Doylestown Daily Intelligencer - October 15, 1980
Aikens Wants Repeat Performance
United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Willie Aikens believes in thinking positively.
It wasn t enough for him to hit a pair of two-run homers in the Kansas Ciiy Royals' 7-6 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the opening game of ihe World Series Tuesday night. No, the 26-year-old first baseman wants lo do it again tonight.
"Anytime a guy hits two home runs he feels good about his play." said Aikens. who hit the homers on his 26lh birthday. "I'm sorry we lost. I hope I can hit some tomorrow."
Aikens. a native of Seneca. S. C . may find it a little difficult doing that. It's hard enough to hit two home runs m a game, but it's even more difficult to do it against ace left-hander Steve Carlton. And that's exactly who the Royals will be facing tonight.
"Steve Carlton is as capable of losing a game as anyone else," Aikens declared.
The only trouble is the figures don't quite support Aikens' contention Cariton is as stingy with runs as he is with words, going 24-9 during the regular season with a 2.34 ERA.
"I sure would hate to think ue would be down 2-0 after two games." said Aikens. "But even if we were we would be going home and we'd still have a chance to win the series. But I sure hope that doesn t happen."
Aikens hit one two-run homer tohelp give Kansas City an early 4-0 lead and later hit another to pull Kansas City to within 7-6. He played like a man who appreciates being in the playoffs. Perhaps because he helped the California Angels get into last year's playoffs, but missed them because of an injury.
"How else could I feel but down," he said. "The team lost and I was disapointed that I couldn't play."
Aikens became only the second player in Worid Series history to hit two home runs in his first World Series game. Gene Tenace, then of the Oakland A's, accomplished the feat exactly eight years ago on Oct. 14. 1972.
Bowa Ignites Phillies Explosion
By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer
PHILADELPHIA -The fans were kind of shell-shocked. Thirty years they had waited ior this one and after two and one-half innings the home side was down. 4-0. It was a very quiet hush, all over Veterans Stadium.
Kansas City Royals' pitcher Dennis Leonard had a little to do with the spell of dismay, too. Seven batters up and seven batters down, including five on ground balls to the infield.
Ah, the fans should have know better Larry Bowa hadn't been to the plate yet. And no one's been more reved up about the World Series than Larry Bowa. He's been waiting for this chance since he was five.
He didn't let it slip away. Bowa singles, stole second, and ignited a five-run Philadelphia third inning, leading the Phils to an opening game, 7-6 win over the Royals. And he took a gamble.
Bowa's single came with one out. And he stole second. You hardly ever, especially wnen each and every game is for all the marbles, steal second when you're four runs down.
"The only reason I tried." Bowa said after the win, "I wanted to get something started. I was running on my own,. but if I would have been thrown out I would have kept running. I'm sure Dallas would have had something to say about that."
But I think we caught them (Royals) sleeping. It was early in the game and Ruben (first base coach Ruben Amaro) said,"Go if you think you can make it.'"
Bowa did and Bob Boone followed with a double into the left field corner to score Bowa with run number one. Lonnie Smith followed and singled to left, advancing Boone to third. Smith took a wide turn around first, stumbled and fell.
Royals' third basemar. George Brett, who had taken the relay thrown, saw Smith fall and made a play on him. Smith was trapped and eventually caught in a rundown. But in the meantime. Boone raced home and scored from third.
Pete Rose was the next hitter and was hit by a pitch. Mike Schmidt followed and drew a walk. Bake McBnde was the next hitter and tagged
Leonard's one-one pitch
over the right field war. The Phillies were on their way.
The Phils made it a 6-4 ballgame in the fourth inning on Manny Trillo's one-out single, an error by Leonard and Boone's two-out RBI double into the right field comer. There it was. 6-4. and Boone had two big RBI.
Boone. as everyone knows, finished the regular season hitting a lowly .229, with the fans chanting for rookie Keith Moreland. But that was during the regular season.
Lately, especially, during the last 10-to-l2 days. Bob Boone has been swinging a pretty mean stick.
