Syracuse Post-Standard - October 16, 1980
Phils Win Second, 6-4, With Late Rally
By Hal Bock, AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - In 1950 they called them the Whiz Kids, a bunch of fuzzy cheeked youngsters who took the Philadelphia Phillies to their first World Series in 35 years.
Now, 30 years later, the Phillies are back in the Series and you can label this bunch, which beat the Kansas City Royals 6-4 Wednesday night, the Comeback Gang. They simply refuse to die. Game after game they stare adversity in the eye and whip it, usually in the late innings.
They drove Houston to distraction with their sudden rallies in the National League Championship Series last week and how they've got the Royals on the same kind of treadmill. If it keeps up, it will lead the American League champions directly to oblivion and deliver a first world championship to Philadelphia.
Wednesday night the late-inning lightning produced a four-run eighth that turned a two-run deficit into a Philadelphia victory and a 2-0 lead in this bestof-seven series which moves to Kansas City for Game 3 Friday night.
The winning rally was constructed around a pinch double by Del Unser, a slump-shattering two-base hit by Mike Schmidt and an RBI single by designated hitter Keith Moreland, who wasn't even supposed to be in the lineup.
Bake McBride, Tuesday night's hero with three hits, including a three-run homer in the 7-6 victory over the American League champions, also had a clutch RBI single in the big rally.
Manager Dallas Green reflected on the two straight pulsating victories. How did he feel, he was asked.
"Not too shabby," he decided.
"We've got the juices flowing in that dugout right now,' he said. "This is a 25- man team and we're all pulling together."
Schmidt delivered on a pre-Series pledge on Wednesday.
"I'd gone two or three games without stinging the ball," the slugger said. "Before it started I guaranteed I'd hit a few well before the Series was over."
He picked the right time to start. His crunching double scored McBride with the go-ahead run in the big eighth.
"It's a feeling of confidence," he said. "We've got a great deal .of it. We're doing what other teams used to do to us."
And they're doing it over and over.
Philadelphia was trailing 4-2; as the eighth inning began and the Royals had their bullpen ace, Dan Quisenberry, on the mound, trying to nail down the victory.
But the Phillies, who came from behind for each of their three victories in the five-game National League Championship Series against Houston, did it again amid the roar of 65,775 fans filling Veterans Stadium.
Bob Boone opened the eighth by coaxing a walk from Quisenberry, the submarine specialist who saved 33 games during the regular season. After that, it all came apart quite quickly for the Royals.
Del Unser batted for Lonnie .Smith and lashed a vicious double up the alley in left-center field. Boone, running on a banged-up leg, circled the bases to score a run that pulled Philadelphia to within one run.
By now the stadium was bedlam as the fans that had sat back rather calmly in the early innings realized another late Phillies rally was in the making. And they were right.
Pete Rose got Unser over to third on a ground ball to first — a play right out of baseball's textbook which says you must move the runner to third in that situation.
That brought up McBride, hero of the Tuesday night's 7-6 opening victory by the Phillies with three hits, including a three-run homer. This time McBride settled for a single, which delivered Unser with the tying run.
Now that it was tied, the Phillies went for the kill. And they got it in a hurry.
Schmidt, the major league home run leader with 48, whose bat had been all but silent during the playoffs, exploded a tremendous shot up the alley in right-center field. McBride toured around the bases and slid home with the go-ahead run. Schmidt, the strapping slugger who had joked about being an observer during Philadelphia's dramatic playoff performance, steamed into third on the play at the plate.
He was there for only a moment. Rookie Keith Moreland, a late starter as Philadelphia's designated hitter when Greg Luzinski reported to the park with an intestinal virus, drilled another hit, chasing home Schmidt with the fourth and final run of the inning making the score 6-4.
Philadelphia, which had not won a World Series game since 1915 prior to Tuesday night, had won its second in a row over the expansion team American League champion Royals, still seeking their first World Series victory.
Royals' Favorite Formula Fails
By Mike Tully, UPI Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - The Kansas City Royals used their favorite formula Wednesday night in Game 2 of the World Series. They took a lead into the late innings and summoned ace reliever Dan Quisenberry.
