Sports Illustrated - August 4, 1980

Baseball- N.L. East


By Anthony Cotton


Black clouds seemed to cast a pall all over the Eastern teams.  None of them- not even the first-place Pirates (4-3)- could find a whole lot of sunshine.  Bert Blyleven struck out 11 Padres while winning 7-1.  And Lee Lacy batted .591 and had five hits as the Dodgers were overtaken 8-7 on Willie Stargell Day.  But the Bucs were shaken when Dave Parker asked to be traded.  After nearly being hit by a radio battery thrown by a spectator in the ninth inning of the opener of a doubleheader, Parker left the field and refused to play the nightcap.  “I’ve reached the point of no return,” said a fearful Parker, who also has had a gas valve from a pellet gun and a sock full of nuts and bolts thrown at him in Pittsburgh.


Gary Carter’s two homers and six RBIs enabled Scott Sanderson of Montreal (2-4) to defeat Atlanta 8-6 for his 10th win.  But Expo relievers yielded 14 runs and 24 hits in 16 2/3 innings and lost four games.


Philadelphia (2-5) knocked off Atlanta 5-4 as Mike Schmidt connected for his 25th and 26th home runs and then walked with the bases jammed in the 12th.  What worried the Phillies was that Greg Luzinski, who has been out for two weeks with a bum knee, may need surgery.  And what irked Luzinski was what he termed Manager Dallas Green’s “Gestapo” behavior.  “He has a sign in the clubhouse that says, ‘We, not I.’  But when we lose, he seems to be excluded from the ‘We,’” says Luzinski.  Green, ever the tasteful wit, countered by wearing a swastika armband in the clubhouse.


New York (2-4) was heartened when Pat Zachary proved his comeback from arm trouble was complete by cooling off Cincinnati 2-0.  Then the Mets were disheartened when John Stearns, who drove in both runs in that game, fractured his right index finger.


Lynn McGlothen cheer the Cubs (3-3) by stopping the Padres 6-0 and the Dodgers 5-3.  But Bruce Sutter, who earned his 21st save in the victory over L.A., was depressed when manager Preston Gomez was canned in favor of coach Joe Amalfitano. Sutter’s appraisal:  “Three months ago Preston knew all there was to know about baseball, but now he doesn’t?”


Even the Cardinals (5-1), who got three saves from John Littlefield and who has the East’s best record, had reason to lament.  Garry Templeton, who tripled in one run in the eighth and scored to give Bob Forsch a 2-1 triumph over San Francisco on a day when the temperature reached 146° on the Busch Stadium turf, was lost for several weeks after breaking his left thumb.  At the time, Templeton had just taken over the league lead in batting with a .326 average.  And then there was Reliever John Urrea, who eats four bananas daily for potassium to ameliorate his hypertension.  Urrea was a 3-2 winner over the Dodgers as he hurled 4 2/3 shutout innings.  Four days later, though, Urrea faced only two batters in the 11th inning in San Diego and walked both to force in the run that made St. Louis a 4-3 loser.


PITT 54-42; MONT 51-42; PHIL 49-45; NY 46-49; ST. L 44-52; CHI 39-53