Wilmington Morning News - April 28, 1980

Cards sting gives Phils a 10-1 lump


By Rod Beaton, Staff Correspondent


PHILADELPHIA – Remember "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain?"


Well, the Phillies have developed a more concise version of the Milwaukee Braves' old pennant-winning pitching formula. With the Phils it's "Go with Steve and then you grieve."


Saturday night the Phils went with Steve Carlton and were rewarded with a one-bit shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals. Yesterday at the soggy Vet, they went with five other guys who combined for a "neat" 19-hitter as the Cards romped 10-1.


The free-swinging Redbirds swung quite freely, especially against the slop "thrown" by struggling starter Dick Ruthven. And no one stung the woeful Phillie staff quite like first baseman Keith Hernandez.


Last year's National League batting champion and co-MVP (sharing the award with Willie Stargell) ripped five no-doubt hits (including one double) in five trips, raising bis average 60 points to .333. He drove in three runs, scored twice and even stole two bases.


Little of that productivity was necessary since Bob Forsch muffled the Phillies lineup on six hits and one unearned run, evening his record at 1-1.


Ruthven's record plunged to 1-2. More telling, in his last two starts, the right-hander has lasted just 3 innings, yielding 15 hits and 10 runs, all earned. It's the most pitiful line in a to-date pitiful pitching lineup.


Ruthven had bone chips removed from his right elbow during the off-season. He claims to be pitching without pain, but his failure to cut loose and show it irks Manager Dallas Green.


"He feels he's throwing, but he's not," grumbled Green, whose post-game, 12-minute address to the 6-8 Phils was conducted while the press was held out of hearing range. The distance was about 60-feet, 6-inches, incidentally.


"With no discomfort and no pain, I can't understand why he can't get it going," Green said.


Ruthven can't either.


"I don't know if it's strength or what," said Ruthven. "I don't feel as powerful. I never worked this hard in my life to figure something out. I'm tired of coming in here (the clubhouse) in the third inning and doing pushups until I puke."


Ruthven was back in the clubhouse again in the third, dispatched by an eight-hit, four-run Card assault. One instigator was shortstop Garry Templeton, who joined rookie catcher Terry Kennedy and third baseman Ken Reitz with three hits each. The other was Hernandez.


"I'd been worrying, my stroke hasn't been good, said Hernandez, whose sweet swing had him tabbed as "the next Stan Musial" in his rookie season. "Today I just came out and found it.


"I didn't take batting practice. I'd strained my groin eight days ago and today was the first time I could swing without pain."


All the pain was the Phils'. Templeton opened with a triple to right and after Ken Oberkfell lined out to Pete Rose at first, Hernandez knocked him in. Forsch himself singled in the game-winner in the second.


The third-inning carnage returned Ruthven to his pushup routine. Hernandez started it with another single, former-Phil Dane Iorg flew out to the wall in right, Kennedy doubled in Hernandez, George Hendrick got a free pass and Reitz singled Kennedy in.


Rookie right-hander Scott Munninghoff came in to bail out Ruthven.


The Phils' long relievers have not quieted the nostalgic yearning for the days of yesteryear when Warren Brusstar kept the club close. Kevin Saucier and Lerrin LaGrow didn't break tradition yesterday. Saucier, as is his custom, drilled a hitter (Hendrick), but was torched for five hits and three runs. LaGrow gave up five hits and three runs, including a two-run inside-the-park homer by Oberkfell.


Assists on Oberkfell's home run go to Greg Gross (moved over from right) and Lonnie Smith (a late-inning sub for Garry Maddox) who misplayed the right-centerfield drive. At that stage the point was moot.


"We had them stopped at four," said Green. "If your middle (relief) guys hold, that's encouraging.


"It's this snowball effect. I want someone to grab it, get something going. Steve (Carlton) can't be expected to do it every time."


PHILS FACTS – Luis Aguayo singled in the Phils' run in the fifth... Rose passed Willie Mays to take fourth on the all-time at-bat list. with 10,884 trips... The Phils drew 28,200. After nine dates they've attracted 250,761, down 50,686 from last year... Phils open three-game series with the Mets at Shea tomorrow night (TV-17) against the unforgettable Mark Bomback. Randy Lerch (0-2) for Phils... Rose reached base in the third on catcher's interference... Hernandez was thrown out at home in the fourth by Gross when he tried to score from second on Kennedy's single... Forsch's loss this season was an 8-3 decision to Carlton on the 16th... Tug McGraw threw a scoreless 8th and 9th.