Oakland Tribune - September 3, 1980
Giants’ pennant hopes slipping away
By Nick Peters, Tribune Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO – This one really hurt – and the atmosphere in the Giants' clubhouse showed it.
There was no blaring stereo, no cutting up. Just a group of dejected players mumbling to themselves and munching on cold pizza.
It was a game that got away, what which could, be regarded as a turning point should the Giants gradually slip out of the race in the West and the Phlllles manage to survive the pressure-packed dogfight in the East.
The Giants squandered 10 Innings of two-hit pitching by Vida Blue and a bases-loaded. no-outs situation in the bottom of the 11th before painfully succumbing to the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1, In 13 innings Tuesday night.
A Candlestick Park crowd of 6,591 sat in admiration as Blue and the Phillies Larry Christenson carried one-hit shutouts into the ninth. Both clubs scored is the ninth, sending the game into tension-filled extra innings.
The Phillies eventually won it off Al Holland on Manny Trillos hustle double, Larry Bowls sacrifice bunt and Keith Moreland's sacrifice fly In the 13th, but the deflating telling blow actually was landed In the 11th.
Jim Wohlford led off the inning with a single off reliever Warm Brusstar, Johnnie LeMaster walked and Darrell Evans beat out a bunt single to the left side amid Brusstar's confusion upon fielding the ball.
Bases loaded and nobody out, a virtual cinch. But it wasn't to be for the punchless Giants..
Mike Sadek’s grounder to short forced Wohlford at the plate. Impatient Rennie Stennant, who grounded the first pitch to Bursstar, forced LeMaster at home. Then Joe Strain, after fouling off three 3-2 pitches, grounded out to second.?
It was like having four aces, a sure hand I’d have bet we would have scored," said Wohlford. “It was a big game for the team, so it naturally was a letdown. But we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
“I thought the game was over," added LeMaster. “Bases loaded and nobody out, you have to like those odds. It wasn’t a good feeling when we didn’t score. The guys were really down until we got them-out In the 12th."
We’ve got to win it there," said Evans. “It was a big letdown. We had a chance to put people away and we didn’t do it. But you've got to give their pitcher some credit too. He did a job."
It worked. for Brusstar immediately got ahead of Sadek 0-2 before the first out. Stennett made it easier by swinging at the first pitch. Only Strain really battled the pitcher, taking nine pitches before going down.
“That was a real disappointment,” said Strain. “Too many guys were Just going up there and swinging at anything. Damn!”
Blue allowed a third-inning single to Bowa and entered the ninth with a string of II straight outs. Leadoff batter Bob Boone Ted off ' with a . sharp grounder to third. Evans hobbled the usual - bad hop, recovered and threw high and up the line. First baseman Mike Ivie caught the ball, but Boone slid into first.
“It hit something – it always does,” said a disconsolate Evans. “I had time, but I just didn’t grab the throw and make a good throw,” the pitcher observed.
Ramon Aviles then batted for Christenson and sacrificed. Lonnie Smith followed by grounding a 2-0 fastball to left for a 1-0 Philadelphia lead.
Vallejo’s Tug McGraw took over in the bottom of the ninth and had one out when Ivie lined a single to left. LeMaster ran for Lvle and Evans walked. Milt May grounded a run-scoring single to right for 1-1, sending Evans to third.
The Giants seemed in good shape with two runners on and nobody out. Sadek ran for May and Brusstar replaced. McGraw. Stennett, replacing Then LeMaster as the goat of the home fans, grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Blue didn’t mind being removed after the 10th. “I thought I was lucky to get out of the 10th,” he said. “I was upset at myself for giving up on the hit to Smith in the ninth and my arm got cold because the bottom of the ninth was so long.
Greg Minton worked the 11th and 12th before Holland took oer in the 13rd.
“It’s too bad,” said Giants’ manager Dave Bristol, “because Vida pitched a masterpiece. But all it comes down to is A-B-C. All it takes is ececution.” This is a simple game if you play it the right way.