Camden Courier-Post - June 4, 1980
Pirates sink Phils in 9th
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PITTSBURGH – The Pirates, much to the chagrin of the Phillies, keep finding ways to win in Three Rivers Stadium.
On Monday, they took advantage of some shoddy defense and their speed to pummel the Phils. And last night they got a game-tying home run by Willie Stargell and a bases-loaded single with two out in the bottom of the ninth by Ed Ott to slip past the Phils, 4-3.
It was the 10th time this season the Pirates have won a game in their last at-bat, and their 12th come-from-behind victory. Pittsburgh is 14-6 in one-run games, the Phillies 3-8.
OTT FACED Phillies reliever Tug McGraw after the Phils had intentionally walked Bill Madlock to load the bases. Ott looked at a strike, then sent a hanging curve ball to the base of the right field wall for the game-winner. The hit was not without some irony, since Ott is one of the four lefthanders who last year hit a grand slam off the lefthanded McGraw.
"Last year he hit a grand slam off me," said McGraw, who took the loss hard. "This time he only hit a double – or it would've been a double (had not the winning run scored on the hit). It was a horsebleep pitch, that's all."
The grand slams McGraw gave up last year had not returned to haunt him. He had made 14 appearances and pitched 26⅓ innings without allowing any kind of homer – until Stargell stepped to the plate to open the eighth. Stargell, too, hit an 0-1 pitch, but his sailed over the wall in right-center to tie the score, 3-3. It was Stargell's first homer off McGraw since 1973, when McGraw was pitching for the Mets.
"Willie and I have been playing games with each other for years," said McGraw. "We've had quite a few battles. Like, he hits doubles down the left field line off me. He never does that – except with me.
“I JUST TRIED to sneak a fastball by him... and I didn't."
The Pirate bullpen has been particularly formidible of late. Indeed, Grant Jackson and Enrique Romo have allowed exactly one earned run in their last 30⅓ innings combined. And Kent Tekulve is, well, Kent Tekulve.
The Phils saw all three of them last night. After Romo and Tekulve kept them off the scoreboard from the sixth through the eighth, lefthander Jackson went in to pitch the ninth.
Garry Maddox singled, putting the potential lead run on first with one out. It was, of course, vitally important that Maddox get to second.
An excellent base stealer, Maddox attempted to steal second with Larry Bowa at the plate. But Maddox left too soon and Jackson picked him off, throwing to Stargell, who relayed to shortstop Dale Berra for the out.
"I THINK Grant saw him break," said Phillies Manager Dallas Green. "Once you decide to go, you got a better chance of making it to second. It's almost impossible to get back to the bag in that situation."
Bowa weakly bounced back to Jackson, ending the inning and setting the stage for Ott's heroics in the ninth.
As they did in Monday night's game, the Phillies got a 2-0 lead in the first. This time, though, it was courtesy of Mike Schmidt, who followed a double by Bake McBride with his 18th homer of the year.
The Phillies made it 3-0 with two out in the third when Schmidt walked and Greg Luzinski tripled off the right-center field wall. But the Phils would get only three more hits, two of them off Romo in the seventh, the rest of the way.
Double plays got Phillies starter Dick Ruthven out of trouble in the second and third, but the Pirates reached him for two runs on four straight hits in the sixth. McGraw bailed Ruthven out of that, then found himself in hot water of his own boiling in the ninth.
PHIL UPS – Umpire Bruce Froemming issued a statement prior to the game after there bad been reports that the Pirates would not get fair treatment from umpires as long as Madlock played... Madlock is currently appealing a 15-day suspension and $5,000 fine for shoving his glove in umpire Gerry Crawford's face on May 1... "The incident emphatically has no bearing on how we umpire Froemming's statement said in part. "In no way do we bear a grudge toward the Pittsburgh Pirate team, including Bill Madlock."... The Phils have stolen only one base off a lefthander all season...They now trail the Pirates by four games… Phils have lost five of their last six... Steve Carlton faces John Candelaria tonight in the series finale.
The right moves just not enough
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PITTSBURGH – Sometimes you can make all the right moves, play the percentages to perfection, plan your strategy to the last detail and still wind up losing a ballgame.
