New York Newsday - August 18, 1980

Phillies Make It 5 of 5 Over the Mets


By Gary Binford


Flushing – Garry Maddox yesterday was in a happy mood, so he talked about frustration. Maddox, a lifetime .293 hitter, has been mired in a season-long batting slump which has kept his average hovering around the .250 mark. And last weekend his ballclub, the Phillies, who have been in a season-long struggle to remain in the pennant race, played four games in Pittsburgh and lost them all.


"Throughout all this time, Maddox said, "that’s what was running through my mind: I have to turn it around. It was not fun going out to play baseball. Teamwise, when you’re desperate, the smallest thing can turn you around. We got a break in Chicago [after the Pirates series]. We got off well and won the first game. We said, ‘This is what we needed.’ Then things started going from there.”


The Mets, who followed the Phillies into Pittsburgh and won two of three games, now are searching for something, anything, that will turn their team around. Mets manager Joe Torre had hoped to win four of the five games the Mets played this weekend against the team they are trying to pass, the third-place Phillies. As it turned out, Torre would have settled for a single victory.


The Phillies yesterday beat? the Mets, 9-4 and 4-1, to complete a five-game series sweep and drop them six games under .500. Surely, the Mets wanted to win at least one of yesterday’s games.


"It was a matter of a loose club against a club that was tight, Torre said. "They [the Mets] pressed the second game and the first game. They were going through something they hadn't gone through in a long time [a losing streak]. They were tight, they were forcing it. It wasn't a matter of what to do; they just didn't know how to go about it.


Phillies, and especially Maddox – who was 10-for-21 with two homers and nine RBI in the series – showed them how. Bake McBride hit a first-inning, two-run homer in the opening game off Mets starter and loser Ray Burris (6-7). Doug Flynn’s second-inning RBI triple lefthander Steve Carlton (19-6) put the Mets within a run, but Maddox hit a two-run homer on a 3-0 pitch in the fourth for a 4-1 Phillies lead.


It became 8-1 in the fifth, when the Phillies sent eight men to the plate and knocked Burris out of the game. Maddox was involved in that inning, too, driving in a run with a sacrifice fly. "We just don't have that kind of firepower to bounce back from clumps of runs, Torre said.


The Mets tried. Trailing 9-1, they got a run on Jerry Morales’ double in the sixth and Lee Mazzilli’s double brought home a pair of unearned runs in the seventh.  But Carlton, who struck out 11, was able to finish what he started.


In the second game the Mets got off Randy to a positive start against Lerch. Second-inning singles by Morales and Alex Trevino, followed by Flynn’s sacrifice fly, got them a run. But that was all they scored against Lerch (4-13), who had not won since July 1 and Ron Reed, who relieved him in the seventh inning.


The Phillies scored all the runs they would need off Mets starter Roy Lee Jackson (1-4) in the fourth, when Maddox hit another two-run homer.


Torre called the series a "lost weekend” and the Mets’ general manager, Frank Cashen, said that "teams go through a period like that.” Mazzilli wished not to talk about it. Elliott Maddox, who has been through this before, said the Mets will overcome it.


"If we had won five of five, we couldn’t have sat on that the rest of the year, he said. "These five games certainly did not make or break the season. It’s just over with, its not that big a deal. All we have to do is correct some of the things were doing wrong. Then we'll be all right."


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Craig Swan, who Saturday pitched for the first time in a month, said his right shoulder felt a little weak but he didn’t experience any pain… Frank Taveras did not play yesterday due to a minor injury to his side.