Wilmington News Journal - September 28, 1980
Expos slice Phils’ lead to half-game
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent
PHILADELPHIA – The Montreal Expos put the shoe on the other foot yesterday – after booting the Phillies with it first.
The Expos beat Phillies' ace Steve Carlton 4-3 to pull within a half-game of the front-running Phils before the Vet's second-largest crowd of the season and a national TV audience.
Now Montreal will go for the lead – and the Phils' jugular – with Steve Rogers against rookie Bob Walk, again with a national TV audience at 3:05 p.m.
"I'll say what Dallas Green said yesterday," smiled Exp Manager Dick Williams. "They beat us yesterday and had their ace going today. Now we beat their ace and we've got OUR ace going. Our pitcher (Scott Sanderson) did well today, better than their ace."
If Williams seemed reluctant to mention Carlton's name, the Expos were hardly reluctant to let their bats do their talking. Montreal got eight hits and all four runs against Carlton, now 23-9.
"This wasn't one of Lefty's finer hours," said Green in a funereal clubhouse that bore no resemblance to the jubilant World Series mood after Friday night's 2-1 spectacular. "Lefty struggled all day. He didn't have a real good slider and that's usually his bread-and-butter."
The Phillies actually led twice, first on Mike Schmidt's 44th homer in the first inning, celebrating Schmidt's 31st birthday, then jumping back ahead 2-1 in the second on Manny Trillo's leadoff homer.
The Expos had tied it in the top of the second on Gary Carter's 27th homer, a bullet to the seats in lower left.
The Phillies didn't score again until the ninth off Elias Sosa, but the Expos had taken a 4-2 lead in the process, breathing new life their pennant drive.
"The Phillies have used the long ball on us," said Williams, "but we've gotten some big two-out hits. I'll tell you one thing, I like our chances a lot better now than I did at 11 p.m. last night."
Green wasn't that fatalistic when asked how yesterday's loss had changed the complexion of the race.
"None whatsoever," he said. "We're right where we started (one-half game ahead)."
Later Green added: "A win today would've been super, but Montreal had a little to say about that."
A lot to say, in fact.
The conversation began in the fourth when Chris Speier, who was 3-for-4, singled over the lunging Pete Rose's glove to score Carter with the tiebreaking run.
After Sosa snuffed a Phillies' threat in the seventh, the Expos got the eventual winning run off Carlton and reliever Warren Brusstar.
Carlton, who came within one at-bat of leaving for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, surrendered a leadoff double to Andre Dawson before Green walked out to yank his ace. It was only the fifth time all season – and first since Aug. 2 – that Carlton's been yanked during an inning.
Brusstar relieved and escaped immediate disaster when left fielder Greg Luzinski flagged down Carter's sinking liner for the first out.
Green ordered an intentional walk to Warren Cromartie to bring up Larry Parrish, an instant replay of Friday night's sequence with Dick Ruthven on the mound.
On Friday, however, Ruthven struck Parrish out to end the threat. This time the Expo third baseman hit a ground ball to the mound that ordinarily would've been a rally-snuffing double play.
But nobody figured the sun would get in Brusstar's eyes long enough to let Parrish's ball get by and squirt into center field to score Dawson.
"It was bright," said Brusstar after the game. "I couldn't see anything. The ball got on top of me before I saw it. I just missed. I started grabbing like crazy but I couldn't get to it."
Brusstar shook his head.
"It's ironic," he said. "Just what I wanted, a ground ball. On grass that's a double play."
The Phillies had another shot at winning it in the ninth, scoring once on Keith Moreland's clutch single to right. But they fell a run short when 40-year-old Woodie Fryman struck out pinch-hitter Lonnie Smith to end the game.
"We had 'em on the ropes," said Green, "but we couldn't put the coup de grace on 'em."
And maybe the Expos have put the jitters back into the Phillies. At least Fryman hopes so.
"There's no doubt he (Carlton) is' the best pitcher in the league," said ex-teammate Fryman, who picked up his 17th save yesterday. If we can beat him twice like we did this year, it gives the edge to us tomorrow (today)."
And yesterday Fryman was in command all the way.
"The pressure doesn't bother me," said the Kentucky tobacco farmer. "This game means a lot to me. I'm the oldest guy on the club and they look to me. We needed this game. If we win tomorrow, they're in trouble in our place.”
But that's next weekend. The Phillies have one more shot at the; Expos here today, then have four games here with Chicago. Today's game is Montreal's last on the road. The Expos host the Cardinals three times before the Phillies arrive for what looks like the divisional showdown – and a bloody battle to the finish.
The Phillies know they have to bring their bats out of the deep freeze before they get to Montreal's frigid fall climes.
"We haven't hit the ball like we should," said Green of yesterday's offensive. "We got two runs on two home runs (ditto Friday night). We've gotta play better offense somehow."
"To wake up with a 13-14 runner wouldn't hurt," the manager suggested with a short-lived grin.
