In a week that was filled with superb relief performances, the Phillies (5-2) got the biggest benefits from their bullpen. Relievers Gene Garber, Ron Reed, Tug McGraw and rookie Warren Brusstar worked 17? innings, allowing eight hits and no runs. Brusstar won twice, while Garber got his 16th save and Reed picked up his 14th and 15th. Larry Christenson (16-6) was a two-time winner; he now has 12 victories in his last 13 decisions. Greg Luzinski's 36th homer and five RBIs gave him nine homers and 28 runs knocked in against the Cardinals this season.
Three saves by Rich Gossage, who has 23 in all, kept Pittsburgh (4-3) going. He preserved a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia for Jim Rooker. Another of his saves came during a 4-3 defeat of St. Louis in which John Candelaria (17-5) got the win. Frank Taveras' 64th steal broke the Pirate record set in 1916 by Max Carey.
Relievers also came to the rescue for St. Louis (3-4). Rookie Ike Sutton won twice. Rawly Eastwick chalked up his 10th save, and Pete Falcone preserved a 3-1 win over the Cubs for Bob Forsch (17-6).
For Montreal (4-3), Bill Atkinson and Will McEnaney came out of the bullpen to earn wins, and Don Stanhouse got his ninth save when he wrapped up a 5-0 win over Pittsburgh for newcomer Dan Schatzeder.
Skip Lockwood of the Mets (4-4) recorded his 20th save. One pitcher who needed no bailing out was Nino Espinosa, who drove in the game's only run and outdueled Steve Carlton of the Phillies 1-0.
Chicago (2-6) won twice in New York with eighth-inning rallies. First came the conclusion of a game suspended because of the July 13 blackout. The Cubs triumphed 5-2 despite 13 strikeouts by Jerry Koosman. Willie Hernandez was a 4-3 winner the next day as he hurled 2? innings of hitless relief.
PHIL 93-55 PITT 85-65 CHI 77-71 ST.L 77-72 MONT 69-79 NY 59-90
At a time of the season when players do their utmost to boost their statistics, no one was getting better numbers than Reggie Smith of Los Angeles (4-3), who signed a four-year contract for seven figures. Off-season surgery on a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder helped transform him into an MVP candidate. Smith, who walloped his 29th home run, has batted .363 in his last 31 games. Steve Garvey, a .444 hitter last week, socked his 30th home run, while Ron Cey hit his 29th and Dusty Baker his 26th and 27th.