Another look at Game Four of the 1980 NLCS by Paul Giordano, with quotes from most of the major players in the game: Pete Rose, Tug McGraw, coach Lee Elia, manager Dallas Green. Rose, McGraw and Green were always good for a quote in just about every situation. All involved felt good (obviously) about the win, and apparently so did writer Giordano, judging solely by the opening line: In spite of themselves, the Phillies are going to win it anyway. Forunately for us, he was right.
|From The October
12, 1980 edition of The Doylestown Daily Intelligencer:
Phils Character Will Carry Them To Victory
By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer
HOUSTON -In spite of themselves, the Phillies are to going to win it anyway.
Maybe they're not the easiest guys to work with, and maybe at times, they do think too much of their ability, but when the chips are down, when their backs are to the wall...well, no one does it better.
And maybe, when you strip away all the egotistical traits, really dig down deep, it is a team with heart and character after all. Saturday's come-from-behind 5-3 win over the Houston Astros did point you in that direction.
"You would believe this team had no character if you turned off the TV early," Dallas Green said. "It looked like one of those frustrating games where we struggled early and didn't score any runs. Then, there was that long thing with the umpires. My pitcher (Steve Carlton) lost some of his concentration. But we battled back.
"We had our backs up against the wall and didn't quit. If anybody questioned a lack of character, I think the outcome proved differently." And so did Greg Luzinski, Tug McGraw and third base coach Lee Elia.
Luzinski wasn't in Saturday's starting lineup. He could have sulked. He didn't. Instead, when called upon to pinch-hit in the 10th inning for Bake McBride, the big guy came through with a two-out, winning run.
Luzinski, however, for some reason, didn't want to talk about it. He was unavailable in the locker room after the game electing to hide out in the trainer's room.
Then, there was Elia. He didn't have to wave Rose on to score the winning run. He could have played it safe, took the easy way out and not taken another chance of being ripped and being accused of blowing the game like what happened in Wednesday night's game in Philadelphia when McBride held up at third with what could have been the winning run.
"The ball (relay throw) looked low," Elia said. "I had to take the RBI double to left field, scoring Pete Rose from first base with the chance. Pete was coming and I know what kind of baserunner he is. Why not? Let's take a shot it."
"I've got to give a lot of credit to our third base coach on that play," Rose said. "He saw the relays coming up short in the outfield and gave me the green light. If it wasn't for him I would have stopped. He showed plenty of courage in that decision."
"In that particular situation," Green said, "with two out, I hopeeverybody would have given it a try. I saw Lee waving him all the way. I knew the shortstop had a shot at him, but in that situation you have to give it a try."
And then there was Tug McGraw. If his left arm isn't ready to fall off, it's a miracle. McGraw has appeared in seven of the last eight games.
"Before batting practice, I told Dallas and Herm Starrette (pitching coach) I had a little something left if they needed me," McGraw said. "Then, when I had to go warm up, I took five Tylenol. I felt surprisingly good. I loosened up pretty good. I guess I'm in better shape than I thought I was.
"But the way we kept battling back today brings
out what Dallas has been talking about when he talks of heart and character.
Especially after that thing with the
And now tonight's game. A real test of character if there ever was one. There is no tomorrow. Green has decided to start rookie Marty Bystrom against veteran Nolan Ryan. Green could have gone with Dick Ruthven and the bullpen, but he's sticking with the kid.