Philadelphia Daily News - May 31, 1980
Phillies Blown Out
By Bill Conlin
CHICAGO – The wind was blowing ont so hard, about a half-acre of topsoil blew off the Wrigley Field infield.
"I felt like Lawrence of Arabia out there," Larry Bowa said of an afternoon when infield-ers should have been issued robes and camels. was one of those days when the pitchers stared into their lockers like guys on Death Row.
Odds against anybody pitching a complete game were 100-1. The stage was set for a 23-22 re-run. With Dave Kingman limited by an injury to writing his column these days, the Phillies had to be favored in a war of attrition. The only question was if Rick Reuschel and his successors could hold Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski to less than six homers.
Well, it turned out to be a low-scoring game. Only 17 runs were rung up, a pittance with The Hawk howling out of the southwest with gusts which frequently topped 30 MPH.
AND GUESS WHO was still around at the end of the Cubs' 10-7 victory? Yep, ReuscheL The corn-fed righthander huffed and puffed his way to an untidy 13-hitter.
Reuschel did only two things right and they were enough to keep the Phillies out of double figures. "He kept Schmitty and Bull in the ballpark," said Pete Rose, whose first-inning error on a Larry Biittner double play helped shove righthander Dan Larson into a an embarrassing six-run hole. "You know how to hit in Wrigley Field when the wind's blowing out like that? Pretend there's a runner on third each time up and try to hit a sacrifice fly. You’ll hit a lot of homers."
Bob Boone hit a two-run shot to left in the second and the Phillies roughed up Reuschel for three more runs in the third to cut the Cubs' lead to 7-5. But Mike Vail, who was 4-for-4 yesterday while subbing for Kingman in left, launched a two-run space probe over the bleachers in the fifth. All the Phils could manage after that was Garry Maddox' sacrifice fly in the fifth and Bake McBride's one-out homer in the ninth.
Seven runs and 13 hits in Wrigley yesterday represented a feeble offensive effort.
"Vail just wears us out," said a soil-covered Bowa, who looked like he had just served two weeks with Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps. "I can’t remember the last game he didn't have three or four hits against us and that goes back to his seasons with the Mets. Mike's a good hitter, but when we come to town he looks like a Hall of Famer."
TIM BLACKWELL, WHO one season failed to hit.210 in the minors, is not a good hitter. In tthe five seasons the journeyman former Red Sox and Phillies catcher has spent time in the majors his home run total was zero. They could have gale warnings posted on Lake Michigan and Black well would not be an offensive threat.
The most outrageous event of the game, therefore, occurred when Blackwell reached the right-field bleachers in the first inning with a three-run shot which completed the Cubs' six-run start.
Two unrelated events contributed to the catcher's maiden round-tripper. With two outs, two runs already home and the bases loaded. Larson worked a 3-2 count on Blackwell. Jerry Martin had such a big lead off second base he was blocking Bowa's vision through the dust storm. Boone decided to put on a pickoff play the Phillies spent a lot of time perfecting during spring training. But they worked on it after Larson, a non-roster player, had been sent to the minor league complex.
Boone went to the mound to make sure the pitcher knew Manny Trillo would be decoying Martin while Bowa snuck in behind him. "As soon as Boonie went out there they knew we had a play on," Bowa said. "I wanted to do it the pitch before when Dan could have walked over and tagged Jerry out he had such a big lead. But I remembered that Dan wasnt with us when we worked on the play."
WITH MARTIN TAKING only a small lead this time, Larson went into his glove, gripped the ball, took his hand out and put it back in again. That's a balk and Larry Biittner walked home with the third run.
First base was open and the pitcher was on deck with two outs. Blackwell and the breaking ball do not thrive on each other. So Boone called for four consecutive fast balls. Tim fouled back the first three and parked the fourth one.
"I’ll take the blame for that one," Green said, trying to take his catcher off the hook. "It's my fault, not Dan's. I should have gone out there and reminded him that first base was open and the pitcher was the next hitter."
Green pleaded guilty to going an inning too long with Lerrin LaGrow, who had pitched effectively in the third and fourth after allowing a run in the second. The manager was trying to get through the game without having to use Tug McGraw or Ron Reed. LaGrow walked Biittner leading of the fifth and Vail's cannon shot followed.
"Lerrin just ran out of gas," Green said. "I knew he was tired but I hoped he could give us one more inning."
Reed wound up pitching the sixth and seventh anyway. Preston Gomez was obviously trying to give a day off to overworked Bruce Sutter and Dick Tidrow, so the Cuban manager sat patiently while the durable Reuschel pitched in and out of jams. When Bowa and Boone singled with one out in the eighth, Gomez had one foot on the top step of the dug out and Tidrow was cranking in the bullpen. But Manny Trillo rapped into a double play and Reuschel got Schmidt and Luzinski one last time to complete a Mission Impossible.
PHILUPS: When you're as hot as Steve Carlton, everything falls into place. A front passed through last night and the Wrigley Field wind today was scheduled to be blowing in off the lake. Lefty, who pitched brilliantly in an 11-strikeout, no decision against the Pirates, faces lefthanded Willie Hernandez today... When rookie Bob Walk is led blindfolded to the mound tomorrow, the wind will be blowing out again, according to the forecast. Walk will oppose Dennis Lamp... Greg Luzinski, who rarely complains about umpiring, grumbled over the game John McSherry called behind the plate. "I told him twice he put me in a two-strike hole with pitches that were balls. You give Rick Reuschel an extra six inches on the outside corner and he'll just set up shop out there."
There were eight winners yesterday in the Daily News Home Run Payoff contest. In the third inning of the Phillies-Cubs game, Clarence Hayward of Philadelphia won $60 plus four tickets to a Phillies game on a two-run single by Garry Maddox. Marvin L. Jones and Angie Stanisci, both of Philadelphia, each won $50 and tickets on doubles by Pete Rose and Greg Luzinski, respectively.
Mike Schmidt's RBI single won $35 and tickets for John J. Kostig of Philadelphia. Winners of tickets only were, William G. Meyer, III of N. Wildwood, Alice Tucker of Franklinville, N.J:, Tom Burns of Harrisburg and Ron DeMarco of Haddonfield.
So far this season, the Daily News has paid out $5,050.
Today's entry coupon appears on Page 35.