Syracuse Post-Standard - October 4, 1980

Phils Win, Grab Lead


by United Press International


MONTREAL (UPI) - Mike Schmidt admitted to battling butterflies Friday night — but that's exactly the way he wants it.


Schmidt, the major leagues' leading home run hitter, belted his 47th of the year and delivered a sacrifice fly Friday night to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Expos in the opener of their three-game, winner-take-all series to decide the National League East title.


"There is still all that pressure," said Schmidt. "I got to admit I was nervous. I know the Expos have been saying that they are loose and relaxed but I tell you I'm nervous. I had butterflies out there tonight.


"The ball I hit (for the homer) was low and away. It was a very good pitch and it's not the kind of pitch you are going to be successful on very many times."


The victory, which came before a season-high crowd of 57,021 at Olympic Stadium, means Philadelphia can clinch its fourth division title in five years by winning either of the two remaining games.


Schmidt, who has clubbed three homers in three nights and four in the past seven games, drove in Pete Rose from third base with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and tagged a solo shot over the left field wall in the sixth to support the combined pitching of Dick Ruthven, 17-10, Sparky Lyte and Tug McGraw, who recorded his 20th save.


McGraw, who pitched two hitter innings, has allowed no runs in 23 inmmgs, covering his last 14 appearances.


Larry Christenson, 5-1, faces Steve Rogers, 16-11, Saturday while veteran Cy Young favorite Steve Carlton, 24-9, draws rookie Bill Gullickson, 10-5, in Sunday's finale.


The Phillies, a club wracked by disputes between players and manager Dallas Green, won their fifth straight despite squandering three scoring opportunities with runners on third. On two occasions, the runners were caught in rundowns at third.


Ruthven pitched 5-2/3 innings, allowing three hits and one run while walking four and striking out two. Scott Sanderson, 16-11, went seven innings, giving up eight hits, two runs with six strikeouts.


The Phillies grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first. Rose stroked the first of two singles up the middle and took third on Bake McBride's soft double down the . left field line. Sanderson surrendered a sacrifice fly to left by Schmidt and then fanned Greg Luzinski and Del Unser to escape further damage.


Schmidt's homer came on an 0-2 pitch with one out in the sixth. His homer equalled the record for third basemen in a season set by Eddie Matthews set with the 1957 Milwaukee Braves.


The Expos, who had a five-game winning streak snapped, managed only two hits off Ruthven through five innings hut broke through for their only run in the sixth.


Jerry White led off with a double and after a walk to Rodney Scottt took third on a sacrifice by Rowland Office and scored on a sacrifice fly by Andre Dawson.


Gary Carter was then walked intentionally and Lyle came in to coax a fielder's choice grounder from Warren Cromartie to shut off the rally.