Philadelphia Daily News - June 2, 1980
Cubs Walk Over Phils
By Bill Conlin
CHICAGO – Dallas Green stared into his post-game snack like a man about to devour an arsenic sandwich.
"Gentlemen," he grumbled. "You just witnessed a horsebleep piece of managing."
It was that kind of game, long and unlovely, an event so undistinguished that Green could have violated every rule in the managing book and nobody would have noticed.
"I feel like I'm watching the second act of a lousy play," Tim McCarver said very early in the Phillies' 5-4 loss to the Cubs.
The manager blames himself for coming up a pitcher late and a dollar short during the seventh inning, when the Cubs broke a 4-4 tie.
Ron Reed was the pitcher and Dave Kingman, who homered in the fifth off rookie right-bander Bob Walk, singled with one out. Reed reached back and struck out Mike Vail, who has a history of beating up on Phillies pitching.
THE HITTER WITH two outs was Scot Thompson, who plays the outfield without a trace of skill. Reed rattled a wild pitch off the backstop and Kingman went to second. That's when Green says he went to sleep on the job. joining 20,051 tranquilized witnesses.
"As soon as he throws the wild pitch and falls behind 3-1 in the count I've got to put the guy on and go to my lefthander (Kevin Saucier). Cripes! The next two guys are switch-hitters, but I've still got to bring Sauce in and turn them both around. Hell, Steve Ontiveros is hitting about.200 right-handed and the other guy (catcher Tim Blackwell) you don't care which way he hits. I outsmarted us right out of the ballgame. I handled it like an amateur."
Thompson scored Kingman with a single to center, at which point Green brought in Saucier. "One hitter too late," Dallas said.
It was one of those games you see in the friendly confines once in a while where the pitchers appear very reluctant to throw the ball. Walk and Cubs starter Dennis Lamp worked every hitter like he was Babe Ruth. It is called the Wrigley Field Syndrome.
"Herm Starrette finally went ot there and told Bobby to speed up the pace," Green said. "Everybody was falling asleep out there and the other guy was just as bad. Everybody says that home runs beat you in this park, but it's not the homers that beat you it's all the runners who get walked in front of the guys who hit the homers. Home runs didn't beat us today; it was walks.
WALK WALKED THREE hitters in the third. when Starrette made his mound visit. He walked Thompson with the bases loaded to force in the first Cubs run.
"Herm told him to just throw the ball with his best stuff and don't worry about the consequences," Green said. "He was a lot better after the third."
The Phillies got three runs out of an eight-batter mess in their half of the inning, but Kingman cut it to 3-2 with a towering twckmt homer to left in the fifth. The Cubs took the lead in the sixth when Blackwell skipped a seeing-eye single between Pete Rose and Manny Trillo and pinch-hitter Larry Biittner smoked a homer to the back of the bleachers in right. That was all for Walk, who had good enough stuff to punctuate five walks with five strikeouts.
Mike Schmidt tied it in the seventh with his third homer of the series, an inside-out shot into the bleachers in right-center. It was his 17th of the season. Schmidt is pulling away in the major-league home run race like an Indy 500 car competing against a field of station wagons.
One of his homers in Steve Carlton's brilliantly-pitched Saturday game went to dead right, a sign to Groen that Schmidt is starting to punish pitchers for consistently throwing him outside.
"If he starts using right field the way he uses left field he'd really be awesome." Green said. "There's no telling what he'd do if he hit in this park all the time."
Schmidt dismissed the notion that he is trying to take the outside pitch to right field.
"THAT WAS MY Dunedin stroke," Schmidt said. referring to a pair of feebly stroked homers he hit in Toronto's spring-training band box. "That one today was ball four, inside and right under my chin. I just put a little inside-out action on it and let the wind do the rest.
"I've gotta figure the wind probably blows in here almost as much as it blows out. so I'd probably lose as many homers to the wind as I'd hit with it blowing out. But if the conditions were always like they were this weekend I'd prob; bly hit 75-80 homers."
Schmidt has been in a terrific power groove since his first spring training at bat.
"I went for two months last season feeling as comfortable and relaxed at the plate as I am right now." he said. "This one is more than two months old now if you count spring training."
His second homer Saturday was an awesome piece of hitting.
"I'm sitting there in the crowd just to the left of the plate and the crowd jumped up in front of me when the ball left his bat," said GM Paul Owens. "It started out so low and with such velocity I thought to myself. That ball's hit so hard he might be held to a single. I thought it'd hit the base of the wall and bounce back to Kingman. By the time I got my head craned around the crowd Kingman's standing there looking up at that basket above the yellow line. I can't believe a ball hit that low cleared the fence. If it didn't hit the fence it might have carried to Evanston."
PHILUPS: Bruce Sutter did a six-up, six-down number on the Phillies, getting four of the outs on ground balls for his 11th save in 19 appearances... Bake McBride singled home a run in the third to raise his RBI total to 34... Mike Schmidt's homer raised his majors-leading RBI total to 43. He also leads the National League with 38 runs scored and is batting a more than respectable .302... Pitching for the big series in Pittsburgh: Randy Lerch vs. Don Robinson tonight, Dick Ruthven vs. Eddie Solomon tomorrow night and Steve Carlton vs. John Candelaria Wednesday. Carlton has 91 strikeouts in 93 innings after striking out 11 in seven superb innings Saturday. Dallas Green said he had no qualms about pulling his ace out of a shutout. "Keeping Steve strong as long as he's on a three-day rest schedule is more important to him and the ballclub than complete-game stats. His slider was absolutely awesome. It doesn't matter which way the wind is blowing in Wrigley when you go out there with the kind of stuff."... Turning point for the Cubs was when centerfielder Scot Thompson fell down chasing Manny Trillo's fly to center, scrambled up and somehow managed to make a staggering catch... Bob Walk collected his first major-league hit in the third and scored his first run with a hilarious half-slide. "Bobby made that run an adventure," Green said. "A pitcher has to learn to do some things up here he never has to do in a minor league with the DH rule."
There were six winners in the Daily News Home Run Payoff over the weekend.
In yesterday's eighth inning of the Phillies-Cubs game, Drew Donovan of Norristown, Edward B. Curtis of Collegeville, Owen Coyle of Hilltop, N.J., each won four tickets to a Phillies game.
In Saturday's fifth innning, Jackie McLaughlin of Philadelphia, Florence E. Kovacs of Easton, and H. Stockley of Wilmington, Del., each won tickets.
So far the Daily News has paid out $4,855. To enter, just send in the coupon that appears on Page 67.