Camden Courier-Post - June 25, 1980
Expos’ speed topples Phillies
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies' missed a chance to climb onto the heels of the division-leading Montreal Expos last night, losing 7-6 in 10 innings at Veterans Stadium,
However, the Phils may have gained a measure of insight as to what they might do to help them catch the Expos. It's called team speed.
Once a highly-aggressive team on the basepaths, the Phils watched the visitors steal five bases (twice setting up scores) to add an extra dimension to an 18-hit attack that enabled Montreal to hike its lead in the National League East to 2½ games.
"THEY'RE PESKY on the bases," said Manager Dallas Green, who felt the disappointing performance of the five hurlers he sent against the Expos spoiled an offensive effort in which the Phils came back-three times to knot the . score.
Warren Cromartie's single to right field off reliever Tug McGraw scored Ron LeFlore with the winning tally in the 10th, much to the dismay of 32,157 witnesses to an evening that was an uphill struggle from beginning to end.
While righthander David Palmer shackled the Phils on just one hit in the first four frames, Philly starter Dickie Noles seemed to have one problem after another.
"It's not what I'm used to seeing from him," said Green. "I don't think he pitched a particularly smart baseball game."
IRONICALLY, some heads-up baserunning by Pete Rose eventually kept the Phils in the game. Pete also turned in the defensive gem of the night. But, the Expos seemed to have more of everything.
Noles gave up a run-scoring single to Expos Chris Speier with two a way in the second inning and then served up a solo homer to Andre Dawson in the third inning.
LaFlore singled home a run in the fourth. Then, in the fifth, Gary Carter singled, stole second and came home on Brad Mills' single to make it 4-0.
The first Mike Schmidt home run since June 14th got a lot of that back in the Phils' half of the fifth, but not before the Phils got some help.
LARRY BOWA kicked off the rally with a ground-rule double into the right field corner. Manny Trillo walked and George Vukovich, batting for Noles, grounded into a force at second base.
Bowa scored on an infield out by Rose. Then, Bake McBride ripped a screaming line drive that Dawson juggled off the center field wall for a triple. Schmidt then blasted a two-run shot over the left field fence to make it 4-4.
Back-to-back doubles by LeFlore and Rodney Scott put reliever Lerrin LaGrow on the short end of the scoreboard in the sixth, but Rose used his usual aggressiveness to even things in the seventh, scoring from first base on a routine single to right.
Pete waited out a walk off reliever Scott Bahnsen and then shifted into high gear as McBride lashed a single to right field. Roaring to third, Rose never broke stride as right fielder Rowland Office's throw got away from shortstop Speier. The play at the plate wasn't even close.
IT WAS ROSE who had stopped the Expos' assault on reliever Ron Reed in the seventh, leaping high into the air to spear LeFlore's screaming line drive to end an inning in which the visitors had posted a pair of baserunners.
Unfortunately, the Phils couldn't halt the Expos track team, which posted its 10th double-steal of the season in the sixth and featured Rodney Scott's third steal of the night in the eighth inning.
Scott, who tied the team record (three in one game) for the second time this season, opened the eighth inning with a single to left field, took second easily and scored on Carter's single to make it 6-5.
Again the Phils came back. In the ninth, Schmidt singled up the middle and moved to second on a walk to Greg Luzinski. Garry Maddox then singled to send the game into extra innings.
IT ALL went for naught in the 10th, however, as LeFlore singled off reliever McGraw, used his speed to avoid a force at second base and scored the winning run on Cromartie's single to right field.
Pitching errors cause Green some dismay
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – Amid the madness that often engulfs a baseball game, there is always a method in the works, sometimes obscure reasons for players doing the things they do.
For example, it is not some mystical act of fate that of late Phillies' slugger Greg Luzinski is not seeing any fastballs near the strike zone. He was walked three times last night by a Montreal pitching staff that was surely threatened with internal damnation if it should become wild or dumb enough to throw the ball across the plate.
Breaking balls on the corners. Fast-balls in the dirt or eyebrow-high. Walk him all you want. Pray he runs out of patience and chases something bad. Just don't let "him" beat you.
Luzinski, who has hurt Montreal pitching in the past, knows the score. The Phils used to do the exact same thing to Pete Rose when he was in Cincinnati. Except that Pete always found a way to be at the plate when the bases were filled, the game was, on the line and the pitcher had no choice but to challenge him.
The fact remains, however, that sometimes it's more important not to throw strikes than it is to appease the fans who sit and grumble about a hurler's seemingly-erratic style.
Phillies' Manager Dallas Green felt like delivering a lecture on the subject following last evening's 10-inning, 7-6 loss to the Expos at Veterans Stadium.
"I did not find a blank-blank thing that was encouraging about this game," he said. "I particularly wasn't pleased with the way we pitched tonight ... any of us."
It began with righthander Dickie Noles, a youngster of boundless confidence and aggressiveness, who found himself faced with a second-inning situation in which there were Montreal runners at first and second with two outs posted.
The batter was Chris Speier, a less-than-formidable hitter who would easily fall into the classification most big leaguers refer to as "a Judy." That's as in Punch and Judy. A slap-hitter, if you will.
Speier is also the eighth man in the Expos' batting order. Guys like Speier and Larry Bowa hate to hit eighth, because pitchers are always throwing them borderline breaking balls, aimed at the edges of the plate.
Number eight hitters see slop because the man out there on the mound couldn't care less about walking him, because the opposing pitcher is up next. And, as a rule, pitchers hit like chickens swim.
Okay. So Noles got two quick strikes on Speier, which inhabitants of major league dugouts will tell you earned him the opportunity to throw four totally-unhittable pitches at a batter who is usually so defensive at this point, he just might swing at an offering that bounces twice before reaching the plate.
Noles threw a fastball. The old element of surprise? Forget it.
Noles' fastball was not only within Speier's reach, it was fat enough to be pull down the right field line, over the first base bag for a single, scoring the first run of the game.
Green insisted Noles wasn't the only Philly hurler to commit such sins during the evening. Fortunately, he noted, it was just one of those things and not part of a trend.
What made it tough for Dickie was the fact that he was now fighting both the umpires and league officials, who were insisting that he threw a bat (from the dugout in Los Angeles) at umpire Joe West .
Noles was fined $500 and suspended for three days, but he got to pitch last night because he filed an appeal with league president Chub Feeney. A decision is expected within 10 days.
"I'm glad he appealed," said Green, who probably would have forgiven all the pitching mistakes if the Phils had won.
Unfortunately, with the winning run on second base in the 10th, reliever Tug McGraw tried to "set up" the Expos' Warren Cromartie with a fastball that was not intended to be a strike. It was supposed to be outside, to get Cromartie leaning and thinking outside on the next pitch, which of course, would have been a screwball designed to break in on the fists.
"I wanted the fastball off the plate," said Tug shaking his head as he thought of Cromartie's game-winning single.
Well, like they say, some days you get the elevator and other days you get the shaft.
Noles appeals case
PHILADELPHIA – Dickie Noles finally received his sentence from National League president Chub Feeney yesterday for his bat-throwing incident-at umpire Joe West last Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Noles was fined $500 and suspended for three days, but the young Phillies hurler promptly appealed the decision, which made him eligible to pitch in last night's game against Montreal.
Under baseball's rules, Noles' hearing must take place within 10 days of his filing and it must be heard by Feeney. After that, Noles could appeal again to the commissioner.