Philadelphia Inquirer - August 11, 1980
Old story: Bucs sweep Phils
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
PITTSBURGH – Here is the way they went:
With drizzle falling relentlessly out of a prematurely dark sky. With thunderclaps rumbling eerily out of the distance, like a message from the gods.
With Pete Rose chopping to third, slamming his bat down, then starting the hopeless trot to first. With Mike Schmidt bouncing a hard grounder down the third-base line, with Bill Madlock backhanding it and throwing him out, with Schmidt jogging back to the dugout and flipping his helmet dejectedly.
With Del Unser popping Kent Tekulve's one and only pitch straight up and knowing that when it came down, it was over. With all those Pirates gathered along the first-base line, pumping each other with high-five signs.
This is the way the Phillies have gone here so many times. And it is the way they went yesterday, 7-1 in the first game, 4-1 in the second. If it all seemed terribly, sadly familiar, it should have.
August 1979 – five-game series. Pirates win all five. September 1978 – four games. Pirates win three. July 1977 – four games. Pirates win all four. In the last four seasons, these teams have played 26 post-July games in this Three Rivers Mausoleum. The Phillies' record in those games is 6-20.
"I think the best thing for us now," said Rose, "is to get United Airlines to get us up over those clouds and get us to Chicago. I don't care if we lose three in a row in Chicago. The best thing for us now is to just get out of this town and let somebody else come in here."
It just isn't the Phillies' kind of place. They self-destructed yesterday like a team that wanted so much to win two that it virtually ordained itself to lose two.
They got five leadoff men to first in two games and never moved one to second. Larry Bowa bounced a wild throw to first on a routine ground ball when he had enough time to read a Sunday sports section and still get the out.
They didn't catch balls that had to be caught. They wasted two gutsy starting pitching jobs by Randy Lerch and Dan Larson.
When they lost in Game One, they looked so certain to lose in Game Two that Dallas Green stormed in between games and accused them of quitting. Then they straggled out in Game Two and looked worse.
"Look around this clubhouse," said Schmidt afterward. "There wasn't a guy in this clubhouse – except maybe Pete – who didn't make an error, who didn't contribute somewhere to a bad play. And that's amazing. That really is."
Lerch pitched about as well as you could ask in the opener. They were still in it (3-1) when he left in the sixth. All three of those runs were tainted by bloops and errors and catchable balls that fell. And instead of bemoaning his misfortune, Lerch hung in there.
"He did all right," said Green. "He gave us what we've got to have. He stayed with the fastball and slider pretty good this time, mixed in a few change-ups. I thought he pitched pretty well. Lord knows, it's a damn shame. The poor kid, he can't catch a break."
The Pirates got two in the second and probably should have had none. It started with a Willie Stargell triple that Lonnie Smith could have caught in left-center. "That ball," said Green, "has gotta be caught." Then a Bill Madlock broken-bat liner that Schmidt could have caught made it 1-0.
Madlock then stole second and third, but he would have been out at third had Schmidt held onto Keith Moreland's throw. Lerch fanned Mike Easier for an out. But Phil Garner (3-for-3) battled him until he could stroke a sacrifice fly to right, and it was 2-0.
Lerch then gamely fought his way out of jams in the third and fourth. And even in the fifth, when the Pirates made it 3-0, Lerch didn't give in when he could have. Omar Moreno made the run with the classic-single-steal-error sequence. Twice in the series, the Phils pitched out on Moreno and then threw the ball away.
Lerch wavered to go 3-and-0 on Foli, so Green put him on to pitch to Lee Lacy. You could question that. But there was nothing wrong with Lerch's pitch to Lacy. He jammed him, Lacy fisted it into short right-center, and Moreno scored. Then Lerch got Stargell and Madlock, so that kept the game from dissolving right there.
Instead, after Moreland's two-out single got the Phillies to within 3-1 of winner Jim Bibby (14-2), it dissolved in the sixth. Garner blooped a double in front of Greg Gross in short center. Lerch was 0-and-2 to Steve Nicosia (.209) and walked him.
Then, wih Bibby up, Lerch got his spike caught as he went into his motion, balked the runners to second and third, and out came Green. Lerch just handed the ball to Moreland before the manager got there and stomped past him to the dugout.
