Chicago Daily Herald - October 14, 1980
Phils Will Start Rookie Walk
By United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - The Philadelphia Phillies, their pitching staff weary with arm fatigue from the National League playoffs, named rookie Bob Walk Monday to pitch the opening game of the World Series Tuesday night and the Kansas City Royals figure that move can play right into their hands.
Walk's opponent will be righthander Dennis Leonard, a 20-game winner who also beat the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the AL championship series.
Walk will become the first rookie pitcher in 28 years to open the World Series. The last pitcher to do so was Joe Black of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who threw a complete game victory over the New York Yankees in 1952.
Walk proved to be a very valuable member of the Phillies' staff after being called up from the minors in the middle of the summer, but Royals coach Billy Connors, who tutored the youngster m the minors, said the tension of pitching in a World Series game could have an adverse effect on him
"WALK HAS all the tools," said Connors, a former minor league pitching instructor in the Phillies'
organization. "He is more of a nervous kid. He might get rattled. I felt
he was the best arm in the organization. He has the stuff to keep them in the game. But he is a nervous kid.
"He has a tendency to get wild to the point where he can't throw a strike. When we have a meeting I'll tell them what I know of Walk. He's a hyper type of kid. He can be a tough kid. He'll go after you. He won't let up. He'll give you his best stuff. It's a matter of him being able to keep his composure."
Walk, who posted an 11-7 record with a 4 56 earned run average during the regular season, did not pitch in the playoffs. In fact he has not pitched since Oct 2 when he went seven innings to beat the Chicago Cubs.
"I'm not disappointed at not pitching in the playoffs. There was never an opportunity for my talents to be used," he said. "They couldn't afford to start me and there really wasn't a place for me to relieve. I understood I had to do my job and I just pulled for the other guys."
WALK SAID he learned he was going to got the World Series assignment on Monday afternoon before the Phillies worked out at Veterans Stadium
"I don't think the layoff will bother me," said Walk "I'll be excited and that will take care of it."
Phillies' manager Dallas Green said there was no doubt in his mind that Walk could do the job.
"He ran into some trouble with his control and poise, but I have no qualms about starting him," said Green.
Green said lie would pitch 24-game winner Steve Carlton in Wednesday night's second game and Kansas City manager Jim Frey said he would go with 18-game winner Larry Gura to be followed by righthander Rich Gale in the third game at Kansas City on Friday.
Leonard admitted he knew very little about the Phillies, other than Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzmski are home run hitters.
"I THINK more of the Phillies as a power team but they only hit two more home runs than we did," said Leonard. "We pitched Reggie Jacklion pretty well in the playoffs and it will be the pitchers' duty to keep the ball in the park. I watched how Houston pitched to the Phillies during the playoffs and maybe we'll try and use some of their techniques."
The Royals, playing in the World Series for the first time, will have a distinct advantage because the designated hitter will be used this year.
"Hal McRae (the Royals designated hitter) is very important to our club," said Frey. "He drives in runs and he runs the bases very well. I know they are going to have an extra hitter but he (McRae) is an important part of our club "
In last year's World Series, Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver admitted that his not being able to use a designated hitter hurt his team against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The use of the designated hitter alternates each year.
Both teams seemed relaxed during Monday's workouts after emotional draining playoff series. The Royals admitted that beating the Yankees after three straight losses to them in playoff competition was really the highlight of their season no matter what happens in the World Series. And the Phillies felt very much the same way having reached the Series for the first time in 30 years and getting rid of the stigma that they can't perform under pressure.
"PEOPLE WHO have played in the World Series that I've talked to have said there is more pressure in the playoffs," said Royals' third baseman George Brett. "Win or lose the Kansas City fans are very happy. Maybe we can make them extremely happy after the World Series."
Brett also said he doubted the Royals' layoff after whipping the Yankees in straight games would have much an effect on the club. He also added that the Phillies' emotional victory over Houston wasn't necessarily a plus.
"People said we'd be at a disadvantage agianst the Yankees because we hadn't had to play a hard game in several months," said Brett.
"But we went out and beat them in three straight. I don't feel we'll let down now."
