Chicago Tribune - September 22, 1980
Phillies Ace Out The Cubs
By Dave Nightingale
IT’S HARD TO DEFEAT, a team like the Philadelphia Phillis – or any team, for that matter – if you don’t have 52 cards in your deck.
The Cubs weren’t operating with a full deck Sunday.
Physically or mentally.
And so the Phillies said goodbye to Wrigley Field for the season with a 7-3 victory to move within one half game of first-place Montreal in the National League East.
For once, Philadelphia third baseman Mike Schmidt didn’t play a major role in the victory. That’s not to say Schmidt didn’t hit his daily home run in Chicago. Of course, he did. But it was only a ninth-inning solo shot for the final run of the game.
Schmidt wound up with eight homers in Wrigley Field in nine games this year and 30 career homers in Chicago out of 276. His season totals are 41 homers and 110 runs batted in, both tops in the NL.
NO, THINGS LIKE these had more to do with the Cub loss:
Dave Kingman’s sore ankle filled up with fluid Sunday morning and forced him out of the game.
Lenny Randle’s thumb still was so sore he couldn’t take batting practice, Steve Macko was declared out for the year with a calcium buildup in his thigh, and Mike Tyson had to be scratched from the starting lineup when he needed a pregame cortisone shot in his aching shoulder. [This left Cub Manager Joey Amalfitano so devoid of infielders that he had to let Mick Kelleher hit for himself with two on and two out in the Chicago sixth, at a time the Cubs were only two runs down. Kelleher extended his current slump to 0-for-19 to kill the threat.]
Bill Buckner, who woke up Sunday morning as the league’s leading hitter, had to remove himself when he aggravated a groin injury while diving to catch a liner in the sixth inning by Bake McBride. “When will he be back? It’s a day-to-day thing,” said trainer Tony Garofalo. [Bucker, 0-for-2, didn’t leave the field as the leading NL hitter. He now has a .321136 mark, behind the .32181 of St. Louis’ Garry Templeton.]
Mike Vail, who had a hit in his only plate appearance and an error in his only fielding chance, had to leave the game in the sixth because of a leg crap he suffered while running the bases.
SO MUCH FOR THE Cubs’ physical problems. Now for some mental ones:
Cub starter Dennis Lamp [10-12] grooved an 0-2 pitch in the third inning to the Phillies’ Greg Luzinski, who sent it into the bleachers for his 18th homer of the year and the official game-winning RBI. Lamp now has a string of 13 starts without a victory. [On Tuesday, when Cub pitcher Bill Campbell gave up a homer to the Cardinals’ Keith Hernandez on an 0-and-2 pitch, Amalfitano called the act “one of the worst sins in baseball.” Joey didn’t repeat the speech for Lamp’s benefit Sunday. But Monday? “I made a note of it on the back of my lineup card,” Amalfitano said.]
Shortstop Ivan DeJesus and second baseman Kelleher joined center fielder Jerry Martin in pursuit of a blooper in the second inning by the Phillies’ Manny Trillo, who was 5-for-9 against Cub pitching after a 3-for-55 slump. Nobody covered second and Manny got a double. [“We had some people who weren’t in the right place when they should’ve been there,” Amalfitano conceded.]
In the sixth inning, Martin – who had a pair of run-scoring doubles for two-thirds of the Cub offense – fielded a Pete Rose hit and fired it aimlessly toward DeJesus in short left-center. Rose then took advantage of Martin’s play to turn a single into a double.
“Aw, today wasn’t all bad,” Amalfitano said with a sigh. “The kid [Jim Tracy] hit his first major league homer and the rookie reliever [Lee Smith] retired six in a row for us.”
The only trouble for the Cubs was that the Phillies’ reliever [Ron Reed] retired the last 10 Chicago batters in succession to nail down a victory for staggering Dick Ruthven [16-10].