Enter Dickie Noles, whose ERA since June 17 is 6.00. He fanned Bibby, then walked Moreno intentionally. But Tim Foli drilled a high fastball past Smith and up the gap in left-center. 6-1. Wave goodbye to that one.
"That," Green grumbled, "was a pitch Foli can hit any time you throw it up there. If there's one pitch you say you don't want to throw Foli, that's it."
The second game got away gradually. Don Robinson, the pitcher, doubled in the second and would never have scored, except that Trillo, of all people, tried to make a double-play relay throw before he had it and dropped it. Easier, the man who always gets the run in, made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly.
In the fourth, Lacy walked, stole second and scored when Dale Berra whacked a single to center. That was all Larson allowed. He pitched great (three hits in five innings). But he needs help.
He didn't get much. A Bake McBride homer got the Phils to within 2-1 after he left. But Ron Reed gave up a seventh-inning run. The key to it was Reed painstakingly trying to keep Garner close at first with a quick move and a pitchout, then wild-pitching him to second so he could score on Easler's looper to left.
Lacy crushed Tug McGraw's second pitch almost into the second tier in the eighth. It was 4-1. And there would be no coming back from that.
"This obviously wasn't the same team playing here the last three days that played on the last homestand," said Rose. "And I don't think that playing away from Veterans Stadium had anything to do with it.
"I like this field personally," Rose deadpanned. "The turf's good. It's got a nice background. It's great to come here with 35,000 people here, too. It was fun to come here this time." Yeah, right, Pete. About as much fun as a funeral.
Phils live, and on tape
The Chicago Cubs, with Bruce Sutter, Jerry Martin and the third worst record in baseball, host the Phillies today in Wrigley Field (Channel 17, 2:30 p.m.).
The Chicago Cubs, with Bruce Sutter, Jerry Martin and the third worst record in baseball, host the Phillies today in Wrigley Field (Channel 17,8 p.m.).
One of the telecasts is live.
PHILLIES at Chicago, 2:30 p.m. (TV-Ch. 17, Radlo-KYW-1080; replay, Ch. 17,8 p.m.)
Phils roadblock stretches to 10
Why don't they do it on the road?
Well, the Phils were over .500 away from the Vet until their previous road trip – 21-19, to be exact.
Yesterday's doubleheader made it 10 straight road losses since then.
The Phillies list no club record for consecutive losses on the road. The major league record is 22, set by the Pirates in 1890 and tied by the Mets in 1963.
We do know that 17 of the 23 games in the Phillies' 1961 club-record losing streak were on the road. That may be the number to beat.
Here's how the streak has gone, so far:
July 19 at Atlanta 2-5
at Atlanta 2-7
July 20 , at Atlanta 2-3
July 21 at Cincinnati 4-5
July 22 at Cincinnati 2-3
July 23 at Cincinnati 3-7
Aug.8 at Pittsburgh 5-6
Aug. 9 at Pittsburgh 1-4
Aug. 10 at Pittsburgh 1-7
at Pittsburgh 1-4
‘You bleeping give up,’ Green fumes after Phillies’ first-game retreat
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
PITTSBURGH – They have swaggered like the team that won three divisions. But off-the-field swaggers aren't where it's at.
Swaggers only count when you swagger on the field, too. And on the field at Three Rivers Stadium, the Phillies don't swagger, don't win, don't even play.
The Phils submerged meekly to the Pirates for the third and fourth straight games yesterday, 7-1 and 4-1. You could see it coming from Altoona. Anybody who cares about the Phillies could see it coming.
After Game One yesterday, Dallas Green could see what was coming, too. But only Green could do something about it.
So when every last uniformed body had re-entered his locker room, Green began screaming, the way only he can scream. And the way Green can scream is louder than Blue Oyster Cult can play. The door was wide open. He didn't care who heard. Here are some of the things he said:
"You've got to stop being so bleeping cool. Get that through your bleeping heads a little bit. And if you don't get that through your bleeping minds you're gonna be so far buried it's not even funny.
