Wilmington Morning News - June 26, 1980

Walk shines in Phillies’ extra-inning victory 2-1


By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent


PHILADELPHIA – Rookie pitcher Bob Walk turned in his best big-league performance on "make or break" night and Bake McBride figured in every scoring play, but it was Mike Schmidt who got the winning run home.


Schmidt's bases-loaded, no-out single over the drawn-in Montreal defense gave the Phillies a 2-1 victory in 10 innings last night at Veterans Stadium.


"I didn't hit it good or far, I just hit it," said Schmidt. "Sometimes just hitting it is hard. How can you make an out in that situation?"


Schmidt's hit scored Greg Gross, who'd walked to open the inning against loser Stan Bahnsen. Pete Rose had crossed up the Expo defense by doubling down the right field line while the Expos were expecting a bunt to put runners at second and third with nobody out.


Expo Manager Dick Williams ordered McBride, who'd homered for the Phils' first run, intentionally walked to load the bases for Schmidt, whose hit brought the Phils within 1½ games of the division-leading Expos.


"We needed a victory tonight and we needed a good game out of Walk," said Phils' Manager Dallas Green. "We got both tonight."


While Walk allowed just four hits in eight innings, his longest big-league stint, Ron Reed (6-1) got the victory with two innings of no-hit relief.


"This was make or break for Walk tonight," said Green, hinting at a trip back to Oklahoma City. "I didn't tell him that, but he needed a game like tonight to prove he can pitch up here and pitch consistently."


The Phils took a shot at winning it in regulation when Bob Boone lofted a two-out fly down the right field line with Larry Bowa flying around the bases.


It wouldn't have been more than a routine catch for right fielder Rowland Office had not second baseman Rodney Scott rushed into the play.


As it was, Office first had to fend off Scott, then make a sprawling catch just before the ball hit the turf to end the inning. Just in a night's work.


Walk said he wasn't aware of any "make or break" aspect to the game.


"I tried to put things in perspective," said the pitcher. "This was just a ball game, not life or death. In the past, I lost my composure and got in trouble. Tonight I just went after them.


"If I'd thought about it, it was a critical start for me. But if I thought about that, I'd put more pressure on me. So I tried to think of it just as a game against Montreal and put the personal aspect out of my mind."


Walk's wildness caused him to run three three-ball counts in the first inning, walking Gary Carter after Scott had singled, stolen second and wound up on third when catcher Boone had thrown the ball into center field.


But Walk got Warren Cromartie, who singled home the winning run Tuesday night, on a sky-high fly to center to escape further trouble.


The Expos' fourth-inning run came gift-wrapped by McBride – and again involved Cromartie. The Montreal first baseman lashed a single past Rose's outstretched glove into right field.


McBride charged the ball, then let it bounce past him for a two-base error as Cromartie raced to third.


McBride crashed into the fence chasing Brad Mills' subsequent sacrifice fly but the run, unearned as it was, was on the board.


"I went over to scoop up the ball but it hit my foot and bounced over my head," McBride said. "Then, when I hit the wall catching that fly ball, I hurt my elbow."


McBride more than atoned for his fielding lapse in the sixth when he drilled one of Bill Gullickson's pitches on a line over the fence in right to tie the game. It was Bake's fifth homer and 41st RBI.


The Expos threatened in the eighth when Scott opened the inning with a triple to right center. But Walk got Andre Dawson on a grounder to third before McBride got into the act again.


McBride raced in to snare Carter's soft liner, then – aching elbow and all – gunned a strike to Boone, whose glancing tag got Scott to end the inning.


"I didn't think I could make the play," McBride confessed after the game, icing his elbow. "I threw it in with everything I had and it hurt. I didn't have another throw in me."


That one did nicely.


The Phils staged a rally of their own in the eighth, kayoing Gullickson and loading the bases on two walks and Rose's single.


But ex-Phillie Woodie Fryman, who's been reborn this year in Montreal, put out the fire. First Fryman got McBride on a broken-bat grounder to first for the second out and, after intentionally walking Schmidt, struck out pinch-hitter Lonnie Smith on three pitches to end the inning.


However, the Phils, who lost in 10 innings the night before, had better things in mind for Stan Bahnsen in the 10th.


EXTRA INNINGS – Intestinal troubles scratched Greg Luzinski just before game time with Del Unser playing left field.