Sometimes you can make all the defensive plays, position yourself exactly where you should be in every conceivable situation, turn precision double plays, and still wind up being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Baseball is funny that way.
The Phillies' 4-3 loss last night to the Pittsburgh Pirates was a prime example of both instances. Dallas Green made all the right managerial moves and the Phils played textbook baseball defensively. But they lost anyway, falling four games behind the Pirates in the National League’s East Division standings.
By now, the Phillies have to be wondering what they have to do to win in Three Rivers Stadium, where a diabolical hex seems to have been cast upon them. The Phils have met the Pirates 89 times in Three Rivers, and have lost 61 times, including seven of the last eight.
Green began managing in earnest in the sixth, after the Pirates had gotten four straight hits off starter Dick Ruthven to slice the Phils' lead to a thin 3-2. Green brought lefthander Tug McGraw in from the bullpen with runners on second and third, nobody out, and Bill Madlock, a righthander, at the plate.
The Phils were conceding the tying run, playing the infield back, when Madlock lined McGraw's first pitch toward third baseman Mike Schmidt. And Schmidt made a leaping, backhanded, top-of-the-glove catch for the first out.
Third base umpire Lanny Harris later said Madlock's line drive would have gone foul had Schmidt not caught it. "Yea," said McGraw, "but even if it had gone foul, that just means I have to make more pitches to Madlock. One pitch to Madlock, thank you, he's out."
The fact is, had Green played the infield up, Schmidt would not have bad a chance at the ball, and whether or not it would have gone foul would have been a matter for fate to decide.
McGraw eventually worked his way out of the jam and pitched his way through a scoreless seventh after Omar Mareno opened with a triple.
"Tug," said Green, "just pitched his tail off, no question about it."
Green could have pulled McGraw for a pinchhitter with runners on first and third and one out in the seventh. Instead, he sent McGraw to the plate with orders to bunt, a play McGraw executed to give Pete Rose a shot at driving in a couple of runs.
Again in the eighth, Green stayed with McGraw after Willie Stargell had tied the game with his first homer off McGraw in seven years. It took two strategically-placed intentional walks, but McGraw managed to catch Moreno looking at a called third strike to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Perhaps Green should have gone to another reliever, to open the ninth. McGraw had thrown a lot of pitches in the crucible of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, and might have been somewhat arm-weary.
"They (the Pirates) had all those lefthanders coming up in the ninth," explained Green. "I never considered pulling him in any of the situations. He had good stuff the fastball was good, the scroogie was good..."
"I would have done the same thing, said Pirate Manager Chuck Tanner. "The way McGraw was throwing, there's no . way I would've taken him out.
"You know, sometimes you manage better when you lose than when you win. He (Green) couldn't have managed any better than he did. He managed his head off."
Guarding the base lines during the late : innings is fundamental baseball' The third baseman and the first baseman play deep, guarding against any ball that might go down the line for extra bases. The Phillies were playing such basic defense when Vance Law bit a ball toward the middle.
Shortstop Larry Bowa, who had moved to his right to fill the gap left by Schmidt's guarding the line, made a run for Law's ball, but fell as it skipped over his glove for a base hit.
"Schmitty's playing the line and I'm over to the right four or five steps," said Bowa.. "In the fifth or sixth inning, the ball's hit right at me. Yon just can't be everywhere at once. I was lucky to get my glove on the ball."
Law, on base to begin with because the Phillies played the proper defense, was running when Dave Parker bit a potential double play grounder at second baseman Manny Trillo and pulled safely into second. An out and two intentional walks later, Law became the winning run when Ed Ott singled off the right field wall.
There is, after all, an element of luck In baseball. Takes it from the Phillies, who made all the right moves, all the right plays. That element was not on their side last night.
Bill Madlock can’t hide from umpires
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
Bill Madlock of the Pittsburgh Pirates has embarked upon a fool's journey. Even if he wins, he loses.
The Bucs' third baseman can run through the maze of appeals that the Players Association provides an athlete seeking sanctuary. But, in the end, he cannot hide.
No one escapes the wrath of baseball's umpires, who can reach from coast to coast and wait forever and a day. Retribution may not come in one fell swoop, but may instead be meted out a strike at a time, a game at a time, a season at a time.
