Wilmington Morning News - September 1, 1980
Phils fall back to sloppy ways in Padres’ win
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
SAN DIEGO - Pittsburgh had already lost to Cincinnati and Montreal was on its way to a double-header loss to Los Angeles.
Those facts glared from the San Diego Stadium message board yesterday as the Phillies met the Padres in the wrapup of a four-game series. A victory would have put the Phils, who three weeks ago fell six games behind after four losses in Pittsburgh, atop or near the top of National League East.
The Phils, however, coughed this one up. It was difficult to believe they were playing for, as Manager Dallas Green termed it, the pot of gold. After falling behind 3-0, San Diego scored a season-high 10 runs for their home playground and left the Phils gasping with a 10-3 victory.
After coasting to the early lead on a bright, sunny day, the Phils moved their gears to the nonchalant setting and, before they knew what happened, the Padres had them on the ropes.
Right-hander Bob Walk was again ineffective, reliever Ron Reed pitched poorly and Gold Glove center fielder Garry Maddox dropped two balls for errors. In addition, shortstop Larry Bowa, although not charged with errors, made two poor plays and the defense in general fell apart.
After vaulting into first place by a single percentage point after Saturday night's 6-1 victory in the first game of the doubleheader, the Phils have gone quietly. They were intense, aggressive getting to that point, but since losing the nightcap 5-1 behind Nino Espinosa Saturday night, they have seemingly taken a deep breath. The result was another embarrassing loss – a virtual gift to one of the weakest teams in the National League.
"Did Maddox lose those balls in the sun?" somebody asked a seething Green, who kept the clubhouse closed to the press for 10 minutes after the loss.
"I would have to say he did," said Green, flashing a trace of a smile.
"Have you talked to Maddox?" the same reporter asked.
"I'd rather not talk to him now, if you don't mind," said Green, who indicated that Maddox would be benched, not "rested," for today's game in San Francisco.
The manager, who went into an explosive tirade after the Pittsburgh disaster, was quiet yesterday.
"That was damn awful defense," said Dallas, who was celebrating the first anniversary of taking over the Phils' managerial reins., "That whole inning (the Padres' sixth) was something less than championship defense. It wasn't Philadelphia Phillies' defense at all."
After the Padres frolicked in front with their five-run sixth, Green thinks the Phils quit.
"They turned the faucet off again," he said. "It was over. They put their tail between their legs and it was over. Baseball is a game of mistakes. When you make one, you have to forget it and go get the next guy.
"I have been watching this group of players for a long time. I have stressed this fact – that you have to forget about your mistakes. I have been very patient, but now is nut-cutting time. We know that Montreal and Pittsburgh are playing poorly and we are not taking advantage of it. I don't have the answers. I wish I did."
The Phils squandered early chances against starter Juan Eichelberger before jumping in front 2-0 in the fourth.
Mike Schmidt opened with a single. Then Eichelberger walked ake McBnde and Keith Moreland, each on four pitches. With Maddox batting, Eichelberger unleashed a wild pitch, allowing Schmidt to score and the two other runners to move up a base. The second run scored on Maddox' infield out but that was it for that inning.
In the fifth, Moreland singled Schmidt home from third to give the Phils a 3-0 lead.
The Padres started their comeback in the fifth when Broderick Perkins doubled, went to second on Craig Stimac's single off Schmidt's glove and scored on Ozzie Smith's force at second.
The sixth turned into a five-run disaster, with Maddox in the middle of the nightmare.
Gene Richards beat out a single to deep shortstop, the kind of play Larry Bowa has been making for years. The throw was late, however. Richards then stole second and, when Luis Salazar hit a shot to shortstop, Bowa elected to attempt a force at third. His throw was late leaving runners on first and third.
Jerry Mumphrey followed with a single to center, scoring Richards. Salazar came home on Willie Montanez's sacrifice fly and, after pinch-bitter Gene Tenace walked, Green summoned Ron Reed.
The first batter he faced was Stimac. The catcher lofted a fly to center field that Maddox and Bake McBride converged on. It fell in front of Maddox as Mumphrey scored. Maddox was charged with an error and Stimac given a sacrifice.
That tied the game. Ozzie Smith's double down the right-field line scored Tenace, and Stimac came home on an infield out to give San Diego a 6-3 lead.
Reed could have escaped the seventh unscathed had Maddox not let Tenace's fly ball drop in front of him with runners on first and second and two out. But the error allowed Salazar to score.
Maddox wasn't wearing his sunglasses on either play. The glasses were in his hip pocket, where Garry ordinarily would've put both fly balls. But not yesterday.
The Padres rubbed it in in the eighth, scoring three more times before Randy Lerch finally came in to get the third out. Reed worked just 2⅓ innings, allowing five runs on six hits.
Rollie Fingers, meanwhile, set down all nine Phils he faced in the final three innings. As Green mentioned, the Phillies went quietly yesterday.
EXTRA POINTS – Pete Rose has batted safely in eight straight games and 11 of 12... Before yesterday, the Phils had won seven of eight road games... Despite the loss, the Phils clinched another non-losing season at San Diego Stadium. They have not had a losing series here since 1975 when they were 2-4... They ended with an 8-4 record against the Padres, 3-3 here... The Phils left immediately after the game for San Francisco where they open a three-game series this afternoon... Steve Carlton will go after victory No. 21 against Ed Whitson today, with rookie Marty Bystrom facing Vida Blue tomorrow night and Larry Christenson closing out the series Wednesday night against Allan Ripley... One bright note: After 128 games last year the Phils were 65-63 in fifth place, 9½ games out of first place.