Corpus Christi Times - October 7, 1980

Forsch sees an Astros title


LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ken Forsch, soaked in champagne, predicted his Houston Astros would beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League playoffs — yet he was so excited he couldn't predict what he would do.


Forsch, 12-13 on the season, must face Philadelphia ace Steve Carlton tonight In the opener of the best-three-of-five series for the title.


"I'm so excited about our beating Los Angeles thut I haven't even thought about the next game," said Forsch. "I'll think about it on the plane trip to Philadelphia."


He doesn't think the West's single game playoff after a deadlocked finish would hurt the Astros. Explaining. "We might have arrived in Philly and got all nervous waiting for the game."


Houston finally, after 19 years, won its division with a convincing 7-1 victory over the Dodgers, who had beaten the Astros three straight to knot the regular season at 92-70 and force the single game playoff on Monday afternoon.


Second baseman Joe Morgan, twice the National League's most valuable player with champion Cincinnati teams, commented, “We've been through it now. We've shown poise and determination and refused to let the Dodgers take it away from us. I think we'll beat the Phillies."


Manager Bill Virdon added, "The Phillies are a fine team and in Steve Carlton we'll be facing one of the best if not the best. It will be rough starting this playoff so soon, but this team is more capable than anybody gives it credit for."


Carlton, the league's strikeout king and owner of the second best ERA in the league, has a 2-0 record against Houston this year and a 28-9 lifetime.


Also, the Phillies during the regular season were 9-3 against the West Division champions, 5-1 at home and 4-2 in the Astrodome.