failed to go to third when Unser followed with a single to right field.


"He would've helped the team out had he done so (gone from first to third), Green said of McBride. "It's amazing how one guy can almost get his arm torn off and play... The day and a half rest he (McBride) had shouldn't have stopped him from going from first to third. If anything, it should have encouraged him to go from first to third."


THE SEMI-AMPUTEE Green spoke of was first baseman Pete Rose, whose left elbow was hyperextended while tagging out Tommy Heir at first in the eighth inning.


"He said he felt a sharp pain,” trainer Don Seger said. "But he's got good range of motion and he's a tough bird.


The tough bird was iced after the game by Seger and probably will have treatment prior to tonight's game. There's little doubt Rose will be in the lineup.


With McBride and Unser on and the lefthander Sykes on the mound in the ninth, Rose sacrificed, moving the tying run to second base. Greg Gross followed with a shot up the middle that Sykes somehow gloved, easily catching McBride at the plate.


HOME PLATE umpire Jerry Crawford twice called balls on Sykes because Sykes touched his hand to his mouth while on the mound with Garry Maddox at the plate. Maddox eventually walked, which set up the bases-loaded confrontation between Schmidt and Littell.


Littell got ahead of Schmidt, 1-2, before inducing the third baseman to top the ball just down the third base line, catcher Ted Simmons pouncing on it and tagging out Unser to end the game.


It was the second straight game in which a ninth-inning rally fell short, the Phils losing to the Mets on Wednesday, 3-2, after similarly loading the bases.


"I'M UP to here with it," said Green, holding his hand near his chin. "I beard that bull all last year about how we'll be okay when we get it together. Well, it's time we quit alibiing and play like we can."


For the most part, Phils' starter Randy Lerch had the Cardinals pounding his breaking ball into the Astro Turf, getting 19 ground balls (including two errors) through the first-seven innings. But Lerch certainly was no mystery to Hendrick, who broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth with his first homer and put St. Louis up, 3-1 with his second in the sixth. Both homers came on first pitches, one a changeup and other a fast ball.


The Cards took a 1-0 lead when Garry Templeton and Tommy Herr opened the. game with singles to right, both moving up a base on Keith Hernandez's ground ball to third baseman Schmidt. Ted Simmons followed with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Lerch himself tied the score, opening the second with a solid single to right and eventually crossing the plate on Garry Maddox' two-out double to left field. Lerch 's hit came in his first at bat since he was pressed into service as a pinchhitter Wednesday against the Mets, striking out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.


PHIL UPS – Second baseman Manny Trillo was placed on the 15-day disabled list and infielder Ramon Aviles was purchased from the Phillies' Oklahoma City farm club... Trillo sprained his right ankle April 19 in Montreal... The placing of Trillo on the disabled list was back-dated to April 20, which means Trillo will be eligible to return May 4... Reliever Rawly Eastwick, released by the Phillies during spring training, is considering a minor league offer from Kansas City... Steve Carlton opposes John Fulgham tonight... New Saturday night game time this season is 7:05.