Reading Eagle - September 24, 1980

Back Into 2nd


Olmsted Baffles Phils


St. Louis (AP) – The Philadelphia Phillies were shaking their heads again Tuesday after being battled for the second time in two weeks by St. Louis rookie lefthander Al Olmsted.


Making his third major league start, Olmsted held the Phillies scoreless for 6-1/3 innings to lead St. Louis to a 6-3 win over the National League East hopefuls. The loss dropped Philadelphia a half-game behind Montreal after a one-day stay at the top.


In his first start September 10, Olmsted shut out Philadelphia over 9-1/3 innings in a game eventually won by St. Louis in 11 innings.


“He’s a mystery man to us,” Phillies Manager Dallas Green said. “He throws that low stuff that’s tough for us to hit. You’ve got to give him credit, he knows how to do it.”


Olmsted, 1-0, was pitching with just two days rest when scheduled starter Bob Forsch returned to California after the death of his mother.


“There’s no pressure on me,” Olmsted said. “I feel better with rest – rest is rest – but it’s not that important to a control pitcher like me.”


The St. Louis native, whose parents watched from the stands, held the Phillies in check until the seventh inning when a double and single broke the scoreless string.


“You’ve got to give that kid credit,” said Pete Rose. “We’ve got home run hitters and big swingers on the team. They can handle guys that blow the ball over the plate, but they have trouble with a guy like that.”


The Cardinals had no similar trouble with Philadelphia starter Bob Walk, 10-6, who failed to make it through the second when St. Louis scored three times on four hits.


Singles by Dane Iorg and Ken Oberkfell around Olmsted’s sacrifice yielded one run. Oberkfell scored on Garry Templeton’s single and Templeton raced to third when Keith Hernandez singled.


Walk wild pitched Templeton home before Kevin Saucier came on to retire the side.


St. Louis held a 4-0 led when Templeton singled leading off the fifth, stole second and scored on Ted Simmons’ bloop single to right.


With three hits in four trips to the plate, Templeton leads the league in hitting with a .326 average. Chicago’s Bill Buckner is hitting at a .322 clip.


After Philadelphia narrowed the gap to 4-1 in the seventh, the Cardinals scored twice more in the eighth on four singles for a 6-1 lead.


But the Phillies finally solved Olmsted’s offerings in the ninth, with Mike Schmidt clouting his 43rd home run of the season with one out.


Greg Luzinski followed the homer with a double and Manny Trillo reached on Templeton’s throwing erros. Garry Maddox loaded the bases with a single.


John Littlefield relieved Olmsted and gave up a sacrifice fly before recording the final out for his ninth save of the season.