Wilmington Morning News - June 2, 1980
Green ‘accepts’ Phillie loss
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent
CHICAGO - Dallas Green's spiked shoe hit the wall with a clunk.
"You just witnessed a horsebleep piece of managing!" the Phillies' manager said angrily after a 5-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs here yesterday. "That game's mine – nobody else's!''
Green disappeared into the bathroom, came back out, took off his other shoe and threw IT against the wall.
"It doesn't take any genius to figure it out," Green continued. "I've got a lefthander (Kevin Saucier) down there, he (loser Ron Reed) makes a wild pitch and I should go to the bullpen, like I'm supposed to."
Green's socks came off and silently plopped against the wall.
"And I don't," he said.
And the Phillies lose, though it took more than Green's indecision to do that. There were five walks by rookie Bob Walk, naturally. And two Cub home runs. And then there was the wild pitch.
Mike Schmidt had tied the game 4-4 with his 17th homer, a bullet to right center off Dick Tidrow in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom half, Dave Kingman, who'd homered in the fifth, beat the Phillies' shift and singled to right center. With two out, Reed threw the ball in the dirt and catcher Bob Boone could only stop it from hitting the backstop. As the ball rolled away, Kingman lumbered into second base.
That, Green contends, is the time he should have gone to Saucier, instead of sitting on his hands in the dugout.
"You bring in the lefthander and turn the next two guys (both switch-hitters) around," Green said. "They're not going to hit that way (right-handed)."
But Green left Reed in the game and Scot Thompson dropped a single in front of center field Garry Maddox for the eventual game-winner.
Bruce Sutter, the Cubs' $700,000 reliever who'd been pitching like two cents of late, naturally found his groove against the Phillies and worked the final two innings, facing six men and retiring all six with only one ball leaving the infield.
"Looked like the same old Sutter to me," said Green.
And the same old problem hurt Walk. Five walks. It was only his second big-league start and he lasted 5.2 innings, three full innings more than he'd managed against Pittsburgh in his Memorial Day debut.
But three walks in the third inning provided the Cubs with the potential for a big inning before Walk escaped, allowing just one run.
"I felt I was lucky, walking all those people and they got only one run out of it," said Walk, whose bases-loaded pass to Thompson forced the run across.
"I feel I can start winning if I start throwing some strikes. I hung a curve ball to Kingman (for the fifth-inning homer that made it 3-2).
"Then I threw a horsebleep fastball to Larry Biittner, so I wouldn't walk him and he hit it out."
Biittner's pinch home run, a two-run shot to right after Tim Blackwell singled past first baseman Pete Rose, gave the Cubs a 4-3 lead in the sixth and forced Walk to take one.
That situation also annoyed Green, who took the blame for that one, too.
"You've got to put him (Blackwell) on," said Green. "The count was 3-1. You bring in the lefthander and turn the guy around. He's hitting a buck-ninety (actually .174), anyway."
But Blackwell, whose three-run homer sparked the Cubs' 10-7 victory Friday, extended his hitting streak to five games and Biittner, batting for Chicago starter Dennis Lamp, homered to put the Cubs ahead for the first time all day.
The Phils had scored three runs off Lamp in the third and it all started with Walk's first big-league hit, a single past first baseman Bill Buckner. It was only Walk's second professional hit and they stopped the game to give him the ball.
"I had a hit for Oklahoma City (at Indianapolis) last year, just like this one," said Walk. "Before that, my last hit was in 1974, in high school."
The sheer euphoria, or Walk's unfamiliarity with the base paths, proved evident after Rose singled Walk to second.
When Bake McBride followed with the third straight single, a shot to center, Walk headed for third, was surprised to see a green light from coach Lee Elia and stumbled around the bag, hell-bent for the plate.
Deciding to hit the dirt at the last moment, Walk turned in an ungainly slide that saw him hit the plate knee-first with the game's first run.
"The umpire didn't call me safe," said Walk. "He just said, 'What the hell's that?' Everybody in the dugout was laughing and I just wanted to get out of there. I was kinda embarrassed."
Shortstop Ivan DeJesus' error on Schmidt's smash sent Rose home and McBride scored on Greg Luzinski's sacrifice fly to left.
"I'm not used to running the bases like that," said Walk. "I don't know what happened."
What happened was that Walk wrapped walks to Lenny Randle and Kingman around a single by DeJesus to load the bases. After striking out Mike Vail for the second out, he walked Thompson and the Cubs had a run. Steve Ontiveros promptly flied to center.
"He did a good job of holding them to one run," said Green, "and he got going pretty good after the third. He's got good stuff and if we can get him a little calmed down on the mound and a better approach if he misses (with a pitch), he'll be okay."
To say nothing of Dallas Green's footwear and the clubhouse paint job.
EXTRA INNINGS - Schmidt's homer was his 25th at Wrigley Field... Reed's now 3-1... Rose has hit in seven straight games... Phils open three-game set in Pittsburgh tonight at 7:35... Phils will use Randy Lerch, Dick Ruthven and Steve Carlton vs. Don Robinson (1-1), Eddie Solomon (2-0) and John Candelaria (2-4)... Final two games will be televised on Channel 17.