Camden Courier-Post - August 14, 1980
Cubs trip Phillies on 9th-inning run
By Ray Finocchiaro, Gannett News Service
CHICAGO – Dick Ruthven worked out of one jam after another here yesterday, battling rain and extra-base hits. But his luck ran out in the last inning at Wrigley Field.
Jerry Martin's bases-loaded sacrifice fly scored Ivan DeJesus as the Cubs won a dramatic 2-1 game to avert a Phillies sweep.
The Cubs had loaded the bases against Ruthven, though Martin's game-winning fly came off reliever Ron Reed.
The Phils had tied the game 1-1 in the top of the ninth on Mike Schmidt's 30th homer – and 28th lifetime at Wrigley – off winner Dick Tidrow.
BUT SCHMIDT wasn't interested in his Wrigley music after the loss.
"I'm tired of hearing all the Schmidt and Wrigley Field garbage," he said. "The truth of the matter is that I do well here because I just get the feeling everything is a little bit closer. That helps me control my adrenalin. I don't overswing to hit 'em out."
"We were waiting for a clutch home run like Schmitty's for a long time," said Manager Dallas Green, "and that really could have helped us. Even though we didn't get a lot of hits this series, I was really happy with the way we played. We had the intensity I like."
But yesterday it just wasn't enough.
"RUTHVEN PITCHED a helluva game," said Green, "it's a shame he had to lose this one."
After rain delays totaling 108 minutes, the Cubs put Ruthven in a soggy hole when Bill Buckner tripled to right with one out in the seventh.
But Ruthven got Dave Kingman on a fly to shallow left and caught Martin looking at a third strike to end the inning in a scoreless tie. The Phils loaded the bases in the eighth against reliever Bill Caudill on three walks with two out, but Bake McBride flied to Martin in center.
THE CUBS finally got a run in their half of the eighth. Lenny Randle doubled over Lonnie Smith's head in left, then moved to third on Tim Blackwell's bunt.
Catcher Bob Boone slipped trying to field, turning a sacrifice into a base hit and putting Cubs at the corners with nobody out. Pinchhitter Larry Biittner doubled over Gary Maddox' head to the center field wall, scoring Randle, but Blackwell was nailed at the plate on a relay from Manny Trillo.
"I don't think he could have caught it," Green said of the ball hit over Smith's head. "It was halfway up the wall."
While the club brass was abstaining in the designated-hitter vote in Detroit, the Phillies were abstaining from scoring any runs – or stealing any bases – against starter Rick Reuschel.
THE PHILS had five singles over the first seven innings and had three of their baserunners, including Ruthven, out trying to steal second.
Smith, who hit Reuschel's first pitch to left for a single, was thrown out in the first, then McBride was caught stealing in the fourth.
Both Smith and McBride are bonafide base stealers. Ruthven, who singled in the sixth, isn't. But Rufus was easily tossed out as Smith struck out on a 3-2 pitch for an inning-ending double play.
With ominous rainclouds on the horizon, the Phillies went after Reuschel in the seventh with a popgun offense that produced everything but a run.
PETE ROSE reached base on shortstop De Jesus' error on a routine hopper. Rose was forced at second on McBride's grounder, but Schmidt kept things going with a single to center.
Trillo, who trails the league-leading hitter, St. Louis' Gary Templeton at .326, by three points, struck out. Then Garry Maddox gave the 13,215 Wrigley partisans a scare when he sent Kingman to the warning track to haul down a high fly.
Kingman hit the turf, then stretched his 6-6 frame to its utmost to make the catch.
As soon as the Phillies were retired in the seventh, the ground crew rolled out the tarps and, within minutes, the field was engulfed by torrential rains.
"RUFUS PITCHED super even after the rain," said Green. "He came back with super stuff."
Despite their sweep of Tuesday's pair, the Phillies knew they had their hands full yesterday against Reuschel, who was 13-8 against them lifetime.
The massive right-hander was 4-1 since the All-Star Game, with complete games in four of his last six victories to go with a 1.44 ERA in his last six starts.
At Wrigley, Reuschel is 7-1 with three straight victories. But he didn't survive the two rain delays, with Caudill relieving in the eighth.
"REUSCHEL'S TOUGH against everybody, but especially against us," said Green.
Ruthven wasn't any slouch, either.
PHIL UPS – McBride has hit in six straight games and 15 of 17... Ex-Phil Blackwell has hit in the last 15 games he has started for the Cubs... Phils-Mets pitching matchups: Nino Espinosa vs. Pat Zachry (6-5) tonight, Larry Christenson vs. Mark Bomback (9-3, 2-0 vs. Phils) tomorrow night, Bob Walk vs. Craig Swan (5-8) Saturday, Steve Carlton and Randy Lerch vs. Ray Burris (6-5) and Ron Lee Jackson (1-3) Sunday.
Green against change
By Ray Finocchiaro, Gannett News Service
CHICAGO – It has been 30 years since the Phillies were champions in the National League, but that doesn't mean they want to change the rules. Not yet, anyway.
The National League yesterday turned thumbs down on the proposed rule change to permit a designated hitter. The Phillies were one of three teams (with Pittsburgh and Houston) that abstained from the voting.
Most of the Phillies' brass appears to lean towards the rule change, although the abstained vote seems to point to a lack of conviction. Manager Dallas Green, never one to waver, was the lone team official firmly against the change.
GREEN CALLED the decision good for baseball and, more significantly, good for the Phillies.
"Everyone knows I'm not a designated hitter man," said Green after the Phillies lost yesterday, 2-1, to the Cubs. "I don't think it's good for baseball and, despite what some people think, I don't think it's good for our club."
Some people think Phillies' left-fielder Greg Luzinski would be an ideal designated hitter. Luzinski has a history of knee injuries (he is currently on the disabled list with one) and is only adequate defensively. What's more, the emergence of Lonnie Smith in The Bull's absence seems to leave the Phils with the not-so-unpleasant problem of two top-shelf left fielders.
GREEN, HOWEVER, doesn't see a rule change as a viable solution.
"There are too many disadvantages to it," Green said. "I'm talking for the good of the game, and nobody has been able to tell me why it's good for the game."
Phillies' General Manager Paul Owens pointed at the discrepancy between the rules in the two leagues as the strongest reason for instituting the designated hitter in the National League.
"I PERSONALLY don't like two sets of rules," said Owens. "I don't think it looks good to have one league doing things one way and the other league doing it another way. We should all have the same rules."
According to Owens, the sentiment in the Phils' front office ran thus: Green was firmly against it, Owens was in favor, vice-president Bill Giles was leaning toward favoring the rule change and owner Ruly Carpenter was uncommitted.
"I imagine there are some clubs still interested," said Owens. "Why else abstain? If you're against it, vote no. Some clubs are obviously changing their minds."