Philadelphia Inquirer - June 16, 1980
Phillies defeat Padres
San Diego errors aid in 8-5 triumph
By Danny Robbins, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jerry Coleman, the San Diego Padres' rookie manager, says he has no immediate plans to return to the broadcast booth. But you are safe to figure that the former Yankees star will be back up there before, say, Harry Kalas is managing the Phillies.
The Phillies' 8-5 victory over the Padres yesterday at the Vet was not exactly the product of the Phillies' great pitching, awesome hitting or smooth fielding. The Phillies did just enough to get by. Otherwise, they were helped by the Padres' poor pitching, timid hitting and shoddy fielding. This win was really the sum of the parts that have produced 16 losses in the Padres' last 19 games.
So the Phillies gathered up three San Diego errors, eight walks by San Diego pitchers and caught a 6:15 flight into the sunset for their first West Coast swing (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco) of the season. They appeared content to let the trading deadline pass in peace yesterday – content to press on under the present pitching circumstances.
5 innings, 7 hits, 1 win
Rookie Bob Walk continued to help the situation somewhat with yesterday's outing. In other words, he continued to go out and look a little better than Randy Lerch, who tries again tonight against the Dodgers.
Walk improved his record to 2-0 by lasting five innings in which he gave up seven hits and three runs and walked only one batter. He clearly wasn't going to get out of the sixth inning, and Dallas Green pulled him after the Padres clicked off three singles to open the inning. Still, he went out with the Phillies sitting pretty with a 7-2 lead.
Given those conditions, Dallas Green will take five innings from Bob Walk and not worry about what the Giants want for Ed Halicki.
"I'm confident that this team is capable of winning," Green said after his team had swept the Padres to complete a 6-3 homestand. "Right now, that doesn't look good because we have patchwork pitching. But that can change. We have to be patient. With a couple of guys grinding it out, like Bobby Walk did today – well, give him credit."
OK. But it's hard to find any for the Padres. Yesterday's loss was the seventh in a row, 10th in the last 11 games, for Coleman's club. "We were 2-7 on our last homestand," he said, "so I can't really say I'd rather play one place or another.
"I can't keep track-of it, but I know we're playing bleep."
The Phillies showed no pangs of nostalgia for the Padres' starter, Rick Wise, who, trivia freaks must remember, got his first win in a Phillies uniform on Father's Day in 1964 against the Mets at Shea Stadium. Of course, Jim Bunning's perfect game in the opener of that doubleheader took some of the glow off Wise's effort. And there was nothing worth remembering about his work yesterday, to be sure.
The Phillies attacked him for four runs in 1-2/3 innings before Dennis Kinney came to the rescue out of the bullpen.
A single by Greg Luzinski (nine-game hitting. streak) and a sacrifice fly by Keith Moreland, who went 2-for4 yesterday, produced two runs in the first.
Larry Bowa singled to open the second, stole second and, with one out, came home on a single by Walk. It was Walk's first big-league RBI, and it was a bad moment for Wise, who twisted his knee going for the ball as it bounded up the middle.
Pete Rose reached on catcher's interference by San Diego's Bill Fahey, then broke up a double play on Bake McBride's grounder with a great slide. After McBride stole second, Mike Schmidt walked to load the bases, and Wise provided his last straw walking Luzinski with a high and outside 3-2 fastball to hand the Phillies their fourth run.
"You can't win too many games if you keep losing your starting pitcher in the second inning." said Coleman. "I'm surprised our relievers' arms haven't fallen off. Kinney innings, 2 hits, 5 strikeouts 3 unearned runs) did a hell of a job today. It's just hard to pitch when you're down 4-0 and 7-0."
"Those guys," Rose was saying about the Padres, "have a lot of pitchers, but they're all overworked right now."
The Phillies added the three unearned runs in the fifth. The. first scored on a throwing error by young third baseman Tim Flannery, whose wide peg to first on a slow bouncer by Garry Maddox let Moreland come in after doubling. The other pair of runs resulted from a throwing error by Fahey.
Kinney had an 0-2 count on Walk with two out and Maddox on third and Manny Trillo on first. Trillo broke for second on a delayed steal, and Fahey tried to get Maddox leaning off third. All he could do, however, was fire a throw off Flannery's glove and into the corner by the tarp to let both runners score.
"They are a little down right now," said Green, offering his tactful analysis of the Padres. "His (Coleman's) pitching isn't what he'd like it to be. They had some defensive lapses. But our aggressiveness forced those errors. Like I said during spring training, that's the kind of baseball I'd like to see us play."