Most of the time the formula amounts to a Royals' victory but this time Quisenberry proved no mystery to the Philadelphia Phillies, who used a four-run eighth inning to rally for a 6-4 victory and a 2-0 lead, with the Series switching to Royals Stadium Friday night.
"We are not in an ideal situation," said designated hitter Hal McRae, who had three hits, reached base four times and scored one run. "However, we are confident we can come back. We know we can score runs. And we've gotten the lead against them both times and I don't think they can keep pulling it out."
The defeat in the second game meant special frustration for the Royals since they managed to score four runs off ace left-hander Steve Carlton. But they also hit into four double plays, including one that ended a three-run seventh. That obviously, is giving a pitcher like Carlton too much of an edge.
"What we heed is one in a row," continued McRae. "It will be nice to get back before our home fans. Winning three in a row is the answer and if we can get three leads, I don't think Quisenberry will mess up again."
What McRae doesn't mention is growing evidence that the Phillies, who have never won a world championship, may finally be doing what it takes. A perfect example occurred in the seventh.
Willie Wilson, hitless and futile in his first eight Series at-bats, walked on four pitches to open the inning. Wilson, whose specialty is making things happen, did just that and the Royals rallied from a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead. But it wasn't enough.
"They are playing good baseball," said Wilson, obviously discouraged. Quisenberry, looking anything like a pitcher who earned 33 saves during a regular season, also noticed the spirit in the Phillies.
"They are a good club," said Quisenberry. "They were getting hits on low pitches and they were getting distance on my sinker."
The big hits against the reliever were RBI double by Del Unser and an RBI double by Mike Schmidt plus a run-scoring single by Keith Moreland that drove in Schmidt with an insurance run.
Kansas City Manager Jim Frey found himself at a loss to explain how the Royals, after blowing a 4-0 lead in the first game, could then allow a two-run advantage to slip away in the second.
"I don't quite know how to answer that," Frey said when asked made the difference in the game. "We thought we had the ballgame. We had the right guy in there. But it didn't work out."
Adding to Frey's problems was the fact that star third baseman George Brett did not prove that he can play a full nine innings for the rest of the Series.
Brett, bothered by a flare-up of hemorrhoids, seemed perfectly at ease at the plate, brushing off Carlton with singles in his first two at-bats and a walk in his third. But the Kansas City third baseman removed himself from the lineup and Dave Chalk had to play the last three innings third for Kansas City.
"I said before the game that if he was having any trouble at all, I.would take him out," said Frey. "I was talking to him all during the game, he said it was bothering him, so I took him out."
So This Is What The Call The World Series
By Jim Murray, Los Angeles Times
PHILADELPHIA - Memo to Bowie Kuhn, commissioner of all baseball.
"Look, Commissioner, I hate to be an old crab, I've really tried to be understanding but - well, it's about the World Series.
"You know me as a traditionalist, Commissioner, a man who takes a great pride in the noble standards of the grand old game. I mean, I like the World Series as well as any man living. I am always reminded of the glorious feats of Babe Ruth and Gehrig and Mantle and Maris and Lefty Grove and Pepper Martin and Country Slaughter and the great DiMaggio.
"Now, then, I found myself looking at the opening, game of this year's World Series, the 78th, and I found myself making notes to myself like 'Check on No. 12, a right fielder.' Or I put down that 'No. 24 made a nice stop on a line drive.'"
"My point is, I have to look up 'No. 12' in a book they give you and I find out it's -John Wathan.' Now, look, Commissioner, I want you to tell me right quick what or who a 'John Wathan'. is, what's his background, and above all. what's he doing in a World Series? I mean, is he even on bubblegum cards?
"Look! Johnny Bench is a World Series player. Reggie Jackson. Ruth. Gehrig. Cobb. Dizzy Dean. Mantle. Willie Mays is a World Series ballplayer. But is Willie Mays Aikens? "Where are the New York Yankees, Commissioner? Who in heaven's name arc these guys in those funny-looking violet uniforms?
"I mean, the KANSAS CITY ROYALS, for cryin' out loud?! They're a Yankee farm club, aren't they? They're in the American Assn. or the Pacific
Coast League. They play Scranton and Toledo and Albuquerque or somebody like that, don't they? Who told them they were big leaguers? What kind of a
scam are you pulling here?
