Reading Eagle - June 30, 1980

Walk Consistent, Beats Mets, 5-2


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Rookie Bob Walk was asked how he felt after almost having his had placed in the guillotine last week.


Walk was within a few pitches of being sent back to Oklahoma City of the American Association last week.


Philadelphia Phillies’ Manager Dallas Green admitted last week that Walk would have been gone if the youngster hadn’t pitched so well in a 2-1 victory over Montreal. Walk gave up just one unearned run that night.


The 23-year-old righthander, only in his fifth year of organized ball and first in the majors, worked 7-2/3 innings Sunday night and earned credit for a 5-2 triumph over the New York Mets.


Both Green and Walk were asked what had turned the pitcher’s performance around.


“He finally settling down and realizing he can pitch here if he gets the ball over the plate. He’s learned it’s not as tough as he thought to win (in the majors),” Green said.


“I was pleased with his aggressiveness,” Green said, “We were just waiting for a sign of some consistency.


“When you don’t see that consistency it makes the major league manager a little jumpy, especially when you’re not getting it out of anybody (except Steve Carlton,” Green said.


The manager didn’t back off from his pre-Montreal words.


“As harsh as that sounded, that was the way it was. I’m pleased the way he has received,” Green said.


Walk gave up eight hits, two runs, walked one and struck out seven before he was relieved in the eighth by Lerrin LaGrow, who earned his second save.


The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Manny Trillo’s single, and two Mets’ errors.


The Phils made it 4-0 in the sixth, on RBI hits by Trillo, Bake McBride and Keith Moreland.


New York, which parted company with a four-game winning streak, snapped back with two in the eighth on RBI hits by Claudell Washington and Joel Youngblood. LaGrow came on to end the rally and finish the game.


Green, whose team had lost eight of its previous 10 including three to the Mets, said, “We finally played like the Phillies and the Mets played like the Mets.”


Green added, “You can take that any way you want,” when pressed on the remark.


Torre almost bit his tongue through his cigar when he heard the words, but controlled himself.


“I’m not going to react to something that doesn’t make any sense,” Torre said initially.


Then, warming up on the subject, Torre snapped, “I wouldn’t say they blew us out. I’ll take three out of four anytime we play ‘em.”


In Walk’s last two outings, which includes 15-2/3 innings, he has allowed 12 hits and just three runs. More important to the pitcher he has given up only five walks.