Philadelphia Daily News - August 13, 1980
Schmidt at Gale Force
Slugs Phils to Pair of Wins over Cubs
By Bud Shaw
CHICAGO – Some cities seem to blend together like the colors in a child's paint kit, but there is no mistaking this one. It is here that Mike Schmidt needs asbestos instead of pine tar to grip his bat.
Wrigley Field is Schmidt's rehabilitation center, a place where he cleanses his soul and the bases with the same regularity. The Cubs hold a retreat here for Schmidt three times a year, during which he mainlines their pitching like a $75-a-day junkie getting a fix.
The Cubs are not exactly gracious hosts, but that usually doesn't prevent Schmidt from stopping at each base to express his thanks anyway.
Yesterday, Schmidt had more than his daily dose of Cub pitching because Chicago couldn't get him out of its system before the sun set two days ago. And because of that, Joey Amalfitano was last seen trying to find the pulse of a team that was strung out twice in one day.
SCHMIDT TRIPLED IN two runs in the 15th inning of a game suspended after 10 innings Monday night, helping the Phillies to a 8-5 win, then homered and singled as they won again, this time 5-2.
He was 1-for-23 when the Phils limped here late Sunday night and is 6-for-10 with two homers and five RBI since then. No one seems to know why Schmidt hits like himself one day and Bobby Wine the next, but there is a theory concerning his success at Wrigley.
It has to do with Schmidt being entirely capable of hitting for the cycle anywhere and, as some have suggested. Cub pitchers being just as capable of throwing for the cycle everywhere.
"He's probably a more relaxed hitter here." said Dallas Green after the Phils closed to within five games on the division-leading Pirates.
"That has something to do with it. But also, it's time for him to hit. He'd been shut down pretty good for a real long time. He's worked hard at correcting some technical things and now it looks like's it's time to let his talent takeover.
"He means so much to this offense. I'm the guy who told you I didn't like the idea of sitting back and waiting for somebody to hit a home run. But it's exciting when he does it. He just kissed the hell out of that ball."
"WHEN MIKE HAS it going," said hitting coach Billy DeMars, "he's awesome. From what I saw it looks like's he's back in the groove. I can tell because he's not trying to pull everything. He's hitting those pitches to right-center.
"He didn't look like that in Pittsburgh, but neither did the rest of the team. We're just a different club when we go in there to play."
No one is quite sure which mask Team Schizo will choose to wear the rest of the season. But for now it seems like they've left the one without the eye holes back in Pittsburgh.
They were good enough in the conclusion of the suspended game to finally win it after five frustrating innings of watching the Cubs dive around the infield like bored spectators on a rainy night at the Vet.
The one chance the Cubs didn't squash came in the 15th when Larry Bowa singled and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and an infield ground out. Cub reliever George Riley then intentionally walked Pete Rose, but Bake McBride bounced a single off the glove of Cliff Johnson at first to make it 6-5 and Schmidt did the rest.
"Once we got that first one put away, we seemed a little more relaxed." said Green. "For a while there, though, it looked like the man upstairs didn’t want us to win. They (the Cubs) were diving all over the infield, making some hellacious plays. But we hung tough and really got some great relief pitching."
THE WIN WENT TO Warren Brusstar, who had to look at the scoreboard twice when Green motioned him to the mound. Brusstar hasn't been in many tight ballgames lately, but he made it through the final two innings, striking our Lenny Randle with runners on second and third for the last out of the game.
"It really feels good to get in a situation where you can finally help the team." said Brusstar. "You know the game's in your hands when you're in that kind of situation. But the last thing you want to do is think about it while you're out there."
With the realization that the man upstairs really doesn’t take any sides, the Phillies went out and beat the Cubs in the second game in a way they haven’t beaten anybody since the last time Steve Carlton pitched.
Lefty was on the mound again yesterday, proving that some things simply can't be explained away by coincidence. Except for allowing the Cubs to tie the game at 2-2 in the sixth, it was another overpowering performance by Carlton. Typical in that the Cubs made more contact with the dirt around home plate than they did with Lefty's slider.