"Get the bleep off you’re a-- and just beat somebody. Just be the way you can, 'cause you're a bleeping good baseball team. But you're not now, and you can't look in the bleeping mirror and tell me you are.
"You tell me you can do it. But you bleeping give up. If you don't want to play, get the bleep in my office and tell me, 'cause I don't want to bleeping play you any more."
Then there was only silence. Eventually, Green walked out into a corridor to conduct his interviews. He wanted that locker room to be a place where guys looked at each other and thought about what this one last game meant.
"I can stand losses," he said in that hallway. "I've told everybody I don't think this series is a make-or-break series by any stretch of the imagination. But I still want guys to go out and play the kind of baseball they're capable of and hold their heads up.
"I just want them to play baseball and not quit. And I won't let them quit."
Three hours later, when the second game was over, the calm was back in Green's postgame manner. He rounded up the usual symptoms – "We just didn't hit ..." – but you wondered how he really felt about this team, which was suddenly six games back with 55 to play. And you wondered how they feel about him.
Danny Ozark was not a screamer. His approach, worked once. It didn't last year. Dallas Green is trying another way. A lot of those fragile egos in the clubhouse don't like it, don't respond to it. Green knows that, but he is groping for ways to reach them. Yelling is his way. He will try his way because he doesn't know any other.
"It may not be the right way to do it, but it's the only way I know how," he said. "It's the only way I've done it in my career in baseball. It's the way I've gotten where I've gotten in baseball. It's the only way I know. The other way was tried, too (by Ozark), very unsuccessfully.
"The results aren't always pleasant because you have a tendency to hurt feelings. But I've explained I'm not a grudge-holder. I don't think I've ever held a grudge against a ballplayer. I say what I've got to say and forget it, let's go. If ballplayers would do the same, I think we'd be in good shape."
He wants them to hear the words, not the volume. But it is hard to know for sure just what they hear, if they hear him at all. The way they played in Game Two, it didn't look as if they had heard him.
"Sometimes it just takes a day or so to sink in," said Pete Rose. "It ain't the end of the world 'cause we lost this series," said Rose. "But it's the end of the world if we don't start playing good.
"If we continue to play the way we are right now for the rest of this road trip, we'll be in trouble. But if we can get our stuff together and go over to Chicago and play well, it could still get interesting."
The question is, then: How damaging will this series be over the long haul? They came here a year ago, lost five and never got back in it. Why is there any reason to think they will come back now? Surely, these losses have to leave scars.
"Man, I'd be a bleeping idiot if every time I lost a game or a series like that I went into some sort of coma over the way I played," said Schmidt. "Man, life's got to go on.
"There's still tomorrow and the next day and the next day, and eventually we'll get out of this. It's that simple. I know you guys don't think it's that simple. But that's the way you get out of this. That's what Pops Stargell tells his team.
"As Pops Stargell said to me at first base, there's a whole lot of baseball left."
Yes, but there might not be too much to yell and scream about. Unless you're Dallas Green.
NOTES: Among the things that killed the Phillies this weekend were intentional walks. The Phils walked nine Pirates batters intentionally in the first three games of the series. The guys who followed were 4-for-6, with eight RBIs, a walk, a sacrifice fly, a sacrifice and an RBI ground ball. "I haven't walked so damn many people since I've managed," Green said. "I haven't second-guessed myself on any of the people I've walked. The only problem I've had is getting the next guy out. That's why I hate intentional walks with a passion."... Green issued only one intentional walk in the second game, to Willie Stargell. But Ron Reed, his pitcher, didn't want to do it, and they wound up fighting about it in public after the inning. Green was asked if there was some question about whether to walk Stargell. "Not on my part," he said.... Don Robinson, who won the second game, has four victories all year. Three are over the Phillies.... Counting last year, the Phils have come back to win only two of eight doubleheader nightcaps after losing the first game. . 33 of the Pirates' last 55 games are at home, counting this series. They are 34-18 at home.... Matchups in Chicago: Bob Walk vs. Lynn McGlothen today, Steve Carlton vs. Mike Krukow tomorrow, Dick Ruthven vs. Rick Reuschel (4-1 since the All-Star break) Wednesday.