Philadelphia Inquirer - June 17, 1980

Phils top Dodgers, 3-2, in 12th

 

Trillo drives in winner

 

By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer

 

LOS ANGELES – A year ago, a gentleman named Rick Sutcliffe fired a fastball in the direction of Manny Trillo that broke Trillo's left forearm.

 

It took Trillo 12 innings and three time zones to avenge that little blow last night. But when he got the shot, Trillo drilled a run-scoring double up the alley in right-center that gave the Phillies a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers.

 

This was a taut masterpiece of a game. It featured 10 innings worth of pitchers' duel between starters Randy Lerch and Jerry Reuss. It included any number of superb defensive plays, not the least of which was Larry Bowa's leaping stab of a Jay Johnstone liner for the game's final out. And yet the Phillies might not have been there at the end if not for two critical Dodger balks.

 

The second was committed by Sutcliffe after Bowa's one-out single in the 12th. That got Bowa to second and gave L. A. manager Tom Lasorda an open invitation to walk Trillo with the pitcher, Ron Reed, on deck.

 

But Lasorda must have been busy hugging Frank Sinatra or something. He let Sutcliffe pitch to Trillo, and two pitches later Trillo made him regret it.

 

Reed (4-1) got the win for a harrowing 11th inning that followed 10 terrific innings by Lerch. Reed's hairiest moment came when Greg Luzinski ran down a Bill Russell shot a foot in front of the wall in left for the first out. It would have been a homer at the Vet.

 

But there were other moments of defensive brilliance for the Phils. Bake McBride may have saved a Joe Ferguson homer with a sprinting stab in the right-field corner in the 10th. Keith Moreland made the throw of his career to nail Davey Lopes stealing second, also in the 10th.

 

And Tug McGraw, in the process of earning his sixth save with a scoreless 12th, made a tumbling grab of Derrel Thomas' popped-up sacrifice attempt. The ball rolled away, but Pete Rose picked it up and got a big force at second that got speedy Rudy Law off the bases.

 

But Trillo never would have been there in the 12th to win it with his bat if he hadn't saved it with his glove earlier. He routinely scooped up Pedro Guerrero's bad-hop grounder with the winning run on third in the sixth. He turned a Steve Garvey (3-for-4) liner into a double play in the eighth. He also made the play of the night with a diving stab of Ron Cey's rocket in the ninth.

 

The only sad part was Lerch, who roared through 10 of his toughest innings of the year against a team that was 7-0 against lefthanders, no less. Two runs. Seven hits. None of the runs and only two of the hits came after the third inning.

 

But it is seemingly Lerch's fate that even on the good nights, winning is never easy.

 

The first momentous event of the evening occurred when Lerch got Dusty Baker to pop up with two on and two out in the first inning. It was momentous because it gave Lerch a streak of one consecutive game without allowing a run in the first. If he ever gets it to two, it would be the first time this year.

 

Usually, if you get Lerch through the second without a whole lot of line drives flying, he's OK. But last night he changed the plot a little. He got through the first two innings scoreless, then he fell behind, 2-0, in the third.

 

The trouble started when Davey Lopes, hitting .188 . since May 2, bounced a one-out single through the middle. Bill Russell got him to second with a hit-and-run chopper to short. Then along came that dangerous middle of the Dodgers order.

 

Lerch fell behind Reggie Smith, 2-and-0, then got Smith to miss an attractive high fastball. Smith kicked at the dirt disgustedly, then stepped back n to rip a hanging breaking ball to left for an RBI single. That made him a mere 8-for-his-last-16, with six RBIs.

 

Next came Steve Garvey, who is third in the league in RBIs. And Garvey hiked his total to 45 with a long, floating line drive to right-center. Even Garry Maddox couldn't jet his way to this one, but rightfielder Lonnie Smith nearly did. Smith just missed a tumbling stab at the track. Then he and the ball clattered off the wall at about the same time.

 

The ball was eventually retrieved by Maddox for a double. Smith stayed down about five minutes, then remained in the game temporarily. He left after batting in fhe fourth, with a bruised right rib cage.

 

Lerch got a break, though; The Phillies got him back into the game, tying it off Jerry Reuss with two runs in the fourth.

 

First, Pete Rose cranked out career hit No. 3,433, a single to right. Then Mike Schmidt crushed a double to deep right-center that missed becoming Schmidt's eighth career homer off Reuss by a foot. Schmidt has never minded Reuss' propensity for challenging him with fastballs.

