Sports Illustrated - July 7, 1980

Baseball – N.L. East


By Herm Weiskopf


Lee Mazzilli of the Mets (7-1), who was supposed to bring back some of the team's old magic, had been as frustrated during the early season as a sorcerer with lots of hats but no rabbits. Last week, though, Mazzilli got his act together and—presto!—pulled New York out of a slump. Maz helped beat the Cubs 4-3 by doubling and scoring from second when Centerfielder Jerry Martin got tangled in the Wrigley Field ivy while hauling down a drive by Joel Youngblood. In the same game Mazzilli bunted safely, stole second and scored on a single. Mazzilli helped defeat the Phillies' Steve Carlton by hitting the first homer off the lefty in 72 innings, an inside-the-park job on which Rightfielder Bake McBride missed a diving catch and let the ball roll to the wall. Mazzilli then had six hits and two steals as New York took a doubleheader in Philadelphia 2-1 and 5-4. Neil Allen got his fourth win in the opener and his 13th save in the second. Allen saved two earlier contests, one a 9-6 triumph in L.A. in which Claudell Washington homered three times.


Because home runs are often called taters, you might say the Phillies (2-5) defeated the Expos 2-1 with the aid of a baked tater—a homer by Bake McBride.


Lefthand-hitting Warren Cromartie of the division-leading Expos (3-3) twice had game-winning hits after Gary Carter was intentionally walked so lefty pitchers could face him. After singling in the lead run to help Steve Rogers beat San Diego 2-0, Cromartie downed Philadelphia 7-6 with a hit in the 10th. Scott Sanderson stopped the Phillies 1-0, Chris Speier scoring when he kicked the ball out of Catcher Bob Boone's mitt. The Expos stole 13 bases, five by Rodney Scott, who has 26, and four by Ron LeFlore, who has 42.


Omar Moreno of the Pirates (3-3), who leads both leagues with 44 steals, swiped second and scored on a single to help beat the Expos 4-3. The victory went to Jim Bibby (9-1), who earlier had beaten Houston 2-1.


With his relievers overworked and his starters under siege, Manager Preston Gomez of the Cubs (3-5) had to start Mike Krukow against the Cardinals even though the Mets had shelled him three days before. "Don't look to the bullpen," Gomez warned. Krukow didn't. Despite three first-inning errors by the Cubs, he won 2-1.


Helping the Cardinals (6-1) come on strong were Garry Templeton, who batted .500, Keith Hernandez (.435), George Hendrick (.433), Ted Simmons (.417) and Leon Durham, who beat the Cubs 8-6 with a two-run double in the ninth. Still, St. Louis would not have suddenly perked up had it not been for a turnabout by its pitchers. Jim Kaat, Bob Sykes and Don Hood, three lefties with one win apiece, bamboozled the Pirates 6-1, 3-2 and 4-1. All three consistently got their first pitches over for strikes, Kaat 84% of the time, Sykes and Hood 70%. But the highlight of Kaat's 266th win was his first stolen base in 15 years and third in his 21-year career.


MONT 38-29; PITT 37-33; PHIL 35-32; NY 34-36; CHI 30-38; ST.L 30-41