Escondido Times-Advocate - September 1, 1980
Phillies’ sunbathing costs them the lead
By Rick Hoff, T-A Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO – Going into yesterday’s baseball game at San Diego Stadium, the hopes of the Philadelphia Phillies in their battle for the Eastern Division top spot were as bright as the sun.
As Montreal and Pittsburgh each began to lose momentum, the Phillies came on to move into first place momentarily until losing the nightcap Saturday and started yesterday a half-game out of first place.
But the sun got a little too bright. Outfielder Garry Maddox, a five-time Golden Glover, allowed two routine fly balls to drop in center and the San Diego Padres took advantage of those mistakes and their own speed to rout the Phillies, 10-3.
“I really don’t know what happened to Garry,” said Maddox centerfield counterpart, Jerry Mumphrey. “Didn’t he have his glasses on?”
No, indeed Maddox did not bother to don a pair of sunglasses until after his second misplay in the seventh inning.
“I usually go to the glasses at about the fourth or fifth inning,” said Mumphrey. “That’s when the sun gets the worst. I know exactly how he felt out there because I’ve lost the ball before. Hell, he’s the best in the business. It was just one of those days when it happened to the best.”
Mumphrey had three hits on the day, including a two-out, fourth-inning single to break up a no-hitter by Phillie starter Bob Walk. Mumphrey also had RBI singles during a five-run sixth and a three-run eighth as the Padres entertained 7,815 fans with their highest run output at San Diego Stadium this year.
“It was great to see 10 runs on the board,” continued Mumphrey. “It was a great win for us, but every win is great at this stage.”
Jerry Coleman, who had undergone a trying season in his first try as a major league manager, was pleased with the fact that his club came from a 3-0 deficit to defeat a front-runner.
“You always like to beat the good clubs," smiled Coleman. “I think the Phillies would prefer not to remember this one. They were really in control until midway through the game when everything went in our favor. I’ve never seen Maddox play like that before. I made an error once and it was a terrible experience.”
While Walk (9-4) was stopping the Padres on one hit through four innings, the Phils had built a 3-0 lead off Padre starter Juan Eichelberger. Mike Schmidt’s leadoff single, a pair of walks and a wild pitch led to a pair of fourth-inning runs, and Schmidt pulled a surprise steal of third base in the fifth following a walk and a Bake McBride single. Keith Moreland’s RBI single brought home Schmidt with the third run.
The Padres finally got to Walk in the bottom of the fifth, which Brod Perkins led off with a double to the wall in right-center. After Craig Stimacs single got past shortstop Larry Bowa, Perkins scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Ozzie Smith.
“It was just a matter of catching up with him,” said Perkins, who is eight-for-12 his last five games and batting .524 (11-for-21) since being called up from Hawaii last month. “That’s the first time I’ve faced him, and he just got a fast ball in when I got the hit.”
Perkins, who has been used at first base and as a pinch-hitter, started in rightfield yesterday.
“It was great out there,” said Perkins. “All I want to do is get the chance to play. If I keep hitting, I know I can find a job, if not here than somewhere else in the major leagues.”
San Diego’s speed ignited a sixth-inning rally that put five runs and a 6-3 lead on the board. Gene Richards led off the inning by legging out a grounder to short on a play that Bowa would have made on just about anyone else in the league. After an easy steal of second base, Richards 52nd theft of the year, Bowa went for a play at third on a grounder by Luis Salazar.
Richards made it a double whammy on the Phillie shortstop by beating that throw, too, and Mumphrey followed with an RBI hit-and-run single to make it 3-2. After Mumphrey continued the track meet with another steal of second, Willie Montanez hit a sacrifice fly to right, bringing Salazar home with the tying run.
A base on balls to Perkins was all for Walk, and Ron Reed came out of the Phillie bullpen hoping to stop the rally. Instead, the first batter he faced, Stimac, lifted a high fly ball between Maddox in center and McBride in right.
Either outfielder could have made the play, but McBride kept looking at Maddox and Garry never saw the ball until it dropped at his feet, allowing Mumphrey to score while the other runners advanced two bases. Smith then doubled down the rightfield line for a run and Tim Flannery drove in another with a grounder to second.
“The team has been having trouble leaving men on base and I have too,” admitted Mumphrey. “Walk was throwing real good. He has a deceptive ball that comes in real quick. But we just kept battling him. Speed on the bases will rattle anybody, and we just finally got to him.”
Salazar beat out a one-out bunt single in the seventh, and after he moved up on a groundout, Reed intentionally walked Montanez. Gene Tenace, who took over at catcher in the seventh inning, then lifted another high fly ball to Maddox, who battled the sun and reached out too late as the ball dropped untouched.
San Diego added three more runs off Reed in the eighth on singles by Smith, Mumphrey and Dave Winfield, and a booming triple by Salazar to right-center. Included in the rally was another stolen base, this one of three by Smith.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who can run, but we have to get the hits after they run, said Coleman. Today we had those hits.”
And some help from Maddox, much to the dismay of Philadelphia manager Dallas Green.
“It was a tough sky, certainly, and Garry was looking right into the sun,” said Green. “We played less than championship defensive baseball out there. Ive watched these guys for a long time now and I try to be patient, but were getting down to the final games. We turned the faucet off in this game and you just can’t turn the faucet off."
By turning off the faucet, the Phillies made a winner of Gary Lucas (5-7), who relieved Eichelberger and pitched the sixth inning. Rollie Fingers hurled the final three innings, retiring all nine batters for his 18th save.
“My slider was really breaking well,” said Fingers, who received a less-than-welcome greeting from the crowd in the wake of his recent comments about Coleman and the Padres.
PADRE NOTES - San Diego picked up left-handed hitting first baseman Randy Bass from the Montreal farm system as the player to be named later from the John D'Acquisto deal. Bam was the MVP of the American Association, where he batted J3S with S7 homers and 141 RBI.. Jerry Mumphrey is batting 45S (lS-for-S3) in his last seven games...Luis Sal continued his hot hitting by hitting safely in the 12th of 14 games he has played since being acquired from the Pittsburgh farm system...Gary Lucas has allowed only one run in his last 10 appearances...Montreal is in town tonight.