"That's one of the reasons Bob Boone is catching." Green said. "He has had a lot of big RBI for the Phillies, despite his low batting average. Check it out against last year."
Last year Boone hit .286. with 58 RBI. This season, .229. but with 55 RBI.
"The last 10 days he's been swinging the bat as good as he has all season." Green said. "And there's one thing I know about Bob Boone, he's not going to back off."
Back off? Green couldn't have kept Boone out of last night's game if he had bolted him to the locker room wall.
"I've been waiting for it to come around a long time." Boone said. "But, I've been swinging good the last 10 days Before, it was a lot of mechanical things I was doing wrong. But tonight I felt good at the plate."
Kansas City took a 2-0 lead in the second inning off starter Bob \\alk on a walk to Darrell Porter and Amos Otis' home run. The Royals made it 4-0 in the third on Hal McRae's single and Willie Aikens' home run.
Then, after the Phils' five-run third and one run fourth. Garry Maddux made it a 7-4 ballgame with a bases loaded sacrifice fly to left field in the fifth inning.
The Royals, however, came within one when Aikens knocked Walk out of the game in the eighth with a two-run shot over the right field fence. Tug McGraw had to come in. his sixth straight and eighth appearance in the last nine games, to save the game.
"I knew they were a fundamentally sound team," Bowa said, "but I didn't know they hit that well. They really hit the ball hard. They really stunned me. But our scout, Hugh Alexander, told us, in our ballpark, they have a lot of doubles hitters who will hit the ball a long way. Their ballpark is so much bigger than ours.
EXTRA BASES-The Phils set a club record for most runs in one game, seven. In nine previous Series games, the high was four, a 5-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox in 1915. The total runs scored by the Phils in their nine previous games was 15.. Bake McBride's home run was on the second for the Phils in Series play. The previous one was hit by Fred Luderus in 1915....The winner of the first game has gone on to capture the championship 45 times in 76 previous World Series, 59 per cent — Net receipts from last night's game totaled $1,061,551.12.
Dismal Season Hasn't Hurt Boone In Playoff Games
United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Even at the worst moments through a slump-laden 1980 season, Bob Boone knew he couldn't have batted any lower than eighth m the Philadelphia Phillies' lineup
But with the designated hitter in effect for this year's World Series. Boone found himself at the bottom of the Phillies' lineup card for Tuesday night's opening game against the Kansas City Royals.
And the 32-year-old Philadelphia catcher gave his team some punch from the No. 9 hole, pounding three hits, including two doubles that produced a pair of runs.
Boone. who batted a career low .229 during the regular season, said later he didn't mind that Manager Dallas Green placed him in the lowest spot of the order.
"It wasn't a surprise." he said "I teased him (Green) a little about it. But that's a great tribute to this club for having me bat ninth.
"It was the first time I had ever hit ninth anywhere, even in Little League when I was a pitcher."
Boone also contributed some smart baserunning in the Phillies' five-run third inning. After his first double scored Larry Bowa. Boone reached third on Lonnie Smith's single lo left and it looked like he was going to hold there.
But Smith slipped going around first and Royals' third baseman George Brett, the cutoff man in the situation, decided to go after him. When Brett threw to second. Boone broke for the plate and scored without a throw.
"George looked at me a little, then looked at me again, but I had a lot of leeway." he said. "I could go as far as I wanted to. He (Brett) would have had to stop and run me back."
Boone, who admits he's no Maury Wills on the basepaths, might have lost a step or two more because of a bruised ankle he suffered in Sunday night's deciding game of the Phillies' playoff series against the Houston Astros.
"I've never come out of any ballgame in my career." he said. "I don't want to put the whammy on myself, but I haven't. I had pain in it tonight but I've been very fortunate that I've been able to deal with pain."
In addition to his bat. Boone also is the Phillies' boss on the field. He was running the show Tuesday night for rookie Bob Walk, who picked up the win in his first postseason competition
"I said at the team meeting to let me worry about how to pitch them." he said "You don't want to get too scientific. Everything changes, and you have to adapt to the game situation. We were going with Bob's stuff all the way. There was nothing magical about it."