The difference between the possibility of another suspended game and a win in regulation was provided by Bob Boone, who homered off Mike Krukow to open the eighth.
By the time the inning ended, McBride had tripled in a run and Schmidt added another to make it 5-2. The lead was placed in the capable hands of Carlton who won his 18th game, giving Dallas Green some more material for when he knelt down beside his bed last night.
"BOY, I'LL TELL you, it was sure good to win those two games," said Green, looking as if he'd given sufficient reflection to the possibility they might not.
"I think these two games have relaxed us. I think they (the players) know what they have to do to win now. They know if they go out and play sound baseball they'll win their share of games.
"For a while there we were simply frustrated. But once you crack through that frustration, it turns your thinking around.
"I think now we should be ready to go. Just about everybody is 100 percent and we're in good shape to make our run. And having Schmitty get hot sure wouldn't hurt us any."
PHILUPS: Steve Carlton's five strikeouts gave him 200 on the season for the sixth time in his career... Phils put the suspended game under protest, because the Cubs activated Dave Kingman yesterday morning and used him as a pinch hitter. Dallas Green withdrew the protest after the Phils won but will still ask the league office for a clarification of the rule... Lonnie Smith had three hits and a stolen base in the regularly scheduled game... Dick Ruthven (10-7) will face Rick Reuschel (9-9) in the third and final game of the series today... The rotation for the five-game series with the Mets will be Nino Espinosa, Larry Christenson, Bob Walk, Randy Lerch and Carlton.
NL Executives Considering DH
DEARBORN. Mich. (UPI) – Major league baseball executives met for seminars yesterday in the opening portion of their two-day summer meetings. The National League agenda for today was to include discussion and voting on adoption of the American League's designated hitter rule.
Officials indicated there was less than a 50 percent chance of passage. It was reportedly turned down by a 9-3 margin earlier this year, and a majority is needed to make pitchers' batting a rarity in both leagues.
"I really can't say about whether the designated hitter rule will pass." said Blake Cullen. spokesman for the National League. "Some clubs are for it, others aren’t There may be more support now than in the past; I don't know."
Boone HR Worth Coming Home to
By Mike Kern
With the wind whipping in off Lake Michigan, home runs can be scarce at Wrigley Field. But if you think the bleacher bums were surprised to see Bob Boone lead off the eighth inning of yesterday's 5-2 Phillies win by lining a tracer through the gusts for a solo homer, imagine how Joe Booth felt.
Boone's blast won the Media resident $1,025 in the Daily News Home Run Payoff, but Booth didn't hear the good news until he got home from work.
"I don't believe it," Booth said when informed of his prize. "I've been sending five of those coupons in every week without fail since the contest started, but the best I ever hoped for was four tickets. I told some of my friends that I'd take them out to the game if that happened, but I guess now I'll be able to buy them a hot dog or a root beer. too. I'm shaking!"
Booth, 60, a 39-year Conrail employee, listened to the game until the seventh-inning but missed the magic moment in order to catch his train.
"I knew the payoff inning was coming up," he said, "but I had to run. At least I'll be able to watch the taped replay (last night on Channel 17). If I have to stay up till 2 in the morning, I'm going to watch that homer."
Booth explained that he will use the bulk of the money to treat his wife, who is currently vacationing in Maryland.
Jamie Hazelton of Philadelphia won $125 on Bake McBride's RBI triple, Richard Baker of Trenton won $35 on Mike Schmidt's RBI single, and William J. Speers of Lafayette Hill and George Lese ol Stowe, Pa. each won $10 on singles by Lonnie Smith and Pete Rose, respectively. Frank Brady of Philadelphia and Robert C. Brandle of Cornwells Heights each won four tickets to a Phillies game.
The Daily News has paid out $15,060 this season. Today's entry coupon appears on Page 25.