Allentown Morning Call - September 27, 1980

Phillies scoring just enough to win


By Ted Meixell, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – “We ain't scorin' many runs, Mabel, but we're scorin' enough."


That just about sums up the sentiment in the Phillies locker room last night after Bake McBride sent Dave Palmer's first pitch of the ninth inning rocketing into the Phils' bullpen to give them a 2-1 win over Montreal and drop the Expos 1½ games behind after game one of "crucial series 1." That's the biggest lead the Phillies have had this season. All season, they've led for only 10 days. 


"As long as we keep winning, it doesn't matter if we only score one or two runs," the happy McBride said moments after a frenzied crowd of 50,887 called him out of the clubhouse tunnel to acknowledge a standing ovation. "As long as we score one more than the other team, we're O.K.


"This is about the happiest I've ever been about winning a baseball game. It (the ovation) makes up for some of the things with these fans – for now. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow. 


"It was a breaking pitch. I was just trying to get on base for Mike (Schmidt) and Greg (Luzinski ). I wasn't sure it was going out when I first hit it, because the wind was blowing in." 


Almost lost in the excitement were the heroics of Dick Ruthven, Garry Maddox and the irrepressible Tug McGraw. Ruthven pitched seven artful innings before turning things over to the Tugger, carrying a one-hitter into the sixth inning. He left with the score 1-1. 


"My velocity tailed off at the end," Rufus said. "It was the perfect time to go to the bullpen. I talked it over with Boonie (catcher Bob Boone) and Dallas (manager Green). Tug's in about the best groove I've ever seen a relief pitcher in. He's got the good screwball, and he just freezes the hitters with his fastball." 


McGraw retired all six Expos he faced, slipping a nasty scroogie past the dangerous Andre Dawson for the final out in the " top of the ninth. He's won four games in September (What better time to do it?) to even his record at 4-4. After retiring Dawson, he did his cheerleader bit, the scoreboard operator turned on the "let's get psyched" sign and McBride got psyched. 


Philly grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second on Maddox's majestic homer to left. "I hit a breaking ball, up," he said. "Yes, this one felt especially good. It always feels good to do something good to help the team, to get us out in front." 


The advantage lasted until the Expos batted in the sixth. Ruthven, who had all his pitches nicely under control, had set Montreal down rather effortlessly through five, allowing only a bloop single to Rowland Office in the fourth. Chris Speier and Palmer went down rather meekly to open the sixth, but Jerry White, playing for the injured Ron Leflore, lashed a double to the gap in left center. The .224-hitting Rodney Scott produced the tying run by slipping a grounder just to the right of Larry Bowa a ball the slick shortstop would have at least kept in the infield nine times out of 10. 


The Phils, meanwhile, although certainly not showing signs that an offensive barrage was imminent, were making some noises, putting men in scoring position in both the third and fourth. 


Ruthven lashed a single to right to start the third. To the amazement of the Expos as well as the assembled multitude, Rufus stole second base on the first pitch to Pete Rose. But Rose fanned and, although Ruthven reached third on a long fly by McBride, he was stranded when a missile off Schmidt's bat homed in on Dawson's glove in center.


Luzinski walked in the fourth and, amazingly, Green called for the hit-and-run with Manny Trillo batting. Trillo grounded to first but the Bull made it to second. He stayed right there, though, while Maddox and Bowa both grounded out. 


After that, Palmer began to look like Walter Johnson, brushing the Phils aside with consummate ease until McBride tapped the dirt out of his spikes in the ninth. His teammates assumed a threatening posture again in the seventh when Dawson drilled a one-out double to left center, but Ruthven, pitching his last inning, escaped by inducing Gary Carter to fly to center and slipping a third strike past Larry Parrish.


"I'll tell ya that group wants to win. They're not real emotional but, win one like this and you can tell they want it deep down," Green said.