Wilmington News Journal - July 4, 1980
Ruthven, Walk hurl Phils to sweep
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
ST. LOUIS – The last time Dick Ruthven faced St. Louis he didn't get past the third inning. When he finally was rescued from the firing squad, he had allowed eight hits and four runs and the Phillies were well on their way to a 10-1 loss.
“Quite a difference tonight, uh?" Ruthven offered after he etched a masterpiece in the humidity of Busch Memorial Stadium last night. "I was really hammered that day."
Ruthven allowed the hard-hitting Cards just four hits and the Phillies scored two unearned runs in the seventh inning at the expense of Bob Forsch to win the opener of a doubleheader 2-1. Ruthven's effort set the stage for a brilliant encore by rookie Bob Walk.
The right-hander allowed the Cards just five hits while the Phils pounded out 16 safeties for an 8-1 breeze and a sweep of the doubleheader. The sweep was the first for the Phils since April 15, 1979, when they took the Mets twice in that Easter Sunday twin bill at Shea Stadium.
The 23-year-old Walk, who now has a 4-0 record and who has matured tremendously in his last three starts, recorded his first complete game in the majors.
The Phils, sparked by a four-hit effort by Lonnie Smith, gave Walk an early 4-0 cushion and he was never in trouble.
“Just what we needed," said Manager Dallas Green. "We have been looking for a complete game and tonight we got two. That gives the bullpen a big lift. Those arms needed some rest and tonight Ruthven and Walk gave it to them. I just can't say enough about the way Bob Walk has improved in his last three starts. It is very, very encouraging."
The two victories, coupled with Montreal's 7-2 loss to the Mets, left the Phillies just a half-game out of first place in the National League East and gave them a 4-1 record on this eight-game road trip. "You shut off those (Cardinal) hitters like we did tonight and you have done something," added Green. "They're hitting almost .280 as a team."
For Ruthven, the performance was his best of a so-so season. He retired the first nine Cards in a row, not allowing a hit until Garry Templeton, who had three of the four St. Louis hits, singled to center to start the fourth. Templeton immediately stole second and scored on Leon Durham's booming double to right.
After that, Rufus closed the door. He retired 15 of the next 16 batters until Templeton led off the ninth, cracking a Ruthven fastball to center. Durham sacrificed Templeton to second, but when the dangerous Keith Hernandez slapped a bouncer back to the mound, Ruthven spun around and caught Templeton off second. The game ended with Ted Simmons flying to center.
The Phillies took their lead in the seventh when Manny Trillo beat out an infield hit and Bake McBride was safe on second baseman Ken Oberk-fell's error. When Del Unser bounced a ball between first and second base, Hernandez made a poor throw to Forsch covering as Trillo scored on the play. McBride, who had taken third, made it 2-1 when Garry Maddox grounded into a double play.
"Ruthven pitched a super game," said Green. ''He had one of the best fastballs I've seen from any of our pitchers this year. When he made that play in the ninth, I think he took the wind out of their sails. Getting Hernandez four times says something about the game Rufus pitched. Everybody knows what kind of a hitter Keith Hernandez is."
"A lot of people said it was the best fastball I have had this year," said Ruthven, whose record is now 7-5. "I never know how good it is; 1 have to let the hitters tell me. Tonight, it wasn't as good as it was in 1978 or the beginning of last year. I struggled some with my breaking pitch. Til tell you, it was so humid out there I must have lost 15 pounds."
Last night's start was only the second for Ruthven since he jammed his shoulder on June 13 while fielding a bunt against San Diego.
"That injury might have been a blessing in disguise," said Green. "Rufus probably missed four starts and I think that might have made him stronger. You know, he had elbow surgery last fall and I don't care what anybody says, it takes time for pitchers to come back from that. He may not have an outstanding season this year, I mean 18-8 or something like that, but he has proved he can have a good year for us."
Ruthven, who went nine no-decision innings against New York in the first game of a doubleheader last Saturday night, does not agree with Green.
"Not at all," said Ruthven. "Before I hurt myself, I felt like things were coming around for me. When I missed all those starts, I did some mental homework. I didn't want to lose what I had accomplished up to then. I am satisfied right now."
The Phils took a 3-0 lead in the first inning of the second game and made it 4-0 with another run in the second inning.
Smith, starting in center in place of Maddox, opened the game with a triple to right-center. After that, Pete Rose, McBride and Greg Luzinski followed with singles, but an error on Oberkfell let Rose score and the third run came home when catcher Keith Moreland bounced into a double play.
Smith started the second with a single, stole second, went to third on an infield out. After McBride singled him home, starter Jim Otten was finished.
Walk lost his bid for a shutout when George Hendrick opened the bottom of the seventh with a ground-rule double to right-center, went to third on an infield out and scored on Dane Iorg's infield out.
The Phils vaulted in front 8-1 in the eighth when Walk, Smith and Rose opened with singles off reliever Don Hood. Rose drove in one run, then second scored on Moreland's sacrifice fly off John Urrea and the third came home on a wild pitch.
EXTRA POINTS - Mike Schmidt, the National League's AU-Star third baseman, will not play against St. Louis because of bis pulled hamstring and probably will not start in the Tuesday night game... Green said he does not want to risk a more serious injury and will notify National League Manager Chuck Tanner and Chub Feeney, the league president, about Schmidt's condition... Schmidt definitely wants to go to the game, but probably will not start... The Cards will send Bob Sykes (2-6) against Nino Espinosa today at 2:15... Tomorrow, Jim Kaat (2-5) will face Randy Lerch (3-10).
Rose leads NL All-Star reserves`
NEW YORK (AP) – Pete Rose of the Phillies, making his 14th All-Star appearance, heads a dozen reserves named to the National League squad yesterday to complete the team which will face the American League at Los Angeles next Tuesday night.
Rose, who holds a record for playing at five different positions in All-Star games, is the veteran of the NL bench which will include three first-time choices – outfielders Jose Cruz of Houston and Dale Murphy of Atlanta and third baseman Ken Reitz of St. Louis.
Also named to the club were catchers Gary Carter of Montreal and John Stearns of the New York Mets; infielders Dave Concepcion of Cincinnati, Phil Garner of Pittsburgh and Keith Hernandez of St. Louis; and outfielders Ken Griffey of Cincinnati, George Hendrick of St. Louis and Dave Winfield of San Diego.
Carter was the only player chosen from the Expos, leaders in the NL East Division. Cruz joins pitcher J.R. Richard as the lone representatives of the Astros, leading the NL West.
Hendrick will be making his first All Star appearance for the NL. He played for the American League in the 1974 and 1975 games.
Fan balloting ejected the eight starters with Steve Garvey of Los Angeles at first base, Davey Lopes of Los Angeles at second, Bill Russell of Los Angeles at shortstop, Mike Schmidt of Philadelphia at third base, Pittsburgh's Dave Parker, Reggie Smith of Los Angeles and Dave Kingman of Chicago in the outfield and catcher Johnny Bench of Cincinnati. Parker was the MVP of last year's game at Seattle, won by the NL 7-6.
Still to be named is a replacement for San Francisco pitcher Vida Blue, who was chosen for the team but is injured and was placed on the disabled list. Blue had been his team's lone representative so his spot must go to a Giant since every team must have at least one player on the All Star squad.