Wilmington Morning News - August 11, 1980
Tongue-lashed Phils go 0-for-Pittsburgh
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
PITTSBURGH – Between games, Dallas Green tore into his Phillies with a loud, almost hysterical, tirade that vibrated up and down the corridor outside the dressing room.
The manager was so critical of the lackadaisical play that led to a 7-1 Pittsburgh victory one might have expected the Phils to wake up and level the Pirates in the nightcap with a devastating blow.
It did not happen.
Instead, the Phillies went quietly. Pittsburgh again made the most of its hits and Philadelphia blunders to stalk off the Three Rivers Stadium field with a 4-1 victory and a sweep of the important four-game showdown.
When the Phils get around to producing their 1980 highlights flick, they'll have to name this segment Black Sunday.
Green insisted before the team came here for the opener Friday night that this was not a make-or-break series. And even after being blown out in the four games, the skipper was singing the same tune. But with, only 55 games remaining, the Phils trail Montreal and Pittsburgh - the Pirates tied for first place with the sweep – by six games in National League East.
By dropping the doubleheader, the Phils have now lost 10 straight games away from Veterans Stadium, they have lost six straight to the Pirates, who bold a 10-4 margin in the season series.
"I don't think this club will quit," Green offered after the long day finally ended. "I hope they are capable of playing over this. We have to face the fact we are not hitting. It's tough to live with when you want to beat people, but you have to have offense to beat people. I was satisfied with the efforts of our players in the second game. We just did not hit."
Tim Fob's sixth-inning bases-loaded double off reliever Dickie Noles that drove home three runs turned a 3-1 Pirate lead into a laugher in the opener.
The Phils were charged with three errors officially, but the scorer was generous. Left fielder Lonnie Smith should have caught Willie Stargell's fly ball in the second that went down as a triple. And Mike Schmidt misplayed a pickoff throw from catcher Keith Moreland moments later and, before the inning ended, the Pirates had a 2-1 lead.
Twice Moreland threw the ball into center field on steals and each time the runner scored from second base. There were balks and wild pitches and generally sloppy play as Jim Bibby improved his record to 14-2 with an eight-hitter.
Randy Lerch, who pitched better than he has recently, lost his 13th game in 16 decisions.
It was after this poor showing that Green closed the clubhouse doors and tore into his players. Veteran baseball writers can never remember a manager coming down so hard on his athletes.
“-- and you've got to stop being so cool; you've got to get that through your heads! Ifyou don't get that through your minds, you're going to be so far buried it won't matter!" Green shouted, frequently throwing in profanity.
"Get the bleep up off you butts and go beat somebody the way you can... because you're a good baseball team, but you're not now. You can't look in the mirror. You keep telling me you can do it, but you bleeping gave up!
"If you don't want to play, get into my office and tell me, 'I don't want to play anymore!' because if you feel that way, I don't want to play you!"
The players left their clubhouse for the start of the second game with their heads bowed. But there was little evidence Green's sermon had ignited them.
Don Robinson, who was originally scratched from the series because of a leg problem, started the nightcap and was never in serious trouble in the contest that was delayed 49 minutes by rain in the second inning. Grant Jackson and Kent Tekulve sealed the victory for the right-hander.
The Pirates, who have won seven games in a row, took a 1-0 lead in the third when Robinson doubled and eventually scored on Mike Easler's sacrifice fly. Earlier, Manny Trillo booted Schmidt's throw from third on what seemed a certain inning-ending double play.
Lee Lacy's walk, a stolen base and Dale Berra's single made it 2-0 in the fourth. The Pirates added another run in the seventh against reliever Ron Reed and completed the game when Lacy homered off Tug McGraw. The Phils' only run came in the seventh when Bake McBride blasted his sixth home run.
"I'm disappointed and I'm sure the players are disappointed," said Green as he prepared for the flight to Chicago where the Phils open a three-game series this afternoon. "These losses are very frustrating because this is one of the teams we gotta beat if we want to be what we think we do – champions."
When asked if his between-game approach was the correct method, Green became pensive.
"Maybe it's not the right way," he said. "But. I'm doing it the only way I know how. It's the way I've gone through my career in baseball; it's the way I've gotten to where I have gotten in baseball it's the only way I know. I think the other way was tried unsuccessfully here in the past (Danny Ozark's mild-mannered approach).
“The results are not always as pleasant because you have a tendency to hurt tender feelings. I have explained that I am not a grudge-holder and I don't think I have ever held a grudge against a ballplayer. I say what I gotta say and forget it. If the players would do the same, we'd be in pretty good shape."
EXTRA POINTS - The Phils were continuously heckled by fans behind their dugout. Once, Larry Bowa had words with one and took a swing at him as he walked on the roof of the dugout. Later, the admittedly inept Pirate security force added to the fire by leading cheers on the dugout roof before umpire John McSherry put a stop to it... The intentional walk is backfiring for Green. It was used 10 times in this series, with the next batter getting hits four out of seven times and driving in eight runs... Schmidt, who was hitless in the doubleheader, is now 1-for-22 and 2-for-29... Dave Parker missed both games with an injured knee. The right fielder says surgery will be necessary after the season.