Allentown Morning Call - September 25, 1980

Rose’s clutch hit wins for Phils in 10th


By Ted Meixell, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – It was the stuff of which pennant fever is made. 


Pete Rose, mired in a slump and struggling through one of the toughest 0-for-4 nights imaginable, bounced a single through the middle in the bottom of the 10th inning last night to score pinch runner Jay Loviglio from second base and hand the Phillies a tough 1-0 win over the New York Mets.


Phils' manager Dallas Green, after watching his first string wage a futile nine-inning struggle against the offerings of first-time starter Ed Lynch and ace reliever Neil Allen, went to his bench in the 10th – and it paid a handsome dividend. 


Del Unser pinch hit for Bob Boone – who'd been the picture of futility – and slashed a single to right. Loviglio ran for Unser and Green, not one to miss a dramatic opportunity, sent Tim McCarver – he of the four-decade career – out to bat for winning reliever Tug McGraw, 3-4.


But Timmy Mac's job was not to hit, but rather to bunt. And he dropped a picture-perfect sacrifice toward third to get Loviglio in scoring position. 


That brought up Rose, whose "oh-fer" included wicked line drives to center, left and third base. His hippity-hopper over Allen's head wasn't hit nearly as well as the three aforementioned outs – but Pistol Pete couldn't have cared less. 


The Phils, who took the field knowing the Expos had already beaten the Cubs in Chicago, had knocked another game off the schedule, were still a half game behind Montreal, still even in the loss column and one day closer to the critical three-game showdown with Le Expos that begins tomorrow night.


Although the Phils continued their annoying habit of making rookie pitchers (Lynch) look like Cy Young candidates in their major league debuts (remember the Mets' Mark Bomback in April or the Cards' Al Olmsted 24 hours earlier?), there was one other very, very encouraging note for Green and Co. – a great, eight-inning shutout performance by Larry Christenson. 


L. C., who's made more comebacks from injury in one season than do most players in a career, once again exhibited the uncanny knack of pitching well after an extended period of idleness. He had good stuff (he struck out six and allowed only four singles) and excellent control (two walks). He was in trouble (Mets on first and second) in only the fourth and sixth innings, getting out of the former by bouncing Steve Henderson into a double play and the latter by picking Lee Mazzilli off first base. 


One can almost envision thoughts of a three-man playoff and/or World Series rotation of Steve Carlton, Dick Ruthven and Christenson dancing through Green's head. 


Someone reminded Green he'd almost buried Christenson for the season by stating he'd given up on having him back healthy. "I have a way of unburying people, don't I?" he shot back. And then he grinned. Broadly.