Camden Courier-Post - August 22, 1980
McBride’s triple gives Phillies 17-inning marathon victory
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – It was more like a Senate filibuster than a baseball game. The Phillies and Padres spent all yesterday afternoon stalemated in an unlikely test of endurance.
For 17 innings – five hours and seven minutes if you count your time by the clock – the two teams debated the outcome of a contest that was sometimes interesting, sometimes uninspiring. And, after all those innings, all those hours, it seemed only fitting and proper that Bake McBride have the final word.
His triple to the gap in right-center field scored Mike Schmidt with one out in the bottom of the 17th, giving the Phillies a 9-8 verdict over the Padres, and the 36,201 Veterans Stadium fans a chance to get home in time to catch the highlights on the 11 o'clock news.
IT SEEMED right that McBride be the one to mercifully end the Phils' longest game in six years because he had come within an Ed Vargo thumbnail of being ejected in the 13th, and a Lee Elia hand wave of turning a triple into an inside-the-park home run in the first.
McBride's emotional confrontation with Vargo, the home plate umpire, occurred after Pete Rose opened the 13th with a double and Schmidt, who homered twice, was intentionally walked. McBride was under orders to bunt when reliever Dennis Kinney's first pitch nailed him on the arm and ticked off the bat.
McBride was en route to first when Vargo called him back, ruling the ball had hit the bat first and was, simply, strike one. McBride exploded, slamming his helmet to the unsuspecting AstroTurf as Vargo pointed an accusing finger toward the offending piece of equipment.
"THE BALL hit my shoulder first, then it hit the bat," a calmer McBride later said.
Manager Dallas Green managed to intervene and send McBride to the dugout before Vargo could eject the right fielder. "I sent him (McBride) in there to cool off," said Green. As it was, McBride incurred a $100 fine for mistreating his helmet.
Despite the unusual show of anger, McBride had the presence of mind to bunt the next pitch and, after Manny Trillo was walked intentionally, the Phillies had the bases loaded with one out.
THAT, HOWEVER, is how they stayed, Garry Maddox and Larry Bowa popping up. An inning earlier, Kinney had intentionally walked the bases loaded with two out after Maddox had doubled, then got Greg Gross to fly meekly to center.
"With the home run in the ninth and the times we left the bases loaded, it looked like it was one of those games we weren't meant to win," said Green. "But we got good pitching from Sauce (reliever Kevin Saucier) and Dickie (Notes), and thank goodness for Schmitty and Bake."
Saucier and Notes pitched the final nine innings for the Phillies, shutting out the Padres on four hits. Noles entered the game in the ninth after Ron Reed had relinquished a two-run, game-tying home run to Dave Winfield. Saucier might not have worked the final five innings to get credit for his sixth win had not Tug McGraw, the bullpen's current hot arm, been down with the flu.
THE PHILLIES spent most of the first seven innings in pursuit of the Padres. They were down, 3-0, in the first because starter Bob Walk allowed two walks, a two-run single to Jerry Mumphrey and a triple to Gene Tenace. Walk would last only until the third before being replaced by Randy Lerch, who allowed five hits and one run over six innings in his first relief appearance this season.
Tenace's triple was, actually, caught in left field by Lonnie Smith. But the ball was in Smith's glove for only a fraction of a second before he crashed hard into the wall and crumpled. Smith sustained a cut on his lip and a few bruises, but remained in the game until the eighth, producing two doubles, a single and scoring three runs.
Schmidt made it 3-2 in the first with a two-run homer off the clock above the bullpen in left before McBride slapped a pitch off starter Rick Wise into left. The ball eluded Gene Richards, but he recovered in time to hold McBride to a triple. However, Elia, the Phils' third base coach, gave McBride a half-hearted wave and McBride was caught in a rundown.
"I slowed up near third because I was waiting to get a signal to go or stop," said McBride. "By the time he gave me the sign, it was too late."