World Series Matchups
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Here is the way the Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia Phillies match up for the 1980 World Scries:
FIRST BASE — Kansas City uses Willie Mays Aikens ( 278), who slugged 20 home runs and drove in 98 runs, as one of its top power threats. Philadelphia has future Hall of Famer Pete Rose (.282) who is the inspirational leader of the team. Edge: Phillies
SECOND BASE — A matchup of playoff MVPs Both Philadelphia's Manny Tnllo ( 292) and Kansas City's Frank White ( 264) are brilliant defensively and capable of delivering key hits. Edge. Tossup.
SHORTSTOP — A pair of switch-nil ters. The Philles use veteran Larry Bowa (.267). a perennial Gold Glove winner who made just 17 errors U L. Washington ( 273) of the Royals committed 32 errors. Edge: Phillies
THIRD BASE — Two awesome hitters here with George Brett ( 390, 24 home runs, 118 RBI) and Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt (.286, 48-121) Schmidt suffered through a playoff slump. Brett won the American League series with a thirdgame homer. Edge: Royals.
LEFT FIELD — Kansas City's Willie Wilson (.326) led the majors with 230 hits and stole 79 bases. Philadelphia's Greg Luzmski (.228) struggled through an injury-riddled season. Edge: Royals.
CENTER FIELD — The Royals' Amos Otis (.2!H) struggled at bat but is still a standout on defense. Garry Maddox of the Phillies (.259) delivered the winning hit in the playoffs and has few peers defensively. Edge: Phillies
RIGHT FIELD — Kansas City will platoon Clint Hurdle ( 294, 10-60) and John Wathan (.305 6-58) Neither possesses the glove or speed of Philadelphia's Bake McBnde ( 309, 9-87) Edge Phillies.
CATCHER — Philadelphia's Bob Boone (.229) is playing with a banged up leg. Kansas City's Darrell Porter (.249) struggled through a tough season at the plate but is a good mechanical receiver. Edge: Royals.
STARTING PITCHING — Kansas City's rotation will be Dennis Leonard (20-11, 3.79), Larry Gura (18-10, 2 95), and Rich Gale (13-9, 3 92). Also available is left-hander Paul Splittorff (14-11, 4.15). The Phillies will open with rookie Bob Walk (11-7, 4 56) followed by ace Steve Carlton (24-9, 2 34) Look for Dick Ruthven (17-10, 3 55) as the Game Three pitcher.
The grueling, five-game National League playoff against Houston scrambled the Phillies' rotation. The Kansas City pitchers come in well rested. Edge: Royals.
RELIEF PITCHING — Kansas' City's bullpen ace is submariner Dan Quisenberry (12-7, 3 09, 33 saves). Splittorff would add a left-hander along with journeyman Ken Brett, who pitched 13-1/3 scoreless innings and picked up one save Also available are Renie Martin (10-10, 4.39, 2 saves) and Marty Pattin (4-0, 3.64, 4 saves).
Philadelphia's answer to Quisenberry is 36-year-old Tug McGraw (5-4, 1.47, 20 saves). McGraw may be arm-weary after setting a record by pitching in all five playoff games. The rest of the Phillies' bullpen is composed of Kevin Saucier (7-3, 3.42), Ron Reed (7-5, 4.05, 9 saves), Dickie Noles (1-4, 3.89, 6 saves) and Warren Brusstar (2-2, 3.69, no saves). Rookie Marty Bystrom (5- 0, 1.50) and veteran Larry Christenson (5-1, 4.01) also could figure in the bullpen, depending on the Phillies' starting rotation. Edge: Royals
DH-BENCH — The Royals' Hal McRae (.297, 14-83) is the textbook designated hitter and an important part of the Kansas City offense. The Phillies have a variety of candidates for the DH role, which will be in use in this series They include rookie Lonnie Smith (.339, 3-20) and veterans Del Unser (.264 0-10) and Greg Gross (.240, 0-12) or rookie Keith Moreland (.314, 4-29). The other Royal reserves include journeyman outfielder Jose Cardenal (.340 in 25 games), veteran infielder Dave Chalk (.251), utilitymen Pete LaCock (.205) and Jamie Quirk (.276). Edge: Royals.