Wilmington News Journal - June 7, 1980
Walk didn’t; Smith did; Phils win
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent
PHILADELPHIA – Bob Walk and Lonnie Smith, who didn't figure prominently in the Phillies' present state of affairs, made themselves known to the Chicago Cubs last night.
Walk won his first major-league, game and Smith cracked three hits as the Phils battled rain and the Cubs to win 6-5 and pull within two games of front-running Pittsburgh, a 9-4 loser to New York.
"My first victory feels good," said Walk, "but I just wish I could've pitched better. I just ran out of gas in the sixth (when the Cubs scored three times). I had to warm up three times tonight with the rain and I guess that took the zip out of my fastball in the sixth."
Smith, meanwhile, played center field for the resting Garry Maddox and lashed a single, double and triple, scoring two runs and driving home a pair with the triple.
"Lonnie's a pretty good offensive player," said Phils' Manager Dallas Green, "and he makes things happen when he gets into a game. I've told you all along, the kid can play.”
And playing for Green, who's been in the rookie's corner while others wanted to ship him off – and some STILL do – buoyed Smith's confidence.
"Dallas makes me feel a lot better," Smith said. "I know he's pulling for me and I feel at ease more. I feel I can do the job when I'm playing."
Some of the doubting Thomases figured Smith – and catcher Keith Moreland – were in the lineup as showcase items for a possible trade for a starting pitcher. But Green denied it.
"I battled all winter against trading Lonnie Smith and Keith Moreland," said the former farm director. "I think those guys represent the future of the Phillies."
Last night, the future was now and Smith responded.
Walk, meanwhile, who had walked five men in each of his first two starts, walked nary a batter last night and struck out five.
"Bob had a better approach, better attitude and better demeanor," said Green, who'd been bothered with the right-hander's fidgety approach in his first two games. "He went after the hitters tonight."
But Green refused to say Walk had earned a start in the World Series with last night's performance.
"It's one victory," said the manager. "One outing doesn't make a year, or a career. I try not to get too up or too down over one performance. He's learning, he battled out of a tough first inning and showed as good a stuff as you'll see in the major leagues. But it was still one game."
And a soggy one at that.
It started raining about 20 minutes before the game was scheduled to start and the tarps didn't come off until the game had been delayed 41 minutes.
Then they only managed to squeeze in less than an inning before the rains came again, this time for a 37-minute delay, but base hits seemed to be dropping as fast as the raindrops in the early innings.
Ivan DeJesus opened the game with a double to the gap in right center and went to third on Mike Tyson's infield single that Larry Bowa tracked down behind second base.
Walk, making his second start against the Cubs since being called up from Oklahoma City two weeks ago, bore down with runners at the corners and nobody out.
First he got Larry Banner on a pop fly to second baseman Mannv Trillo in shallow right, then struck out Dave Kingman and Mike Vail to end the inning and earn an ovation from the soggy crowd of 30,187.
The Phils went right to work against Mike Krukow, perhaps knowing what Accu-Weather had in store.
Lonnie Smith singled to right and took off on the first pitch to Pete Rose. Rose obliged by drilling a double to the gap in left center and Smith scored without a throw.
Bake McBride ran the count to 3-0 as the rain came down harder and the umpires signaled for the tarps. Just over 37 minutes later, McBride drew ball four.
Mike Schmidt struck out but Greg Luzinski laced a double off the wall in right center. Rose scored easily, but McBride took the Phils out of a big inning by looking around to see where the ball was.
Where it was was coming in on a Jerry Martin relay to Tyson in shallow center. The ball beat McBride to the plate for the second out of the inning.
Keith Moreland walked and Bowa. doubled over first, scoring Luzinski with the third run. Trillo was intentionally walked to load the bases but Walk looked at a third strike.
The Phils left the bases loaded again in the second before the Cubs got two runs back in the third.
DeJesus singled with one out and went to third on Biittner's ground-rule double that hopped into the left-field bullpen. Kingman's single scored both runners and suddenly it was 3-2.
But the Phils weren't done with Krukow. Smith doubled to open the fourth, went to third on McBride's fly to left and scored on Schmidt's sacrifice fly, also to center.
The Phils kayoed Krukow in the fifth in the midst of the night's third rain shower.
Trillo opened it with a two-out triple and Walk, who has managed just two hits in four years as a pro, looked menacing enough to draw a walk. Lonnie Smith then cracked his third hit of the night, a triple that eluded the diving Vail in right and rolled to the fence.
Both runners scored and, as the rain really came down, Rose – who'd been hit twice by Krukow pitches – faced reliever Dick Tidrow and bounced to first for the final out.
The rain stopped as play continued and the Cubs, given up for dead, came back to score three runs off Walk in the sixth.
Biittner doubled to right and went to third on Vail's one-out single to shallow center. Ex-Phil Jerry Martin blooped a single to left that Luzinski just missed at his shoetops and Biittner scored.
With two out, catcher Tim Blackwell, who'd hurt the Phils with a three-run homer in Chicago one week earlier, lashed a two-run triple to right center, bringing the Cubs within a run at 6-5 and knocking Walk out of the game.
Kevin Saucier relieved and got pinch-hitter Ken Henderson on a grounder to Schmidt at third.
EXTRA INNINGS – Rose was 7-for-10 against Krukow last year, which may be seven reasons why Krukow nailed him twice last night, first in the butt and then the right foot... Pete dashed his helmet to the ground after being hit the second time, which put a gaping hole in the headgear and didn’t do much for his aching foot... Rose left the game in the seventh with a contusion... "I'll be okay," Rose said. "I just got mad because it hurt, not because he was throwing at me. I'm too hard to hit because I stay so far from the plate"... Kingman's hit in seven straight games... Schmidt came into the game with two hits in his last 14 at-bats... Randy Lerch faces the Cubs' Rick Reuschei tonight at 7:05 with Dick Ruthven against Lynn McGlothen tomorrow at 1:35 p.m.