Wilmington Morning News - September 22, 1980

Reed’s relief helps Phils topple Cubs


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


CHICAGO – The Forgotten Man stalked in from the bullpen, his long arms dangling from atop his tall frame like pieces of rubber tubing.


It's easy to see why the Phillies call Ron Reed "Slinky" and if you check his record it's just as easy to see why Philadelphia fans have been calling him something else.


This has not been Ron Reed's year, but yesterday he was brilliant, dousing a Chicago fire in the sixth, then putting the next nine Cubs down in order as the Phils turned a typical Wrigley Field struggle into a 7-3 laugher.


Reed preserved Dick Ruthven's 16th victory and enabled the Phils to take advantage of Montreal's 4-1 loss at St. Louis.


The third victory in five games on this road trip closed the Phils to within a half -game of the Expos and pulled them even in the all-important loss column in National League East The Phils are 81-67 with 14 games to go, including six with Montreal. The Expos are 82-67 with 13 left They begin a two-game series in Pittsburgh tonight, while the Phils complete the trip with two in St. Louis.


Greg Luzinski and Mike Schmidt blasted home runs and Bob Boone lashed two singles and a double to lead the Phils' 15-hit attack, their best since they collected 15 in a 5-0 breeze over the Mets Sept. 10.


Ruthven coasted into the sixth with a 5-2 lead, but singles by Mike Vail, Cliff Johnson and Jerry Martin's run-scoring double made it 5-3. A 5-3 lead with the wind blowing out of Wrigley at 19 miles an hour is virtually nothing.


After Ruthven walked Steve Dillard with two out, Manager Dallas Green signalled for the 6-foot-6 Reed, whose last appearance was in that double-header horror show with St. Louis at Veterans Stadium on Sept. 12.


With Martin on second and Dillard on first, the Cubs sent Larry Biittner up to bat for Mick Kelleher. Reed jumped in front of the left- handed hitter 0-2, then got him to fly to right field on a 1-2 pitch.


"I was really surprised I had such good control considering I have not pitched in nine days," said Reed, who entered the game with a 7-5 record, eight saves and a 4.13 earned run average in 50 games.


"When I came to the mound, Bob Boone looked me straight in the eyes and said this is no time to mess around. He told me to go after Biittner with heat. There was nothing else I could do in that situation. After that, I went with fastballs and sliders."


Not since June 10 against San Francisco has Reed given the Phils three or more perfect innings.


With the addition of Sparky Lyle, plus the outstanding work from fug McGraw, and the presence of Kevin Saucier, Dickie Noles and Warren Brusstar, Reed has not been getting much work.


"I'm proud of Ron," said Green. "I know he thinks he is the forgotten man because he has had to take a back seat. But he is a quality guy and he proved that today."


When asked about the forgotten man thing, Reed admitted he was not happy about his role this year, but qualified that by saying he wants nothing more than to see the, Phils in the playoffs.


"If I said anymore, it might come out to sound like sour grapes and might be interpreted the wrong way," he added. So, it's best I don't say anything."


Ruthven, who allowed three runs on six hits, walked five. Green thinks the right-hander's insistence on adding a sinker to his pitching repetoire is causing him to get behind batters.


"We have a disagreement on that," said Green, "and I know if you talk to Rufus he will say that. But I don't think a sinker is pitch to start batters off with, especially when he's just learning it."


Sure enough, Ruthven disagreed with his manager.


"Go tell, him I only threw two sinkers today," he said. "My fastball goes down a lot and from where he watches, it might look like a sinker. Go ask Boone."


It appeared to be another scuffling performance for Ruthven, but aside from Jim Tracy's first major-league home run in the fourth, Rufus thinks he threw well.


"I was just not getting the low pitch from Bruce Froemming (home plate umpire) and that caused me to run a lot of deep counts. Personally, I felt a lot of strikes were taken away from me."


In the sixth, after Vail singled and appeared hurt, Cliff Johnson charged the mound while the Cubs were checking the injury. Froemming had to separate the players as both benches emptied.


"I just asked him to step out of the box so I could throw some pitches while they were looking at Vail," said Ruthven. "He started yelling at me, then came out."


Ruthven's single in the second against loser Dennis Lamp scored Garry Maddox to give the Phils a 1-0 lead and Luzinski's 18th homer put them on top 2-1 after the Cubs scored in the second. A walk to Maddox, a Manny Trillo double, a single by Larry Bowa and Pete Rose's double scored two runs in the fourth. The third scored on Bake McBride's line drive that Bill Buckner dove for and caught in left field. Buckner, however, had to leave the game after that because of a strained groin.


EXTRA POINTS - Boone, who was 0-for-8 in the two-game Pittsburgh series, had six hits here and did not play on Saturday... Schmidt's 41st homer came with two out in the ninth against reliever Dick Tidrow, who also gave up a run in the eighth when Luzinski doubled and pinch-runner Jay Loviglio scored on Maddox' single to left Rose is in the record book again, this time passing Nellie Fox for consecutive seasons with 600 or more at-bats... This was Pete's 13th consecutive year and 16th overall... The Phils lead the season series with the Cubs 9-5 and finished the year at Wrigley with a 5-3 mark... Steve Carlton goes against the Cards' Pete Vuckovich tonight, with Bob Walk facing Bob Forsch tomorrow night.

Atlantic City writer Harry Hoffman dies


By the Associated Press


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Harry Hoffman, sports writer for The Press of Atlantic City, died in his Chicago Sheraton Plaza hotel room yesterday, according to the newspaper. He was 54.


Hoffman was a sports writer for The Press for 29 years. He was in Chicago to cover a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs. He had been covering the Phillies in their drive to catch Montreal in the National League East.


He had been complaining on the trip of severe fatigue. There was no immediate indication of the cause of death, the newspaper said.


Hoffman had been to dinner Saturday night with reporters and when he did not arrive at the press box at the start of yesterday's game, calls were made to his hotel room. His body was later discovered.


Hoffman, who lived in McKee City, N.J., joined the newspaper in 1951 and wrote a sports column. The Atlantic City Lions Club named Hoffman its "Newsman' of the Year" last October.


Hoffman was the newspaper's best-known by-line and "an institution in the area," according to Charles C. Reynolds, the newspaper's editor and publisher.


Hoffman is survived by his wife, Barbara, and three children. A son, Gary Reston Hoffman, 28, was killed while bicycling in August 1979.