PHILLIES 5, ASTROS 1
Friday, July 21, 1978 at Veterans Stadium
Game 1249 – 9/16/12
The powerhouse Phillies continued their dominance of the NL East with a solid 5-1 victory over the Astros at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Spot starter Jim Lonborg pitched one of his better games of late, going six innings and allowing only one run, improving his season record to 3-6 and earning his first win of July.
The Phillies quickly jumped to a 2-0 lead in the third inning, scoring a pair of runs when Garry Maddox, Bake McBride, and Mike Schmidt all singled with two out, with the hits by McBride and Schmidt good for an RBI each. The Astros countered with their lone run three innings later, when Jose Cruz opened the frame with a walk, stole second, then scored when Rafael Landestoy singled to right with two out.
With Joaquin Andujar now pitching for the Astros in the last of the sixth, in place of tired starter Ken Forsch (4-4), the Phillies added a pair of insurance runs to their total; again with two out, Bud Harrelson walked, and with the pitcher’s spot next in the batting order, Phils manager Danny Ozark opted to sit Lonborg and send pinch-hitter Jerry Martin to the plate. On a 2-2 count, Martin drilled a fastball from Andujar to deep left for a 2-run home run and a 4-1 Philadelphia lead.
The Phillies rounded out their scoring one inning later when Greg Luzinski connected for his 26th home run of the season, off rookie southpaw Frank Riccelli, who was pitching in just his third game for the Astros after his July 6th call-up from Charleston of the International League.
McBride garnered three of Philadelphia’s thirteen hits to lead the team, while Denny Walling was the hits leader for Houston, with two singles.
• The game was played in the morning at site AZ8 in Peoria, Arizona, on the living room table while I listened to nothing.
• The loss dropped the Astros to one full game behind the fourth-place Reds in the NL West.
• The game was played on September 16th, filling in one of the two remaining September dates where I’d never played an SP78 game; the 24th remains the only open date for September.