Reading Eagle - August 30, 1980
1 Game Off
McGraw Excellent In Phillies’ Win
SAN DIEGO (AP) – If clutch pitching becomes a key element in the Philadelphia Phillies’ late-season drive for a pennant, reliever Tug McGraw believes credit should go to manager Dallas Green.
McGraw earned his 15th save of the year by combining with Larry Christenson for a five-hit victory as the Phillies hung on to defeat the San Diego Padres 3-2 Friday night.
“Dallas is a former pitcher and he knows how to handle a pitching staff much better than Danny Ozark did,” said McGraw. Green replaced Ozark as Philadelphia manager in August 1979.
“Dallas has given me an assignment and has used me consistently. I’m the short man and I don’t go down to the bullpen until the seventh inning,” said the veteran right-hander (sic).
The victory moved the Phillies to within one game of the National League Eastern Division-leading Montreal Expos and Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Tug has been very close to outstanding for the last month,” said Green. “We’re going to be using him a lot during September. He has shown me he is the most consistent guy to nail down a victory.”
McGraw, who was traded to Philadelphia from the New York Mets six years ago, suffered a slight case of tendonitis about the time of the All-Star break, but says he feels healthy now.
“This is the time of year when you go for the top shelf. You really feel the true meaning of the game. It is no time to feel tired,” said McGraw.
Philadelphia staked starter Christenson, 5-1, to an early 3-0 lead before he was tagged for two runs in the seventh. McGraw took over for the final two and two-thirds innings to ensure the victory.
An RBI double by Broderick Perkins and a run-scoring ground out by Gene Richards drove in the two San Diego runs.
Philadelphia scored twice in the second on a ground out by Manny Trillo and an infield single by Larry Bowa to score Keith Moreland, who had doubled, and Garry Maddox, who followed with a single.
Moreland added a run in the third on an RBI bloop single off loser Steve Mura, 4-7. It was the fourth straight loss for the Padre righthander and San Diego’s eighth straight defeat at hom.
“This place was our haven,” said San Diego manager Jerry Coleman. “It helped our pitchers and our batters hit enough to win. But not lately.”
The two teams square off in a doubleheader tonight with San Diego’s Bob Shirley, 9-9, and John Curtis, 5-8 facing the Phillies’ Dick Ruthven, 12-8, and Nino Espinosa, 3-4.