Huntingdon Daily News - October 16, 1980
Friendly Fans Await Royals
By Pohla Smith, UPI Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Kansas City here they come! And you'd better believe the Royals' anxious retreat home has nothing to do with those "crazy little women there" immortalized by Wilbert Harrison.
What the Royals are anxious to get back to are the hometown fans waiting to cheer them on to a turnaround in Game 3 of their World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
"I think the fans have a good influence on us at home," Royals' Manager Jim Frey said after watching his team drop its second straight to the Philles, 6-4, Wednesday night. "I think it'll jack our players up."
Perhaps they are clutching at straws, but the Royals seem to think fans were a big difference in the Phillies' back-to-back, come-from-behind Series victories.
"The fans here helped Philadelphia a lot," Royals' reliever Dan Quisenberry said after the Phillies hammered his usually unhittable sinkerballs all over the field of Veterans Stadium for a four-run eighth inning and the Game 2 victory.
"They're not as bad as the Yankees' fans in New York; they're more creative," Quisenberry added. "But the fans do help them, and it will be nice to get back to our fans. We need a pickup."
But if the Royals are clutching at straws, you can't blame them, especially since their latest loss was followed by the news star hitter and third baseman George Brett may miss the rest of the Series because of hemorrhoids. And they are not accustomed to losing.
What made the loss harder to take Wednesday night was that they failed to capitalize on unexpected wildness by Philadelphia ace Steve Carlton, who blamed his problems on slick baseballs.
Carlton walked six and allowed 10 hits but still managed to come out a winner. The Royals made his triumph easier by hitting into four double plays.
"It sure was frustrating," said Royals' starter Larry Gura, who gave up two runs on four hits over the first six innings. "We just couldn't stay away from the ground ball."
Phillies Come Back Again
By Mike Tully, United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - The Philadelphia Phillies, having operated in the National League since 1883 without a world championship, may finally have decided to wait no longer.
"This type of confidence I haven't seen before in my major league career," said Del Unser, whose pinch RBI double keyed a four-run eighth inning Wednesday night that gave the Phillies a 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals and a 2-0 lead in the World Series.
The, Phillies sent 14 batters against Larry Gura before getting a base runner. They watched their ace lefthander Steve Carlton give up four runs. They trailed, 4-2, against a relief pitcher who could work in the off-season as an executioner. Then they won.
"We knew that at the very least we would scare them to death," said Mike Schmidt, referring to the mood on the Phillies' bench entering the eighth.
Friday night they will send Dick Ruthven, 17-10, against Rich Gale, 13-9, in Game 3 in Kansas City, and if they can find a way to win two of their next five games, it is slightly frightening to think what kind of celebration could erupt in this city.
"We get the juices flowing in the dugout and it helps our nine guys on the field," said Phils' Manager Dallas Green. "I think we've become a real 25-man team."
No one could blame the Royals for wondering where this Series is headed and how long - or short - it will take to get there.
"We need a big lift emotionally," said Hal McRae. "I'm hoping our crowd can give us a shot in the arm just like the fans here have helped the Phillies."
Amos Otis, who singled and scored in a one-run sixth and doubled in two runs to cap a three-sun seven, said the Royals could regain their composure at Royals' Stadium.
"We have lost two in a row before and won two in a row before." said Otis. "I think being in our home park is going to give us a big lift."
Trailing, 4-2, in the eighth against Dan Quisenberry, the Phillies showed Kansas City how to make the most of its base runners.
Bob Boone opened by drawing a walk. Unser then batted for Lonnie Smith and drove a shot to the left field wall for one run.
"At that point the bench exploded," said Keith Moreland, who followed a single by Bake MeBride and a double by Schmidt with an RBI single.
The uprising handed the victory to Carlton, who made enough good pitches to survive eight innings.
Kansas City Manager Jim Frey said, "We thought we had the ball game. Quisenberry has been doing It for us all year. He just didn't do it tonight."
The Phillies may have had a lot to-do with that. They are playing like they want it. After all, 97 years is an awful lone time.
Road Doesn't Bother Phils
By Joe Juliano, UPI Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Pete Rose will chat with anyone who stops by first base during a game, but a conversation he had with old teammate Hal McRae Wednesday night summed up the current state of the 1980 World Series.
"I was talking to McRae on first base in the ninth and he said to me, 'If you guys win this thing, you're in good shape,'" Rose recalled, after the Philadelphia Phillies used a four-run eighth inning to defeat the Kansas City Royals, 6-4, to take a 2-0 lead in the Series.
"I said to him, 'There's a long way to go.' He said, 'Don't give me that....'"
"We're the best club in baseball on the road," said Rose, who played with McRae when both were with the Cincinnati Reds. "We have a lot of confidence on the road."
