Philadelphia Inquirer - May 5, 1980
Wrong lineup and a wasted rally add up to a loss
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
Baseball in May doesn't offer any sky hooks, magic shows, hot goaltenders or sudden-death overtimes. But it has its charms just the same.
You couldn't have asked for anything more wackily charming than what went on at the Vet yesterday. The Phillies and Dodgers hooked up for three and a half hours of baseball, and it looked like something concocted during a '60s acid trip.
In order for the Dodgers to win it, 12-10 (with three runs in the ninth), they had to use such weapons as a strikeout on a wild pitch and their noted Bat-Out-of-Order-Play to forge a 9-0 lead.
Then they handed that to Dave Goltz, their big-name free-agent pitcher. And Goltz, who was riding a streak of 23 straight shutout innings as he started the sixth inning, couldn't hold it. The Phillies made up all nine runs of that deficit in two trips through the batting order.
Then the Dodgers used two broken-bat singles and a passed ball to go up, 12-9, in the. top of the ninth. And then they were able to hang on even though the Phillies got the first two men on in the bottom of the ninth.
"Do I look any older than I looked three hours ago?" asked L. A. manager Tom Lasorda following a game that featured 35 names in the box score, 11 pitchers, 30 hits, three passed balls, two wild pitches, a runner's-interference call, a guy getting hit in the face with a throw while stealing second and, most significantly, an endless first-inning rhubarb over who was batting where in the Dodgers lineup.
"I'm sitting there relaxed," said Lasorda. "I'm feeling good. I'm winning, 9-0. I've got a guy out there going for his third straight shutout. All of a sudden I look up, and I've used everybody on my staff. There ought to be a law against something like that happening to a manager."
Lasorda's troubles began before the game ever started. Dodgers coach Monty Basgall made out the lineup. He posted the right version (Dusty Baker batting fifth, Ron Cey sixth) in the L. A. dugout but handed the wrong one (Cey fifth, Baker sixth) to the umpires.
Nobody said a word about it until after Baker grounded into a force play that knocked in the Dodgers' second run off Randy Lerch. Then Pete Rose started running toward the dugout, trying to get the game stopped. All four umpires began huddling for what seemed like about a week. And the game went into suspended nonanimation.
Rose said that when he looked at the lineup before the game, the flip-flop of Baker and Cey "just stood out.”
You be the ump
"So then I'm out there at first, and I saw Baker oh deck," Rose said. "I said to (umpire John) McSherry, 'They're batting out of order. What do I do?' He said, 'Wait till he makes an out or something.’"
Rose did. The controversy arose because the out Baker made was a forceout. The rules cover what happens if the incorrect batter gets a hit or makes an out. They don't mention what happens if the out he makes isn't himself.
Dallas Green argued that Cey should be out, the forceout should stand and the inning should be over. The umpiring crew sent out for a rule book, looked it over and still didn't know what to do.
Eventually, the umps called Cey out for not batting in his turn, sent the runner who had scored (Rudy Law) back to third, sent Steve Garvey (who had been forced out) back to first and let Baker bat again. All of which inspired Green to protest the game.
"I didn't make the mistake, yet I'm suffering the consequences," Green said. "The batter should be out because he did what he did. And the runner at second was out, so he should be out. It's supposed to be my option. If the batter makes an out, I don't say anything. If we turn the double, play, I just let it go."
All this became very germain, since Baker got to bat again. And he pounded Lerch's first pitch in 15 minutes over the 371 sign, turning a 1-0 game into a 4-0 game.
"It's probably not very pleasant for a pitcher to go through something like that," Green said. "But they go through rain delays. They go through arguments. They go through changes in the lineup. As a pitcher, you’ve got to know how to handle it."
Another Baker homer in the third helped finished Lerch. So Goltz and the Dodgers led, 9-0, with nobody on and one out in the Phillies sixth.
Another Bull blast
But a Greg Luzinski homer (No. 7, and, No. 3 since Friday) made it 9-3 three fitters later. Bob Boone homered on the next pitch to make it 9-4. The Phils got three more in the seventh. And they tied it in the eighth off L. A. bullpen ace Steve Howe, on John Vukovich's first hit of the year, a two-run pinch single.
Green went with Dickie Noles in the ninth. But Derrel Thomas lined a leadoff single. Gary Thomasson looped, a broken-bat single. And Garvey looped another broken-bat job in front of Lonnie Smith's dive in center.
Thomas had to wait to see if Smith could get to it, so he stopped at third. But Noles' next pitch sailed off the glove of Keith Moreland, catching because Green used a runner for Boone in the seventh.
It bounced 20 feet left of the plate. Moreland ran it down, saw Noles was late., getting home to cover and scrambled to beat Thomas to the plate. But Thomas skipped over his tag and scored. Then Mickey Hatcher bounced a two-run double, and the Phils never quite made it back.
"You can only come back so many times," said Luzinski, who took the lead league in homers. "But I think other teams are going to see we came back. They're going to say. 'Hey, they were down, 9-0, and they tied it up.' "
NOTES: Garry Maddox (sprained right ankle) is out at least a week…. Luis Aguayo strained his left thigh running out a ground ball but may play tonight…. Bake McBride is 11-for-22, .500, with 15 RBls, with runners in scoring position.... Bud Harrelson is rumored to be close to signing with Texas.... Green says he has no interest in acquiring Bert Blyleven. "I'm not sure I want the kind of guys who walk out on their team," Green said.... Rick Matula, who is 2-1, 0.95 for Atlanta, starts vs. Steve Carlton tonight.