"You mean to tell me these guys are playing in the same hallowed series as the Miracle Braves, Connie Mack's A's, the 1927 Yankees, the Gas House Gang, the 1963 Dodgers? "The Kansas City Royals' sole function on this earth was to lose to the New York Yankees, wasn't it?
"I'm not too thrilled about the Philadelphia Phillies, to tell you the truth. In my day, we didn't take them all that seriously. The 'Phutile Phils' was what the scribes always called them. The word 'hapless' was most commonly applied to them. They're about 50 lifetime Series behind the Yankees. I think they've been in two, lost both of them, naturally. Won one whole game the first time around and lost all four in a row the second time. Not exactly your basic juggernaut, the Phils.
"But, at least, they're legit. They've been around a long time. You know. Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched for them. Maybe you remember Ronald Reagan took the part in the films? With Doris Day.
"But if you want me to run down the Kansas City Royals lineup for you, well, there's Richard Blackwell Gale. Guess what he does for a living. Lawrence Cyril Gura is on the roster. Ralph Pierre LaCock. James Patrick Quirk. And, of course, the ever-popular John D. Wathan.
"I'm not making these names up, Commissioner. They're signed to a bona fide major league contract. The same kind Babe Ruth was signed to. Think about that for a little while.
"I wouldn't mind if these guys knew their place. They got a nerve being here in the first place. You can bet me NBC isn't too thrilled. NBC's idea of a World Series is Reggie Jackson hitting all those home runs off Dodger pitching. Or Carl Yastrzemski. Heck, in a pinch, Sal Bando. But John Wathan?! Gid oudda here! Give me back my money!
"You know what the pitching rotation for the Kansas City is, Commissioner? Dennis Patrick Leonard, Lawrence C. Gura and Richard Blackwell Gale. I mean, what happened to pitchers like Schoolboy Rowe, guys named Lefty or Rube? Dizzy, even? Richard Blackwell Gale sounds like a guy running for office. *Alabama casts 37 votes for the honorable Richard Blackwell Gale, the ne-e-xt President of these United States!'
"While I'm at it, baseball is supposed to be played on grass and in the sun, isn't it? Well, they're playing this World Series on carpeting and under light bulbs. I mean, what is it — baseball or pool? It's billiards, is what it is. Also, there's supposed to be nine on a side. Well, there's 10 in this Series. Abner Doubleday would have a stroke.
"Commissioner, what are they doing to the grand old game? Shouldn't somebody be prosecuted?
"Did you see some of those goings-on over the weekend? Took seven umpires and the league president to decide on a comebacker to the mound. Think Bill Klem ever went to the league president to make a call on a play 60 feet away? They almost had a triple play by legislation. I think we lost a triple play by a vote of 5-4 with one abstaining.
"An outfielder trying to throw a guy out at the plate actually threw the ball BACKWARD. I didn't think you even could.
"Now, you take Tuesday night's opening game of the 1980 Socks. Philadelphia starts a 23-year-old pitcher infelicitously named Walk -- Robert Vernon Walk, to give him his full monicker. Robert Vernon was pumping gas in Newhall, Calif., a year ago at this time. He has done most of his best pitching lately at Spartanburg and Reading, if you get my drift.
"The Kansas City's treat him like he was Christy Mathewson for seven innings, but his best pitch is a gopher out over the plate. The Kansas City's rough him up for three home runs, but the '27 Yankees might have roughed him up for three by the third batter. They would have had him out of there before the anthem died down.
"I hate to put the knock on the Kansas City's, Commissioner, but let me tell you what the third baseman does with a relay he takes from the outfield with a man on third. He spots the runner on first caught off the bag and he runs across the diamond, turning his back on the runner on third who, of course, scores. I haven't seen a play like that since third grade schoolyard, but it's more or less typical of the grade of play in this Series which I would have to characterize as Early Sandlot or 5 o'clock industrial league. These guys should carry plumbing advertising on their backs.
"I know they think a lot of these Whozits in K.C., Commissioner, but what do they know in Kansas City? I mean, it's not like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Dickey, the real Willie Mays played there or John McGraw managed, is it?