Sports Illustrated - June 30, 1980

Baseball – N.L. East


By Herm Weiskopf


East is East and West is West, and last week the twain met. But for the Eastern clubs, which lost 28 of 43 games, it was a twain wreck. Only the Cubs and Phillies (both 4-3) had winning records. Chicago regained fourth place as Jerry Martin homered three times and Bruce Sutter saved four games with 8? innings of scoreless relief. Philadelphia beat the Dodgers 3-2 on Manny Trillo's 12th inning double and 6-5 on Greg Gross' eighth-inning pinch single.


After John Candelaria defeated Houston 4-1 and Tim Foli drove in three runs to beat Cincinnati 5-3, Pittsburgh (2-6) collapsed, four losses coming by one run.


The Expos (2-5) floundered even though Warren Cromartie continued his hot hitting (he has batted .405 during the last 18 games) and Rodney Scott stole two bases to raise his number of thefts to 21. Despite its reputation as a strong late-inning club, Montreal was out-scored 17-4 in the final three innings of last week's games.


The Mets (0-7) began a 15-game road trip that Lee Mazzilli said would "show us what we're made of." What they were made of was hitters who batted .222 and fielders who were hardly better. During an 8-5 loss to the Giants, the Mets uncorked four wild pitches, made four errors, bungled a pickoff, missed a cutoff throw and let a foul drop untouched.


Catcher Terry Kennedy of the Cardinals (3-4) doubled in two runs in the 13th to beat the Reds 10-9. Two days later Catcher Ted Simmons doubled in the ninth to upend Atlanta 3-2. In an effort to use both players, Manager Whitey Herzog shifted the 6'4", 220-pound Kennedy to leftfield, a move that paid off when he hit a pair of three-run homers to defeat Cincinnati 7-5. Still, all was not well. John Fulgham and Keith Hernandez argued on the team bus in Cincinnati and then fought briefly after getting off at their hotel. When Herzog heard that some players warned reporters not to write about the episode, he said, "If you see it, you've got to write about it." Herzog also scolded his team during a clubhouse meeting and defended Fulgham, who went on the disabled list on Friday because of arm trouble. Some teammates had accused Fulgham of dogging it, a charge Herzog put down by saying, "He's one of the most competitive guys on this team."


MONT 35-26; PHIL 33-27; PITT 34-30; CHI 27-33; NY 27-35; ST.L 24-40