Allentown Morning Call - June 25, 1980

Phils find no relief in the bullpen


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Everyone had been waiting for the Phillies' too-good to-be-true bullpen to step up and put on a dunce cap. and that's exactly what it did last night in a 7-6 loss to the Expos at Veterans Stadium. 


The dunce cap had to be custom-made because Lerrin LaGrow, Ron Reed and Tug McGraw all had to fit into it after the three-hour and 32minute excursion into frustration. 


The Phils battled back from behind three times but the bullpen kept giving the lead back. And, sure enough, the Phils finally lost on Warren Cromartie's single off McGraw in the top of the 10th inning. 


The loss put the Phils 2½ games behind Montreal with Bob Walk going tonight and Randy Lerch and his 2-9 record waiting in the wings on Thursday. Is that the theme from "Dragnet'' we can hear off in the distance? 


Nobody had to remind the Phillies that three straight losses to the Expos at the Vet last season started the then-first-place Phils on the road to the boondocks. 


Cromartie's winning hit came after an intentional walk to Gary Carter with Ron LeFlo're on second. It was the right strategy but the wrong pitcher for it; McGraw, a left-hander, has historically had as much trouble with lefties as righties.


The Phils had tied it in dramatic fashion for the final time in the bottom of the ninth on a single by Garry Maddox. It came after a one-out single by Mike Schmidt, a walk to Greg Luzinski and a fielder's choice grounder by Bob Boone that left runners at first and second with two out. It was Maddox's third hit of the night although the first two were singles that led off scoreless innings. 


Dickie Noles started on the mound for the Phils after appealing the wrist slap of a penalty (three-day suspension and $500 fine) administered by the National League for Noles' tossing a bat at umpire Joe West in Los Angeles last week. Noles, who had already drawn a team fine of $250, will now drop the appeal which he filed only so manager Dallas Green could keep his shaky rotation in order with Dick Ruthven still out with a shoulder injury.


Actually, Noles should've gone directly to jail without passing "GO" and collecting his $200. He gave up 10 hits and four runs in five innings but got off the hook immediately in the bottom of the inning when the Phils tied the score at 4-4. 


Pete Rose knocked in one run with a groundout and Bake McBride drove in the second with a somewhat confusing triple to right-center. Centerfielder Andre Dawson caught the ball near the warning track but then bobbled it against the wall. Replays showed that the call by first base umpire Dave Pallone was indeed correct.


Manager Dick Williams, who will one day right the book on methods of delaying a game, ran out for the obligatory jawing at Pallone but the delay perhaps unnerved starting pitcher Dave Palmer even more. He hung a 2-2 curve to Schmidt who wristed it out of the park to left his 21st home run to tie the score. 


Back-to-back doubles by LeFlore and Rodney Scott off LaGrow gave the Expos a 5-4 lead in the sixth but the Phils again tied it in -the seventh with the Expos' help. Running from first on a single to right by McBride, Rose came all the way around the score when rightfielder Rowland made a wide relay to second. 


With one out and a runner at third the Phils hoped for the tie-breaking run, too, but Nos. 4 and 5 hitters Luzinski (pop to catcher) and Boone (dribbler in front of plate) managed only four yards of contact. 


But this just wasn't the night for Phillie relievers. After a shaky seventh – when he needed Rose's leaping grab of Ron LeFlore's line drive to get out of the inning with two on – Reed gave Montreal the lead once again in the top of the eighth. Rodney Scott singled, stole second (the Expos had five for the game against what is one of the worst steal-defense teams in baseball this season) and came home on Carter's single.