Oakland Tribune - August 24, 1980
Ripley continues mastery over frustrated Phils
By Nick Peters, Tribune Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Those who doubt the baseball axiom that good pitching stopw good hitting should scrutinize the 1980 series between the Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies.
When right-hander Allen Ripley frustrated the Phillies in a 6-2 victory Saturday night at Veterans Stadium, it merely continued a trend that has the Giants looking like contenders while reducing Philadelphia to a pretender whenever the clubs meet.
For instance, the Phillies entered Saturdays game as the best hitting team in the National League, sporting a .274 average. Against the Giants, however, they only have 89 hits in 244 trips, a paltry .222 over eight games.
That explains why the Giants are 6-2 against the Phillies this season, including a 4-1 record here. In the 10-year history of The Vet, San Francisco had never won more than three games in a single season.
Ripley, hardly awesome at 7-6, is the main' reason for the Giants dominance. The Phillies have scored only one earned run and are 0-3 against him in 19 and two-thirds innings. Both of their runs were unearned in the latest triumph, Ripley going the distance for only the second time this year.
“I can’t explain it,” said Ripley, who helped himself with a two-run triple as the Giants scored four times in 'the sixth to crack a 2-2 tie. “I’ve thrown the same against them every time, and it always seems to work.
“One reason might be that they’re always a good hitting team, so you get a little more pumped up against them. Plus, they’re basically a right-handed hitting club and you try to throw away from their power.”
That strategy worked to perfection, as 38,541 disappointed fans frequently booed the baffled Phillies' hitters. Until be singled on a 2-2 pitch in the eighth, N.L. home run leader Mike Schmidt was zero for nine against Ripley.
Leadoff batter Lonnie Smith and Pete Rose, hitting second, didn’t connect in seven trips Saturday. Ripley pitched to the minimum 15 batters, after Rose led off the fifth with a walk, the pitcher being aided by a pair of double plays.
“Keeping Smith and Rose off base was important,” agreed Ripley. “I consider Rose their catalyst. I gave him mostly fastballs and was hoping he’d hit the ball in the air. Rose twice filed out to center.
“With Schmidt, I tried to bust him inside every now and then, plus throw him sliders away. He stands away from the plate, so you can do a decent job on him if you keep the ball outside.”
Manager Dave Bristol happily concurred after the Giants won for the ninth time in 12 games to go above .500 (41-40) for the first time since they were 40-39 on July 1, 1979. They also pulled to within four and one-half games of second place following a loss by Cincinnati.
"Ripley pitched them perfectly, said Bristol "He did a super job throwing away from their power, and it sure helps you when you can keep the first two guys off the bases. Smith has been especially hot (.549) lately.”
Smith bad "nothing to say” to reporters after his poor judgment cost the Phillies dearly in the sixth, but Schmidt, Rose and Garry Maddox (who had two of his clubs seven hits) came to the conclusion that Ripley is quite a pitcher.
"He has good control, he throws at eight different speeds and he doesn’t walk anybody,” observed Schmidt "What can I say? He's been nothing but great against us.”
Phillies Manager Dallas Green credited Ripley for his stout effort, but was upset at his club for more reasons than a lack of hitting. Poor play afield may have cost Philadelphia five of the six runs.
"If I could explain how we turn things off like a faucet we could correct them,” Green said. “I don’t know how we could play so well in certain series and then go back to nonchalant non-thinking haaeball.”
GIANT NOTES: North attempted to steal third in the same inning and was called out by umpire Eric Gregg. North was shocked at the call (a TV replay showed be was safe), so he rose to his feet and raced toward Gregg, who had his back turned to the infield. In trying to get around the hulking Gregg, North brushed the umps hip and was ejected. He will be fined for making contact albeit “non-maliciously,” according to the speedy Giant.