Reading Eagle - September 8, 1980
Dodgers Blank Phillies
LOS ANGELES (AP) – It was three weeks ago when Tom Lasorda, the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, met with his club, explaining, in so many words, “It’s now or never.”
The Dodgers were in third place in the National League West at the time, two games out of first place, but only seven games over .500 and facing a tough nine-game road trip.
The Dodgers responded by winning seven games on the trip and then returned home to win 10 of 11, capped by Sunday’s 6-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The homestand was the Dodgers’ best since 1966 when they won 11 games during a homestand.
Sunday’s win, the Dodgers’ third straight and 17th in their last 20 games, moved them two games in front of Houston in the National League West while Philadelphia, which came to town in first place in the NL East, left trailing Montreal by one game.
The unlikely combination of Dave Goltz and Bobby Castillo combined on a three-hitter as the Dodgers’ strong pitching continued Sunday. Goltz, who had not pitched a shutout since April, allowing only one hit before having to leave in the fourth inning because of a twisted ankle.
Castillo, whose longest previous stint this season was four innings, then blanked the Phils on two hits through the final six innings to earn his sixth victory in 12 decisions.
“We had a tremendous homestand, and a tremendous trip before that,” said Lasorda.
When asked if his pitching, which restricted the Phils to a .158 team batting average in the four games, was better than Houton’s, Lasorda said, “I’d have to think, yes, we are better, top to bottom.”
Los Angeles pitchers accounted for four shutouts during the homestand, including two against Philadelphia.
Dallas Green, the Philadelphia manager, was distressed over his club’s lack of hitting, but added, “We’re still very much in the race. We’ve just got to get our offense better.”
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the first against Dick Ruthven, 14-9, who is 1-7 in his career at Los Angeles and 2-12 lifetime against the Dodgers.