Galveston Daily News - October 12, 1980
Phillies carry Astros into game 5
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-to-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 Sunday night 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 Bil 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 inone 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 10th-inning 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 left-field 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 shortshop relay throw from Rafael Landestoy and juggled the ball as Rose crashed into him with the tie-breaking run.
Rose baseball’s best running back
HOUSTON – Pete Rose, baseball's best running back, stood beside the Philadelphia batting cage before Saturday's game against Houston and lectured on what it takes to run over, around or under a catcher.
In the 10th inning, he demonstrated his technique on Astros' third string catcher Bruce Bochy in a jaw-jarring collision that broke open a 3-3 tie and sent the Phillies into Sunday's National League Championship game.
Before the game, Rose recalled perhaps his best remembered play — 1970 All-Star Game crash that left American League catcher Ray Fosse crumpled at home plate.
"I was able to do that to Fosse," Rose said, "because he was reaching for the ball. You get a catcher in that position and you can go over him. You get a catcher waiting with the ball in front of the plate and he can plant you.
"When I was coming toward Fosse I started to slide but he could have clamped his knees together and I would have broken both my shoulders."
In the 10th Saturday both teams and the entire stadium knew Rose was not going to stop on way from first base to home when pinch hitter Greg Luzinski slammed Joe Sambito's pitch off the left-field wall.
The ball reached Bochy in time but took a short hop in front of him. Rose plowed into Bochy, who staggered backward and the Phillies had a 4-3 lead.
"Bochy was blocking the plate but he didn't have the ball," Rose said. "I couldn't slide. Fortunately, for me, he wasn't braced for a collision. The whole key to the play was that the catcher didn't have the ball, waiting of me for he could have planted me which happened yesterday."
In defense of Bochy, Rose said even his old Cincinnati teammate, Johnny Bench, the man Rose considers baseball's best catcher, could not have made the play.
Bochy, in his own defense, agree.
"(Howard) Cosell (television commentator) said I should have come up with the ball but no way," Bochy said. "You have to stay and guard home plate. I feel it's my duty to guard home plate and that's what I was going to do. I knew he was coming.