Oakland Tribune - June 21, 1980
Giants stop Philly sluggers
By Nick Peters, Tribune Staff Writer
A stiff wind was blowing into the batters’ faces at Candlestick Park, reducing heralded sluggers like the Philadelphia Phillies' Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski to mere mortals.
But Giants' spot starter Allen Ripley didn't mind. Neither did torrid-hitting teammate Jack Clark.
While Schmidt and Luzinski, the heart of the Phillies batting order, were a combined zero-for-eight, Ripley and Clark combined talents to give the surging Giants a 5-1 victory Friday night.
Whereas the chilly gusts made it difficult for most players to hit a long out, the unflappable Clark crushed a 390-foot solo homer and a 400-foot double the game's only extra-base blows to continue his impressive hitting.
The home run, coming on a 3-0 fastball with two down in the fifth, cracked a 1-1 tie and gave Clark his third game-winning RBI in. as many games. He also took over the team lead with seven “gamers."
The double, hit into the teeth of the wind, cleared Garry Maddox's head in dead center, leading off the eighth. Clark eventually scored on an error and a wild pitch, concluding the scoring before 10,109 well-bundled spectators.
How hot is Clark? Well, in the last three games, he's belted nine hits in 13-at-bats to hike his average to a team-leading .294. He also has three home runs in four games against the Phillies, stroking a pair last Week.
“He's hitting everything we're throwing,” said Phillies' pitching coach Herm Starrette. “I've seen Jack hit curves, fastballs, sliders. Changeups… everything these last two weeks.
“Jack was the same way when I was with the Giants,” Starrette said. “When he’s in a groove, he hits the ball as hard as anyone I've ever seen.”
Phillies' Manager Dallas Green also was impressed as Clark played longball while Schmidt (20 homers) and Luzin-ski (15) were muffled.
“We got Clark started in Philly,” Green said. “When he’s in streak, nothing works. With the count 3-0, we had to challenge him.”
The game-winning blow even surprised Clark, who now has 13 homers and 42 RBI. With two down, nobody on and the count 3-0, he expected something good to hit, but the homer exceeded his expectations.
“I was just trying to hit something down the middle,” Clark explained. “I wasn't thinking about a homer. The way that wind was blowing, I didn't think anyone could hit one out.
“But I got it up and it just kept floating," he said. “It’s funny because I've never had much luck against the Phillies. But I'm fundamentally sound at the plate and I'm doing everything right.”
The Giants, who have won eight of their last 11, added a pair of unearned runs in the sixth for a 4-1 lead. Maddox dropped his first fly ball of the season for the biggest damage and S.F. added its final run in the seventh on Clark's double, an error and a pair of wild pitches.
“I had a bead on Jim Wohlford's fly, but the wind blew the glove,” said Maddox of his one-handed try. “When you play here all the time. you know how to play the wind, but it's a tough adjustment when you first come back.”
Clark's power and the Phillies' sloppiness made it all too easy for Ripley to register his first National League complete game. The right-hander posted his previous N.L. victory in relief at Philadelphia last week.
Ripley, now 2-1, will get another start in a doubleheader with the Dodgers next week. Manager Dave Bristol liked what he saw, asking reporters: “Can I use him tomorrow?”
The Phillies collected three of their seven hits and their only run in the first. Pete Rose and Bake McBride opened with singles and Schmidt and Luzinski both struck out before Bob Boone's liner to left made it 1-0.
While the Giants were getting to loser Dan Larson. Ripley fired zeroes the rest of the way. In fact. Rose's one-out single in the fifth was the Phillies' final hit, Ripley retiring 13 of the last 14 batters.
“He threw quality strikes,” said Bristol. “You've done a day's work when you can keep Schmidt and Luzinski from getting a hit. I might have to see another verse of that. Ripley has done a fine job for us."
At least Bristol no longer has to worry about a fifth starter. Veteran Ed Halicki was miffed earlier in the week upon learning that Ripley was to start, but now Halicki is heading for the California Angels.
Halicki and catcher Marc Hill both cleared waivers Friday and went to the American League for $20,000. Hill joining the Seattle Mariners, where he was told he'd be “catching a lot.”
The two moves cleared the roster for the activation of first baseman Mike Ivie and the promotion of left-hander Bill Bordley from Phoenix (PCL), where he was 4-6 with a 5.63 earned run average after winning his last two divisions.