Syracuse Herald American - October 12, 1980

Luzinski Not Happy


By The Associated Press


HOUSTON (AP) - Greg Luzinski. whose 10th-inning run-scoring double triggered the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-3 victory over the Houston Astros in the fourth game of the National League playoffs, didn't want to talk about his big moment.


"I don't want to talk," said Luzinski, apparently angry over not being in the starting lineup as the Phillies twice battled from behind to even the series at two games apiece.


Luzinski was talking to an old friend in a room just off the Phillies' dressing quarters after the game.


He looked up as a reporter approached arid said: "I hit a double. Pete (Rose) scored on a heck of a play. We won. That's all I have to say." And he turned back to his personal conversation.


He was an angry "Bull," his nickname ever since the huge outfielder came to the National League.


Rose, who scored on Luzinski's shot that bounced into the wall at the 340- foot sign, explained the play at the plate in which he bowled over catcher Bruce Bochy,


"The catcher was blocking the plate," said Rose. "He was concentrating because it was a tough throw to handle. It short-hopped him.


"Not many catchers could have handled that throw. I had no alternative but to do what I did, go over him for the plate."


The Phillies had been accused many times in the media of being a team of no heart and no character, just a lot of lazy talent.


Shortstop Larry Bowa tried to lay that image to rest.


"If this game doesn't convince people, then something's wrong with them," said Bowa. "We got heart, we got character, we want to win. I don't want anyone to ever tell me we don't want to win."


Phillies Manager Dallas Green said he hoped that no one turned the television set off too early.


"It looked like one of those frustrating days . . . but we kept battling. We put up three runs on the board (trailing 2-0 in the eighth) and when they got one, we put up two more."


"We had our backs against the wall and, baby, we didn't quit." Houston Manager Bill Virdon was asked to give his appraisal of the game. He responded: "It was indeed a strange game. But I've seen 'em before. That's baseball . . . but I haven't seen that many strange things happen in one game."


Reliever Tug McGraw, who pitched the final inning and earned his second save of the series, summed up the weird game in which three plays were vigorously protested by both sides.


"It was, like going through an art museum on a motorcycle," said McGraw.


"You don't remember any pictures you saw."


Green was asked if he talked to Luzinski before posting the lineup that showed the outfielder was going to sit out most of this one.


"I just posted the lineup." said Green.

Phillies Tie NL Series Despite Controversy


By Ron Rapoport, Chicago Sun-Times Service


HOUSTON — It came down to Pete Rose.


It would.


It came down to extra innings.


It should have.


There were no umpires to worry about, no base-running foolishness to be concerned with.


There was just Pete Rose, who had been thrown out at the plate a day before, laying his best cross-body block into Bruce Bochy, the Houston Astros' only able bodied catcher.


There was just third-base coach Lee Elia, who three days before had lost the Phillies a game by holding Bake McBride at third, waving Rose on.


There was just rough-and-tumble, cutand- dried, routine, ordinary, every-day baseball. Considering what had gone before, it was almost a relief.


"Call it an Armenian's revenge," Elia said of his moment of retribution that saw him waving Rose in from first on Greg Luzinski's pinch double that.Jose Cruz expertly retrieved and threw in from left field. "I saw the throw (from Houston shortstop Rafael Landestoy) was going to be short so I took my chances. That was our opportunity to take a chance."


The end result was a 5-3 Philadelphia victory in 10 innings that will long be remembered for—but fortunately in the end was not determined by — some of the most suspect umpiring likely to be seen from the collective judgment of the best officials a league is able to select for its championship series.


Never saw one like it


"I don't think anybody in the world will ever see a game like that again," said Mike Schmidt as he summed up a game that was nearly taken away from the Phillies by the triple play that almost was and the line-drive single that wasn't. "Never in my life have I seen a game with so many crucial short hops, blocked vision and things like that going on.


"I covered more ground than I ever did in my life arguing with people. It could. have gone right on into the long saga of bizarre Philadelphia Phillies baseball games."


Then, perhaps thinking of what would have been said of the Phillies had they lost their chance at the World Series under such remarkable circumstances, Schmidt said, "It's better off for everyone that we won it. We're going to play baseball tomorrow. There's going to be champagne in both locker rooms, on ice."


To get that far, to avoid.yet another ignominious trip back home to Philadelphia, the Phillies had to overcome the loss of the one run they would certainly have come away with in the fourth inning had commpn sense prevailed at any time during a 20-minute conversation that had umpires, players, managers and National League President Chub Feeriey conferring.


Replays showed trap by Ruhle


Television replays from some angles showed that the ball Garry Maddox hit back to Houston pitcher Vern Ruhle with runners on first and second had been trapped. And home plate umpire Doug Harvey, who is supposed to be the best in the league, at first said Ruhle had not caught the ball although Harvey, admitted his vision had been blocked on the play.


Then, Harvey allowed his mind to be changed by the first and third base umpires who both said Ruhle had caught the ball. By throwing the ball around the infield, the Astros were able to claim a triple play because the Ehillie runners had advanced a base and were scratching their heads in confusion along with everybody else.


The replays indicated that Harvey had made, a better call on.a play that he couldn't see than Ed Vargo and Bob Engle did on one they could. A number of reasonable
situations could have been agreed upon — runners on first and second or second and third — but hardly the double play the Phillies were sucked into.


And when Larry Bowa's ensuing grounder to second', which would have scored the game's first run, merely became the third out, the Philadelphia players were furious.


"There's no doubt in my mind," said Maddox, when asked if Ruhle had trapped the ball. "I was looking right at it."


Bake McBride, who was on second base at the time, agreed. He never considered it anything but a ground ball and was worried about his erasure from the basepaths in another way.


"When he hit the ball, I just froze," McBride said. "He could have forced me at third easily."


And Phillie coach Bobby Wine implied the umpires had copped out in making their decision. If Ruhle had indeed caught the ball, he said, then it should have been a triple play as the Astros claimed.


Then came the eighth inning, after the Phillies had scored two runs to tied the score. Manny Trillo hit a sinking line drive to right. Jeff Leonard came in and made a great catch. Too great. The replays were even more emphatic on this one: the ball had bounced. But, after one run scored on what was ruled a sacrifice fly, the inning ended when Schmidt was doubled off first.


"I came off the bag. Froze, saw it short-hop and then went to second." said Schmidt. No doubt in his mind.


The day was saved for the Phillies by Luzinski and Rose and Elia. The Phillies may yet lose this thing, but discounting the probability that the same madness will prevail here tonight (Phils' rookie Marly Bystrom vs. Astros' Nolan Ryan), it will be under more reasonable circumstances.