Philadelphia Daily News - July 26, 1980

Phils Play Hot, Cold


By Jay Greenberg


No. 260, in Mike Schmidt's eighth Phillies summer, landed, with fitting majesty, just to the right of the 408-foot mark in center field.


He had passed them all – Del Ennis, Chuck Klein, Pancho Herrera, Ed Bouchee, even Ted Lepcio. Whether it was a tribute to Schmidt's consistency or one more gloomy reminder of all the mediocrity that has passed through this town since 1915 was not a perspective Schmidt wanted to seek out after last night's double-header. "The record," he said, "doesn't mean a damn thing. That second game was the low point of my career here. Now, that's all I'd better give you, or I'm going to say something I might regret.”


After passing Ennis, hitting a second home run, doubling, singling, and working a bases-loaded walk that gave the Phils a 5-4 12-inning win in the first game, Schmidt was Bogged down by an Atlanta righthander, first name Tommy, in Game 2. None of the Phillies' seven hits in their 3-0 loss belonged to Michael, but three of Tommy Boggs' six strikeouts did.


THUS BEGAN THE 13-game homestand that will determine just how long Team Pout can keep this season interesting. With the best and worst of the 1980 Phillies. With Schmidt on fire in Game 1, with a misplayed line drive by Greg Gross which gave the Braves the only runs they needed to get a split. With a 12-inning complete game by Dick Ruthven and a curious befuddlement at the hands of Tommy Boggs. With a 47-44 record which, six hours later, was no better at 48-45.


"We got good effort," said Manager Dallas Green. "It wasn't as if we screwed the game up. only upon this exact date, every two years at Every once in a while a guy is going to come up with a good game against you.”


Which in Boggs’ peculiar timetable, falls only upon this exact date, every two years at Veterans Stadium. His only other major league with a good game against you." shutout among his eight career victories was Which in Boggs' peculiar timetable, falls here on July 25, 1976.


"I don't know what it is," said Tommy. "Maybe because most of their power is right-handed. I just tried to stay outside with Schmidt and it worked."


"He has a decent fastball and cuts the ball," shrugged Green. "It's sort of a half-bleep slider."


Which on a half-bleep night, was good enough to bring Dallas' sometimes grinders to a halt. Only one of the true negative press bleepers, whom Dickie Noles – after giving up the final Brave run in his one inning of work – greeted with his own negative musings upon entering the clubhouse, would point out that it was the Phils' seventh loss in the last eight games.


SIX OF THOSE were on the road, and this, after all, is the homestand that affords them the opportunity to stay in the race. Now, they just have to do it. One can't really accuse the Phils of only talking a good game, because they barely talk at all.


The manager is left to speak for them. And they don't like what he says. "Dallas is trying to change the team's personality," said Schmidt on PRISM between games. "He points out mistakes in the media instead of to us and it's just fuel for the media. But we're too big to let these things affect us.


"This is a newspaper-reading town and what was read today made it sound like it was over. (Atlanta Manager) Bobby Cox told Larry Bowa that it sounded like we were four games out with two to play."


Actually, it's five with 69 to play. Which, after the awakening of dormant bats in Game 1, looked like plenty of time.


Schmidt's piece of history in the first inning put Ruthven ahead, 2-0, but Luis Gomez's second-inning double and a three-run third climaxed by Bob Horner's 14th home run of July, gave the Braves a brief 4-2 lead. Lonnie Smith's first major league home run prefaced Schmidt's second of the night, to get the Phils even and Ruthven settled down.


"I felt like a football out there in the first few innings," said Rufus. "Then things started to get a lot easier. By the 12th, I was beginning to think this wasn't healthy, as far as my next start, but I didn't feel it."


RUTHVEN WAS IN trouble only once in the last nine innings. He walked Horner and Jeff Burroughs to start the ninth, but after Biff Pocoroba lined out to Garry Maddox, Brian Asselstine hit a sinker right at Bowa for a game-saving double play.


Finally, in the 12th, Bob Boone led off with a ground single to center. Ruthven bunted pinch-runner Randy Lerch up, but Lerch had to stop at third on Smith's hard single to right Pete Rose was walked intentionally to fill the bases and reliever Larry Bradford had to go at Bake McBride and Schmidt. After falling behind 2-0 on McBride, Bradford came back to strike him out, but a 3-1 pitch to Schmidt was plenty low and inside and enabled Lerch to walk home.


Dan Larson pitched well in Game 2 and could have been scoreless into the ninth had not Gross appeared to lose Bruce Benedict's looping liner in the lights with the bases full in the fourth. The Phils bunched two hits in an inning only once and never got a man to third.


The Brave defense made one last attempt to keep the game alive when Gomez booted Garry Maddox's two-out, ninth-inning grounder into center, but Maddox, unimpeded by the 3-0 deficit, headed on for second. Dale Murphy threw him out and the homestand that may be the last stand of this era's Phils began with an unsatisfactory split.


If this is to be the Phillies' watershed then, winning one and losing one, they found what looks to be their level again last night.


PHILUPS: Greg Luzinski's knee swelled again after a workout yesterday afternoon, which means his removal from the disabled list is not imminent. Asked if he had talked to the Bull about this week's managerial critique, Dallas Green said, "1 thought he was supposed to talk to me."... Bob Horner is only one home run short of the major league record for July, held by Joe Adcock (1956) Hank Greenberg (19.), and Joe DiMaggio (1937)... The NL record for any month is 17 by Willie Mays in August 1965, the major league mark 18 by Rudy York in August 1937... It took Ennis 11 years to hit his 259 home runs... Phil Niekro pitches against Bob Walk tonight. Rick Matula against Steve Carlton tomorrow... Dick Ruthven's 12 innings was the longest pitching outing in the National League this year... Pete Rose was rested in the second game; it was only the second game he hasn't started in two years. Rose did pinch-hit in both games to keep his Phils attendance record perfect.

8 Winners in Payoff Contest


In the twi-nighter between the Phillies and Braves, there was a total of eight winners in the Daily News Home Run Payoff contest.


In the sixth inning of the first game, winners of four tickets each were Tom Krajewski of Philadelphia, Charles Scheflen of Pennsauken and Andrew W. Caulfield of Maple Shade.


In the fifth inning of the nightcap, Ross Ippolito of Vineland and Sherry Ann Myers of Vincentown, N.J., each won $10 plus tickets on singles by Keith Moreland and Manny Trillo, respectively.


Winners of tickets only were Harry and Jane Brown of Downingtown, Rita Hutchinson and John Broadbent, both of Philadelphia.


So far the Daily News has paid out $13,430.


Today's entry coupon appears on Page 33.