Most umpires have the capacity to forget today what transpired yesterday. Yet there isn't a man in National League blue or American League maroon who hasn't burned into his memory the pictures of Madlock angrily shoving his glove toward the face of their comrade, Gerry Crawford.
It doesn't matter how long or loud Madlock proclaims his innocence. It doesn't even matter if every player and every baseball fan believes that Madlock didn't lay a glove on the man who called him out on strikes.
In the land of the men behind the plate, Crawford's word is law. He says Madlock reddened his eye as part of a blatant attack on the umpires' supreme authority concerning matters between the white lines.
Therein lies the heart of this messy matter.
When you sail upon the Sea of Sports, the officials are the closest you can get to a ship's captain. And mutiny – the challenging of the ultimate authority – is not exactly a minor infraction.
This is how the umpires will surely see it, no matter how much the Pirates moan about the punishment not fitting the crime. A fine of $5,000 and a 15-day suspension may seem a little severe to some. But, if the truth be known, that may only be the down payment.
Madlock's hard-line stand in the matter, followed by the feet-dragging of National League President Chub Feeney, has turned this one incident into more than just a case of right or wrong. It has become a cause.
The umpires know that if Madlock, through the Players Association, can bluff the honchos of baseball into backing off... if they can get a reduction of the penalty through the threat of litigation or a whitewashing of the entire episode by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, baseball will never be the same.
Without total command of the game and complete backing by their bosses, the umpires will be like a dam that has sprung a little leak. Even the slightest erosion of their power is unthinkable. lt can't be allowed to happen.
Which is why, even if Kuhn's knees buckle and he comes up gutless, Madlock will pay the price.
You'd think he'd know better than to push the umpires into a corner. Surely someone on the Pirates must have told him about a former player in that town who reportedly vented his fury on an umpire a few years ago.
That part was okay with the umps. They get the screaming and cursing all the time. Most of them let the athletes or managers have their say. Some more than others.
But, after being ejected from the game, this particular player supposedly went to the darkened tunnel entrance in the dugout, dropped the bottom half of his uniform, stepped out so that the umpire and players were the only ones who could see him and proceeded to give the man in blue a detailed lesson in anatomy.
No one laughed. Not like the times players around the league have put batting helmets in the seats of their pants and needled good-natured umpire Eric Gregg. Oh no, this was different. And, the guy suffered for it long afterwards. There is a fine line between ball and strike, safe and out.
Former Phillies Manager Frank Luchessi was marked even before he got to the majors because he had "showed up” umpires in the minor leagues. It took shortstop Larry Bowa years to overcome the image that umpires had of him long before he got to the big leagues.
It's true because, prior to Bowa and Luchessi's rookie seasons, two umpires gave me a screaming 10-minute warning to pass onto both of them.
I didn't want to be in their shoes that day. I wouldn't want to be in Madlock's shoes in the future. He wants the last word, but the umpires need it to survive.
Phils pick battery in free-agent draft
PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies selected an 18-year-old battery from the southeastern part of the country in the first two rounds of the annual June free-agent baseball draft yesterday.
Catcher Henry Powell of Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Fla., was the first-round choice. Powell was scouted by former Whiz Kid receiver Andy Seminick, who was impressed by his quick bat and aggressiveness.
The second-round selection was Larry Knight, a 6-0, 175-pound righthanded pitcher from Lookout Valley High School in Chattanooga, Tenn. Scouted by Carl Lowenstine, Knight is considered to have a major league fastball and is rated a superior all-around athlete.
In the secondary phase of the draft, which includes players who were previously drafted but didn't sign, the Phillies, who drafted 21st, chose Kevin Romine, a shortstop-outfielder from Costa Mesa, Cal.
Later-round choices in the secondary draft are pitcher Tim Lambert, Pomona, Cal.; Ken Dowell, shortstop, Sacremento, Cal.; catcher Fernando Perez, Susanville, Cal.; pitcher Ed Wojna, Monroe, Conn.; and outfielder John Whitt from San Pedro, Cal.
The rest of the draftees in the regular phase will be announced next week.
The New York Mets selected highly touted outfielder' Darryl Strawberry as the No. 1 choice.