EXTRA INNINGS – Schmidt's home run was his 23rd at home this season, a club record for right-handed hitters... Chuck Klein hit 29 at Baker Bowl in 1932... Phils had won 8 of their last 12 games – and 7 of 10 at the Vet – before yesterday's loss... Sanderson is 16-10 overall, 3-0 vs. the Phils (5-1 lifetime).
Despite hard work, Maddox still failed
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – For years, Garry Maddox could not bunt. He couldn't square around, drop the bat on the ball and sacrifice a runner. He couldn't perform a fundamental millions of Little Leaguers execute every day.
But Garry Maddox worked hard in spring training, especially this past March, and became a better-than-average bunter.
It is important to point this out before coming down hard on Garry Lee Maddox.
Yesterday, Maddox' inability to bunt toward third base in the ninth inning cost the Phillies at least a tie and maybe a victory over Montreal in Game II of Showdown I at Veterans Stadium.
The Expos, who could have been buried had the Phillies won, held on for a 4-3 triumph and instead of being 2½ games behind are only a half back in National League East.
Montreal won by beating the National League's top pitcher, Steve Carlton, and now will send its ace, Steve Rogers, out today against rookie Bob Walk. If ever there was a mismatch it should come this afternoon.
So, the importance of yesterday's fall cannot be over-estimated.
It became a gloomy day for the Phils from the moment pitching coach Herm Starrette whispered some bad news to Dallas Green to the third strike old-folks Woodie Fryman threw past a frozen Lonnie Smith to end the game with runners on first and third and two out.
"Lefty can't do anything with his slider," Starrette told the manager after Carlton finished his warm-up. "And his fastball is not that great."
There have been times when Carlton has had nothing early, then come on strong. There have been innings when he was terrible, only to regain his awesome slider and baffle the opposition.
Yesterday was not one of them.
Because he could not get his slider over Hal Bo&ey and continually got behind in the count, he was forced to throw fastballs in crucial situations and the Expos were ready.
Chris Speier, for example, waited on a two-out, 2-2 fastball and singled to right to score a run in the fourth. And in the seventh, with the game tied 2-2, Jerry White jumped on a 2-2 fastball for a run-producing double. Both hits came with two out.
In Carlton's defense, he has pitched 295 innings and as Green would say later, "That has to take its toll. I can think of only two or three times this year when he has not had his good slider. Hell, if he hadn't had it, he wouldn't have 23 wins."
But despite Carlton's ineffectiveness, the. Phils refused to accept what appeared to be certain defeat to most of the 53,058 fans heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Greg Luzinski ripped a single to center off reliever Elias Sosa and Manny Trillo followed with a shot almost to the same place.
Runners on first and second, nobody out and the fans, who had been quiet most of the crisp, sunny afternoon, woke up and you could sense something.
Garry Maddox had to bunt. There was no other play.
With third baseman Larry Parrish playing deep and first baseman Warren Cromartie in close, Maddox put down Sosa's' first pitch. It took one hop to the charging, Cromartie, who rifled a bullet to Parrish to get pinch-runner Jay Loviglio.
Now, the Phils had runners on first and second, one out. Larry Bowa forced Maddox at second and after pinch-hitter Keith Moreland delivered a run-producing single to right, Montreal Manager Dick Williams called on left-hander Fryman. After originally sending up lefty Del Unser, Green substituted rookie Smith as his pinch hitter.
The count went 1-2 to Smith and Fryman came in with a nasty slider. No contest. Smith has still not seen the pitch.
"We had 'em on the ropes and could not put them away," said Green, who admits he is concerned about the team's overall offensive slump. "The man (Maddox) put the bunt down, but hit it the wrong way. Cromartie was on his front porch.
"There are a lot of first basemen who will not make that throw, but Cromartie is not one of them. He charged the ball, that's the secret. If he doesn't, there's no way the kid's (Loviglio) out. Maddox feels more comfortable bunting toward first, but he shouldn't when the guy's (Cromartie) sitting in his lap."
"I've never thrown a runner out at third before," said Cromartie in the revitalized Montreal dressing room. "Yes, it was a big play, maybe the game."
Green said he knew he was putting Smith in a pressure situation when he sent him up against the veteran Fryman. "I didn't like him taking the third strike," said Green. "You never like to see a game end that way, but in Lonnie's defense he is a rookie and that's a tough situation for anybody. He has not done much pinch-hitting."
"I didn't relieve Sosa in the bunt situation because he gets off the mound better than Stan Bahnsen," said Williams. "It worked out well. I knew they would pinch bit and I knew would be Smith."
"I threw Smith three sliders and a fastball," said the 40-year-old Fryman. "The sliders were the strikes. The third strike broke over the outside part of the plate. I struck him out the last time I faced him here as a pinch-hitter."
"There was no way I was going to let Unser face Fryman," said Green. "I have let him bat against left-handers only once this year and that was no time to let him start."
As Green's office became nearly empty, he absent-mindedly picked at a platter of food on his desk.
"Yeah, I felt confident today with Carlton going and we had momentum," he finally said.