Galveston Daily News - October 13, 1980
Ryan’s hope becomes a disastrous Phillie reality
HOUSTON (UPI) – The Philadelphia Phillies, bending often but never quite breaking, won their first National League pennant in 30 years Sunday night, withstanding playoff pressure for the second straight day and riding 10th inning doubles by Del Unser and Garry Maddox to an 8-7 victory over the Houston Astros.
The Phillies, defeating the Astros three games to two for the NL flag, will play host to the American League champion Kansas City Royals Tuesday night in the first game of the World Series.
Twice the Phillies had leads slip away from them but both times they bounced back against the Astros' highly touted bullpen to put an end to their past history of not being able to handle the pressure of the playoffs. The Phillies had been beaten in the playoffs in 1976, 1977 and 1978.
For a while, it looked like they might blow this game, too, as the Astros wiped out a 7-5 deficit with a two-run rally in the eighth that tied the score. But with one out in the 10th, Unser, who had delivered a big pinch-hit run-scoring single in a five-run Philadelphia eighth, lined a double to right field and one out later, scored the winning run on a double by Maddox that center fielder Terry Puhl narrowly missed with a shoestring try.
Both hits came off loser Frank LaCorte.
Dick Ruthven, who had taken over in the ninth inning, then set the Astros down in order in the bottom of the 10th to bring Philadelphia its first pennant since 1950. The final out came when Maddox caught Enos Cabell's soft liner in center.
It was the first time a fifth game of a playoff series has gone into extra innings.
The Astros, known for their ability to come back, might have quit after the Phillies rallied for five runs in the eighth inning to take a 7-5 lead.
But such is not the Astros' nature.
They proceeded to score two runs off ace reliever Tug McGraw in the eighth to tie the score 7-7.
Craig Reynolds started the eighth with an infield single and one out later, Terry Puhl laced his fourth hit of the night — and a series record tying 10th — to put runners on first and third. McGraw struck out Cabell for the second out but Rafael Landestoy, a late-inning replacement for Joe Morgan, grounded a single to left to score Reynolds and Jose Cruz, the Astros' "Mr. Clutch," blooped a single to center to score Puhl with the tying run.
The Phillies thought they had the game tucked away when they chased starter Nolan Ryan with their five-ran barrage in the top of the eighth. Ryan, who had checked Philadelphia on five hits through the first seven innings, got himself in trouble when he gave up a single to Larry Bowa and an infield hit to Bob Boone to start the inning.
Greg Gross, attempting to sacrifice, beat out the bunt when Ryan was slow getting oft the mound and the Phils had the bases loaded with nobody out. Ryan walked Pete Rose on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run.