Philadelphia Inquirer - August 30, 1980
A late night for Phils fans
Find a television to prop up near your feet and a radio to nestle next to your ear, and the Phillies are yours for the evening.
With the Pirates stuck in a slump, the Phillies' current West Coast swing could turn out to be an important one. The first game of tonight's doubleheader with the San Diego Padres will be telecast on Channel 17 (9:05), while hardy night people willing to stick it out for the second game can follow the action on radio (KYW-1060).
Football fans can follow the Eagles' final preseason game, against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland, beginning at 9 p.m. (TV-Ch. 10; Radio, W1P-610).
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh; backup game is Texas at Kansas City (TV-Ch. 3,2:15 p.m.)
PHILLIES at San Diego, doubleheader (TV-Ch. 17, first game only; Radio-KYW-1060, both games), 9:05 p.m. Reading Phillies vs. West Haven at Reading Municipal Stadium, Route 61 and Center Avenue, Reading, 2 p.m. PRO
Super Bowl XIV (TV-Ch. 10, 7:30 p.m.)
Dick Vermell on the 1980 Eagles (TV-Ch. 10, 8:30 p.m.)
EAGLES at Oakland (TV-Ch. 10; Radio-WIP-610,9p.m.)
Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Stealers (TV-Ch. 10, midnight, taped)
Phils beat Padres, 3-2, to start trip
Tug McGraw saves win for Christenson
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN DIEGO – He had a double-header ahead of him the next day. He had 10 more games to go on a very big road trip. He had a relief pitcher working in his fourth straight game. And he had to decide whether to let him bat or go for the insurance run he might need badly.
Dallas Green didn't flinch. He wanted Tug McGraw in there pitching more than he wanted the extra run.
So he let McGraw go up and hit against the Padres with two on and two out in the ninth last night. McGraw bounced out to strand the runners. But he doesn't get paid to hit. He gets paid to pitch scoreless ninth innings. And that's what he did to save a 3-2 win for Larry Christenson (5-1).
It was a measure of just how much Dallas Green wanted this road trip to be a good one. He would worry about the next 10 games as they came along. He lusted after this first one. And he wanted his hottest hand in there to nail it down.
McGraw really had to work to come away with his 15th save. He came on in the seventh with a 3-1 lead, Padres on second and third, one out and the top of the order on tap.
Broderick Perkins had just KO'd Christenson with an RBI double. But McGraw got Gene Richards and Ozzie Smith to hit ground balls. One of them got the second San Diego run home. But the other got him out of the inning.
Then Dave Winfield led off the eighth with a rocket up the gap in left-center for a double. But McGraw got Willie Montanez to fly to right, fanned Jerry Mumphrey and got Gene Tenace to look at strike three.
Then came that 1-2-3 ninth, and the Phillies were unbeaten on the Coast – well, for the first game, anyhow.
Maybe you have forgotten the name Steve Mura by now. But last night's Padres starter was almost a pretty memorable guy.
The first time Mura ever faced the Phillies – at the Vet on April 29, 1979 – he took a seven-strikeout no-hitter into the sixth inning.
He didn't get the no-hitter that day. He didn't even win. But it will be a while before the Phillies forget that killer curveball of his. They certainly went at him last night knowing very well what was coming.
"You see 8,000 fastballs in batting practice," grumbled Mike Schmidt around the cage before the game. "Then in the game you see about five."
Mura has to have his best curve to be effective. But he didn't have it early last night. The Phils had six hits and a 3-0 lead off him by the third inning.
It was one of those occasional fastballs that Keith Moreland teed off on for the double that started things in the second. Garry Maddox sent him to third with a single to right. And, after Maddox stole second, Manny Trillo scored Moreland with a chopper to short.
Larry Bowa then stroked a curve past third baseman Luis Salazar, who was playing him about 15 feet in on the grass. Smith fielded it deep in the hole, had no play and it was 2-0.
Christenson then made himself a Brett-like 5-for-12 for the year (.417) with a line shot to left for a base hit. And Pete Rose followed that with hit No. 148, a rope to left.
You don't see a lot of guys trying to run on Padres leftfielder Richards, but third-base coach Lee Elia decided to give it a shot. He sent Bowa, and Richards nailed him at the plate by 10 feet for his 16th assist.
So that ended that threat. But the Phillies scratched out another run in the third. Mura walked Bake McBride leading it off. And McBride then stood around first as Schmidt popped up and Greg Luzinski (0-for-11) fanned.
So seeing as how nobody was moving him over, McBride tried stealing his way. Tenace's throw beat him, but McBride kicked the ball out of second baseman Tim Flannery's glove and was safe. It was scored an error on Flannery instead of McBride's 12th stolen base, which is what it should have been.
But what really mattered was that McBride was on second. So when Moreland dumped his fifth hit in his last seven at-bats in front of Winfield, it was 3-0.
