Wilmington News Journal - September 7, 1980
Monday bat, glove stop Phillies 7-3
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
LOS ANGELES – And on the sixth day they tumbled.
The Phillies' trek to the fantasy land of first place in National League East lasted five glorious California days.
Last night, the Dodgers took advantage of ineffective Philadelphia pitching and rode Rick Monday's potent bat and magic glove to a 7-3 victory over the Phils.
Rick Monday owned Dodger Stadium and the Phils last night.
The veteran outfielder brought the crowd of 45,995 to their feet when he robbed Bake McBride of a two-run homer in third inning with a brilliant leaping catch at the 395-foot-sign in right-center.
Then, after the Dodgers snapped a 3-3 tie with a run off reliever-and-loser Randy Lerch in the fourth, Monday crushed a two-run homer in the fifth, his eighth of the year.
The setback dropped the Phils one full game behind Montreal, a 9-0 winner over San Francisco earlier in the day. Pittsburgh fell two games back after bowing to Atlanta 3-2.
Bob Welch, 12-9, allowed the Phils -just seven singles and struck out seven before tiring after seven innings. Rookie Steve Howe worked the last two innings to gain his 15th save of the year.
Larry Christenson started for the Phils, but had to leave in the second inning when his injured groin muscle kicked up.
Lerch, now 4-14, took over but was unable to hold the Dodgers down.
Even though the Dodgers won their ninth game in 10 starts, they lost a half game to second-place Houston in the Western Division. The Astros swept a doubleheader from St. Louis last night.
"Christenson did not have any problem with his groin before the game," said Manager Dallas Green. "He hurt it in the first inning when he went off the mound after Dusty Baker's grounder.
"This is going to cost him one or two starts. I can't keep running a pitcher out there who might break down on us. I don't know who will make his start, but Marty Bystrom is in the picture."
Lerch, who pitched better than it appeared, thought he had Monday struck out on the 1-2 delivery, but Dave Pallone called it a ball and the center fielder hit the next pitch out.
"I don't know what I have to do to get a break," sighed Lerch in the quiet clubhouse. "I've worked as hard as I know how. The 1-2 pitch was right down the middle of the plate. Boonie didn't even have to move. Monday makes that catch, Mike Schmidt doesn't get his glove down on Lopes' single (in the fourth). It's just been going that way for me."
"Games like this bring out the little boy in me," said Monday. "Sure, we are supposed to be professionals, but when you get in a pennant race like this, there is tremendous excitement.
"On the catch, I got a good jump oo the ball and got to the wall in time to make the jump before the ball got there. I think it would have been a home run. It was going over the wall."
"I don't think we quit," said Green, who watched his last pitcher, Warren Brusstar give up the final run in the eighth. "If Monday doesn't make that catch, we get those two runs up there and it makes everything look better.
"We get them tomorrow and we head home with a pretty good road trip behind us."
Christenson worked out of two-on, two-out trouble in the first when Dusty Baker singled and Steve Garvey walked, but in the second, when the Dodgers scored three times, he was forced to leave in favor of Randy Lerch.
Monday opened with a single to center and sped to third on Mike Scioscia's hit-and-run single to right. Monday scored on Bill Russell's infield out and after Welch grounded out, Scioscia came home on Davey Lopes' double to left.
When the count went 2-0 to Jay Johnstone, pitching coach Herm Starrette went to the mound and replaced Christenson with Lerch.
Christenson injured his groin last Tuesday against the Giants, but after receiving treatment, thought he could handle last night's start.
Lerch let the count go to 3-1 to Johnstone and on the next pitch the former Phils' outfielder lined a single down the right-field line to score Lopes and it was 3-0.
The Phils battled back in the third to pull even, scoring three runs on four singles and a passed ball.
Larry Bowa and Bob Boone started with back-to-back singles, giving the Phils runners on first and third. With Lerch up, Scioscia was charged with a passed ball, Bowa scored and Boone stopped at second. Lerch advanced Boone to third with a sacrifice and Lonnie Smith's single to right scored the run.
Pete Rose followed with a single to right, moving Smith to third where he scored on Mike Schmidt's sacrifice fly.
That brought up Bake McBride.
He sent a screaming liner to right-center, an almost certain homer. At the last instant Monday leaped near the 395-foot sign, gloving the ball just as it was about to go over the 10-foot fence.
With two out and Russell on second, Lopes' single to left brought him home in the fourth and gave the Dodgers a 4-3 lead.
In the fifth, with two out and Garvey on first via a walk, Monday jumped on a 2-2 off-speed pitch and there were no questions about this one.
Monday slowly dropped his bat and immediately went into his home-run trot.
EXTRA POINTS – Johnstone, who is batting .296, has 11 pinch hits, four short of the Dodger record held by Manny Mota and Ed Goodson... Johnstone's previous career high was 10, set in 1975 with the Phillies... The Dodgers have won 19 games during their final at-bat and Friday night's 1-0 victory over Steve Carlton was their 18th shutout... Trillo, obviously tiring, has started every game since July 19... McBride entered the game with just one hit in his last 17 at-bats... The Phils wrap up their season series with the Dodgers and with Western Division teams today when Dick Ruthven (14-8, 3.51) goes against Dave Goltz (7-7, 4.76)... After that, they return to Veterans Stadium for Monday and Tuesday night games against Pittsburgh... The Tuesday game starts at 8:15 because it is being televised by NBC... It will be blacked out in Philadelphia... After 134 games last year, the Phils were 67-67, in fifth place, 13 games out of first.