Philadelphia Daily News - June 19, 1980
Phils Prey on Padres
By Bill Conlin
SAN DIEGO – It was Jerry Coleman Giveaway Night at the old ballpark.
A crowd of 15.621 fans watched their broadcaster-turned-manager give Steve Carlton his 12th victory.
Coleman dropped several clues along the way that this was not going to be a night when he would make us forget about John McGraw or even Frank Lucchesi.
The first clue came in the top of the ninth with the score tied, 1-1, Garry Maddox on third and Larry Bowa on second with one out. Dallas Green sent Keith Moreland up to pinch-hit for Carlton, who was off his feed, inasmuch as he allowed seven hits and fired only nine strikeouts.
Rollie Fingers gets paid millions to handle such emergencies with elan and dispatch. Fingers was heating up in the bullpen when Coleman jogged to the mound to talk to lefthander Bob Shirley.
"FINGERS HAD PITCHED two innings each of the last two nights," Coleman shrugged after the Phillies poured home four runs in the ninth to win it 5-1, their sixth straight victory and third straight on a coast trip that has seen them play superb tactical baseball. "I knew if I went to Rollie they'd send up Del Unser, who's been tough on Rollie."
Fingers is paid a handsome wage to get the Del Unsers of the world out in pressure situations. And when Moreland boomed a 415-foot double to deep center worth two runs, the man with the Red Baron moustache kicked about two feet of soil off the bullpen mound.
The game was a shambles from there for the Padres, who added Rick Wise to the 21-day disabled list last night and dropped into sixth place in the West.
I don’t like to tell a professional how to manage a ballgame, but since Jerry and I spent so many years together on the press-box level of the game. I'd like to suggest what Gene Mauch would have done in the situation.
Mauch would have brought Fingers in to face Moreland and moved Shirley, a fine athlete, to first base for Gene Tenace, who was the sixth hitter due to bat in the ninth. If Green subbed Unser for Moreland then walk him intentionally, put Fingers at first and bring Shirley back in to make Pete Rose hit right-handed and to face left-handed. swinging Bake McBride. And if the inning went further than that, flip the two pitchers again, so Fingers goes against Mike Schmidt
SUCH MANIPULATIONS rarely work, by the way, but they are fun to watch and make great copy. Mauch once played a four-man outfield. against Willie McCovey. Stretch hit one nine miles over the fence in Candlestick Park and observed that, "He should have had one of 'em playing behind the fence."
Things did not get better for the Padres. Lonnie Smith went in to run for Moreland and Shirley intentionally walked Rose. Smith had a huge lead and catcher Fred Kendall tried to pick him off. The throw sailed into center. Lonnie was forced to double clutch when the throw went through and that was the best thing that could have happened. Centerfielder Paul Dade saw a chance to gun Smith out at third. He forgot only one thing – the ball, which rolled by him into the cavernous acreage of the league's most spacious centerfield. Smith scored. And Rose, who has not lost a quarter of a step in 17 years, came rumbling home on the double error all the way from first.
The Phillies are posing some problems for teams these days. The bottom third of the order has been a modicum of efficiency and Maddox and Bowa set the table for the big ninth inning with their alert base-running after Manny Trillo failed twice to get a bunt down.
On the 2-2 pitch to Trillo, Maddox broke for third and Bowa, who legged out a sacrifice attempt for his third bunt single in two games, was right behind him. Trillo used his superb bat control to bounce a ball to first and the Phillies had runners on second and third.
"WHEN YOU GET down to the bottom of our order it's like facing the top of an order," Rose said. "Maddox and Bowa can both run and Manny can do so much with the bat. You get me and Bake McBride working to- gether at the top of the order and Bowa and Trillo working together at the bottom and it gives our home run guys a free rein. They don't have to worry about nothing except juicing the ball."
Bowa said he reassessed his role with this team on the flight to the coast Sunday night.
"Pete's been preaching to me that just because I'm hitting seventh I can't stop doing the things that got me to the big leagues, that made me successful when I was hitting No. 2. 1 was always worried that if I stole, they'd walk Manny to get to the pitcher. Pete said, 'So what, look at what Manny's hitting down there, and we got some pitchers that can swing the bat.' I decided on that flight to start being more aggressive, to start stealing bases again and start bunting for hits."
The Phillies are playing superb team baseball right now. And the biggest lift the overburdened pitching staff can get is the knowledge that the rest of the team is willing to play dirty-uniform baseball.
"It was a grinder," Dallas Green said. "They've all been grinders on this trip. That's as close as you've seen Lefty to being a normal pitcher. He did not have his best stuff tonight. What'd he strike out, about four. Nine? Geez, I guess they kind of creep up on you."
CARLTON, WHO IS almost a month ahead of his 27-victory pace of 1972 – he was 7-6 at this stage of his watershed season – did a nifty end run around Dick Schaap and his TV crew, here to do a special on him. Schaap was forced like the rest of us to operate on the periphery of excellence, interviewing Bob Boone and the rest of the supporting cast.
One last word about Coleman. Ozzie Smith made his manager look like an idiot in the seventh after starting pitcher Eric Rasmussen led off the inning with a double to center. Coleman had his shortstop bunting the first two pitches. Smith fouled both of them off. Eyebrows went into orbit all over the stadium when Smith fouled off a two-strike bunt attempt.
Ozzie did it on his own, more testimony as to why the Padres have settled into sixth place.
PHILUPS: Phils scored a first inning run when Bake McBride tripled down the left-field line and scored on an infield out by Mike Schmidt. National League President Chub Feeney was in the press box and said he has received only an oral report from umpire Billy Williams on the Dickie Noles bat throwing incident Tuesday night in L.A. "I’ll wait for the written report," Chub said. "I'm just getting over the Bill Madlock thing."... Bob Walk vs. just-recalled Juan Eichelberger today in a Businessmen's Special matinee.
There were four winners last night in the Daily News Home Run Payoff contest. In the third inning of the Phillies-Padres game, Madge Robb of Philadelphia and Charles W. Schlue of Egg Harbor, N.J., each won $10, plus four tickets each to a Phillies game, on single by Pete Rose and Bake McBride, respectively.
Joanne Mele and Jean White, both of Philadelphia, each won tickets.
So far the Daily News has paid out $5,305.
Today's entry coupon appears on Page 64.