Reading Eagle - July 27, 1980
Braves Knuckle Under
Trillo Leads Phils Past Niekro
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Manny Trillo took Phil Niekro’s knuckle ball to the wall twice for three RBI as the Philadelphia Phillies downed the Atlanta Braves 6-3 Saturday night.
“I never had any trouble with him,” Trillo said of the Braves’ 41-year-old knuckleballer, who owns a 23-15 lifetime record over the Phils, but is 0-2 this year.
“I either strike out or get a base hit,” Trillo said. “Any pitch you get is going to be a knuckle ball. You have no choice but to hit it.”
Rookie Bob Walk, 7-1, appeared on his way to his first major league shutout when Brian Asselstine homered for the Braves in the eighth.
Walk then struckout Chris Chambliss, but gave up consecutive singles to Gary Matthews and Bob Horner. Mike Lum walked and pinch hitter Jeff Burroughs singled to drive in two more runs.
Ron Reed came on to end the rally and pitched a hitless ninth to earn his sixth save of the year.
“It looked like he got a little tired,” Phillies manager Dallas Green said of Walk. “We just didn’t feel he was quite ready for major league baseball when he sent him down in spring training.”
“Jeepers, he’s matured,” added Green of the 23-year-old right-hander who last season pitched AA ball in Reading.
“He’s been throwing in the pressure cooker pretty good,” Green said.
“We let him (Walk) off the hook in the first inning,” said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. After Glenn Hubbard walked and Asselstine singled, Walk got Chambliss to hit into a double play and struck out Matthews.
“He made some good pitched to Chris and Gary and got his stuff rolling,” said Cox of Walk.
Trillo, hitting .350 for the month of July, raised his season average to .324 in going 2-for-4.
“Last year, after the season, I worked out with weights,” said Trillo. “I feel stronger this year. I’m not tired out.”
His double in the second inning scored Garry Maddox, who singled and stole second. One out later, Bob Boone walked and Walk drove in Trillo with a single.
Pete Rose opened the Phillies’ third with a single and went to third on Bake McBride’s single. Mike Schmidt struck out and Maddox flied out before Trillo doubled for two more RBI.
Rose overcame a 4-for-37 slump with his second hit in the fourth, an RBI single that scored fleet Lonnie Smith, who was off with the pitch and scored all the way from first.
Smith also wiped out a Braves threat in the fourth, cutting down Chris Chambliss at the plate following Mike Lum’s single to left.
Boone homered, his seventh, for the Phillies’ final run in the eighth.
Knee Surgery For Luzinski
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Greg Luzinski will undergo exploratory surgery Monday because of “something slipping in the knee,” the Philadelphia Phillies’ team physician said Saturday.
Luzinski injured his right knee in St. Louis July 5 while sliding in to second base. He didn’t notice the injury at the time, but the knee bothered him and was swollen the next day, said team physician Phillip Marone.
The doctor said he will perform an arthroscopy – a probe to check for knee damage – on Monday. “There’s a 75 to 80 percent chance of further surgery,” Marone added.
“Luzinski could be out as much as six weeks, but if no further damage is found, he could be back in a week,” the doctor said.
Phils Thrown Curve by SI
We’ve had fun many times picking on Sports Illustrated and its infamous cover jinx, but now it’s struck close to home and you may not think it’s so funny.
The Phillies had just won three straight; they were flirting with first place; they had beaten the Braves and were talking sweep in Atlanta.
Then SI came out with Steve Carlton on the cover. Curses. The Phils began a swoon on the rest of the road trip, Carlton lost in Cincinnati, and now there’s a possibility that the knee that has kept slugger Greg Luzinski out of the lineup since before the all-star break may sideline him the rest of the season.
Could be the SI editors are Pirates fans.