Wilmington Evening Journal - August 21, 1980
Padres rally to end Phils’ 6-game skein
By Kevin Noonan, Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Both the Phillies and the San Diego Padres batted around in last night's game at Veterans Stadium, but the Padres did it with a little more authority.
San Diego snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 7-5 victory, and at the same time stopped the Phils' six-game winning streak. The only good news is that the Phils didn't lose any ground in the National League East race, since both Pittsburgh and Montreal lost.
San Diego won behind a six-run fifth inning, in which 11 men went to the plate. That negated the Phils' five-run first, when 10 men batted.
"This was a team loss, starting with the manager on down," said Manager Dallas Green of the Phils, referring to his team's four errors and the Padres' four unearned runs. "I don't believe we were meant to win it.
"We played two innings of offense, and that was it. They shut us down in the middle."
After the Phils batted around in the first, they failed to get another hit until the seventh inning. The Padres' fifth was highlighted by Dave Winfield's 14th homer, a two-run blast to right field, and Gene Richards' two-run single. The Phils committed two of their errors in the inning.
"It's like playing tennis," said San Diego Manager Jerry Coleman in alluding to the Phils' fumbling. "If you keep the ball in play long enough he'll (the opponent) beat himself sooner or later."
Despite the errors, the Phils had a chance to pull out the game in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Greg Gross led off the inning with a single to center field. Green followed with another pinch hitter, Del Unser, who responded by drilling an 0-1 pitch from reliever Rollie Fingers off the wall in left-center. Gross had to hold up to see whether Unser's drive would be caught, and advanced only to second.
That brought up Pete Rose, who tried to do what should have been done on the double – put the tying run (Unser) on second base. But Rose fouled off two pitches attempting to bunt, and after working Fingers for a full count, fouled off two more pitches before striking out on a low pitch. To compound the problem, both Gross and Unser were running on the strikeout pitch, and Padre rookie catcher Craig Stimac nailed Gross at third for an unusual 2-5 double play.
Mike Schmidt ended the game by grounding out to another Padre rookie, third baseman Luis Salazar, who ranged far to his left to grab the ball before gunning down Schmidt.
"The pitch was in the dirt," said Rose while describing the pitch he fanned on. "I had to protect the plate. I had two good rips at breaking balls up, but fouled them off.
"Sometimes you have too much confidence in the pitcher. You just? don't expect a pitcher like Rollie Fingers to walk the bases loaded, especially with Schmidt and (Bake) McBride up next. You expect a pitch around the plate. He just made a damn good pitch."
"It was a pitch that a hell of a lot of hitters would strike out on in the same situation," said Green.
Fingers recorded the save, his 16th of the year, in relief of winner John Curtis (5-8). The loss went to Nino Espinosa (3-4), who pitched 4⅔ innings and gave up all seven runs.
Salazar, who is 5-for-9 against Phillies' pitching since being called up from the minors during the last-place Padres' recent purge of aging players, led off the Padre fifth with a single to center field. Winfield then laced Espinosa's first pitch far over the right-field wall to cut the Phils' lead to 5-3.
Willie Montanez, who drove in the Padres' first run with a third-inning single, stroked a base hit up the middle before Espinosa got Jerry Mumphrey to fly to Garry Maddox in center. Stimac laid down a sacrifice bunt that Espinosa couldn't field cleanly for an error, and after Ozzie Smith grounded out, Espinosa intentionally walked second baseman Tim Flannery to load the bases. Phils shortstop Larry Bowa made the second error of the inning, on pinch-hitter Broderick Crawford's grounder up the middle, which brought in Montanez and made the score 5-4.
With the bases still loaded, Espinosa threw two balls, to Gene Richards, and Green had seen enough of the right-hander. He brought in lefty Kevin Saucier, whc worked the count to 3-1 before Richards singled up the middle to drive in two runs and give the Padres the lead, at 6-5. Salazar, batting for the second time in the inning, followed with another hit, off Dickie Noles, to make it 7-5.
"I kept hoping Nino could get them out," said Green. "I put Sauce in a bind letting Nino go 2-0. He (Espinosa) battled his butt off. We made two errors, but when he went 2-0 1 had to go get him. I put Saucier in a situation, but I thought he could do it."
For awhile it appeared as if late-inning rallies were the last thing the Phils would need. They bombed Padre starter Juan Eichelberger in the first, but little did they know that their bats would be comatose until it was too late.
Lonnie Smith led off the first with a single, then took second on a wild pitch. Rose followed with a base hit to score Smith, and hustled to take second on the throw to the plate.
After Schmidt fanned, McBride hit a shot past Eichelberger to drive in Rose and make it 2-0. Manny Trillo followed with another single before being forced at second on Maddox' ground ball to third. Bowa's single to right field on an 0-2 pitch drove in McBride before Eichelberger intentionally walked Bob Boone to get to Espinosa.
That strategic gem must have made Coleman wish he were back in the Padres' broadcasting booth, where second-guessing was fun. Espinosa flared a single beyond the reach of Flannery to drive in Trillo and Bowa and boost the lead to 5-0. Smith, batting for the second time in the inning, flied out to end the first – and to end the Phils run production for the night.
Baseball sets playoff, Series dates
NEW YORK – The dates for the baseball playoffs have been set and one thing seems probable – the Kansas City Royals will be there.
Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, American League President Lee MacPhail and National League President Chub Feeney announced the schedules for best-of-five league championships and the 77th World Series yesterday following a meeting attended by 12 teams. The only team from the American League West was the runaway leader, the Royals.
The joint announcement said the NL Championship series will begin on the night of Oct. 7 in the stadium of the East champion. The West champion will host the first game of the AL Championship series on Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 8.
The World Series, which dates back to 1903 and has been played annually since 1905, will begin Tuesday night, Oct. 14, in the National League park. All games held in the NL park will be played at night, including the sixth and seventh games, if necessary.
The third game, to be hosted by the AL champion on Friday, Oct. 17, also will be a night game.
The only day games scheduled will be Saturday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 19, if necessary. The Sunday contest will begin at 4:30 p.m. EDT.
The AL East was represented by New York, Baltimore and Milwaukee. National League teams present were Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.
The complete League Championship Series (all times EDT):
AL: Wednesday, Oct. 8, at AL West, 3 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 9, at AL West, 8:15 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 10, at AL East, 8:15 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 11, at AL East, 8:15 p.m., if necessary; Sunday, Oct. 12, at AL East, 4 p.m., if necessary.
NL: Tuesday, Oct. 7, at NL East, 8:15 p.m.; Wednesday, Oct. 8, at NL East, 8:15 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 10, at NL West, 3 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 11, at NL West, 4:15 p.m., if necessary; Sunday, Oct. 12, at NL West, if necessary. Friday's game will begin at 3:15 p.m. if Los Angeles is the NL West champion.
The World Series schedule (all times EDT): Tuesday, Oct. 14, at National League, 8:15 p.m.; Wednesday, Oct. 15, at National League, 8:15 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 17, at American League, 8:15 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 18, at American League, 1:15 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 19, at American League, 4:30 p.m., if necessary; Tuesday, Oct. 21, at National League, 8:15 p.m., if necessary; Wednesday, Oct. 22, at National League, 8:15 p.m., if necessary.
The game on Saturday, Oct. 18, will start at 1:45 p.m., EDT, if Kansas City is the American League champion.