Allentown Morning Call - October 8, 1980

‘Bull’ blast gives Phillies 3-1  win


Carlton, McGraw give Phils 1st Vet victory before 65,277


By Ted Meixell, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – To say that the 1980 baseball season was unkind to Greg Luzinski would be a gross understatement. It's been chronicled so well it need not be dwelled upon here. 


Last night before an all-time League Championship Series crowd of 65,277 at Veterans Stadium, Greg Luzinski took a giant step toward wiping out the tortured memories, rapping a thunderous two-run home run in the sixth inning to carry the Phillies to a 3-1 win over Houston in the opener of the best-of-five pressure cooker. 


In so doing, Luzinski made a winner out of a subpar Steve Carlton, who struggled to hold the Astros at bay for seven innings without benefit of his best stuff. And he ensured the fact that, when (and if) he's announced as the Phils' starting leftfielder tonight in Game 2, he won't hear the boos that have been rolling out of the Vet bleachers recently.


"I'm not worried about the season," a contented Luzinski said later. "That's past. Sure, I'm in a slump, but I got a hit tonight (did he ever), and I'm charged up. I've gotta' forget the past and go from here." 


Manager Dallas Green added, "I saw a big difference in Bull tonight. He was swinging a lot better. He looks more aggressive and he's driving at the ball." 


For weeks, Green has insisted the Phils will need Luzinski's bat to win in playoff or World Series action. Last night, he said, "Sure, some of my statements (to the press) have been wishful thinking. I want very badly for Bull to get hot. If he does, he can carry a team. " 


Carlton was touched for seven hits and was in trouble throughout his tenure on the mound. The red-hot Tug McGraw bounced out of the bullpen and breezed through two easy innings to pick up the save. 


It was the Phils' first win in LCS play at the Vet after six failures in three series from 1976-1978. It was also the Phils first win of any kind in postseason play since a victory over the Boston Red Sox at Baker Bowl in the 1915 World Series. 


The Phils trailed 1-0 when Pete Rose got the Phillies' sixth going by beating out a single deep in the hole at short. But Astros' starter Ken Forsch slipped a third strike past Bake McBride and got Mike Schmidt to lift a high fly to center before Luzinski put the record crowd into a frenzy.


"The Bull," who has now hit in all 12 League Championship Series games he's played in, fouled off a few tough pitches before launching an ICBM into the back of the lower deck just under "The Bull Ring," a section of the upper deck he purchases for the season and donates to various needy youth groups. 


"During the rain delay Saturday (before the pennant-clincher in Montreal) I hit in the batting cage. I flattened my bat and made my approach shorter and quicker. 


"I looked at this as a very important game, for us to break our playoff jinx. We'd never won one at home.”


Duly impressed, Luzinski's teammates built a classic insurance run in the seventh. Garry Maddox hung out a rope just over shortstop Craig Reynolds' head and was sacrificed to second by Larry Bowa. After Bob Boone's deep drive into the left-field corner was shagged by Jose Cruz, Maddox swiped third base, from where he scored on scored on a bloop single to left by Greg Gross, who was pinch hitting for Carlton.


Woods, a 26-year old who played the entire season at Tucson of the Pacific Coast League, was called up Aug. 30 just in time to be eligible for postseason play. After hitting .315 at Tucson, he hit .365 (19-for-52) for Houston in September, rapping two home runs and gathering 15 RBIs. 


The above critique is not to indicate that Carlton was chopped liver – not by any means. Simply stated, last night he was simply an excellent pitcher, not the overpowering strikeout machine he'd been throughout a 24-9 season.


Carlton got by more on craft than on stuff. But Green, in view of the fact that it wasn't vintage Carlton and in view of the incredible hot streak McGraw's been on of late, wasn't the least bit hesitant about letting Gross hit for Lefty and entrusting the lead to "The Tugger." 


Dallas Green has said all along he feels the veterans will carry his team through the big ones if, indeed, they are to make it. 


Last night it was Greg Luzinski, Steve Carlton, Pete Rose and Tug McGraw – veterans all. So far Green looks like a prophet. 


Dick Ruthven will pitch tonight for Philadelphia against flamethrowing Nolan Ryan in Game 2.

Old players never die, they just switch uniforms


By John Kunda, Executive Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – "Hey, Joe, Baby, how in the hell ' did you guys drink the champagne... it must've been froze over. You had it on ice for four days." 


Joe Morgan stopped in his tracks, He didn't need a directory to find out who was giving him the slow needle.


"That's Pete Rose," said Morgan, "I'd know his voice anywhere. He's always jiving me."


It was Pete Rose, all right, and that was his way of saying to an old friend, "Welcome to Philadelphia." 


The two old pros from the good old days in Cincinnati are doing their thing for different folks these days – Rose, of course, in a Phillies uniform, and Morgan in an Astros uniform. The uniforms are different, but their feelings for each other never changed. 


They aren't captains of their respective teams, but they should be. If there are two players in the game who can generate sparks they are Pete Rose and Joe Morgan.


