Oakland Tribune - September 4, 1980
Giants shakeup due after Phillies sweep
By Nick Peters, Tribune Staff Writer
Philadelphia's three-game sweep of the Giants isn't enough to make Dave Bristol panic, but he has a few changes in store as his club gropes for life in the N L West.
Shortly after the first-place Phillies completed their sweep with a 4-3 victory Wednesday night at Candlestick Park, Bristol said that John Montefusco to replacing Bob Knepper in the starting rotation Friday night against the Montreal Expos.
He also Indicated that rookies Joe Pettlnl and Guy Sularz would form the club's double-play combination at shortstop and second base, respectively, after performing well in that capacity for the first time Wednesday.
Bristol has seen enough of the youngsters to know they can do the job while veterans Johnnie LeMaster, Rennie Stennett and Joe Strain shake off injuries. He's also seen enough of Knepper, who's struggling with a 9-15 record and a 4.13 earned run average.
“I had to do something,” Bristol said of the Knepper move. “I'm going to try to get him straightened out. He'll work out of the bullpen for awhile. He was disappointed when I told him, but that's the way I want him to be." '
Montefusco was ecstatic over his promotion, something he had been craving ever since coming off the disabled list recently. “He (Bristol) just told me." said The Count. "It's what I've been waiting for.”
Because Montefusco doesn't seem to figure prominently in Bristol's future plans, the new assignment will enable the club to showcase the veteran pitcher.
A far different motive prodded the use of Pettinl and Sularz.
Bristol has liked the play of Pettlni from the start and the skipper liked what he saw when Sularz made his first major league start Wednesday. The youngster fielded five chances flawlessly and singled in the sixth.
“I asked Salurx what position he plays best and he said, ‘Anywhere.’ I like that attitude and I liked what I saw of him at second base tonight," noted Bristol. “He can make the double play."
Bristol emphasized, however, that the changes do not mean the club has conceded, even though it has dropped below .500 once again, trailing the first-place Dodgers by 10 games and is lagging two games behind fourth-place Atlanta.
“We ain’t through,” Bristol stressed. “We’ll get back above .500. We played the Phillies tough, but you can’t give a good team like Philadelphia five or six outs in an inning."
Bristol was referring to the three-run second, an inning which the Phillies bunched five of their nine hits and finally solved starter Allen Ripley, who entered the game with a 3-0 record and a 0.41 ERA against them.
Manny Trillo led off the second and dribbled a 0-2 pitch to second base for an Infield hit. Trillo advanced on a ground out and scored when third baseman Darrell Evans threw wildly past first after fielding Larry Bowa’s bunt single.
Bowa went to second on the error and scored when pitcher Dick Ruthven, on a 0-2 pitch, lined a double to; left. After Pete Rose was hit by a pitch and Bake McBride singled to first base, loading the bases, Mike Schmidt punched a run-scoring single to left for 3-0, Rose being nailed at the plate on a throw from Terry Whitfield.
"I made two bad pitches on 0-2 to Trillo and Ruthven, Ripley explained. "You should get a guy out when you have two strikes on him. Ruthven hit a curve that was low and away, but you’re supposed to get the pitcher out – that’s a rule."
Ripley recovered to retire eight in a row, but was removed for a pinch-batter in the fifth. Trillo singled, stole second, went to third on Greg Gross single and scored on Bowa’s squeeze bunt for 4-0 off Tim Griffin in the sixth.
Ruthvep, 14-8 this season and 1-4 in his career against the Giants, carried a shutout into the bottom of the sixth before Milt Mays two-out walk and singles by Sularz and Fettini ruined it.
After rookie right-hander Mike Rowland retired nine straight Phillies, the Giants made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Pettini led off with a sharp single to left and rookie Chris Bourjos crushed a 1-2 pitch and sent the ball soaring over the left field screen for a two-run homer.
“I was so excited, I couldn’t hear what anyone was saying in the dugout,” recalled Bourjos following his maiden major league hit.