Philadelphia Inquirer - September 20, 1980
2-sport day on the tube
The Phillies and Montreal, the team they are battling for first place in the National League East, both are on the tube today.
The Phillies play Chicago at Wrig-ley Field (Ch. 17, 2:15 p.m.) and the Expos are at St. Louis (Ch. 3, 2:15 p.m.).
And if your preference is football, Big 10 rivals Ohio State and Minnesota clash at 1:45 p.m. on Channel 6.
PHILLIES at Chicago (TV-Ch. 17, 2:15 p.m.)
Phils lose in show of managers
Martin propels Cubs, 4-3
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHICAGO – Somewhere out there, the Cubs undoubtedly knew there was a pennant race going on.
Somewhere there were people watching baseball games – people with pulse rates, people who cheered, people who actually cared who won.
Somewhere the games meant something. But in the lonely confines of Wrigley Field, the usual throng of 4,352 dozed through eight innings yesterday, paying for the privilege of watching the Cubs in hibernation.
Then suddenly, the inexplicable happened in the ninth. The Cubs' alarm clock somehow went off. The next thing you knew, the Phillies were leaving the bases loaded, Dallas Green was managing with Gene Mauchian fury and the Cubs were coming from behind to win in the ninth, 4-3.
That isn't the way this script was supposed to work. Where does it say, "team 24½ out beats team 1½ out"?
The Phils remain 1½ games back of Montreal in the National League Eastern Division as a result of the Expos' 9-8 loss at St. Louis last night.
We could have laid down," said the Cubs' Dick Tidrow after a game the Phillies might wind up thinking about all winter. "But guys are getting kind of tired of doing that."
On the other hand, maybe they could have gotten into another day of it if only the Phillies had finished them off in the ninth when they had the chance. The Phils had certainly had things leisurely enough to that point.
A Ramon Aviles homer (yes, a Ramon Aviles homer) had untied a 1-1 game four innings earlier. Pete Rose had blooped one in front of the Leaning Tower of Wrigley, Dave Kingman, for an insurance run in the seventh.
Sparky Lyle had kept the tying run on second after Bob Walk had let the Cubs get to within 3-2 in the seventh. Then Warren Brusstar threw a blistering eighth, and the Phillies began to rumble toward apparently breaking it open in the ninth.
Garry Maddox started it with a leadoff walk against Tidrow. Bob Boone slapped his third single through the middle, and a bobble by Carlos Lezcano in center let Maddox burn to third. Then Boone stole second. And you'd figure any inning that begins with such seldom-seen phenomena as a Maddox walk and a Boone stolen base had to be an inning of destiny.
Well, uh, not exactly. Aviles earlier had contributed a homer, a bunt single and two runs scored in place of the injured Larry Bowa. But he struck out this time. That was one out.
It also probably was the key out, because Cubs manager Joey Amalfitano then started maneuvering like a guy who almost thought he had a chance. And Green started wheeling just as feverishly, like a guy desperate for one, more run.
Amalfitano brought in lefthander Willie Hernandez. Green responded by pinch-hitting for his left-field defensive replacement, Greg Gross. The problem was, who was his pinch-hitter?
Out of the dugout hopped rookie home-run threat Ozzie Virgil. Then back he went. Out bounced Lonnie Smith. No, Green decided, not him, either. Finally, out came the third-party candidate, Keith Moreland.
Naturally, after all that great managing, Hernandez walked Moreland intentionally. And that was all either of them got to do.
Green ran up Lonnie Smith to hit for Rose's defensive replacement, Del Unser. So Amalfitano sent for towering rookie righthander Lee Smith. And Hernandez, looking a little befuddled, trudged off. He got to the dugout, found a standing ovation in progress and waved his cap merrily.
Just what was going on here? "Well," Green said, "I thought about Virgil (for Gross). But I didn't want to put that kind of pressure on him. The other two guys have been through that.
"If I had used Lonnie where I used Keith, I don't know what Joey would have done. But I just felt Lonnie would stay out of the double play better than Keith. And we knew they'd walk Keith (if they had first base open)."
Crazy as it all looked, so far so good. Smith (Lonnie) worked the count to 3-and-2 and hoped Smith (Lee) would flash some more of the erratic form that enabled him to walk 128 hitters in 155 innings in the Texas League in 1978. Instead, he watched a 3-and-2 fastball whoosh by for strike three.
Then Bake McBride bounced out to end it. So not only did Green not get his run, he had to find defensive replacements for his defensive replacements. He wound up with John Vukovich at first and George Vukovich in left.
Rather than use Tug McGraw again ("I can't use him every day"), Green let Brusstar pursue his first save since July 9, 1979. But pinch-hitter Larry Biittner slashed a leadoff double.
Steve Dillard tried to bunt pinch-runner Mick Kelleher over. But Brusstar pounced on it, nailed Kelleher at third and that, Brusstar said, "took a lot of the pressure off."
Except Brusstar put it right back on by walking pinch-hitter Cliff; Johnson on four pitches. Johnson isn't a massive home-run threat, but Brusstar wasn't worried about that.
"Nah, not really, because I don't give up home runs," he said. "I was just trying to make him hit the ball on the ground. I didn't want to give-him anything he could pull. But I kind of forced the first two pitches. Then I tried to come back with a slider and missed. Then I started aiming the ball a little bit."
Since Green was "still looking for the double play," he stuck with Brusstar. He got Ivan DeJesus to hit the ball on the ground, per order. Except it went between short and third for a single, and that tied it.
"Now," said Green, "I know I've got to use Tug."
McGraw got ahead of pinch-hitter Jerry Martin, 1-and-2. He came back with a fastball. Martin whacked it to right, McBride juggled the ball and Johnson beat his throw to the plate,
This, clearly, was a loss that hurt. But, Green sighed, "every loss from now on is gonna feel just like this one."
NOTES: The return of Bowa (pulled hamstring) is a "day-to-day thing," Green said.... The day's only homers were hit by Aviles and his double-play partner in Pawtucket, Dillard. They hit more homers yesterday than they hit combined for Pawtucket in 1975. They totaled one that year. (Aviles hit it.).... Lyle became the seventh pitcher in history to work in 800 games.... Marty Bystrom needs eight shutout innings today to tie the big-league record for scoreless innings, start of career (25).