Chicago Daily Herald - October 12, 1980
Showdown Pits Ryan, Bystrom
By The United Press International
HOUSTON (UPI) - This is the city which has the medical center where the heart transplant was developed.
The Philadelphia Phillies must have paid it a visit.
Chastised for years as being a team without heart because of its series of failures in post-season competition, the Phillies battled back from incredible adversity Saturday to defeat the Houston Astros 5-3 in 10 innings and set up a showdown game Sunday for the National League pennant.
In a game that featured more controversies than a summer Softball game in the park, the Phillies rallied to win in the 10th on back-lo-back run-scoring doubles by pinch hitter Greg Luzinski and Manny Trillo and overcame a controversial double play call that went against them in the fourth and deprived them of a potential big inning
"You would believe the team had no character if you turned the TV off early." said Phillies manager Dallas Green. "It's one of those frustrating games when we struggled early and didn't score runs. But we battled back. If anybody questioned the lack of character, I think the outcome proved differently."
The Phillies, seeking their first pennant since 1950, will send rookie Marty Bystrom to the mound in the final game of the best-of-five series tonight while the Astros, looking for their first pennant in the 19-year history of the franchise, will counter with Nolan Ryan.
SATURDAY'S GAME had a little bit of everything — if you like weird happenings.
Besides the controversial play in the fourth inning, the Astros had a potential run disallowed because the runner left too early and the Phillies got one run because the Astros threw home first instead of to first base to complete a double play in the eighth.
"My appraisal is that it was indeed a strange game," said Astros manager Bill Virdon. "But I've seen them before. That's baseball. I've never been a full season that new things didn't come up but I haven't seen that many things come up before in one game."
There was nothing strange, however, about the two runs the Phillies got in the 10th inning. That was just good old fashioned hard-nosed baseball, with pugnacious Pete Rose leading the way.
It was Rose who started the l0th-innmg fireworks with a one-out single off losing reliever Joe Sambito and after Mike Schmidt flied out, Luzinski, who had been angry at being left out of the starting lineup, doubled into the leftfield corner as a pinch hitter for Bake McBride
Rose, running on the hit, was waved home by third base coach Lee Elia but it appeared he would be thrown out as the relay throw had him beaten. But catcher Bruce Bochy, a late-inning replacement for injured Luis Pujols, had trouble fielding the shortstop relay throw from Rafael Landestoy and juggled the ball as Rose crashed into him with the tie-breaking run. Trillo then doubled to left center for an insurance run and Tug McGraw protected the lead by retiring the Astros in order in the 10th.
Triple Play Dropped, Phillies 'Catch' Up
By The United Press International
HOUSTON (UPI) - Vern Ruhle insists he caught the ball. Dallas Green says he didn't. Doug Harvey isn't sure.
A bizarre double play, which triggered a 20-minute controversy, occurred in the fourth inning of Saturday's National League Championship Series game and nearly cost the Philadelphia Phillies a 5-3, 10-inmng triumph over the Houston Astros.
The play came about when Bake McBride and Manny Trillo were on first and second after having singled to open the inning. Garry Maddox, the next batter, then hit a soft, broken-bat line drive which Ruhle gloved near his left foot. The only question was - Did he catch it or trap it? Even the videotape replays can't tell for sure.
Harvey put his palms down, indicating the ball was not caught. But Ruhle, knowing he had caught the ball, threw to first base to double off Trillo. When first base umpire Ed Vargo's hand went up into the air to signal an out, Phillies manager Green and a number of players raced to the field to protest.
WHILE THEY were arguing, Astros first baseman Art Howe ran down to second base and tagged the bag for what he felt should have been an inning- ending triple play since McBride was standing on third Second base umpire Jerry Crawford signaled an out at second and then all bedlam broke loose.
For 20 minutes, the Phillies argued with the umpires and finally after the umpires converged by themselves and then with National League President Chub Feeney, McBride was waved back to second and the double play was allowed.
Harvey said the final decision was reached because his view of Ruhle's catch had been blocked by the batter and that therefore he was relying on the judgment of Vargo and third base umpire Bob Engel, both of whom Harvey thought had a better view of the play.
"When he (Maddox) made contact, he leaned over and blocked out my view," Harvey said. "My immediate reaction was that ball was half speed and that it might come up short. Well, I gave a no-catch sign at first. Then, I looked up and saw the charge of people coming towards me. I immediately called time out and conferred with my umpires.
"Ed Vargo, who was at first, said it was a catch as did Jerry Engel at third. We ruled that that runner at first was out but that the runner at second could go back and would not be out.
"I felt that my no-catch call put the runner at second base in jeopardy. He went to third base on my call. I felt the runner on first broke immediately and never could have gotten back no matter what my call was
"The jeopardy rule has been in the rule books for a long time. It gives the umpires the right to correct a mistake if he feels his call has put a runner in bad position. That's exactly what happened."
GREEN, HOWEVER, was adamant that Ruhle never caught the ball. "We must have been watching different games," Green said. "What 1 saw and what they saw were not the same game. It was definitely a trap. It was neither a triple play or a double play. It should have been men on second and third and one out."
Green originally protested the game following the call but withdrew the protest when the Phillies won. Astros manager Bill Virdon also protested the decisions on the grounds that it should have been a triple play but his protest was disallowed by Feeney because the play had no effect on the outcome of the game.
Ruhle said he definitely made the catch.
"As far as I'm concerned, I caught the ball. That's why I went to first," Ruhle said. "Luis (Pujols) pointed to first. Evidently, there was time for me to go to second too. He (Pujols) was the first one I could see and I figured he could see the play better than I could.
"It was real close as far as me catching it. I reached out as far as I could. It hit the edge of the webbing and came up in my glove. Had I not thought I caught the ball, I would have looked to third base (for a force out).
"Why didn't they give us the triple play? The play was continuous. You can't call timeout in the middle of a play."