Wilmington Evening Journal - July 28, 1980
Maddox bat help Phils set 2 records
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA - Garry Maddox came to the plate five times yesterday and probably tried as many batting stances.
Maddox had two hits and five runs batted in to show for his at-bats as the Phillies set Veterans Stadium records with 17 runs and 21 hits to crush the Atlanta Braves 17-4 and make a 16-game winner of Steve Carlton.
Still, the Phils' fleet center fielder isn't satisfied, not with his .269 batting average, the Phillies' third-place position in the National League East or the loss of Greg Luzinski for approximately three weeks after today's arthroscopic surgery on a gimpy right knee.
"Lately I've had my best stretch at the plate," said Maddox. "I've been more consistent, but it's still not satisfactory. I'm trying a new stance just about every time up there, trying to find something comfortable.
"I'm trying to find the one that got me here, but I won't sacrifice the year with one that's not working."
Maddox signed a five-year contract shortly after the season started and he isn't satisfied that he's done enough to justify his annual six-figure salary. Alibis and excuses will have to wait.
"Definitely my main concern right now is just to play the game," he said. "I have some playing to do. I have to do everything right I can do right. Then, if I have time, I'll look for excuses. Until I get myself right, I can't sit back and put blame on somebody else."
Maddox' five RBI were his one-game high as a Phillie. He thinks yesterday's rout should help the club relax and get back on the right track.
"Everybody wants to get their hits and a lot of guys (17) got to play," he said. "That puts you in a good frame of mind. That's when the game's fun. This has to help; it has to be positive."
Maddox says he hasn’t read the raps at Manager Dallas Green by Luzinski and pitcher Lenin LaGrow who, when released, mentioned the "extra pressure" on the team to win that's ''taken the fun out of the game."
Maddox calls the loss of Luzinski "an emotional situation for the team," but he thinks the club can pull together to be a contender.
"Teams can get by with good pitching and good defense," he said. “Teams have done it. You can survive. The Bull means a lot offensively, but we can win without him if we get the pitching."
Maddox says the team's much-maligned pitching "is responsible for keeping us where we are. Our pitching's been exceptional at times. With Bull out and Mike Schmidt hurting at times, we've had offensive problems.
"But the whole team has to contribute. If we're not hitting, the pitchers have to do what they can to win. If they're not pitching well, we have to score more runs."
So yesterday was the day to score runs. By the bushel.
Though Carlton won his 16th game and struck out eight, Green said it "wasn't one of Lefty's better games, but he won."
It wasn't one of Rick Matula's better games and be lost. The Braves' right-hander has allowed 18 runs and 23 hits in his last three starts, totaling 3⅔ innings, for a 42.75 earned run average.
The Phils scored eight runs off Matula in 1⅓ innings, a tidy 54.00 ERA for the afternoon.
Lonnie Smith started the game with his second homer, a shot to the Braves' bullpen in left, and the Phils led 3-0 before the inning was over.
The Braves matched the three-spot in the second against Carlton on two walks, Bill Naharodny's double and a sacrifice fly. But the Phillies had another shot at Matula, which meant the Braves were dead.
Three straight one-out singles loaded the bases for Bake McBride, who doubled home a pair. After Matula intentionally walked Schmidt to reload the bases, Manager Bobby Cox brought in Preston Hanna.
Maddox hit Hanna's first pitch over first for a bases-clearing triple and the score was 8-3.
After scoring twice more off Hanna, the Phils tallied three runs off Al Hrabosky in the seventh, helped by two Brave errors, and four more in the eighth. By then even the 35,249 fans were sated.
Green, tired of dodging quotes from his players after issuing a few character-builders himself on occasion, thoroughly enjoyed the warm afternoon.
"This one's a history-maker," he said. "You were there to see it. Aren't you impressed?"
Green was impressed and a bit puzzled.
"You see something like this," he said, "and you wonder why it can't happen all the time. But we've been swinging the bats better and seen some encouraging signs."
Pete Rose, who had three hits to help cure a mini-slump and get his average back up to .289, also was encouraged.
"This is a good time for a series like this, not just a game," said Rose. "It's a good time to win three of four from a team that beat us three of four down there a week ago."
EXTRA INNINGS - The 17 runs are a NL high this season... Schmidt moved into ninth place on club's all-time RBI list with 735... Houston opens a three-game set tonight at 7:35 with Nino Espinosa starting against the Astros' Gordy Pladson.
Luzinski out 3 more weeks
PHILADELPHIA – Greg Luzinski will be sidelined approximately three more weeks, according to Dr. Phillip Marone, who performed knee surgery on the Phillies' outfielder this morning at Methodist Hospital.
During the two-hour surgery. Marone removed multiple loose cartilaginous bodies and a small portion of Luzinski's knee cartilage.
Luzinski, who came down with a swollen right knee following the Phillies' game in St Louis on July 5, will be discharged from the hospital either tonight or tomorrow morning. He will be on crutches for awhile, although his knee was not placed in a cast.
Luzinski has been on the disabled list since July 8. Aided by exercise and treatment, his knee showed progress until last Friday, when it swelled up on him again. After examining Luzinski's knee and taking X-rays on Saturday, Marone decided on an arthroscopic examination and surgery this morning.
Before the operation, it was feared that Luzinski might be out for up to six weeks.