Reading Eagle - June 2, 1980
Cubs Edge Phillies, 5-4
Kingman Makes the Difference
CHICAGO (AP) – Dave Kingman is still bothered by a shoulder injury which kept him out of the lineup for two weeks and manager Preston Gomez knows it.
“But,” says Gomez, “We have to have him in there, he does so much for us.” And he was right Sunday.
Kingman blasted his ninth homer and then singled, went to second on a wild pitch by Ron Reed and scored the tie-breaking run on a single by Scot Thompson in the seventh inning to give the Chicago Cubs a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I know the shoulder is still bothering him, but what a difference it makes in our lineup when he’s in there,” said Gomez. “He puts pressure on opposing pitchers, he still can hit the ball out of the park with one hand.”
Why would Kingman, who hit a homer in the fifth, go against the shift for a single in the seventh?
That’s easy. “I wasn’t trying to go to right,” said Kingman, “I just got jammed.”
So did Philadelphia manager Dallas Green, who after the game hurled his spikes against the wall and said, “That was a lousy job of managing. The loss was mine, nobody else’s.
“The minute Kingman went to second on the wild pitch, I should have walked Thompson and brought in a left-hander to turn those other two guys (switch hitters Steve Ontiveros and Tim Blackwell) around,” said Green. “I have to go to the bullpen there like I’m supposed to.”
Gomez said he thought Green might do that. “But, remember, I still had Jerry Martin on the bench and would have used him against a left-hander,” he said.
Gomez made all the right moves beginning with the sixth inning when he sent Larry Biittner to bat for pitcher Dennis Lamp with two outs after Blackwell had singled. Biittner hit his first homer to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead.
“That’s about as hard as I can hit a ball,” said Biittner, who sent it to the top row of the right field bleachers off rookie starter Bob Walk. “I asked the guys on the bench if his fastball was moving and they told me it was fairly straight. I just wanted to hit it hard.”
Mike Schmidt, the major’s leading home run hitter and an absolute terror at Wrigley Field, tied it in the top of the seventh with his 17th homer of the season, third in two days and 25th of his career in Chicago.
“I don’t know how it went out,” said Schmidt. “I was looking for a good pitch with a 2-0 count, but it was low and outside.”
The shot came off Dick Tidrow, 2-0, who became the winning pitcher, but Gomez made another move after the Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the seventh and brought in relief ace Bruce Sutter.
Sutter retired all six men he faced to earn his 11th save.