Cincinnati Enquirer - May 21, 1980

Phils Bats Stage Boycott Against Moskau


By Ray Buck, Sports Reporter


PHILADELPHIA – Thanks to the Boys of the Bullpen, manager John McNamara could digest those post-game cold cuts again.


The Cincinnati Reds – losers of four straight, Including three games In which they took a lead into the seventh inning – held on to turn back the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-6, Tuesday night at Veterans Stadium.


"It's a relief," McNamara said between swallows. No pun Intended? "I'm not that smart," he smiled.


PAUL MOSKAU (2-0) pitched three innings of no-hlt, no-run, no-walk relief to gain the victory and shrink his ERA to 3.21.


Mario Soto, who had walked 18 batters In 21 previous innings, worked 2 innings of walkless relief. He allowed one run – Luzlnskl's second solo home run of the night.


And, finally, Doug Balr retired four of the last five Phlllle hopes of the game to earn his third save.


This is a team that had forgotten how to smile after a baseball game. With all that strike talk and five losses in their last six games, the clubhouse has been something between somber and morbid afterwards.


Even victory Tuesday night kept the Reds in third place – percentage points behind the second-place Houston Astros who won, 3-2, In New York.


CHARLIE LEIBRANDT started for the Reds Tuesday night and felt like a million bucks. But he allowed more home runs than he had innings pitched.


"I felt good, super, nice and loose," said the puzzled rookie. "It's an embarrassing feeling, a helpless feeling, to go out there and have nothing."


Much of the story was Veterans Stadium, a nice place to sock a baseball and especially with the wind howling out as it did Tuesday night.


Leibrandt, who lasted only two innings, gave up solo home runs to Mike Schmidt, Luzlnskl and Bake McBride – the first time he can remember serving up three gophers in the same game. This is the same Charlie Leibrandt who allowed only five homers in 162 innings last year at Class AAA Indianapolis.


NO ONE would have blamed McNamara if he would've tied him-self to the water cooler as a reminder about his bullpen recently.


"I'm never afraid to go to my bullpen," he kept telling himself. "I have to manage the way I can manage. If you lose confidence in your bullpen...."


So when McBride collected his second home run of the season off Leibrandt to lead off the third inning, McNamara called upon all-purpose Moskau who has learned to accept his role.


Tuesday night at the Vet – with the wind howling out – the Phillies were handcuffed by his slider.


MCNAMARA SAID Tuesday night that Moskau now has to be considered for the job as fifth starter – if the season continues Friday.


"It's a matter of experience," Bench said of Moskau. "Before, he was unsure of what to do out there."


Soto has been thinking about his wlldness and scolded himself, "Cut that bleep out. Make them hit the sonufagun."


Bench said It was a case of Soto "not getting excited and having his rnythm early."


With the Reds leading, 7-5, Soto opened the bottom of the eighth with his fourth strikeout, then gave up Luzlnskl's second home run of the game and 10th of the season – tied with Schmidt for most in the National League.


With two outs In the eighth, Garry Maddox tripled off Soto. In came Bair with the tying run on third base and retired Greg Gross on a groundout to short.


Rookie Ron Oester showed off. his magnum force arm on the play in the hole. End of rally.


Oester resembled the underside of a dump truck after the game. He was soiled from shins to chin in his first start of the season at shortstop for the injured Davey Concepcion (nerve problem in right leg).


Bair gave up a one-out single to pinch hitter Del Unser in the ninth but then retired pesty Pete Rose on a topped ball down the first base line and McBride – the NL's second-leading RBI man-on strikes.


"PETE IS a tough guy to face in that situation," Bair said. "He's got a good eye. I didn't want to groove it and I didnt want to walk him. I figured he was looking for a breaking ball (according to Reds' scouting report) so I threw him fastballs."


Dave Collins extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a two-run single in the sixth.


George Foster's RBI single in the seventh provided the margin of victory.