Wilmington News Journal - August 2, 1980

Walk defeats his wildness, Reds for 8th


By Kevin Noonan, Staff Correspondent


PHILADELPHIA – Bob Walk earned his paycheck last night.


Walk, the Phillies' young righthander, pitched eight innings and gave up one run as the Phils beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 at Veterans Stadium. Walk raised his record to 8-1, with ninth-inning relief help from Tug McGraw. But it wasn't easy.


"He was a little wild early tonight," said Manager Dallas Green. "But he got better in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. He stayed in there. He hasn't folded on us yet, and he's had a lot of opportunities to do that."


Walk threw 137 pitches, which is more than anyone wants to throw on a hot, humid night. But 90 of them came in the first four innings, before he settled down.


"I certainly struggled early," said Walk. "The ump had a tight strike zone, but I was off on a lot of pitches. You hate falling behind in the count to a team that has hitters like the Reds, but all I could do was bear down and try to throw strikes.”


While Walk kept the Reds in check – although not easily – the Phillies speed on the basepaths took care of their offense. With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Lonnie Smith grounded a one-out single between third baseman Ray Knight and shortstop Dave Conception. With Smith running, Pete Rose singled through the Reds' spread out infield defense on the right side, and Smith kept motoring to third.


Bake McBride was hit by a Charley Leibrandt pitch to load the bases before Mike Schmidt drove in the go-ahead run with a towering sacrifice fly to right.


The Phils added an insurance run in the eighth, and again it was Smith who started the fireworks, lining a ground-rule double to the corner in right field.


Smith took third when Rose reached out for a low pitch and punched the ball into right field. Ken Griffey made a running catch on Rose's drive, but the job was done – Smith was on third with only one out. Bake McBride made Rose's unselfishness look good, singling through the middle for his 62nd RBI of the year, a career high. The 37,409 fans gave McBride a standing ovation for his landmark.


McGraw one-two-threed the Reds in the ninth to earn his 10th save of the year.


"We're showing that you don't have to hit the ball out of the park to win," said Smith. "Don't get me wrong. I enjoy seeing Schmitty or the Bull knock one out as much as anyone. But that's not going to happen every night. So, if Bake and Manny (Trillo) and I keep hitting, we can still score runs. Tonight was a case of a lot of base hits and making something of them."


Which is something the Reds have had trouble doing lately as they chase Houston in the NL West. Over their last three games the Reds have pounded out 26 hits, but have scored only three runs while leaving 28 runners on base.


But the Phils have a chase of their own to worry about. San Diego beat the Pirates 1-0 last night, moving, the Phils to within two games of first place in the East.


"This is as good a time as any to make a run at them," said Smith. "It's August, you know."


The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. After Mike Schmidt grounded out, Keith Moreland ripped Leibrandt’s first pitch through the box for a single. Moreland took second on Garry Maddox's groundout and scored on Manny Trillo’s solid single to left.


The Reds answered in the fourth. With one out, second baseman Ron Oester hit Walk's first pitch for a rolling triple to the gap in right-center field. Leibrandt also picked on Walk's first pitch, singling up the middle to drive in Oester to tie the game.


Walk gave up another single to center fielder Dave Collins, but got out of the inning by getting Ray Knight and Ken Griffey to fly to Maddox in center.


Walk had to pitch out of trouble in the first, third and fifth innings. In the first, he loaded the bases with three walks, but he got Dan Driessen to fly out to Smith – also on the first pitch. In the third, the Reds had runners on first and third, but Johnny Bench, who stranded seven runners in the game, bounced weakly to shortstop Carry Bowa.


Singles by George Foster and Driessen opened the fifth and put Walk on the hot seat again, but Bench popped out to Trillo and a Bowa-Trillo-Rose double play ended the inning.


PHIL-UPS  Moreland has hit in seven consecutive games.  He was 9-for-17 over the past six games, boosting his batting average from .284 to .333... McBride singled in the fourth inning to increase his hitting streak to eight games... The Reds put pitcher Frank Pastore on the 21-day disabled list, retroactive to July 27, because of a tendon strain to the middle finger of his pitching hand... Walk led all Phils pitchers in July, going 4-1. Dick Ruthven was 4-2 in July... Channel 17 has added six more games to its TV schedule. The dates are Aug 11-13 in Chicago, Sept. 2-3 in San Francisco and Sept. 4 in Los Angeles.