Camden Courier-Post - May 4, 1980

Phils top Dodgers for 3d in row


By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – There is no law in baseball that says winning and losing are permanent states of being except in places such as Toronto, Seattle and New York.


That point was made quite clear yesterday by the Phillies, who dispatched the Los Angeles Dodgers in routine fashion, 7-3, before 35,011 sun-warmed fans in Veterans Stadium.


The Dodgers have been made painfully aware that winning does not necessarily go on forever. They went into this three-game series with a 10-game winning streak, which should have counted for something against a team that had lost five of eight.


But no. The Dodgers' impressive string of victories meant no more than the fact the Phils staggered into this weekend with a 3-5 record in their previous eight games.


The Dodgers had been winning on pitching – their staff earned run average was under two during the streak – and timely hitting. In contrast, the Phils had been losing because they were neither pitching nor hitting well. Indeed, even their designer defense was beginning to look a bit threadbare.


"I think," third baseman Mike Schmidt said, "we hit rock bottom the other day against (Mets lefthander Pete) Falcone (who struck out the first six Phillies he faced). Maybe we're starting our climb back up hill from there."


The Phillies strode purposefully back to .500 with their third straight victory, combining beautifully all the elements that had been missing. They got 6 strong innings from righthander Larry Christenson, making his first start since April 23 because of a groin pull. They got timely hitting from both ends of the lineup and played professional defense.


Indeed, the only negative thing that came out of yesterday's win was an injury to center fielder Garry Maddox, who had contributed a couple of sacrifice flies to the offense.


Maddox sprained his right ankle while attempting to field a ball off the right-center field wall. Dodger catcher Mike Scioscia greeted reliever Lerrin LaGrow with a liner into the gap in the ninth. Maddox gave chase, pulling up lame as he reached the warning track.


Maddox was taken to Methodist Hospital where X-rays proved negative. Phillies trainer Don Seger said Maddox "suffered a pretty good sprain," and would miss today's game. Team physician Dr. Phillip J. Marone was expected to reevaluate the injury today and determine if Maddox would miss any more games.


"I had a lot of runs," said Christenson, who singled in the fourth and eventually scored on Maddox' second sacrifice fly. "The team got me some quick runs, which makes it relaxing to pitch. The team did it. I just went out there and threw the ball.


"I'm just glad we won the game. We need to win games. Winning is all we can think about now. We've got to forget about everything else."


The Phils got Christenson some runs to work with by putting together a six-run inning – their fourth of the season – in the second. Schmidt opened it by ripping a Burt Hooton fast ball into the left field seats. Greg Luzinski second Schmidt's motion with a homer to right-center that hit Independence Hall in the club's still non-functional home run display. It was the second time this season Schmidt and Luzinski have hit consecutive homers and the fourth time this year in which the two sluggers homered in the same game, a trick they turned just four times all last season. In addition, the homers put Schmidt and Luzinski in a three-way tie with Chicago's Dave Kingman for the National League lead.


Bob Boone followed with a triple to the gap in right-center, Larry Bowa promptly scoring him with a solid single to right. Rookie second baseman Luis Aguayo, who has given the Phillies the luxury of not having to bring Manny Trillo off the disabled list today (Trillo is eligible to come off today), joined the parade with an RBI single to center after Bowa had stolen second.


Christenson sacrificed and Pete Rose walked, giving Bake McBride an opportunity to single home the final run of the inning and finish Hooton. The single gave McBride an astonishing 10 hits and 14 RBIs in 20 at-bats with men in scoring position.


"One inning told the tale," said Schmidt. "I read somewhere that in 114 at-bats we had 19 hits (prior to Friday's 9-5 victory over the Dodgers). "Well, the law of averages says you're going to hit the ball. Sooner or later, you're going to pound the ball a little bit. It's the nature of the game, the way it goes."