 "Let's give 'em this one," Rose said to Morgan, pulling the little second baseman closer for the benefit of a cameraman. They were mugging the camera, hamming it up a good bit, but the feeling of admiration was genuine. 


Rose stepped away for a minute and headed for the batting cage. "There is really a great guy," said Morgan. "He's my ideal of a real player. He's the only guy I know like that. He's special... he plays every game like it was a World Series." 


Rose was in the lineup for last night's start of the National League playoffs. Morgan wasn't – he suffered a pulled muscle in the playoff game the other day against the Dodgers.


"I'm not taking batting practice," said Morgan, who oddly enough, started his big league career with the Astros. "I don't have any pain. It's just aggravating." 


Rose came back from taking his licks in the batting cage. 


"This is a helluva guy," Rose said, putting his arm around Morgan again. "He must be hurting not to play. I kinda noticed something was wrong with him. He wasn't swinging the way I know Joe Morgan to swing." 


Rose was referring to the Dodger game which he watched Monday after a Phillies workout. 


Are the Astros tired? someone asked Rose. "Hell, you don't get tired for these (playoff and World Series ) games," Rose shouted back. "I know Joe Morgan isn't tired. He'd love to be in there tonight. Besides, a tired Joe Morgan is better than some guys who aren't tired." 


The mutual admiration continued.


Actually, Rose started his "Welcome to Philadelphia" routine with Morgan just before the Astros took the field against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. He called him on the phone. 


"I told him, 'go tell the guys good luck,'" Rose said. "Then, I told him we've got (Steve) Carlton waiting for them tomorrow (Tuesday)." 


Rose and Morgan know better than anybody on their respective teams about postseason competition. They were part of the dynamite Cincinnati Reds of not too long ago.


"This is what it's all about," Rose said. Morgan nodded. "Yeah," said Morgan, "you play all season long for this." 


Neither Rose nor Morgan attempted to compare the Phillies or the Astros to those winning Cincinnati teams. 


"All I can tell you," said Rose, "was that our 1976 team was awesome. There wasn't an out in that lineup. Hell, (Johnny) Bench, (Tony) Perez and (Dan) Driessen hit .500 each in the series, Me and Joe didn't do that much. We didn't have to. Those guys carried the big sticks that year." 


If there is any comparison between the Reds of 1976 and the Phillies of 1980 it is on the offense. Rose said this current group of Phillies "can hit like hell." 


While Rose points to Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and Bake McBride as the offensive weapons, he says "our pitching was tough as hell in the stretch."


He narrowed the pitching to the bullpen, especially Tug McGraw. "There was no better pitcher (relief) in September than McGraw," Rose said. "I don't think there is a more confident pitcher right now than Tug." 


Morgan chimed in. 


"He (McGraw) is getting better with age," said Morgan. "Just like us, eh?" They both laughed. 


Rose has had a typical Rose season. It was a little different for Morgan, a little guy, but a power guy. 


Morgan, who turned 37 last month, is a .277 career hitter, but this season tailed off in of-and-on starts. He came into the playoffs with a .242 average with 11 home runs. 


"You make a lot of friends in baseball," said Rose, "but there are some that last a lifetime. That's the way it is with Joe and me. We had some great years together in Cincinnati. Not only in baseball, but outside of baseball, too. I know his family and he knows mine. We've been around a long time together. I'm glad to see him here." 


Rose was very visible last night. Morgan wasn't. But before this series ends, you're apt to see a lot of both these two old pros who seem to be out of place going against each other.

Phils’ Bystrom is ruled eligible


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and National League President Chub Feeney yesterday jointly decided that Philadelphia Phillies' pitcher Marty Bystrom is eligible for postseason play through the World Series, the team announced. 


The Phillies opened the best-of-five games series to decide the National League pennant last night. 


Special permission for the move was needed because Bystrom is a rookie added Sept. 1, when team rosters are allowed to increase to 40 players from the usual 25. Rosters must be cut to 25 again for post-season play, with those brought up for the final weeks usually ineligible.


Bystrom, 5-0 with a 1.50 ERA, will be allowed to remain on the roster to replace Nino Espinso, a starter disabled with "chronic bursitis" in his pitching shoulder, the Phillies said. 


"The decision was made after extensive examination of the medical reports on Espinosa and after direct conversation with Espinosa by the commissioner's office," the Phillies said in a statement. 


Reliever Sparky Lyle, however, must be dropped from the roster because he was acquired from Texas after Sept. 1.


Also to be dropped from the roster, along with several minor league players brought up in September, will be pitcher Randy Lerch, a starter sent to the bullpen deep into a disappointing 4-14 season. 


His chores as a supplementary middle-innings relief pitcher will be assumed by Kevin Saucier, a role normally filled by Lyle with Saucier used as a late-innings stopper. 


"We felt that we needed a middle reliever to take the place of Sparky Lyle..." general manager Paul Owens said. "Since Lerch is a starting pitcher, we felt that Saucier could better fill that role." 


Saucier is recovered from a bout with tendonitis which kept him on the disabled list Aug. 31 to Sept. 15, the Phillies said.