PHIL UPS – Schmidt has homered twice in a game five times this season... Mumphrey was caught attempting to steal second in the fifth by Bob Boone on a pitchout, ending Mumphrey's consecutive stolen base streak at 27... It was only the second time Mumphrey has been nailed, the other coming June 2 by Houston's Alan Ashby... McBride leads Phillies in game-winning RBIs with 11... He doubled in the seventh, giving the Phils a 7-6 lead and himself a personal high 26 doubles for the year... His two triples gave him 10, tying him for the National League lead with Montreal's Rodney Scott... Bowa smacked an inside-the-park homer in the sixth, his second this season... Dr. Phillip Marone, Phillies' team physician, has pronounced Greg Luzinski fit to play and the Phillies were expected to decide today how to reinstate Luzinski... Steve Carlton goes for win No. 20 tonight against San Francisco and Ed Whitson.
Overtime win figures to aid Phils’ drive
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – By now, the San Diego Padres have to be considered the National League's ranking authority in losing lengthy baseball games. A week ago today, they were involved in a 20-inning marathon with the Houston Astros that the Padres finally lost on a dropped fly ball.
Yesterday, they were at it again, taking 17 innings and more than five hours to lose to the Phillies, 9-8, in Veterans Stadium.
The Phillies, generally, don't require the equivalent of a doubleheader to win or lose one game. Oh, there was a 7-3 loss to St. Louis that took 17 innings to complete in 1974, and a 20-inning 5-4 win over Atlanta in '73. But Veterans Stadium fans had seen nothing remotely resembling those games... until yesterday.
A clue that this would be something more than standard, nine-inning baseball fare might have been found in the 12:45 p.m. start, a rather unusual time for a Thursday game. It was the Phillies' annual Businessman's Special, a chance to spend a weekday afternoon at the ballpark. Little did all those accountants know they would be spending all of the afternoon and a good part of the dinner hours watching the Padres and Phils agonize over the game's outcome.
Despite the ominous starting time, 36,201 were on hand to witness The Game that Wouldn't End. They had no reason to believe there was a chance they'd miss Johnny Carson when the Padres zipped to a 6-4 lead after four. Indeed, it seemed all but over when the Phillies went ahead, 7-6, in the seventh, then added an "insurance" run in the eighth.
But those fans who thought they'd have to battle rush-hour traffic to get home underestimated the staying power of the Padres. Dave Winfield tied the game and began the tedium with a two-run home run off Ron Reed in the ninth. By the time Bake McBride tripled off Dennis Kinney to end it eight innings later, most people had forgotten Reed was even in the game.
It was Kinney's fate to be the pitcher who lost this season's first day-night single game. The lefthander, a middle-inning reliever, entered the game in the eighth and walked straight into Manager Jerry Coleman's purgatory. Kinney gave up a single to Larry Bowa and an RBI double to Bob Boone to make it 8-6, then was sentenced to win or lose it in overtime.
Kinney, whose longest outing this season had been 4⅓ innings, managed to survive for 9⅓ before McBride put him out of his misery.
"It's the furthest I've gone," said Kinney, who was, he said, the only Padre not to play in the 20-inning loss to Houston. "I'm the middle man around here, but I'm glad he (Coleman) left me in there. I've been struggling lately and I haven't had a whole lot of work."
Well, there was more than enough work yesterday. Kinney gave up 11 of the Phillies' 22 hits, but managed to ease out of bases-loaded jams in the 12th and 13th, and a two-on, two-out jam in the 14th. Had the Padres been able to muster something more than four hits off Phillie relievers Dickie Noles and Kevin Saucier... who knows?... Kinney might have even gotten a win for his efforts.
Coleman, who must now be particularly adept at managing extra-extra-inning losses, addressed himself more to the end than the means of his club's ninth loss in the last 10 games.
"A loss is a loss, whether it's nine innings or 29 innings," he said. "What difference does it make if you lose in the ninth on an error, or on a hit in the 17th?
"We lost the game. They didn't win it. We lost it within nine innings, then they won it in extra innings."
Whatever, Phillies Manager Dallas Green was. willing to accept it. The Phils, still very much a part of the pennant race in the National League East, needed the win, no matter how long it took. In fact, Green used the game as a character reference for his club.
"That," he said, "is character, coming back in this one. We came back a couple times in this ballgame, which I think shows a little something about the ball-club right now.
"Offensively, we're finally getting our act together and I think we're gaining more confidence that we can come back, we can beat people.”
That may be the real benefit of playing 17 innings against the Padres. The Phillies not only survived the long afternoon, they emerged from it a winner. ' And the kind of confidence that comes from winning a game like yesterday's may well carry over into the stretch-run days of September.