Wilmington Morning News - August 13, 1980

Phils whip Cubs twice, end road spin


Schmidt’s bat fuel fire; Carlton wins 18th game


By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent


CHICAGO – Assuring the world that his stroke is definitely back, Mike Schmidt helped the Phillies give the Cubs a double case of sunstroke yesterday in Wrigley Field.


Schmidt tripled home a pair of runs in the 15th inning to give the Phillies an 8-5 victory in the resumption of Monday's suspended game. Then he drove home two runs with a home run and single in a 5-2 victory behind Steve Carlton, now 18-6, in the regular game.


Suddenly memories of the weekend disaster in Pittsburgh were buried. It was that easy.


"Over 162 games, you run into droughts," Schmidt explained of the club's woes, to say nothing of his own. "We were in a drought. The first inning of the suspended game, that's how things were going for us.


"There's no way we don't blow them out in the first inning (actually, the 11th, when the Phils loaded the bases but couldn't score against Bruce Sutter). But, sooner or later, that stuff must end. And it does."


Schmidt's bat helped matters immensely. The muscular third baseman broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning of the second game with his 29th homer, a line drive over the left field wall with the wind blowing in.


"It's not tough to get it out, even with the wind against you, if you hit it on the nose," said Schmidt, who added he had no doubt the 1-for-23 slump he carried into Chicago would end.


"You know, sooner or later, you're going to break out. You have to believe you are. But if things aren't going for you, you can't let it run your life."


The Phils took a 2-0 lead off Mike Krukow in the fifth, only to see the Cubs tie it against Carlton in the sixth.


First Krukow homered to left for his second career homer, both against the Phils. Then Dave Kingman, roundly booed all afternoon by the Cub fans after returning from the disabled list in the morning, got Lenny Randle home with a sacrifice fly.


But the Phils added three runs in the eighth to put it away.


Bob Boone's home run that barely cleared the left field fence opened the inning. Then Bake McBride tripled home Pete Rose, who had singled, and scored on Schmidt's single to left.


End of Cubbies.


"The balls we hit turned the wind around," smiled Manager Dallas Green. "Schmitty crushed his and so did Boonie. And Bake hit the heck out of his ball. It's good to see the offense come alive a little bit."


Like Schmidt, Green hopes the two victories will erase memories of Black Sunday in Pittsburgh."


"I think the wins will relax us," he said. "They know what they have to do, just play some baseball and the wins will come. In the first game, it looked like the Man Upstairs didn't want us to win. We were hitting shots left and right and there were Cubs laying all over the ground. We'd get 3-4 hits and couldn't scratch out a run.


"It gets pretty frustrating. But once you crack through that frustration, it gets easier. We should be ready to go now. We're healthy now.”


Green is even encouraged by the recuperation of Greg Luzinski, who's back in uniform. But Green says it's too early to issue a timetable on the Bull's return.


He'll be back "sooner or later," as Schmidt might say. A few times.


Green liked what he saw of Schmidt's short and sweet swing, which was good for six hits, including two triples and a pair of homers, in the two games.


"Schmitty means so much to our offense," Green said. "I've told you I don't sit back and wait for Schmidt to hit a home run but, damn, it's exciting when he does, isn't it? He hit the hell out of that one. He just top-handed it out of here. And he smoked that ball to right field (for, the first-game triple).


"I guess he's pretty relaxed here. Also, it was just time for him to get going. He was shut down a long time and he's worked hard. It's time his talent starts taking over and he starts swinging like he's capable of."


Sooner or later, Dallas, it had to happen.


It took a lot longer than expected to win the suspended game. The, Phils needed five innings beyond the soggy 10 played Monday.


McBride's infield single scored the gamewinner, while Schmidt tripled home a pair off loser George Riley, a native Philadelphian and the seventh pitcher the Cubs used.


Larry Bowa opened the 15th with a bloop single to center and moved around to third on Del Unser's sacrifice bunt and Greg Gross' groundout.


After Rose drew his fourth walk of the game, this one intentional, McBride slapped an infield single off first baseman Cliff Johnson's glove. Then Schmidt, who'd hit his 28th homer some 21 hours earlier in the third inning, tripled to right center to sew it up.


"It took 24 hours to sleep on it, but the guys got their act together," said Green between games. "Our guys didn't want to lose this one, but neither did the Cubs. They were diving, making hellacious plays."


The victory snapped the Phils' 10-game losing streak on the road.


"We haven't played well on the road all year," said Green. "Our offense has sputtered at times, so it was really good to win these two, no matter how long the first one took."


The Cubs staged a mini-threat in the bottom of the 15th when Tim Blackwell walked with one out and Kingman singled to left, snapping an 0-for-19 collar he's worn while on the DL. But Warren Brusstar got the final two outs for his first victory since July 3, 1979.


The Phils protested the use of Kingman, who replaced Jim Tracy on the roster. Tracy was used as a pinch-hitter on Monday but the rules state that the Cubs' activation and use of Kingman was perfectly legal, so the Phils amended their "protest" to an appeal for a clarification on the rule.


Sooner or later, they'll get the clarification.


Brusstar, meanwhile, was happy to see action in something more than a mop-up role.


"It feels good to be in a situation where you can help the club," he said. "It makes it a lot of fun."


EXTRA INNINGS - Carlton's five strikeouts got him to the 200 mark for the sixth time in his career... Lefty's 29-16 lifetime against the Cubs matches Schmidt's offensive stats against Chicago, which include 37 home runs (27 at Wrigley Field) and 102 RBI... Rose passed Eddie Collins for 10th place on the all-time runs-scored list at 1,819 in the 15th inning.