Philadelphia Inquirer - July 24, 1980
Of Green, the Bull, and Gestapos
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
CINCINNATI – Greg Luzinski was in Philadelphia when he said the other day that Dallas Green "is trying to be the bleeping Gestapo."
Green was in Cincinnati last night when he was asked to respond to that charge and a few other charges by the Bull.
"I haven't read them," Green stonewalled. "So I can't very well say whether they make sense or not."
Then, after saying he wouldn't respond, Green responded – at least a little.
He was asked if he thought he was a Gestapo leader.
"He's entitled to his own opinion," the Phillies manager shrugged. "But what the hell would he know? He hasn't been here for 10 days."
It was reported to Green that Luzinski's impressions had come from quotes he had read in the paper.
"Well," said Green, "he shouldn't read then."
Green was told that Luzinski had claimed this team was under "too much pressure."
Green just rolled his eyes, the same way he had rolled them when the now-departed Lerrin LaGrow had charged the same thing.
"Yeah," he said sarcastically.
End of response.
NOTES: When you think of chambers of horrors to the Phillies, you think of Atlanta or Houston. But including last night, the Phils are 8-31 in Riverfront Stadium since mid-1974. And that figure doesn't include their loss in the 1976 playoffs.... Averages for the first nine games of the road trip: Ramon Aviles .400 (8-for-20), Bake McBride .353 (12-for-34), Keith Moreland .333 (5-for-15), Greg Gross .333 (4-for-12), Manny Trillo .317 (6-for-19), Larry Bowa .300 (9-for-30), Garry Maddox .229 (8-for-35), Bob Boone .200 (4-for-20), Lonnie Smith .185 (5-for-27), Pete Rose .167 (6-for-36), Del Unser .125 (1-for-8), Mike Schmidt .091 (2-for-22) McBride had nine RBIs for the trip going into last night, which is three times as many as Rose and Boone, the runners-up with three.... The Phillies' six-game losing streak is their longest of the year. The previous low was a four-game streak against the Expos and Mets, June 26-29.... What Reds pitcher has only 14 fewer strikeouts this year than Nolan Ryan? Mario Soto, who beat the Phillies two nights ago.... Phils are off today.
Phils’ losing streak stretches to six
Reds beat Espinosa in 7-3 win
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
CINCINNATI – There is one sure thing you can say about today that you couldn't say about the last six days.
The Phillies can't lose to anybody.
They can't because they don't play.
"After a disaster like this a day off always helps," said Dallas Green after the Phillies had extended their losing streak to a season-high (or low) six games with a 7-3 loss to the Reds.
"We've just got to get our thoughts together," Green said, "just relax a little bit."
If Green wasn't exactly relaxed last night, he wasn't the snarling super-critic he had been the night before.
"Boys, you'll have to write what you saw," Green told writers. "I've run out of things to say."
What the writers and everybody else saw early were some signs that the Phillies might be coming out of this. Of course, there had been signs like that before. Five times in this skid, the Phils have held leads at some point. Five times they have blown them.
On this night, Mike Schmidt finally pounded the home run that tied him with Del Ennis for first on the all-time Phillies list. That's 259 for Schmidt, 259 for Ennis. If it's of any consolation to Ennis, Chuck Klein is third, 15 back. And he hasn't been picking up much ground lately.
One tough run
After that came a grind-it-out run on a Larry Bowa single, a Nino Espinosa sacrifice, a wild throw and a double-play grounder.
Two times in a row, Bob Boone tossed out Dave Collins (previously 50 steals in 57 tries) trying to steal which made four straight base-stealers Boone had nailed.
And so Espinosa (1-2) had a 3-1 lead as he headed into the bottom of the fourth.
But then Espinosa turned into Espi-no-strike. He walked George Foster. He walked Dan Driessen. He went 2-and-0 to Ray Knight, which sent pitching coach Herm Starrette barreling out to the mound.
Starrette was barely back to the dugout before Espinosa threw balls three and four to Knight. And the bases were loaded.
Espinosa is coming slowly. But while he's waiting for his fastball to return from vacation, the one thing he can't afford to do is walk people. Control, in fact, was the big reason he had been so successful without a fastball previously.
Last night he was trying to hit those same corners. The corners just wouldn't move over a half-inch to help him, that's all.
"He's got to pitch that way right now," Green said. "It looked to me like he was just missing."
But in the box score it will still look like three walks. And to Reds catcher Joe Nolan, the next hitter, it still looked like the bases were jammed.
Nolan was not quite the ideal guy Espinosa would have chosen to have up there at that point. Nolan has been waging a personal campaign of terror against Espinosa that dates back even into the minor leagues.
"It's just one of those things," Nolan said. "But by now he knows it. And I know it. And a lot of this game is mental."
Last year at Atlanta, Nolan was 3-for-5 off Espinosa. The three hits were a double, a triple and a homer.
He sizzled the first pitch to right-center for a two-run double, and it was 3-3. Five pitches later, Junior Kennedy lofted a sacrifice fly to untie it. Then it was all downhill.
Warren Brusstar succeeded Espinosa. And he managed to give up three runs on just one hit (Ken Griffey's two-run double) in the seventh and eighth. Two walks hurt him. Schmidt's late throw to second trying to get a forceout on a bunt also hurt.
But the true sign Brusstar is back will be an explosion of ground balls. And he got only one from the eight hitters he faced last night.
"It looked to me from the side as though his stuff was as good as the other day," Green said. "But Booney said it wasn't. Those are the kind of jams he's got to get out of to keep pitching."
The Phils had numerous opportunities against Reds starter Bruce Berenyi (2-0) early. But Lonnie Smith's failure to tag up from second on a no-out fly ball cost them a run in the first, and they wound up leaving the bases loaded.
They also stranded men in scoring position in the second and third. And after that, all they got off Berenyi and Tom Hume were two hits, a bunt single by Schmidt and a chopper over the mound by Greg Gross.
And so the streak hit six, the longest Phillies skid since the famous 0-for-5 wreck ended in Pittsburgh last August.
This was a road trip that had begun so well, with three wins in four games, with victories over Ken Forsch and both Niekro brothers. But it ended at 3-7, with losses to people named Mario Soto and Bruce Berenyi.
"There really wasn't any clue this was coming," Green said. "We battled pretty good in Houston. We won those three games, and we played good baseball to do it. We had to. Then Schmitty hit the home run the first night in Atlanta, and we win."
Green saw about two things he deemed encouraging. One was Schmidt looking a little more like himself at the plate. The other was that the longest home stand of the year (13 games) starts tomorrow.
"If we come out against Atlanta and play good baseball, we can turn this thing around pretty quick," he said. "Home park. Home fans. Home cooking.
"I think," he said, "everybody's ready to go home."