By playing Tuesday night. Boone and his father, Ray. became the fourth father-son combination in series competition. The elder Boone. who was in attendance at Veterans Stadium, played in the 1948 Series while with the Cleveland Indians and became an All-Star infielder in the American League.
McGraw's Bionic Arm Not Ready To Self-destruct
By Mike Gibson, Intelligencer Writer
PHILADELPHIA-Tug McGraw has pitched in all of the six postseason games played by the Philadelphia Phillies. He wishes people would stop worrying about him, telling him he is a time bomb long overdue to self-destruct.
Especially people who know little— or nothing—about baseball.
"Well, my strongest desire right now is to prove (ABC-TV commentator) Howard Cosell wrong." McGraw said after saving the first game of the World Series for Bob Walk and the Phillies on Tuesday night. "He said they went to the well too often with me. Howard doesn't know the game of baseball well enough to say that.
"I feel as though, with me pitching, this is the type of job that you have to condition yourself to. . .a catcher has to throw the ball every day- A shortstop, he has to take infield, take a lot of plays every day. It takes a lot out of everybody in this game. The job out of the bullpen is to be ready when you're called upon. I consider myself a good athlete. I'm capable of doing my job. And this time of the year, when you have to reach back to look for some extra, that's all part of the job. That's what got us here, so I'm ready to do the job when I'm called upon."
There are those who gasp when McGraw is called upon time after time to protect a slim Phillies lead, but Tug does not include himself among that select group. There are those who asked the question, "How long can they keep going to the well with this guy before they come up dry?"
Fortunately for the Phillies. McGraw doesn't think that's any big deal. This may be the first World Series between two teams who have confidence, at least at this stage of the year, in only one relief specialist. Dan Quisenberry is McGraw's counterpart on the Royals.
The Phillies tried other relievers in the Houston series but kept coming back to McGraw when the Warren Brusstars, the Ron Reeds and the Dickie Noleses failed. The strong suspicion is that they will keep coming back to McGraw for these final games of the season.
The condition of McGraw, both physical and mental, was a primary subject of discussion after the game on Tuesday night. If he is indeed in good shape, if he can pitch these final games like he has pitched in pressure situations the last two weeks, the Phillies have an excellent chance to bring Philadelphia a parade that would make the Flyers' parades seem like child's play in comparison.
McGraw has been through it all before with the New York Mets.Quisenberry. Kansas City's sidewinding ace who saw limited action in the opener, hasn't.
"This last month has gone by so dramatically and so intensely it's like trying to find your way through a forest." McGraw said, comparing recent experiences. "You just don't have time to think about other forests that you've been through. You just want to find your way out any way you can."
McGraw has been an inspiration for a team that has not been known for their come-from-behind character until now. For a pitcher, he cares intensely about what is going on in the dugout and appreciates the metamorphosis of this team as represented in Tuesday night's five-run, third-inning rally.
Larry Bowa led off that inning with a single and violated every rule of baseball by stealing with his team behind by four runs in a situation that called for conservative baserunning.
"That was a message from us to them that, 'We're not quitting on you, four runs down, we're coming right after you,' " McGraw said. "That was a good message. That was like the opening paragraph, the opening sentence, of our message. Then, when Pete (Rose, hit by a pitch) got on base, when he fired himself up, fired the rest of the ballclub up trying to intimidate them, particularly the pitcher (Dennis Leonard), we felt that was the green light. We felt, 'Let's go get them.'"
The hitters got them and, as he has for the last glorious month. McGraw finished them off. A lot of the national media saw that for the first time on Tuesday night. One of them figured that a lot of McGraw's success had to do with his flaky approach to the game, his happy-go-lucky attitude. McGraw reminded him that there is a good pitcher behind that buffoonery.
"Is most of my job at this stage of the season mental?" McGraw said, repeating a question. "If that was the case. I'd be in the trainer's room, soaking my head in ice."
Phils, Royals Switched Those Old Familiar Roles
By Wayne Fish, Intelligencer Writer
PHILADELPHIA - The Kansas City Royals are supposed to have the SPEED and the Philadelphia Phillies figured to have the POWER in the 1980 World Series.
