Chicago Tribune - August 12, 1980

Cubs rally forces Phillies into state of suspension


By Dave Nightingale


WILL THE PHILADELPHIA Phillies ever win a game on the road again?


Will the Cubs set a National League record for time spent in a suspended state?


Tune in at noon Tuesday.  There were no answers Monday at the alternately rain-swamped and sun-drenched Wrigley Field.


The Phillies and Cubs played 10 innings to a 5-5 tie, courtesy of a favor from Manny Trillo, who double-dribbled a potential game-ending double-play grounder in the last of the ninth to let Mike Vail score the tying run.


The contest was halted by darkness at 6:45 p.m., after 3 hours, 14 minutes of playing time, interrupted by 1 hour, 52 minutes of rain.


IT WAS THE third suspended contest of the season for the Cubs, who lost to San Francisco [July 22] and beat Montreal [Friday] upon being forced to resume the other pair.


The Cubs’ chances might be a bit better Tuesday, however, considering the Phillies are in a four-game losing streak and have dropped their last 10 decisions on the road – a combination of circumstances that served to knock them out of immediate contention in the National League East race.


The Cubs, of course, were knocked out of NL East contention by combinations of circumstances that took place a couple of months ago.


“The record [6-13] since I took over as manager might now show it,” said the Cubs’ Joey Amalfitano, “but the one thing I’ve noticed in the last few weeks is that nobody has quit on me.  Everybody is hustling for me.”


None of the 10,805 customers who waited out the finish [and booed the absence of a decision] could have quarreled with that assessment as the Cubs forced an overtime.


THE PHILLIES SCORED all their runs in the gloom, before and after the rain delay, against Lynn McGlothen and Willie Hernandez, the first and second of six Cub pitchers.


One of the Phils’ runs came on the obligatory Mike Schmidt homer [his 28th of the season].  Obligatory because Schmidt has hit 26 of his 263 career homers in Wrigley Field [four this year].


The Cubs got a run here and a run there off of Phillies’ rookie Bob Walk after the sun came out.  But the observation of Philadelphia catcher-turned-TV-announcer Tim McCarver appeared valid:  “This seems like one of the most one-sided two-run games I’ve seen.”


In the ninth inning, however, the Cubs came up with a Garrison finish of sorts.  With one out, Lenny Randle kept his hitting streak [eight games] alive with a single off Ron Reed and pinch-hitter Vail followed with another single.


Bill Buckner double to the left-field fence to score Randle, but coach Cookie Rojas stopped Vail at third.  The crowd voiced its displeasure at Rojas’ conservatism.  Cliff Johnson then was given an intentional walk to load the bases and set up a double-play situation.


PHILADELPHIA MANAGER Dallas Green summoned Tug McGraw to face left-handed hitter Scot Thompson.  And Amalfitano, who employed all 15 of his position players and all but 4 of his 10 pitchers, countered with right-handed pinch-hitter Barry Foote, who is not fast afoot.


McGraw fed Foote a screw ball and Foote obliged by hitting a spinning three-bouncer right to Trillo.  But Manny dropped it and could throw only to first base, as Vail cantered home.


Green granted Trillo instant absolution.  “I don’t think he could have made the double play because of the spin of the ball,” he said.  “He’d have had to grabbed it on the second bounce to get two, even with Foote running, and that would have been a real tough play.”


And so it will be Bruce Sutter, who worked the 9th and 10th for the Cubs, against the Phils in the top of the 11th Tuesday.


The managerial edge might go to Green, who still has six players available.


But will Green know what to do with this wealth of talent?


“I’ve never been in a situation like this before,” confessed the Phillies’ first-year manager.  “Joey [Amalfitano] has had more experience in these games.”