"We'd like to win two of three there (in Kansas City)," shortstop Larry Bowa said. "Now the fans will be on their side. But we know we have the best road record in the National League."
Manager Dallas Green added, however, he felt none of his players were counting on bringing home Philadelphia's first-ever World Series title just yet.
"We'll go to Kansas City and play them one at a time," he said. "I don't think we're too cocky. Our work still is cut out for us."
Another thing going for the Phillies is an ability to come from behind. Wednesday night's victory was their fourth straight in post-season play, in which they have come back from deficits of 2-0, 5-2, 4- 0 and 4-2.
"We're doing the things other teams used to do to us," said Mike Schmidt, who drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth with a double. "We just feel confident right now and we hope we have it for the remaining games."
Another big contributor to the eighth-inning rally was pinchhitter Del Unser, 35. Unser's double scored Bob Boone to bring the Phillies within 4-3 and he scored the tying run on Bake McBride's single. Schmidt then smacked his game-winning hit and scored an insurance run on a single by rookie Keith Moreland.
All the damage was done off Kansas City's relief ace Dan Quisenberry.
Rose said the Phillies' battering of Quisenberry may have shaken up the Royals.
"Our right-handed batters got hits off him, and so did our lefthanded batters," he said. "He was their big stopper, and they stayed with him."
Today's Sports Parade: Del Unser
By Mike Tully, United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - Del Unser's greatest asset is neither his bat nor his glove, but his disposition.
He's the type ballplayer who knows exactly what his role is with the Philadelphia Phillies, that of a fifth outfielder, backup first baseman and pinch hitter when they need him. And he never gripes or kicks the water cooler when they don't. He doesn't makes waves.
Two years ago. after hitting only .196 for the Montreal Expos, Unser's contract with them had expired and he decided to go through the reentry draft as a free agent. Five clubs signified their desire to talk to h i m .
"Nobody offered me anything, though," he says, without the slightest trace of resentment. "Nobody wanted me."
Today, it's an entirely different story.
Gesturing toward the smallish, 35-year-old Unser in the interview room at Veterans Stadium Wednesday night after the Phillies had come from behind to defeat the Kansas City Royals, 6-4, and go two games up in the World Series, Mike Schmidt declared for everyone to hear:
"There's the guy right there who got the biggest hit I've ever seen in my life — Del Unser. If not for him, I wouldn't be here now. I'm talking
about what he did for us a coupla nights ago in Houston. You all know I was having my troubles there. But before I got my bat back in the bat rack, Del came through with that single of
Schmidt was talking about
Game 5 in the National League playoffs with the Astros last Sunday, the game in which he struck out three times and the one in which Unser singled home the tying run in the eighth inning, then doubled to set up the winning run in the 10th.
Unser came through once more for the Phillies in Wednesday night's second Series' contest when he ripped a pinch double off Royals'
reliever Dan Quisenberry leading off the eighth to touch off a four-run rally that decided the game.
"I can't get over that little guy," marveled Darrell Porter, the Royals' catcher. "He really drove that ball. He's a pretty pesty little hitter."
That's about the size of Unser. He's an absolute pest to opposing pitchers, but certainly not to the Phillies, who have come to value him over even some of their regulars. They've already told him they want him back with them next year.
"He's there when you need him," offers Bobby Wine, one of the Phillies' coaches. "He's not one of those guys who gets teed off if he isn't playing and he always keeps himself in shape. No matter what the situation is or when you call on him, he's always ready to go."
Unser gets part of that from his father, Al, who used to catch in the majors.
"The one thing he always taught me was to keep hustling," says the Phillies' utility man. "He told me once you put that uniform on, just forget everything else and go out and do it."
This is Unser's second time around with the Phillies. He broke in originally with the Washington Senators 12 years ago, then went to Cleveland in 1972 and to the Phils for the first time the following season. They dealt him to the Mets in the Tug McGraw deal in 1975 and reacquired him as a free agent in March of last year after he failed to sign on with anyone else.
"I'm pretty practical," he says regarding his status with the Phillies now. "I know what I'm supposed to do here — pinch hit if they need me, play the outfield a little and back up Pete Rose at first base. Whenever he (manager Dallas Green) says, 'Del,' I go get a bat or a glove."
When Garry Maddox, Philadelphia's regular center fielder, was injured near the end of the season, Green sent Unser out to that position and Unser did a creditable job in six games against the Cubs.
Came the playoffs and some felt Green might even go with Unser instead of Maddox in center field although Maddox was ready to play again. Unser didn't delude himself, though.
"You just don't take over for Garry Maddox," he said Wednesday night. "I'm not in the same class with him."