Christenson was having a pretty leisurely time of it, meanwhile. He didn't have the great fastball he had in his first start. But, as always, he threw strikes, moved it around and the Padres only got two hits off him in five innings.
One of them was a single by Richards leading off the game. But even though Richards swiped second for his 50th steal, Christenson calmly fanned Smith, set down Winfield and Montanez on ground balls and got out of it.
Christenson's most difficult early inning was the second. One thing the inning never did include was a hit. But it included about everything else.
First, Salazar – whose on-base percentage for his two-week major-league career is .520 – got on when Trillo booted his tricky hopper for an error. Then Christenson tried to make a quick pickoff move to first, bounced the throw past Rose and Salazar sprinted into second. As it turned out, he didn't have to, since Christenson had balked first.
To make things more interesting, Christenson then hit Tenace with an offspeed pitch. But before things got too disastrous, he wheeled and picked Salazar off second. Then Flannery flied softly to Maddox, and exit one weird crisis.
There were more strange problems for him to deal with in the sixth. Richards led it off with a bouncer to Bowa. Rose didn't come up with his low throw, and Richards was on second. The error was given to Rose.
But Christenson wiped Richards out merely by fielding his position. Smith sent a ground ball toward the middle, but Christenson scooped it in, found Richards wandering off second and threw him out.
Rose set for climb to 200-hit plateau
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN DIEGO – It is going to be September in two days. And everybody knows what September means – the annual Pete Rose 200-Hit Stretch Drive.
As we approach this yearly rite of late summer, we find that our protagonist headed into the Phillies' game with the Padres last night needing 53 hits in his final 38 games to reach 200 for the 11th time.
That might seem like an awful lot of hits. But only if you're talking about normal people.
Let us not forget he was in pretty dire shape this time a year ago, too. So all he did from Aug. 29 on was manage to collect a mere 56 hits. He finished at 208.
"Yeah, and this year," he said, "we got five games in OCTOBER."
Last year, 200 hits represented an extraordinary goal to Rose. Getting there meant yet another record to add to the Pete Rose Archives. But this was one he really cared about, the all-time record for most 200-hit seasons in a career. Rose's 10th gave him one more than Ty Cobb. "I can't be very selfish at this stage of my career, 'cause I already got the record," he said. "Not that I wouldn't like to add onto the record. But I just can't put my personal goals ahead of us winning.
"It's not one of my first priorities, but I hope I can (reach 200) because that's gonna guarantee we get a lot of offense around here."
On the other hand, even if he might not rank it high on the priority list, it's not as if Rose hasn't given some thought to this. How tough is it going to be to get 200 again? He has it analyzed about 18 different ways.
"Well, here's the way I look at it," Rose said. "We got 38 games left. Say I'll bat four times a game. That's 152 at-bats. If I hit .333 the rest of the season I'll get 200 hits."
Following along on our calculators, we find that .333 for 152 at-bats comes out to about 51 hits. That would leave him two short.
"Two away? Hey, if I get THAT close," Rose chuckled, "don't worry about it. Besides, there's gonna be some nights I get five at-bats.
"Another way to look at it," Rose said, "is 10 hits a week. That doesn't sound like many. That's three hits every two days.
"I just have to have one hot streak, have a good series, get my average up there to .300, .308, .310. If I can finish at .305 or .304, something like that, I'll get 200 hits."
But when it gets down to Oct. 5, it probably won't matter. As Dallas Green said alter Rose launched the 200-hit drive with three hits the other night, "you can probably make book he'll get them somehow."
NOTES: A San Diego Tribune reporter asked Padres players to rate rookie manager Jerry Coleman. Of 21 who responded, one rated him as a "good" manager. Of the rest, 11 classified him as "bad," two called him "average," seven others wouldn't comment.... Here are the number of walks Phillies pitchers had issued per nine innings going into last night: Espinosa 2.6, McGraw 2.7, Reed 2.7, Carlton 2.8, Ruthven 2.8, Lerch 3.2, Brusstar 3.3, Christenson 3.5, Saucier 4.2, Walk 4.4, Noles 4.5.... Reading lefthander Mark Davis (19-6) was named MVP of the Eastern League.... Dick Ruthven (12-8) and Nino Espinosa (3-4) vs. Bob Shirley (9-9) and John Curtis (5-8) in tonight's twinighter (9 p.m.). The great Juan Eichelbcrger-Bob Walk rematch is set for tomorrow. ... Los Angeles Dodgers' first base coach Manny Mota will get a chance to add to his major league record 147 pinch hits. The Dodgers announced yesterday that Mota, 42, has been activated, replacing injured outfielder Pedro Guerrero. Dodgers also announced that all-star rightfielder Reggie Smith will undergo surgery next week on his injured right shoulder and is lost for the season.