So in Tuesday night's opening game, the Royals smashed three home runs but ran the bases like Orson Welles. The Phillies put one ball over the fence but stole one base and picked up another on some heads-up running.
As Mr. Cosell would say, one has to wonder...
Nothing had gone according to form the past seven days so why should this game be any different?
Who would have picked the Royals to knock off the mighty Yankees in three straight? The Phillies to play four consecutive extra-inning games with the Houston Astros and rally to win the last two? Dull it ain't.
Base running played a major role in the Phillies' 7-6 come-from-behind victory and was a much talked about subject after the game.
First there was Bob Boone's daring dash for home from second base on Lonnie Smith's single in the third inning. Left fielder Willie Wilson fired to George Brett who caught Smith turning too wide a first. Boone who had stopped a third, took off for home as Bret raced across the infield. Smith was eventually out but the run scored helping cut an early Royal 4-0 lead to 4-2. Moments later, Bake McBride's three-run shot put the Phillies up for good.
"You can fault 65,000 screaming fans for that one," said Kansas City manager Jim Frey. "In a normal game, you can hear (your teammates yelling). But you couldn't hear anything out there tonight, thought Frank (White) made the right play."
On the other side of the coin, the Royals did nothing to help themselves on the basepaths. Catcher Darrell Porter was gunned down a home when he failed to slid attempting to score from second on Clint Hurdle's single in the third.
"It looks now that he shouldn't have gone." said Frey. "I thought I saw him stumble a little coming around. I don't know if that slowed him up or not. The left fielder was playing normal., there was a base hit in the hole.-.and I thought he made the right play."
Porter tip-toed into home and was easily tagged out by Boone killing a potential big inning. Some one wanted to know if Frey would have liked Porter to run into Boone in freight train fashion, the way Pete Rose sent Houston Astro catcher Bruce Bochy flying to score the winning run last Saturday.
"I would have preferred if he would just slide in." said Frey.
"But if he knocks Boone into the seats, then he (Darrell) could have gotten hurt, too."
Phillies' pitchers Bob Walk and Tug McGraw did a good job keeping Kansas City's "W Boys" (Frank White, U.L. Washington and Willie Wilson) off the bases.
White's hit made the threesome's effort 1-13 on the night, resulting in one stolen base.
"They kept me off base and pitched me good." said Wilson, the flash from Summit, N.J. "I learned something tonight. Against (Steve) Cariton. we're going to have to get some hits and hope the breaks go our way."
One of the bright spots was the hitting performance of first baseman Willie Mays Aikens. He ripped a two-run home run in the third inning and added another in the eighth.
"I came out early today and really felt good hitting in batting practice," he revealed. "Most of the time, when I do that. I usually have a bad game.
"The guys are not down," he added. "We can go out and do the same thing to Carlton that the Phillies did to Nolan Ryan on Sunday."
"Carlton has been erratic his last two times out." he said. "He hasn't been sharp. I compare him to (New- York Yankees pitcher Ron) Guidry. We can't go home 2-0 but we only came here to get a split. A one-game hole is not that deep. You can see out of it."
BETWEEN THE LINES- Starting pitcher Dennis Leonard on his performance: "I tried to follow our scouting report; but I never really got the ball where I wanted it.
Phils Snare Series Lead
By Mike Gibson, Intelligencer Writer
PHILADELPHIA - It wasn't pretty, but Bob Walk will take being mentioned in the same breath with Grover Cleveland Alexander any day.
Walk became the second Phillies pitcher ever to win a World Series game — hall of famer Alexander was the first—as the Phillies defeated the Kansas City Royals here, 7-6, before a state record crowd of 65,791 fans to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Phillies in World Series competition.
Lefty Steve Carlton, who had a 24-9 record during the regular season, will try to give the Phillies a two-game pad tonight before the series moves into Kansas City. Larry Gura (18-10), another lefty, will go for the Royals.