Lerrin LaGrow, who grows more important in Green's bullpen plans, protected the Phillies' cushion long enough to earn his first save of the season.
It was an uninspiring 8-3 game as it moved into the ninth inning. Fahey and Gene Richards both singled, and, with two out, Flannery lined a double to center to clean the bases. But then LaGrow fanned cleanup hitter Jerry Turner to finally end the game.
Ready to go with what they’ve got
Phils now look unlikely to get another pitcher via trade
By Danny Robbins, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was just a regular get-away day for the Phillies. They played packed and pressed on to the West Coast for a seven-game road trip. This June 15 was not special, and the Phils weren’t too concerned.
The trading deadline did not represent the end of the world.
The Phillies caught a 6:15 p.m. flight to Los Angeles, where they begin a two-game series tonight, and Paul Owens was on the plane – meaning his trade talks (to 20 teams) had produced nothing to the moment, meaning The Great Starting Pitcher Hunt was about to yield nothing.
“I’ve said all along that I wasn't optimistic." said Dallas Green "and I have no reason to change that."
In short, the stakes in this game (a young guy such as Lonnie Smith) were too high for what might have been available at this time (questionable guys such as Joaquin Andujar). So the Phils were prepared to see Owens fold.
"With the young players we've got." Pete Rose said, "their potential is too great to send them off for some way who might come up with a sore arm or something. Like the Pope (Owens) says, there just isn't anybody (a pitcher) around worth getting in that kind of deal."
In that case, the Phillies must go with what they've got, which is Steve Carlton and... well, Bob Walk if he keeps improving; Randy Lerch if he lives up to his potential, and Dick Ruthven if he stays healthy.
Lerch will face Jerry Reuss of the Dodgers tonight, then Green must go with reliever Dickie Noles against Dave Goltz because Ruthven is out with his bruised right shoulder. "He'll miss this turn." Green said "and we'll see what happens."
Good things rarely happen to Phillies pitchers, but Walk is offering a bit of hope. He survived again yesterday as the Phillies beat the struggling San Diego Padres, 8-5, at the Vet. Walk got his second win against no losses by working hard for five innings while the inept Padres gave the Phillies clusters of runs.
"Bob Walk is getting better with each outing," Green said. "His stuff has always been good, and his control is getting better each time out. He got the breaking ball over better today, which made him a better pitcher."
Walk has now got some experience behind him – five starts for the Phillies after leaving Oklahoma City Vet the fact remains that he's 23 and was firing his lively fastball under the dim lights at Reading last year. Dim trade prospects put him in the spotlight with the Phillies. But can he do the job with them for the rest of the season?
"He has to. There's nobody else " Green said yesterday. "That's a lot of pressure on him. In the spring we thought he wasn't quite ready. We pushed him up here. But we’ve got to nurture him up here. Unfortunately he'll have to learn his lessons up here."
Rose, for one. thinks the Phillies can live that way, which is dangerously.
“I was in the Reds' organization for years," he said, "and I saw the other day where they were pitching a guy named Joe Price. Who the hell is that? If a guy can pitch, I don't care how old he is. I don't believe that bleep about 21-year-old guys not being able to pitch up here."
And Rose says Walk can pitch.
"In his first game, he was a little nervous because it was (against) Pittsburgh," he said. "In his second game, in Chicago, he worked too slow. He was over-pitching. Today, he pitched well. He made some good pitches when he had to.
"With our staff right now, the key is Randy. I hate to keep putting pressure on him. He doesn't have to win 20. But if he's five games over .500, we'll win the division."
Of course, Lerch is staggering along at 2-8 (his last outing against the Giants was a disaster), like a ball and chain on the legs of the Phillies, who are six games over .500 and just 2½ games behind Montreal in the National League East.
"Bob Walk is still young. You can't expect him to win every time out," Larry Bowa said. "If he goes five or six innings, that's good. He's in a situation where he just has to learn how to pitch in the big leagues.
"To me, the key to our whole season is Randy. If Randy doesn't pitch well, we are in trouble because we know he can pitch.
"Actually, we are fortunate to be where we are at this stage of the game. We could very easily be eight or nine games out."
Green has also been pleased by what sore-shouldered Nino Espinosa and Warren Brusstar have shown in bullpen workouts during the home-stand., Now their recovery route moves to the next stage – pitching in the minors,
Espinosa at Spartanburg and Brusstar at Peninsula.
"They'll start right away," Green said. "As quick as we can, we'll get 'em out on the mound. The quicker we get them pitching down there, the more we'll know."