Monessen Valley Independent - October 3, 1980
Phils Late For Expos
By the United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) - The Philadelphia Phillies left after 1 a.m. today aboard a chartered flight for Montreal, hardly the way to begin a weekend with the National League East title at stake.
The Phillies waited out an 89-minute rain delay and two anxious innings Thursday night before finally putting away the Chicago Cubs, 4-2, and moving into a tie with the Expos for first place in the division.
The whole season now comes down to the final weekend when the Phillies and Expos meet in a best-of-three series beginning tonight at Olympic Stadium for the right to qualify for the League Championship Series.
Dick Ruthven, 16-10, who hasn't pitched since last Friday, goes for the Phillies against Scott Sanderson, also 16-10.
The Expos had Thursday off to rest up for the potentially historic occasion. On the other hand, the Phillies were in uniform for four hours and weren't expecting to be in Montreal until after 3 a.m. But the irrepressible Pete Rose feels the Phillies may have an advantage.
"They've had a lot of momentum, but I'm glad we played today," he said. ''When a team (like Montreal) wins five in a row, you like to go to the ballpark, not sit at home. I wouldn't like to sit around all day like they did thinking about tomorrow.
"There is pressure on everybody but both teams know what they have to do. It's amazing both of us play a 162-eame schedule and the whole thing is going down to who wins two of the next three. But this has been a year where a lot of teams are going into other teams' parks and winning."
Phillies' Manager Dallas Green likes the idea of a season-ending series for all the marbles since he and his players won't have to search too far to see what the bther team is doing.
"It's certainly better than having to look at the Scoreboard," he said. "At least we can see what's going on.
"We feel rather confident. We know what we havtj to do. We've played pretty darn good baseball for a long time with our backs to the wall. We're really getting the job done."
Rookie Keith Moreland, starting his third game this week for the slump-ridden Bob Boone, broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh by singling home Del Unser from second base. Mike Schmidt extended his major league lead with his 46th homer — a career high.
Rookie Bob Walk pitched 7 1-3 strong innings to pick up his first win since Sept. 4 and his 11th overall against seven losses. Tug McGraw came on in the eighth with two men on and got Larry Biittner to hit into an inning-ending double play on his way to his 19th save.
After scoring a run in the first on an RBI single by Bill Buckner, who went 2-for-4 in his battle for the National League batting crown, the Cubs had runners on third twice but couldn't score.
After the rain delay, Mike Tyson tripled with one out in the second but Mike O'Berry popped up and pitcher Randy Martz struck out. In the seventh, Jim Tracy hit a leadoff triple but Walk retired the next three batters to get out of the jam.
"Bob needed that one and so did the team," Green said. "It was good for him since it will get him ready for postseason play. He was struggling lately and wanted to get back in the groove. Actually, he was better after the ram delay."
The West Division will also bring together two contenders, but Los Angeles needs a near-miracle. With Houston's 3-2 victory over Atlanta combined with Los Angeles' 3-2 loss to San Francisco, the Dodgers need to sweep all three games to even tie.
Houston rookie Gary Woods hit a game-tying, solo homer to ignite a three-run fourth and Joe Morgan singled in two runs. Joe Niekro ran his record to 19-12 He left in the ninth after allowing a double to Gary Matthews. Joe Sambito relieved and surrendered an RBI single to Chris Chambliss before Frank LaCorte came on to record his llth save by striking out Dale Murphy.
San Francisco's Darrell Evans wounded the Dodgers with a bases-loaded bloop single in the eighth. Evans' single came off relief pitcher Steve Howe, who had replaced Bobby Castillo, who walked Jack Clark, the only batter he faced, to load the bases. Dave Goltz, 7-10, took the loss. Greg Minton, 4-6, was the winner.