Cincinnati Enquirer - August 4, 1980
Phillies Walk By Reds, 8-4
By Ray Buck, Sports Reporter
PHILADELPHIA – Clearly, it was a form of masochism.
The Astro Turf was measured at game time to be a toasty 130 degrees Sunday. It wasn't hot. It was suffocating. Then the wheel-spinning Cincinnati Reds went out and walked themselves into a guillotine at Veterans Stadium, dropping an 8-4 decision to the Phillies.
That's right. The Phillies kept their bats on their shoulders much of the afternoon while Cincinnati pitchers slipped into an over-generous mood.
Five of the Phillies' eight runs originated from freebies, including four walks in the game-turning, stomach-churning six-run fifth inning.
"You can't walk people in this league and get away with it," manager John McNamara reminded after the Reds had lost two of the three games to Pete Rose's Gang here. "We contributed to our own downfall."
Bruce Berenyi (2-2) has been known to walk on the wild side. This time the rookie right-hander buried himself with his inability to find the strike zone.
"HE'S YOUNG. He's Inexperienced," McNamara said. "He rushes and that's why you see most of his pitches wild high. He flies open. His arm never catches up with his body.
"The consistency factor we haven't seen yet from him."
Berenyi left the game without retiring a batter in the fifth. In came Mario Soto, who walked Ramon Aviles with the bases loaded and then gave up a three-run double to Bob Boone. Irreparable damage had been done.
The Reds – who dropped six of 10 games on this swing through New York, Montreal and Philadelphia – somehow manage to be right in the thick of the National League West race.
The Reds were 3½ games out of first place when this road trip began and, despite a 4-6 record, are still only four games back of Houston which regained first place by a half-a-game Sunday by beating the Mets while Los Angeles lost to St. Louis.
Lonnie Smith and Rose came out smoking like Aaron Pryor's fists.
First inning: Smith walked and stole second. Rose moved him to third. Greg Gross doubled Smith home.
THIRD INNING: Smith singled and stole second. Rose singled him home.
Fifth inning: Smith beat out an infield bunt and stole second. Rose singled him home, stole second and, two walks later, scored on a sacrifice fly by Garry Maddox with Soto on the mound.
Smith is the new rage In Philly. He has replaced the injured Greg Luzilnski (knee surgery) in left field and proved speed is as valuable as muscle in this game.
He went 3-f or-4 with three stolen bases and three runs scored Sunday and now has 16 stolen bases and 13 runs since June 22.
Nino Espinosa (2-2) was the winner even though he probably didn't throw a pitch over 80 m.p.h. His critics call him Nino Espi-no-ve-loclty.
And since he has decided to turn his backside on the press, he is also known as Ni-no-comment.
"He's not throwing hard enough to make you worry about being off balance," said Ray Knight, who singled and scored a run in the sixth inning after sending center-fielder Maddox crashing into the wall for a 390-foot out in the third.
The Reds have now scored only nine runs in their last five games.
"But I still think," Knight insisted, "we'll be all right."
REDS NOTES – Reds return to Riverfront to open homestand against San Diego and Los Angeles. Tom Seaver will make his return to the mound in first game of a double-header tonight after being disabled with a sore shoulder. Probable pitchers: Seaver and Joe Price vs. Randy Jones and John D'Acquisto tonight; Paul Moskau vs. Gary Lucas Tuesday night and Bill Bonham vs. Steve Mura Wednesday at 12:30.