Sports Illustrated - May 26, 1980

Baseball – N.L. East 


By Herm Weiskopf


The Expos (4-0) hit only .216, but opposing batters fared even worse against 40-year-old lefthander Woodie Fryman. Fryman retired all 19 batters he faced, 17 on consecutive nights in Houston to preserve 3-2 and 1-0 victories. After a day off, Fryman got the final two outs—and his sixth save—as the Expos beat the Reds 2-1.


Reliever Bruce Sutter of Chicago (2-4) also performed brilliantly. He earned his ninth and 10th saves with three scoreless innings that helped polish off the Dodgers 5-2 and the Padres 2-1.


There was no catching the first-place Pirates (2-4), who regrouped after 5-0 losses in San Diego and San Francisco to pull out a pair of 3-2 victories over the Giants. After Jim Bibby (5-0) and Kent Tekulve disposed of the Giants in one of those wins, Bill Madlock finished them off in the other with a 12th-inning single.


With Dick Ruthven fully recovered from off-season elbow surgery, Philadelphia (4-1) climbed from fourth to second. Ruthven helped himself with a two-run single as he beat the Reds 7-3 with late relief from Dick Noles and then went the distance for the first time since May 1979, in a five-hit, 3-0 defeat of the Astros. During Ruthven's first win of the week, Pete Rose stole second, third and home in one inning against his former team. Larry Christenson slugged a three-run homer—the Phillies' only four bagger of the week—while beating Houston 4-2.


"The club is flat," said Keith Hernandez of the Cardinals (1-5), whose only victory was a 2-1 gift from the Padres, one St. Louis run scoring on a bases-loaded walk and the other set up by a San Diego error. "Maybe I should throw things around in the clubhouse," said mild-mannered Manager Ken Boyer. For a change, George Hendrick also had something to say to the press. After botching a fly ball in rightfield, he admitted, "I probably should have caught it."


In between open dates and rainouts, the Mets (2-1) beat the Reds 7-6 and the Braves 5-3. Jerry Morales, who had been hitless in 28 plate appearances, singled across the deciding run against Cincinnati. In Atlanta, the New Yorkers got four-hit pitching from Pete Falcone and Neil Allen, who nailed down his sixth save, and three RBIs from John Stearns.


PITT 19-11; PHIL 15-13; CHI 15-15; MONT 15-15; ST.L 14-18; NY 11-18