Wilmington Morning News - May 28, 1980

Pirates work overtime to edge Phillies


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – For the Phillies, it was the calm after the storm – except for one swing of Mike Schmidt’s bat.


After charging from behind to shock the Pirates 7-6 in Monday night's melee, the Phillies went quietly last night.


Pinch-hitter Mike Easier singled home Bill Madlock with two out in the 13th inning to give the Pirates a scratching 3-2 victory over the Phillies.


It took four innings of overtime for the Pirates to return to first place in the National League East, because Schmidt's two-run homer with one out in the ninth pulled the Phils even and kept Jim Bibby from walking off he field in regulation with a nifty 2-0 shutout.


Schmidt's 13th. homer and some solid pitching by Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw was about all the Veterans Stadium crowd of 35,489 had to cheer about on the cool night. The Pirates reeled off four rally-killing doubleplays and after Bibby called it a night following the 11th inning, Enrique Romo and Kent Tekulve shut the door in the Phils' faces.


Romo, who entered the game having allowed only one earned run in his last seven appearances, gained the victory, his third in as many decisions. Tekulve, the loser on Monday night, picked up his sixth save with a perfect 13th.


Dickie Noles, the third Philadelphia pitcher, suffered his second loss.


Bill Madlock opened the Bucs' 13th with a single off Noles' leg. It appeared Noles had a chance to pick up the ball and throw Madlock out, but he fumbled for it at his feet and never did make a throw.


Lee Lacy followed with a sacrifice and after Phil Garner fanned, pinch-hitter Ed Ott was walked intentionally. Easier, batting for Romo, followed with a no-questions-asked single to right on an 0-1 pitch. Madlock slid across the plate ahead of the tag by Bob Boone and it was 3-2.


It was obvious in the early innings that it was going to be an uphill night for Carlton and the Phillies.


With one down in the first, Tim Foli reached base on shortstop Larry Bowa's fifth error of the season. Foli stole second and eventually scored an unearned run on Madlock's single to left.


The Pirates, who ended a three-game losing streak, made it 2-0 in the fourth, with another Phils' error an important ingredient, although the run was earned.


With one out, Lacy tripled off the wall in left field. Garner was walked intentionally and catcher Steve Nicosia followed with a bouncer to third, a doubleplay ball. Schmidt rifled to second to get Garner, but Manny Trillo's throw to first hit Garner in the hand and never did get to first base as the run scored.


Carlton, who was seeking his ninth victory, allowed only five hits over eight innings and blanked the Pirates after that. The Phillies, on the other hand, could do little with Bibby.


The big right-hander struck out five of the first eight batters he faced and did not allow a hit until Carlton singled to center with two out in the second.


Doubleplays in the fifth, sixth and eighth snuffed Phillies' threats. In the ninth with one down, Bake McBride walked. Schmidt then jumped on a 1-0 pitch, sending it off the tarp above the bullpen in left field.


The Phils went down in order until the pinch-hitter George Vukovich led off the 11th with a single. Rose, who was unable to bunt on the first pitch, finally hit a 3-2 delivery to second base and it was turned into a doubleplay.


Romo one-two-threed the Phils in the 12th.


"It was a good pitch he (Easier) hit," Noles said after the Phils' five-game winning streak had come to an end. "It was a low slider. You have to give him credit. He went after it and hit it.


"The difference, though, was not the hit. I should have fielded Madlock's ball. I couldn't find it at first, then when I did, I over-reacted."


The Pirates call Easier "The Hit Man."


"It's a good nickname," he said. "When you're a pinch hitter, you're supposed to go up there and hit. You're supposed to get the big hit. I just love big games like this one tonight. I had never faced Noles before, but I knew he had a slider and curve. He threw me a low slider. It was a good pitch."


"After Schmitty homered, I thought we were going to win it," said Manager Dallas Green. "We had some good chances, but they kept making the big play."


EXTRA POINTS The Pirates were shouting at homeplate umpire Andy Olsen most of the night and he eventually ejected pitcher John Candelaria... The Pirates are 6-2 in extra-inning games; the Phils are 0-2... Easier, as a pinch hitter, has three hits in nine at-bats with three runs batted in... His first two pinch hits this year were homers... Carlton fanned 11 for the third time this season... He leads National League pitchers with 80 strikeouts... Randy Lerch, who has not pitched since May 18, goes tonight against Don Robinson... Dick Ruthven faces Eddie Solomon tomorrow afternoon at 12:35 p.m.... Greg Luzinski's seven-game hitting streak came to an end.