Schmidt Tugger quotes Oct 4
RUSTY PRAY Of the Courier-Post Courier-Post Courier-Post Schmidt, McGraw opposites as they meet press after victory MONTREAL A little embarrassed by all the fuss, Mike Schmidt acted as if this were his first pennant race. He hesitated hesitated for a moment, then stepped onto a green wooden stage and faced a mob of newsmen waiting for his words. "Is this," Schmidt wondered aloud to the sea of faces before him, "how it is in the World Series?" The question was asked in the spirit of ice-breaking. ice-breaking. ice-breaking. It was a vehicle by which the mass interview something that is, indeed, very much a part of the World Series and playoffs could begin. But it also was a statement of hope, a nine-word nine-word nine-word revelation of just how close Schmidt and the Phillies are to spending their next few weeks meeting the media in stadium interview rooms. It might seem strange that someone like Schmidt should feel uncomfortable in such situations. After all, he and a number of his present teammates have been down the division division championship road before, winning the National League East three times. But the fact remains that this is the first time Schmidt and the Phillies have been involved in a pennant race as close and tight as this one. This was the first time the Phillies Phillies had gone to an opposing ballpark this late in a season without a championship already in hand. "We've never," said Schmidt, "been in a pennant race like this before. We've never had to play great baseball in September. September. All we had to do in the years we won (1976, 1977, 1978) was hold on." This time, the Phillies must do more than merely hold on. They began a three-game three-game three-game showdown here in Olympic Stadium Stadium last night in a dead-heat dead-heat dead-heat for first place with the Expos. And the Phillies took the first round, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, Schmidt driving in both runs and Tug McGraw striking out five of the six batters batters he faced to save it. The Phils need only to win either this afternoon or tomorrow tomorrow to reach the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. But, if the Phillies put themselves in the driver's seat with last night's win, the Expos still have one hand on the wheel. "This (the pressure of a pennant race) is as new to us as it is to them," said Schmidt. "In fact, they might have more experience than we do.because they were in it with the Pirates until the last day last year. "I'll tell you, before the game I was nervous. The Expos said they were relaxed, but I'm the first to admit I was nervous." nervous." t - , WW, W. WW JF SS -fits -fits There she goes! Associated Press Phillies' Mike Schmidt watches his 47th home run of the season leave the ball park in the sixth inning of last night's game with Montreal Expos. The blast gave the Phils the lead in the crucial three-game three-game three-game series. Such admissions are rare for Schmidt, who generally effects a demeanor slightly more composed than Mt. Rush-more. Rush-more. Rush-more. Of Course, these are rare times for both Schmidt and the Phillies. Next to take center stage was McGraw, whose left arm made Schmidt's sacrifice fly in the first and 47th home run in the sixth stand. McGraw was, well, quite at home in the interview room as be calmly responded to questions and delivered one-liners one-liners one-liners as crackling as bis fastball. It seemed supremely ironic that McGraw, on the surface Schmidt's emotional antithesis, would be the cooler head that prevailed. "I tried to contain myself after the game," said McGraw, who rarely contains anything except opposing hitters. "I want to put it away tomorrow (today). Then I'll get excited." McGraw had reason to temper his emotions. If you recall, it was just last week that the Phils beat the Expos, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, in the opener of a three-game three-game three-game series in Veterans Stadium. Bake McBride had seemingly crushed Montreal with a dramatic home run in the bottom of the ninth. McGraw, who won that game in relief , was one of its chief celebrants. The Expos, however, came back and won the next two games and left Philadelphia in first plac'e, a position they stradfastly held until last night. v "This weekend," warned McGraw, "has started out very much like last weekend. I don't want what happened last weekend to hapen again." On that cautious note. McGraw left. He had been through all the fuss, felt all the pennant heat, before. Elation, he knew, was something to be held aside for a more appropriate appropriate time.