Allentown Morning Call - September 30, 1980

Trillo single tops Cubs, 6-5, in 15th


By Ted Meixell, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Oh, ye of little faith. 


When Bake McBride grounded into a double play to end a mild (very mild) Philadelphia threat last night in the bottom of the 10th inning, a fairly sizeable portion of the surprisingly few (21,127) fans at the Vet began making their way to the exits. 


Despite the fact the local heroes were locked in a nip-and-tuck pennant race with the Montreal Expos, one of the smallest crowds of the season showed up to watch them do battle with the lowly (but recently hot) Chicago Cubs. 


As inning after inning passed, Phillie offensive futilities multiplied and the score stayed at 3-3, more and more fans decided it was past their bed time. 


It was a shame, really. By the time Manny Trillo singled to center field to score Garry Maddox with two outs in the bottom of the 15th to give the Phils a dramatic 6-5 victory, the crowd was about the size of that at a Little League all-star game here in the Lehigh Valley.


With the dramatic win, the Phils loosened the noose which they'd slipped around their necks over the weekend in back-to-back losses to the Montreal Expos and had tighten considerably when the Expos beat the Cardinals 5-2 earlier and even more when the Cubs slipped ahead 5-3 in the top of the 15th. 


For 14 innings, both teams got excellent pitching – from starters Larry Christenson and Rick Reuschel as well as a parade of relievers. But by the 15th, both managers had reached a bit too far into the bullpen bag. The result was almost comical-although neither team laughed. 


Dickie Noles, the Phils' sixth pitcher arrived on the scene and promptly walked pinch hitter Lynn McGlothen (that's right, pitcher Lynn McGlothen – both teams had used up-their pinch hitting platoons) on four pitches. Manager Dallas Green reached for his bottle of Grecian Formula, but put it down when Noles retired Ivan DeJesus. 


He picked it up again, though, and applied a liberal dose when Noles fielded Mick Kelleher's come-backer – a sure double play ball – and heaved it wide of Larry Bowa and into center field. Pinch runner Lenny Randle had barely chugged into third base when Green was stomping disgustedly to the mound. 


He brought in Kevin Saucier, who promptly served up a 400-foot sacrifice fly to Scott Thompson and a 400-foot plus double to Carlos Lezcano before finally ending the uprising. Ironically, Saucier got the win – he's now 7-3. 


Enter Doug Capilla, bent on hammering a nail in what had begun to look like the Phils' coffin. But he promptly walked Lonnie Smith on a 3-2 count and Pete Rose on 3-1 and wild-pitched them to second and third as McBride batted. Bake then chopped one toward second for the first out, with Smith scoring the fourth run.


Cubs' manager summoned starter Dennis Lamp, the last guy who expected to do any pitching tonight, to deal with Mike Schmidt. Schmidt popped up for the second out, but Maddox, Sunday's goat, ripped a Lamp fastball into center to plate Rose with the tying run and become Monday's hero. 


Duly unsettled, Lamp served up a single to Keith Moreland and a walk to Bowa, before Trillo ended the marathon and touched off the celebration. 


With the win, the Phils stayed a half-game behind Montreal. Unbeaten (4-0) rookie Marty Bystrom faces McGlothen tonight as the Cub series continues. Tomorrow it's Steve Carlton against Lamp (maybe) and Bob Walk matches pitches with either Mike Krukow or Randy Martz Thursday. 


Dick Ruthven, who Green says has a twinge in his shoulder, has been penciled in to open the big series in Montreal Friday against the Expos' Scott Sanderson.

It was the night some of the Phillie ‘stars’ rode the bench


By John Kunda, Executive Sports Editor


"If it takes breaking up this club, we’ll do it, but it will break our hearts." – Dallas Green, Oct. 18,1979 


The handwriting was on the wall, from the day after the World Series last October when Paul Owens called a press conference to introduce Dallas Green, the organization man who was picked to manage the Phillies in 1980. 


Last night, in reality, the handwriting WAS on the wall. 


Right there, on the dugout wall, penciled in about an hour or so before the Phillies' game with the Cubs. It was Manager Green's starting lineup, and it was different. It read like this: 


Smith, LF; Rose, IB; McBride, RF; Schmidt, 3B; Unser, CF; Moreland, C; Bowa, SS; Trillo, 2B; Christenson, P. 


Where are you, Greg Luzinski? 


Where are you, Garry Maddox? 


Where are you, Bob Boone? 


They were riding the bench last night. As promised. Manager Green scratched them from the starting lineup and instead, put in a pair of young players, Lonnie Smith and Keith Moreland, along with Del Unser. All have been a lot sharper at bat than their three veteran teammates. 


Some will say, "it's about time." 


Smith and Moreland have been impressive hitters, and with their hitting, have won the hearts of the Veterans Stadium crowd. Unser, too, has been "Mr. Clutch" a number of times.


Green emphasized that the lineup changes aren't a permanent thing. "Tomorrow night (tonight) we might go back with the original lineup," he said before the game. 


Green also mentioned that the benching of Maddox had nothing to do with the way he played the field in Sunday's loss to Montreal. "He (Maddox) just isn't hitting, like the rest of them," Green said. 


Green has always been characterized as a no-nonsense kind of a man. But even a no-nonsense man gets carried away at times. 


It sounded a little like that last October when Green talked about his desire to win not only a National League championship but also the World Series championship. He talked about all the talent the Phillies have and how it had to be channeled in the right direction. 


It was off-season talk, and off-season talk sometimes is vague, but Green did strike a note that made a lot of sense. 


"You can talk about the Pittsburgh family," Green said on that October day a year ago. "We have a family right here – the Bowas, Schmidts, Luzinskis and Maddoxes – and we want to win with them. We're going to give them one more chance." 


Then, to add sincerity to his words, Green added: "If it takes breaking up this club, we'll do it, but it would break our hearts." 


If ever a team was labeled a "Last Chance Team," this was it. 


Now, in the heat of a September pennant race, Green showed he means business. Taking Luzinski, Boone and Maddox out of the lineup is just a start.


More drastic steps could be taken in the off-season. Especially if the Phillies come up short again. 


While Green emphasized last October that he wants to win with this current group of players, he wasn't going to forget about some of the good talent the Phils have in the minor leagues. After all, it was Green, as the director of the farm system, who nursed these kids. 


He talked glowingly of Smith and Moreland. "These kids can play," he said at the time.