Wilmington Morning News - July 11, 1980
Phils cuff Cubs to start 2d half
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent
PHILADELPHIA – For one game at least, the Phillies' "second season" was a smashing success.
The Phils came from behind to defeat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 before 33,130 fans at Veterans Stadium last night and Manager Dallas Green, who's been talking about everything but baseball the past few days, was pleased.
"It was a good game to come back (from the All-Star break) with," said Green, as the Phils stayed within a game of the division-leading Expos, who beat St. Louis 4-3. "We had a team meeting today and we did some of the things we talked about."
"We played better team baseball," said Green. "We had our minds on what we wanted to do offensively.”
And off the drug-related stories that made headlines the past two days?
"That was not on their minds," Green said. "They've been through adversity before. I will say this – I just feel we were not treated very fairly by the press. Now you guys have backed off and I appreciate that. I don't think it's something to dwell on."
Somebody wondered if the adversity helped draw the team together as much as Green's team meeting.
"We've haven't been anywhere yet, so I don't know about getting back together," Green half-smiled. "The thing I dwelled on was that we play the kind of baseball we played in spring training. Our type of baseball, the type of baseball we're capable of playing. Thinking-type baseball."
Green thought starter Dick Ruthven, who struggled early but settled down to go eight innings, did well.
"Dick's, location was not good early," Green said, "but he got better. He had good stuff tonight."
Ruthven's now 8-5 and shows no ill effects of his shoulder injury on June 13.
The Cubs' Mike Krukow, meanwhile, is 6-10 and was the victim of dubious "fielding support by third baseman Lenny Randle.
Three of the Phils' five runs were unearned.
"Our defense hurt us," said Cubs' Manager Preston Gomez. "And we had a few chances to get some hits but we couldn't come through."
The Cubs went after Ruthven in the first inning, scoring twice on four hits before Ruthven could get two men out.
Randle, who would prove far more adept with his bat than glove before the night was over, started it with a single and scored on Billy Buckner's triple off the center field wall.
Mike Vail singled Buckner home, then moved to third on Jerry Martin's single before Jesus Figueroa grounded into a double play to rescue Ruthven.
"Dick didn't have good control of his breaking ball tonight," said catcher Bob Boone, the Phils' offensive star with three hits and two RBI. "The big thing was the layoff. Dick felt real strong and he came in on some guys who got broken-bat hits."
The Phils squandered their first opportunity, a second-inning gift from second baseman Mike Tyson, who booted Manny Trillo's easy hopper. Garry Maddox, who'd singled and stolen second, took a wide turn around third, missing the bag, and held up.
"He missed it," nodded Green. "That's why he went back. And he did the right thing."
Krukow got Larry Bowa on a pop to short and Boone on a hot liner to first to escape unscathed.
In the third, however, Lonnie Smith ran an easy double into a sliding triple with one out. Pete Rose singled home Smith, who was starting in left with Greg Luzinski hobbled by a puffy right knee.
The Cubs raised their lead to 3-1 in the fourth on three straight singles by Figueroa, Tim Blackwell and Tyson, but the Phils scored three times in their half to kayo Krukow and take the lead.
It was hardly an offensive show, rather a display of how pathetic a fielder Randle is.
After Maddox waited out a walk, Trillo rapped the ball to Randle at third. Lenny fell down before the ball even got to him, then booted the ball for good measure for an error. Bowa walked to load the bases.
Boone laced a single past Randle's rather-reluctant glove to drive home two runs and, after Krukow hit Smith with a pitch to reload the bases with one out, Rose greeted reliever Bill Caudill with a sacrifice fly to center for the go-ahead run.
"Tonight I hit the ball where they weren't," shrugged Boone, who vowed to do better in the second season than his .223 average showed before the All-Star break. "That ball jumped up on Randle – otherwise it might have been a double play."
The Cubs got Buckner to second with one out in the eighth, but Ruthven retired Martin and Figueroa to get out of trouble.
The Phils tacked on their final run in the eighth when Boone hit a chopper that reliever Dick Tidrow fielded and threw past first for a hit-and-error, sending Boone to second.
Greg Gross, batting for Ruthven, singled to center, then forced a cutoff when he broke for second, allowing Boone to score without a play.
"I think it might have been close at the plate," said Boone. "But Greg made a good play, going for second. That took the closeness out of the play at the plate."
And gave the Phils the insurance run they needed to insure their second season started on the right foot.
EXTRA INNINGS - The Cubs Eut Dave Kingman back on the disa-led list with a sore right shoulder (he came off June 27) and recalled catcher Mike O'Berry from Wichita... Caudill hasn't allowed a run in his last five appearances (10.1 innings) and just one in his last 21 innings... After tonight's 8:05 fireworks special with Bob Walk facing Lynn McGlothen, the Phils will host the Pittsburgh Pirates for three games starting tomorrow night... The Bucs will be without Willie Stargell, who went on the disabled list yesterday with a pulled leg muscle.