 

Reuss then blew any chance he had of escaping by going 2-and-0 to Greg Luzinski and then balking in Rose. The balk also moved Schmidt to third, from where he scored easily on Luzinski's sacrifice fly to right.

 

Neither team had another chance of note until the Phillies' sixth. Lerch led off with a bouncer to second that Lopes backed up on, then finally booted. Somehow, it was scored a single. Bake McBride bunted him to second. But Rose chopped back to Reuss, and Schmidt flied to center. So that one ended in a hurry.

 

If Lerch was going to self-destruct, he had every opportunity to do so in the bottom of the sixth. But instead he pitched tough to escape a difficult jam.

 

Garvey started it with his third hit, a rope to left that a fan scooped up on the first hop for a ground-rule double. Baker moved him to third with a fly to right. But Lerch got Ron Cey, who started the evening 6-for-13 off him over the last two years, after falling behind him, 3-and-0. Then Pedro Guerrero bounced to second, and they went to the seventh, still at 2-2, and stayed that way until the 12th.

 

 

NOTES: The biggest deal not made before the trade deadline was one that would have sent prime reliever Bruce Sutter from the Cubs to the Dodgers for the three best young players in the L. A, system, outfielder Rudy Law, infielder Mickey Hatcher and reliever Steve Howe. The Dodgers thought that price was too high, and the Cubs weren't too big on Joe Ferguson and Charlie Hough types.

Smith, Moreland happy survivors

 

By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer

 

Hey, this was the day, after the absolute, final, intraleague trading deadline, wasn't it? Yep, but where were all the deals? Still lodged in the imaginations of general managers and talk-show callers, apparently. Because midnight came and went and not a single team in baseball, including the Phillies, made a deadline-beating trade.

 

Paul Owens wasn't available yesterday to talk about this phenomenon. But after a rumored deal with the Giants for pitchers Gary Lavelle and Ed Halicki fell through a couple of weeks ago, Owens apparently never even got close to anything else.  Where contract problems didn't stop him, the general lack of available pitching did. Hence the deadline passed for the second straight year; with the Phils going tradeless.

 

Things weren't like this in Richie" Ashburn's day. "Heck, when I played, guys were afraid to even answer the phone June 15," the Phillies broadcaster said.

 

But in this modern era, when contracts are so complex that even people with subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal can't decipher them, trading has become all but defunct.  That doesn't stop guys from worrying about them, though.

 

Take Lonnie Smith. When Smith strolled into the Phillies clubhouse before last night's game with the Dodgers, he didn't need to check his digital watch to know it was June 16.

 

Smith said he never was real panic-stricken about getting dealt in the first place. But yesterday was still a major occasion, if only, he said, because "now I don't have to hear about it no more."

 

"I got tired of it," said the rookie outfielder, who reportedly would have been included in the San Francisco deal. "I just got tired of everybody coming up to me saying, 'What do you think about being traded?' and all that stuff. I never really worried about it.

 

"The way I looked at it, if I stayed here I'd be with the team I wanted to be with, and if I was traded, the chances were probably better that I'd be playing." Keith Moreland heard those rumors, too. Dallas Green started him twice in the last home stand. Both times he "got the impression from some folks that starting was like being featured in a display ad by Paul Owens Department Stores, Inc.

 

"I kept coming in here saying, 'Well, where am I going today?'" Moreland said. "But I never really thought it would happen. It wasn't in my hands, anyway. I didn't want to go. And I didn't go. That's the most important thing."

 

Still, when Moreland found himself and Smith in the lineup on the first day of the last home stand, he couldn't help but wonder.

 

"I didn't know what was going on," he said. "But they had kind of told me they weren't going to deal us. That's what they told me. And they never lied to me before about it.

 

"I did start wondering when I heard those rumors every day. But I wasn't that worried. I really and truly thought that they'd tell me if they were really close to making a deal."

 

In Smith s case, all the exposure he got last week taking Bake McBride's place might have changed his picture entirely. After seeing him bat .400 (10-for-25) for the home stand and look as though he might be able to play right field without killing himself, the Phillies might be more inclined to keep him than deal him now.

 

"I hope it showed them I could help this team," Smith said. "I think they know now I'm there when they need me. And hopefully it makes it easier for them to maybe make me a starter in the future.

 

"And I hope, the way I swung the bat, they might have a little more confidence in me in pinch-hitting" spots instead of just baserunning and defense. I'd like to get classified as an all-round ballplayer instead of just a backup ballplayer."

 

 

Well, there’s one thing for sure. At least he’s still classified as a Phillies ballplayer.