Wilmington Morning News - June 20, 1980
Phillies win string takes a Walk south
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
SAN DIEGO - The first hint of trouble came when Bob Walk started warming up.
"I couldn't believe it," pitching coach Herm Starrette would say later. "He was nervous and just didn't have his act together."
On a day when the Phillies' bullpen desperately needed a five or six-inning lift from the starting corps, rookie Walk didn't have it.
The Padres snapped the Phillies' six-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory yesterday in a game that lulled just about everyone in San Diego Stadium to sleep before it finally dragged to an anti-climactic ending.
Walk and San Diego rookie Juan Eichelberger set the pattern for the lazy June afternoon with something less than dazzling pitching.
Walk, who didn't get out of the third inning before Manager Dallas Green reluctantly went to the bullpen, gave up two runs in the first and another in the third.
Bake McBride's three-run homer in the fifth off reliever Dennis Kinney pulled the Phils even, but Tim Flannery's bloop single to center scored Willie Montanez all the way from first in the sixth inning and put the Padres on top for good.
Strong relief work from Rollie Fingers kept the Phils from staging one of their come-from-behina acts.
Greg Luzinski struck out with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh and Bob Boone lofted a soft fly to left to kill that threat.
In the eighth, with runners on first and third and two out, Pete Rose lined out to center. Fingers struck out the side in the ninth to gain his eighth save.
But to the Phillies, Walk's ineffective start left them in a deep hole from the outset.
"I didn't like the way Walk threw from the beginning," said Green. "He was extremely nervous. He comes from this area (Newhall, Calif.) and I know he had a lot of family and friends in the stands. Still, he ought to be over that nervousness by now. Herm said he had no idea what he was trying to do when he warmed up. I usually like to give my pitchers a chance, but I couldn't stay with him any longer than I did. Not today."
"I don't know what was the matter with him today," said Rose. "Every time the ball was thrown to him, he stopped and rubbed it down."
With Dick Ruthven unable to start because of a shoulder injury, Green has been trying to get five or six innings out of the starters. His bullpen, which has done an outstanding job, has been used to the point of exhaustion the past week.
"But even today we got back in the game and had a lot of chances to put them (Padres) away," said the manager. "A lot of baseball games have been won on flares and that's the way they did it today. And Rollie Fingers had that slider working. He's gotten a lot of people out with it over the years."
The Padres, who had lost four straight to the Phillies this season, scored the winning run off Kevin Saucier.
Jerry Turner opened the sixth with a single to center, but Dave Winfield bounced into a doubleplay. Mon-tanez then singled to center, bringing up Flannery. The third baseman hit a short fly to shallow center that neither shortstop Larry Bowa nor center fielder Garry Maddox could reach. Montanez, running with two out, scored easily.
"If anybody had a chance to get the ball, it was Bowa," said Green. "Maddox was playing too far out and just couldn't get in in time."
Walk, who was continually behind in the count during his abbreviated stint, walked Gene Richards on four pitches to start the first. After Dave Cash flied to left, Richards stole second and raced to third on Jerry Turner's infield single. Winfield lined a single to center, with the second run scoring.
With one down in the third, Richards singled again and went to third on Cash's single to left. After Turner walked, Green summoned Lerrin LaGrow who gave up a sacrifice fly to left, allowing Richards to score.
Manny Trillo singled and Rose walked to start the fifth. When the count went 2-0 to McBride, Eichelberger was replaced by Kinney. McBride cracked his fourth homer and it was tied.
When Fingers struck out Luzinski in the seventh with one out and the bases loaded, the Phils' chances seemed slim because Boone has been in a dreadful slump and has had no success at all against Fingers.
EXTRA POINTS - Rose caught Richards napping in the fifth inning and turned a single into an out... Richards beat out an infield single, with the throw bouncing past Rose... After the runner turned toward second, he did not return to first and Rose retrieved the ball and made the tag... After that, first-base umpire Satch Davidson took much abuse from the beer-drinking crowd... Several paper cups were hurled at him and if that hadn't stopped, the Padres might have had to forfeit the game... Bowa has a seven-game hitting streak... After 58 games last year, the Phils were 31-27, in third place 3½ games behind Montreal.