Atlanta Journal-Constitution - July 27, 1980

Phils Win in a Walk


Braves’ road show a loser again, 6-3


By Tim Tucker, Journal Staff Writer


PHILADELPHIA – So what if Bob Walk is only 23 years old, a rookie who has pitched just 13 big-league games in his life? It doesn't take long, after all, to figure out the Atlanta Braves.


And after pitching the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-3 victory over Atlanta here Saturday night. Walk had the Braves all figured out.


“They just aren't the same team on the road that they are in Atlanta," he observed. It was not an original observation, but it was a profoundly accurate one.


Saturday's loss was the Braves' 30th in 44 road games this season, their second in three games to the Phillies over the past two nights and their fourth in five games here this season. At home, they are 31-21, 4-2 against the Phillies.


Saturday's game was a typical night on the road for the Braves, who simply don't have the speed or the quickness to compete consistently in a park like Veteran's Stadium, with its distant walls and Astroturf surface.


The Phillies ran the bases like an Olympic track team, never looking up to consider that Atlanta's outfielders have arms attached to their shoulders, while taking a 5-0 lead through four innings against losing pitcher Phil Niekro (8-13). And the Braves, the antithesis of the Phils on the bases, had their best opportunity to get back in the game negated in the fourth inning when Chris Chambliss was thrown out at the plate attempting to score from second base on a two-out single by Mike Lum.


The contrast between the two clubs was crystallized in the fourth. While Chambliss was unable to score from second on a single to left in the top of the inning, the Phillies' Lonnie Smith was able to score from first on a comparable single to right by Pete Rose in the bottom of the inning.


No one, of course, should be able to score from first base on a single. But then, no one should play a ball like Braves right fielder Gary Matthews played Rose's single Matthews first dropped the ball and, after picking it op, threw to the wrong base – second, instead of the plate – as Smith scored without a play to make it 5-0.


The Phillies' first four runs scored in clusters of two. The Phils took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, the first run coming when Manny Trillo doubled off the left-field wall to score Garry Maddox and the second when Walk punched a soft single into right to score Trillo. The Phillies got two more in the third on a two-run, two-out double by Trillo. They made it 5-0 in the fourth.


Walk, in winning for the seventh time in eight decisions this season, held the Braves scoreless until the eighth, when they erupted for all three of their runs. A one-out home run by Brian Asselstine over the right-field wall made it 5-1. Then, with two outs, Matthews and Bob Horner singled and Lum walked to load the bases for pinch-hitter Jeff Burroughs.


Burroughs, batting for catcher Bruce Benedict, drilled a two-run single into the left-field corner to move the Braves within 5-3 and run Walk out Of the game. But with runners at first and third, pinch-hitter Dale Murphy bounced out to short against relief pitcher Ron Reed.


The Phillies added their final run in the bottom of the eighth on Bob Boone's home run off Rick Camp, the third Atlanta pitcher. Camp followed Niekro, who gave up nine hits and five runs in six innings, and Al Hrabosky, who pitched a scoreless inning in his first appearance in 12 days.


Reed, saving the victory for Walk, retired the Braves in order in the ninth. Walk, who allowed 10 hits and three runs in seven and two-thirds innings, had lost his only major-league decision against the Braves last week in Atlanta.


"There," he said, "you have to worry about all their power hitters taking you out of the park. Here, you can pitch to them a little bit differently."


"We just got too far behind too early," said Cox, "but I thought we could come back."

Luzinski To Face Knee Surgery


By The Associated Press


PHILADELPHIA – Greg Luzinski will undergo exploratory surgery Monday because of "something slipping in the knee," the Philadelphia Phillies' team physician said Saturday.


Luzinski injured his right knee in St Louis July 5 while sliding in to second base. He didn't notice the injury at the time, but the knee bothered him and was swollen the next day, said team physician Phillip Marone.


"He's got discomfort and a strange feeling of something slipping in the knee. That's what disturbs me," Marone said.


The doctor said he will perform an arthroscope.