Atlanta Journal-Constitution - July 26, 1980
Braves Split On Shutout By Boggs
By Ken Picking, Constitution Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – When Tommy Boggs arrived at the Hilton Hotel Friday, the Atlanta pitcher rushed into the restaurant and ordered veal parmigiana. Boggs remembered eating his Italian favorite the day he pitched the best game of his brief major-league career in Philadelphia.
Little did the 24-year-old native New Yorker realize that Friday night July 25, was the two-year anniversary of his marvelous, two-hit shutout over the Phillies at Veteran's Stadium. Maybe it was the veal, maybe it was the occasion, maybe it was a slider the Phillies only heard. But Boggs nearly duplicated his magic moment, shutting out Philadelphia 3-0 on seven hits as the Braves split a twi-night double-header.
In the first game, Mike Schmidt became the greatest home-run hitter in Phillies' history, but it was the All-Star third baseman's bases-loaded walk in the 12th that produced a 5-4 victory before 38,408.
Atlanta (45-50) remained five games under .500, 1½ games behind fourth-place San Francisco in the Natinal League West. Philadelphia (48-45) did not lose ground to NL East leaders Pittsburgh and Montreal. The Braves have now won six of their last nine, while the Phillies ended a six-game losing streak in the first game when ex-Brave Dick Ruthven pitched all 12 innings, the longest outing by any pitcher in the league this season.
"I didn't know this was the exact day I had my two-hitter until Knucksie (Phil Niekro) told me after the game," said Boggs, who struck out Schmidt three times and allowed onlv one baserunner to reach third. "But who knows? Maybe next July 25th they'll get me. I really don't know why I pitch better against yhe Phillies than anyone else. But they do have a heavy right-handed lineup and that should be to my advantage. I struck out Schmidt on sliders all three times. I just didn't want to give him anything near his power."
Boggs evened his season record at 5-5 while moving his lifetime record to 3-0 against Philadelphia. "It feels good to finally reach .500, but I'm just glad I could give us a game like this after we lost the opener," Boggs said. Three of Boggs' eight major-league victories have been at the expense of the Phillies, and both his major-league shutouts.
The Braves broke open a scoreless pitching duel between Boggs and Dan Larsen (0-4) in the fourth. Chris Chambliss extended his hitting streak to nine games with a ground-rule double. After Bob Horner, who hit homer No. 21 in the opener, and Larvell Blanks walked to load the bases, Bruce Benedict delivered the game-winning hit, a two-run single to left.
Atlanta's third run came in the ninth off reliever Dickie Notes. Brian Asselstine, who went 3-for-S with two doubles in place of Dale Murphy in center, bit a ground-rule double and eventually scored on a single by Gary Matthews, who pushed his team RBI lead to 47.
"I'm not really superstitious, but I wanted to eat the veal parmigiana again because of what happened the last time," Boggs admitted. "But this time it didn't taste too good, and I ended up eating a cheeseburger. I'm glad a shutout can come after a cheeseburger, too."
In Schmidt's first at-bat against Atlanta's first-game starter Larry McWilliams, the league's leading home-run hitter drove No. 25 410 feet over the center field fence with Bake McBride ahead of him for a 2-0 lead. The homer was the 260th of Schmidt's eight-year, Phillie career and broke Del Emus' club record.
After the Braves took a 4-2 lead in the third on Horner's homer, Schmidt did it to McWilliams again, hitting No. 26 out to left for his third run-batted-in and tying the score 4-4. Against Boggs, Schmidt took an 0-for-4 and was booed.
Horner, who doubled in three official trips in the second game to give him an 11-game hitting streak, continued his torrid July rampage, driving in a run for the eighth consecutive game which tied him with Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Mike Lum and himself for the club record. The 22-year-old third baseman's 21st homer, a two-run shot off Ruthven, was the 14th homer of this month, one short of the major-league record shared by Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg and Joe Adcock. In Horner's last 26 games, he has 16 homers, 33 RBI and a phenomenal .931 slugging percentage.
Actually, the Braves did more than walk in the winning run in the first game. They set it up. Rick Camp started the 12th and gave up a lead-off single to Bob Boone, who was replaced by pinch-runner Randy Lerch. Greg Gross sacrificed Lerch to second. Then Lonnie Smith, who hit his first major-league homer off McWilliams in the third, singled to right Matthews and cut-off man Chambliss missed connections on the throw, allowing Smith to move on to second and eliminate a double play possibility. Pete Rose then had to be intentionally walked to load the bases for left-hand hitting McBride. That brought on left-handed Larry Bradford, who rallied after being down 2-0 to strike out the dangerous Phillies outfielder Garry Maddox for the second out. But on a 3-1 pitch to Schmidt, Bradford's fastball was low and outside to force home Lerch with the winning run.
NOTES - General Manager John Mullen announced Friday night that the Braves were fining Al Hrabosky "a substernal amount" for disrupting WSB-TV sports reporter Knox Nunally and nearly injuring cameraman Ken Wattley Tuesday. "The commissioner left it up to us, and we cannot condone that sort of thing," Mullen said. "Just say it was a substantial amount" Hrabosky declined to reveal the sum of the fine, believed to be around $1,000... Pitchers Saturday and Sunday: Phil Niekro (8-12) vs. Bob Walk (6-1); Rick Matala (6-8) vs. Steve Carlton (15-5).