Perhaps there also is a law somewhere that says losing is always a transitory state with baseball's better teams. '


PHIL UPS – Dodger’s Reggie Smith had a string of eight straight games in which he drove in at least one run snapped... Christenson had pitched only one inning since April 19... Key defensive play was turned in the seventh when Aguayo cot off a ball heading up the middle and Bowa dug Aguayo's throw out of the dirt for a bases-loaded force out... Righthander Nino Espinosa will pitched in a simulated game Thursday... Yesterday was Phils' eighth straight win over Dodgers in Vet... Series concludes today with Randy Lerch going against Dave Goltz.

Owens faces obstacle course in dealing for a pitcher


By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – The feeling among many area sports fans is that the Phillies have reached the point where they have to make a trade for a pitcher. Alas, if it were that simple.


An obstacle course that would make a Marine shudder stands between Philly General Manager Paul Owens and such a deal, however, the first hurdle being the fact that the market value of players who finished in fourth place isn't the same as when they were division champions.


Not that there aren't teams that would love to have some of Manager Dallas Green's athletes. Of course, most of them would choke on the thought of acquiring the kind of hefty contracts owner Ruly Carpenter has been forced to give out in recent years.


But, let's get down to basics. Can the Phillies made a deal?


It's possible. Although, if you're talking about trading away a Manny Trillo, Bake McBride or Bob Boone, the number of organizations willing to accept that much of a financial commitment automatically limits the market.


Yes, I know Trillo has a "no trade" agreement with the Phillies for the current season. If he hadn't, rookie sensation Luis Aguayo might have been in the starting lineup before the club left Florida.


No knock on Manny. It's just that you deal from a point of strength. As in the case of the trading away of Don Money when Mike Schmidt was ready to bloom, wherever you find quality in excess, that's where the swapping starts.


Being on the disabled list doesn't hike Trillo's appeal, either. McBride's recent woes at the plate don't help his tradeability at the moment. As for Boone, it would be difficult to let him go, because the Phillies need him.


Young Keith Moreland has a major league bat. But, he's not going to acquire the defensive skills that Boone honed for years before winning the Golden Glove.


If the situation is desperate enough, why not trade one of the kids?


For openers, you might have to do it over Manager Green's dead body. He's tired of the Phils stocking the shelves of teams from coast to coast. Green's position on young players was enhanced by the way his refusal to okay the trading of Lonnie Smith during the spring turned out.


Trading away a youngster would not , have the same effect on the team as the departure of a veteran. In other words, the club would psychologically be standing pat. Not to mention the reality of what Moreland would fetch in the way of compensation as opposed to Boone.


One thing is certain. The next week may be crucial. For if the Phils are hoping to make a waiver deal with an American League team, chances are it will have to be done before Friday. That's when the big names club officials manage to sneak onto the waiver list in September must be renewed. And, it's rare for competing organizations not to block such moves this time of year.


The most available American League hurler at this point is Ed Figueroa of the Yankees. But, he's coming off arm trouble and the Phils have enough of those already.


Joaquin Andujar of the Houston Astros has to be listed as "best bet" right now. He's throwing super-hard. He's on a team with excess pitching. His manager would love to see him hit the road. You see, the guy can be a problem at times.


Before they got Joe Morgan, Houston would have jumped at the chance to get a quality second baseman. As luck would have it, the aging Morgan is off to a great start and the Astros are currently shopping for power. Moreland? Maybe.


Sure, Bert Blyleven is a fine pitcher without a place to pitch. But, if you think for one minute that the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to take a chance on putting the Phils in a position to take the division crown away from them, you are obviously rowing through life with your oars out of the water.


The Phillies have until June 15th to convince a team like the Mets or Giants that they should part with one of their better hurlers. Just don't hold your breath.


Pitchers are at a premium right now. And, the team that must make a trade just might decide to wait a few weeks until righthander Nino Espinosa shows what he can do against Oklahoma City.


Nino threw 150 pitches on the sidelines Friday night, two days after a similar workout He reports no pain, and his fast ball, although far from season-form, does have "pop" to it. He knows that because of the problems righthanders Larry Christenson and Dick Ruthven are having, he is sorely needed.


The Phils may decide that Nino is the ideal choice to play the part of the pitcher they need so badly. Then again, they may have no other choice.