Chicago Tribune - September 20, 1980
Martin’s hit beats Phils
By Dave Nightingale
JERRY MARTIN figures he has become somewhat if a pacifist lately.
The way things have been going for him, the Cub outfielder wouldn't, or couldn't, hurt a fly – let alone his former Phillies' teammates,
But Friday, Jerry "got a fastball" [from Tug McGraw] in the ninth inning and "found a hole" [in the right side of the infield] for the single that capped a two-run rally and beat Philadelphia 4-3 in Wrigley Field.
"That is what the game is all about." said Cub Manager Joe Amalfitano, "a guy who is having a tough time beating his former teammates."
Martin, who has only 10 hits in his last 88 al-bats and leads the team in strikeouts with 99, hardly was in a mood to chortle despite the single. He was hopeful of landing a lucrative contract in arbitration this winter, but his leverage has dissipated because of a hatting average that has sagged from over .300 to its current .227.
"IT REALLY doesn't matter who I beat any more." he sighed. "I haven't hurt the Phils that much this year. In fact, I haven't hurt much nf anyone lately."
Most of Friday's action seemed to be concentrated in the final inning.
"The Cubs were flat early, hut you could just see it turn for them as the game went on," said McGraw.
"The juices finally started to flow." said Amalfitano.
The Phils took a 3-2 lead into the ninth, loaded the bases with one out, and had pinch-hitter Lonnie Smith, the favorite for National League rookie of the year honors, at the plate.
So Amalfitano, who used 20 players in the game, brought in 6-7 rookie flamethrower Lee Smith [no relation to Lonnie] as the fourth Cub pitcher of the game.
LEE SMITH'S sixth consecutive fastball struck nut Lonnie Smith on a 3-and-2 count. Lee then retired Bake McBride to end the inning.
"Smith over Smith, that was the turning point," said Amalfitano. "That's the second time we've put Lee in a tough situation in the last, couple of weeks. The first was against Cincinnati with the bases loaded, and Lee got Johnny Bench to ground out to the mound."
Larry Biittner began the Cubs' winning rally with a pinch double, and Mick Kelleher ran for him. But Steve Dillard, who earlier had homered, bunted too hard, and Phils' reliever [and loser] Warren Brusstar grabbed the ball in time to cut down Kelleher at third.
BRUSSTAR WALKED pinch hitter Cliff Johnson, however, and Ivan DeJesus followed with his second RBI single of the game to score Dillard for a 3-3 tie.
Left-handed hitting Scot Thompson was announced as the batter for Lee Smith, and Phils' Manager Dallas Green countered with left hander McGraw, enabling – or forcing – Amalfitano to switch to the right-handed Martin.
I'm still confident we'll come back." said Green, alluding to his team's failure to capitalize against a last-place club while in pursuit of the first-place Montreal Expos.
"But that was a tough loss, a very tough loss. We could have put them away if we had scored more [or any] runs in the ninth.
"I really thought we had this one nailed down."