Wilmington Morning News - June 11, 1980

Green feels marathon mishandled


PHILADELPHIA – "I thought the game was mishandled," said Phillies Manager Dallas Green yesterday morning just after the Phillies lost a 3-1 decision to the San Francisco Giants in a game that neither side felt should have been played.


"It wasn't handled very professionally," added Green.


Green was frank in admitting that had the Phillies won he wouldn't feel as poorly about the game in which a crowd of 28,702 dwindled to some 200 by the time it ended at 3:11a.m.


It was in many respects a farce. The actual game time was two hours and 26 minutes. But there also were five hours of rain delay. The game ended 7½ hours after the start.


Green was particularly incensed when the umpires stopped the game in the fourth inning with the Phillies ahead 1-0 on Bob Boone's inning leadoff home run. Green felt it wasn't raining hard enough to stop the game.


Boone agreed with his field boss. He was reminded of the nine innings the Phillies played against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a near monsoon during the fourth game of the 1978 National League playoffs.


"If we could play in that thing," said the Phillies' catcher, "we could play at Christmas time in Winnipeg.”


Boone noted, however, that contractually the players had no say in the situation. The game was in the hands of the umpires.


San Francisco's Gary Lavelle, a relief pitcher, and his team's player representative, said he would talk with Players Association officials about the problem, but that he too didn't feel they would get anywhere with a grievance.


The first rain delay was 1:28, and the second 3:28. The big question was why delay a game five hours that could have been played tomorrow when both teams and the umpires had an off day. Also, the fans would have gotten their money's worth, instead of a soaking, and for most an early trip home.


Bob Engel, the chief of the four-man umpire crew handling the game, tried to explain his thinking when approached shortly after midnight.


Was it because Phillies' pitcher Steve Carlton had pitched four perfect innings and the crew wanted Carlton to have his chance at baseball immortality?


"I didn't know until a few moments ago that he had a perfect game going," Engel said. "I'd like to see it stop (raining), get the game in, get the gate in, be fair to both sides."


He was asked when his crew would decide on whether to continue. His reply at 12:20, almost five hours after the game started, was: "We're going to get into a huddle pretty soon."

Ankle deep


Phils’ Maddox golfs one into stands in 4-3 victory


By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent


PHILADELPHIA – Garry Maddox figures Bob Knepper threw a heckuva pitch, but the San Francisco Giants' left-hander probably doesn't agree.


Sure, the ball came in around Maddox's ankles but the Phils' outfielder still managed to deposit it into the left field bullpen for the runs the Phillies needed for a 4-3 victory last night at Veterans Stadium.


"It's just one of those things that happens in baseball-bad for him but good for us," said Maddox' of his fourth homer this season. "It was no mistake. I'm sure he got the pitch where he wanted it, low and in, but I just got the head of the bat on the ball.


“I guess he'd figured that a pitch on my shoetops would turn into a ground ball. Or at least he'd keep it in the park."


But no such luck.


“I made a mistake," Knepper conceded. "He's a lowball hitter. I should have pitched him up and in."


The Phillies blew a chance at padding their one-run lead against reliever Al Holland in the eighth as Greg Luzinski, who'd walked for the third time, was thrown out at the plate on Larry Bowa's infield chopper.


So the Giants made their last bid against Ron Reed in the ninth. Jack Clark reached base on Mike Schmidt's throwing error that Pete Rose couldn't handle.


Darrell Evans sent Maddox to the wall in straightaway center field to track down his towering shot for the first out.


"I got a good jump on the ball," said Maddox. "It was just a matter of being in the right position at the right time. The ball went further than I thought, slicing away from me. I wasn't sure that I'd catch it."


But catch it he did and Reed got the next two batters for his third save. Kevin Saucier, who pitched to two batters in the sixth, was the winner. He's 3-0.


"The bullpen's done a super job for 3-4 weeks," said Phils' Manager Dallas Green, who's manipulated his armament with skill. "Kevin's been pitching super and Ronnie's really done a helluva job for us lately."


Phils' starter Bob Walk put himself in a quick hole when the Giants scored three first-inning runs.


Walk, who'd walked 10 batters in his first two starts, then nobody when he beat the Cubs last Friday night, walked the first batter he saw, Giant center-fielder Larry Herndon.


Ed Whitfield rifled a single to center and Clark drilled one to left, scoring Herndon and sending Whitfield to third with nobody out.


Walk got the next two batters on infield pops and it seemed like he'd escape without further damage, which he did against the Cubs when he put runners at second and third with none out and got out of the first inning without allowing a run.


However, Rich Murray, the kid brother of the Orioles' Eddie, had other ideas and roped a double to right center, scoring both runners.


"Bob had us a bit jumpy," said Green. "I didn't want to give away too many runs because I felt we'd have to battle for runs tonight. I didn't want to give the game away early. But Bob stayed competitive and gave us some good innings.


"I just want our starters to stay close, to keep us in the ball game. Don't let the game get away from us. A strong six innings, that s what we're aiming for."


The Phils pecked away at Knepper, who hasn't won in his last 11 starts on the road, losing all seven this season en route to a 4-8 record.


Luzinski homered to left to open the second. It was the Bull's 13th of the season and 126th at the Vet, most by any player.


The Phils added their second run in the fifth. Bowa beat out an infield single off third baseman Evans' glove and moved to second when walk was hit in the right foot by a Knepper pitch.


Lonnie Smith walked to load the bases and Pete Rose got Bowa home with a towering sacrifice fly to center.


The Giants got Walk out of the game in the sixth after Whitfield doubled and Clark walked with nobody out.


Green brought in Saucier and the Phils went to work. First catcher Bob Boone picked Whitfield off second base, with Bowa easily tossing the errant Giant out at third as the 32,635 fans went wild.


"The play of the game," said Saucier.


Then Manny Trillo went to the edge of the base line in shallow right to grab Evans' grounder and force Clark at second base for the second out. Saucier blithely struck out Milt May to end the inning and set himself up for the victory.


"Sauce is not afraid to take the ball anytime you give it to him," said Green. "He wants to get the Phillies a win more than anything."


The Phils got it after Luzinski walked to open the Phils' sixth. Maddox golfed Knepper's ankle-high pitch over the left field fence to put the Phils ahead to stay.


Bowa's single kayoed Knepper and brought in Ed Halicki, who hadn't pitched since putting in two innings of relief on May 27. Halicki is one of the pitchers the Phillies reportedly considered to fill the void in their rotation, but found wanting.


Still, the 6-foot-6 right-hander looked good last night, retiring all five men he faced. But the damage was done.


EXTRA INNINGS - Yes, Virginia, Mike Schmidt DOES have 1,000 hits... The error on Schmidt's hot grounder in Monday night's rainathon was changed to a single by the official scorer, giving Schmidt one hit in his last 13 at-bats but still good for an even 1,000... Knepper came in with a 1.90 ERA in seven career appearances vs. the Phils. He was 3-1 with a 1.41 ERA against them last season... Giants are 8-24 on the road this season.