Sports Illustrated - September 15, 1980
Baseball – N.L. East
By Herm Weiskopf
Manager Dallas Green accused his team of "turning off the faucet" after the Phillies (4-3) had lost 10-3 to the Padres. But General Manager Paul Owens tried a different tack. "You've been trying to do this [win the Eastern race] for yourselves," Owens told the team. "For just this month, do it for me and Ruly [owner Ruly Carpenter]." According to Pete Rose, Owens got his message across. "The Pope [ Owens] isn't like most general managers," he said. "He's more of a father figure. He speaks a ballplayer's language. He hates to see us play bad. He hates to see us be non-aggressive." During the next four days, the Phillies were more aggressive, presumably having turned on the mysterious tap. Steve Carlton got his 21st victory by beating the Giants 6-4, and superb relief pitching brought three more wins. Reliever Warren Brusstar worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out mess in the 11th in San Francisco, and the Phillies won 2-1 in the 13th. The next day Pitcher Dick Ruthven had Philadelphia's only extra-base hit, an RBI double, and with Tug McGraw getting the final two outs the Phils defeated the Giants 4-3. McGraw also saved a 3-2 victory in Los Angeles for Bob Walk, who once did a different sort of throwing at Dodger Stadium. Several years ago Walk, then a mere fan, was arrested for hurling a tennis ball at Houston's Cesar Cedeno from the stands. After beating the Dodgers, the Phillies turned off the faucet and wound up a length back of the Expos.
Montreal's Warren Cromartie had eight RBIs, Rowland Office hit .414, Tim Wallach homered in his first official big league at bat, and Woodie Fryman had two saves. And unlike the Phillies and Pirates, the Expos (5-3) finished with a flourish: three shutouts in a row in San Francisco. Bill Gullickson held the Giants to three hits while winning 4-0, a two-hitter by Steve Rogers made him an 8-0 victor and Scott Sanderson breezed 9-0.
Two doubles, a home run and three RBIs by Pitcher Rick Rhoden helped defeat the Astros 7-5 and break an eight-game losing streak for the Pirates (2-4). The hitting of Dave Parker (two homers, two singles and five RBIs) and the pitching of Enrique Romo (four shutout innings of relief) beat Houston 10-4.
Ken Reitz, customarily an early-season hitting terror and late-season flop, and Tony Scott helped the Cardinals (3-4) move up to fourth. Reitz homered three times, twice during a 4-3 victory over Cincinnati in which Scott, who hit .407, applied the clincher with a single in the 10th.
Although the Mets (0-8) extended their homerless streak to 11 games, they scored 26 runs. But the opposition hit .326, scored 48 runs and won three one-run games from New York, a loser in 26 of its last 35.
Baseball's Sunshine Boys, the play-by-day Cubs (2-5), saw few rays of hope during their home stand. It took a three-run ninth to defeat Houston 8-7 and avoid being the first team in modern league history to lose an entire season series. Five singles got the job done and left the Cubs 1-11 against the Astros.
MONT 74-62; PHIL 72-62; PITT 72-64; ST. L. 60-74; NY 59-77; CHI 52-82