Reading Eagle - June 8, 1980
Broken Toe Doesn’t Hamper Rose on Bases
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The way Pete Rose ran the bases Saturday night, you would never know the Philadelphia Phillies’ first baseman had a broken toe on his right foot.
Rose, who suffered the injury Friday night while taking a Mike Krukow fast ball on his little toe, sparked a two-run fifth inning as the Phillies went on to defeat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 at Veteran Stadium.
Philadelphia led 1-0 when Rose hustled his way to a one out double to left. Bake McBride then lined a single to right field and Rose barreled his way home, barely beating Mike Vail’s throw to the plate.
“If he (the umpire) had called me out, I wouldn’t have complained, it was that close,” said Rose, who also had a single to draw within five hits of Honus Wagner for fifth place on the all-time list (3,430).
About his sore digit, the 39-year-old Rose had a typical Pete Rose answer, “You don’t feel the pain when you’re winning.”
“Trainer Don Seger cut out a part of my shoe,” he explained, “and it doesn’t hurt at all when I run. It is a little painful when I stretch, though, and when I bat righthanded.
Cub manager Preston Gomez wasn’t too pleased with the call at the plate. “If I say he’s out, they’re not going to bring it back,” he said. “But that’s not why we lost, we just didn’t score any runs.”
Randy Lerch, the Phillies’ hard-luck lefthander, finally got some batting support as the Phillies pounded three Cubs pitchers for 14 hits.
Lerch allowed five hits in 6-2/3 innings in gaining his second win in nine decisions. Dickie Noles picked up his fourth save while Rick Reuschel, 5-5, took the loss.
The Phillies scored their first run in the second on Bob Boone’s double, a fielder’s choice and a single by Manny Trillo. They made it 3-0 in the fifth when Rose scored followed by McBride who came home on a single by Boone.
Wi8th two out in the Chicago sixth, Mike Tyson walked and scored on Larry Biittner’s double to left-center.
The Phillies picked up two runs off reliever Dick Tidrow in the sixth on four hits and a walk, including RBI singles by Lerch and Schmidt. Schmidt, who leads the National League in runs batted in with 46, picked up his 999th career hit in the inning.
Mike Vail hit his fourth homer of the year leading off the seventh for Chicago.
Phils Have Carlton And…
By Joe Juliano
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) – Dallas Green was never confused with Jim Bunning when he pitched for the Phillies and others back in the early ‘60s. His record of 20-22 came in 185 games well spaced over eight major league seasons.
We only offer you this valuable tidbit of information because even a pitcher as marginal as Green was in his playing days would be welcome on this year’s edition of the Phillies, which he happens to manage.
Going into the weekend series against the Chicago Cubs, the Phillies were in third place in National League East with a record of 24-21. Not exactly a world record pace, you understand, but close enough to keep the Pirates and Expos in their sights.
There are quite a few storm clouds on the horizon, however, that could make the hot summer ahead just as long as it was last year when the team fell to fourth place after three straight division titles.
Through two months of the season, it is clear Green has only one pitcher he can count on. Steve Carlton leads the majors in wins with 10, is second in the National League with a 1.94 earned run average and is holding the opposition’s bats to a meager .185 average.
On the Phils’ recent road trip, they were 2-4. Or rather it should say Steve Carlton was 2-0 and the others were 0-4. To paraphrase “Spahn and Sain and two day s of rain” made famous by the 1948 Boston Braves, how about “Steve Carlton and three days in Marlton?” That’s in New Jersey, folks.
“I don’t know where the hell we’d be without him,” Green says candidly. “He’s got 10 wins. How many have we got?”
The bigger question is: How many have the other pitchers got? Of the 14 outstanding wins, the starters have nine and two of the team’s relief pitchers – Kevin Saucier and Ron Reed – combine for the other five.
As for the starters, Dick Ruthven is 5-4 but still struggles more than he should.
Next is Larry Christenson, who is anchored at 3-0 for the season because of an elbow operation. Randy Lerch is a disappointing 1-7 with Green grumbling about his lack of aggressiveness on the mound.
Rookies Bob Walk and Dan Larson may be fine pitchers someday but aren’t ready right now. With the pressure on the Phillies to do well this year or else, they may be in a situation that’s over their heads, which is not their fault.
And whatever happened to Nino Espinosa? Espinosa was 14-12 last season before a sore shoulder sidelined him in September. He hasn’t pitched at all this year and Green is getting impatient, saying he should pitch with pain and accept it.
Whatever the case, the starting staff is, to put it mildly, in a state of disarray.
Green isn’t ready to abandon ship, however.
“I’ve said all along we’ll get our act together,” he said. “I’m not saying I’ve got any great master plan. But I’ve got faith… as long as Steve just gives us that breathing spell every fourth or fifth day.”
So right now it’s praise the Lord and pass the bats. Mike Schmidt leads the majors in home runs with 18 and runs batted in with 44. Bake McBride has 35 RBIs despite his position as No. 2 in the batting order and is hitting .305. Greg Luzinski has 12 home runs and he had only 18 the entire 1979 seaosn.
But a major league team can’t live or die by the bat over 162 games. The prime example is the St. Louis Cardinals, who have had four people in the top 10 of the batting leaders most of the year but are cursed with lousy pitching and the worst record in the major leagues.
The way Carlton is going now, he could win 30 games. The last man to do it, the Detroit Tigers’ Denny McLain, earned his 10th win on June 15 en route to 31 during the 1968 season. Carlton had six at this point in 1972 when he won 27.
But suppose lightning strikes. Carlton slipped on a clubhouse floor in San Diego one year and missed a couple of weeks. If something freaky happens this year, even if it means two weeks out of the starting rotation, the Phillies may as well start planning for 1981.
More than a week remains before the trading deadline, so you know General Manager Paul Owens will be shopping around for a starter, There isn’t much of a selection, and the asking price for a good starter could be too high.
For the time being Carlton will have to do it every fourth day until the arms of the other starters get into shape. How long it will take, and how far in front the Pirates will be by the time it happens, remains to be seen.