Camden Courier-Post - August 24, 1980
Phillies lose, fall to 3½ games out
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – Had the Phillies' 6-2 loss to the Giants last night been as straightforward as the score makes it seem, it could simply be chalked up as another Believe-It-Or-Not performance by Allen Ripley.
The San Francisco righthander seemed appropriately named back on June 9, when he was the winning pitcher in that utterly forgettable five-hour, rain-delay game. Ripley needed no help from the heavens to add to his legend last night, however, pitching a seven-hitter and tripling home two insurance runs that represented the first RBIs of his major-league career.
But Ripley and his Giant teammates were not solely responsible for a defeat that sent the Phillies 3½ games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League East Division standings. No, the Phils themselves contributed to this one.
"If I could explain how we can turn things off like a faucet, it wouldn't happen," said Manager Dallas Green. "How we can play so well, then go back to nonchalant, non-concentrating, non-thinking baseball...
"That's where we are at this point. Not just here (in this series, only the second the Phillies have lost since the All-Star break). It has happened in a couple wins. It has happened since New York. We've overcome some of our mistakes, which a good team will do, but we're in a pennant race right now and you'd think we'd be thinking more baseball."
A particularly vexing lapse occurred with two out in the second after Larry Christenson, now 4-1, had given up a double to Mike Ivie and walked Rennie Stennett intentionally after falling behind the Giant second baseman, 3-0.
Johnnie LeMaster, who would haunt Christenson again in the sixth, grounded a ball to second baseman Manny Trillo. It should have been an easy force out at second and the end of the inning, but Trillo got his signals crossed with shortstop Larry Bowa. With Bowa nowhere near the bag, Trillo tried to outrun Stennett to second. When Trillo realized it was a race he would not win, he gunned a blind throw toward first and beyond Pete Rose, allowing Ivie to score an unearned run.
"Every play is important in baseball, and that's what we seem to have a tendency to forget," said Green. "The mistakes we've made the last few games shouldn't have been made. The guys should know where we are... We're in the pennant race… in August."
Whatever the circumstances, this game was decided in the sixth, Darrell Evans and Milt May opening with back-to-back doubles to give the Giants a 3-2 lead.
With May on second, Christenson got Ivie to pop up before again intentionally walking Stennett to get to LeMaster, who seemed to play right into the Phillies' hands by bouncing a potential double-play ball to third baseman Mike Schmidt. LeMaster, however, beat Trillo's relay to keep the inning alive.
"We didn't turn a double play I thought was possible, then he (Christenson) makes a bad pitch to the pitcher," moaned Green.
Ripley, who was with the Boston Red Sox before the Giants purchased him in April, sent a 1-2 Christenson pitch into left-center. It was a line drive leftfielder Lonnie Smith valiantly attempted to catch, but he stumbled and fell as the ball rolled to the wall for Ripley's first major-league extra-base hit.
The Phillies' only runs, both unearned, came in the fourth, tying the game temporarily, at two. Ripley, who is 3-0 and has allowed only one earned run in 21 innings against the Phils this season, would have retired the Phillies in order had not Stennett's error been sandwiched between two of Ripley's 14 ground-ball outs.
An infield single by Garry Maddox and a flared double near the left-field foul line by Bowa accounted for one run. Christenson singled in the other.
PHIL UPS – Smith had his hitting streak stopped at 12 games... Phillies went into the game leading the National League in hitting... They had hit 21 home runs to the opposition's eight this month going into last night... Giants were without slugger Jack Clark (injured hand) for the second straight game... Tug McGraw, who had been ill with the flu, was in uniform last night... Trillo, who went 1-f or-4, was the NL batting leader at.328 after going 3-for-4 Friday. Since the All-Star break, opposing teams have stolen 37 bases, been caught 30 times against the Phils... Bob Boone threw out two would-be stealers last night.
Phillies go over 2 million again
PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies last night surpassed the two-million mark in attendance for the fifth straight year by drawing a crowd of 38,541 fans to Veterans Stadium for their game against the San Francisco Giants.
Last night's crowd gave the Phillies a total of 2,021,774 on their 60th playing date. Last year, the Phillies passed the two-million plateau on their 53rd date. The club first drew more than two million fans in 1976, the year the Phils began a string of three straight National League East Division championships.
The only other National League team to draw more than two million so far this season is the Los Angeles Dodgers with an attendance of 2,336,562.