Manager Dallas Green was pleased with the effort of Walk, even though he gave up three two-run homers, two to Willie Mays Aikens. The performance by the rookie righthander, who went seven innings before getting knocked out in the eighth on Aikens' second homer, enabled Green to rest tired starters Larry Chnstenson and Dick Ruthven, who pitched in relief in the Phils' pennant-clinching game in Houston on Sunday night
Ruthven is slated for Friday night's third game in Kansas City and Christenson is set for the Saturday afternoon game there. Both will have the customary three days' rest, something neither one had for the final game of the National League championship series.
That left Walk, the only pitcher who didn't play in the Houston series, as the logical starter on Tuesday night. Although he wasn't sharp, the Phils' offense supplied him with a cushion in the five-run fifth to overcome a 4-0 Kansas City lead after the first three innings.
Larry Bowa started that inning by surprising the Royals with his steal of second base after getting the Phils' first hit. Bob Boone who had three hits on the night, then doubled Bowa home and Lonnie Smith singled with Boone eventually scoring when Smith was caught in a rundown between first and second.
Kansas City starter Dennis Leonard (20-11 during the regular season) then hit Pete Rose with a pitch and Mike Schmidt walked, setting the table for Bake McBnde's three-run homer that gave the Phillies the lead for keeps.
Green substituted Tug McGraw. who has pitched in all seven of the Phils' post-season games, for Walk after Aikens' second homer and McGraw kept the Royals scoreless for the final two innings.
Walk Turned Out To Be An Unwilling Sacrifice
United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) — To a lot of people, rookie Bob Walk was the guy the Philadelphia Phillies would sacrifice in the opening game of the World Series to give their weary starting rotation an extra day of rest.
But Pete Rose wasn't among the doubters.
"Bob Walk won more games (11) than we thought," Rose said Tuesday night after Walk got the last laugh, picking up the victory in the Phillies' 7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Walk, a 23-year-old righthander, allowed three two-run homers - two by Willie Aikens - over seven-plus innings but still gained a gritty decision in his first post-season appearance ever.
"He struggled the last couple or three or four times out but when he throws strikes, he's effective," Rose said. "Those two homers hit by Willie Aikens weren't the only ones he's ever hit. (Amos) Otis hit a real good pitch.
"Sure, any time you play in a World Series, you'd like to start Steve Carlton, but we couldn't. Bob had the most rest, got the ball and did the job. I take my hat off to him."
Carlton, 24-9 during the regular season, will pitch tonight as the Phillies attempt to go 2-up before the series moves to Kansas City.
The Phillies used Carlton in Saturday's fourth game of the grueling National League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, and utilized starters Marty Bystrom, Larry Christenson and Dick Ruthven Sunday in the deciding game.
Walk, who didn't pitch in the playoffs, knew he was the guy to put his finger in the leaky dike that was the Phillies' starting rotation, but said he didn't feel as if he was some sort of "sacrificial lamb."
"I know they didn't have much choice, but I did win 11 games," Walk said. "I think I'm more than just somebody they could throw out there. I was happy to get a starting assignment. I was just glad to be out there, to tell you the truth."
Walk allowed homers to Otis in the second and to Aikens in the third and eighth before Tug McGraw, in his sixth consecutive post-season appearance, came on to pick up the last six outs.
Bake McBride and Bob Boone were the batting heroes for the Phillies. McBride, who like Boone had three hits, stroked a three-run homer to cap a five-run third inning that put Philadelphia in the lead to stay. Boone stroked two doubles and drove in a pair of runs.
Surprisingly. McBride later said he felt his ninth-inning home run that beat the Montreal Expos on Sept. 26, during the heat of the National League East stretch drive, meant more than his blow Tues day night.
"Any time you hit a home run that puts your team ahead. It's exciting whether it's in the World Series or the regular season," he said. "But I would say the one I hit against Montreal was ahead of this one.
"What can top this? How about a grand slam?"
Although the Phillies were down 4-0, McBride said he and his teammates felt it was a matter of time before they reached Kansas City starter Dennis Leonard, who absorbed the third-inning battering and the loss.
"After we had one look at him, the second time around I felt we could get him," he said.