In his first four times up against St. Louis on Saturday, Greg Luzinski of Philadelphia (3-2) kept taking his eyes off the ball. Result: three strikeouts, one groundout. With Larry Bowa on first in the last of the 10th, Phillie Manager Danny Ozark felt he could get Luzinski to "stay with the pitch" by calling for a hit and run. Result: Luzinski eyed the ball, drilling it for a double, and the Phillies won 3-2.
Weary of being called "scrubbinis" or "reserves," the Cardinals' second-liners dubbed themselves the "Main Ingredients." The most prominent MI was Mike Phillips, who while filling in at second base had two RBIs and made two dazzling fielding plays as St. Louis (4-3) squeezed past Pittsburgh 6-5. But the main men were Keith Hernandez, who hit .524 and had eight RBIs, and Bob Forsch, who no-hit the Phillies.
"The idea this year is not to beat ourselves," said Manager Joe Torre as he explained the first step in New York's so-called 'New Era.' " At times, the Mets (3-4) did, indeed, have a new look. Steve Henderson's pinch grand slam decked Montreal 6-5. Then there was a 3-2 win over the Expos in which Outfielder Tom Grieve made a leaping eighth-inning catch that turned what seemed certain to be a bases-loaded triple into a sacrifice fly. Grieve then tied the score with a homer in the ninth, and Lenny Randle won it with a double in the 10th. And Craig Swan polished off Chicago 6-0 on five hits. At other times, though, the "New Era" Mets looked like the Mets of old, botching up fielding plays as they twice beat themselves.
Montreal's sterling young outfield was hurting: Warren Cromartie was out with a pulled hamstring, Ellis Valentine had a twisted knee and Andre Dawson had a bruised heel. Nonetheless, Dawson gave the Expos a 4-3 victory over the Mets with an 11th-inning homer. Larry Parrish batted .471 and drove in seven runs for the Expos (3-2), and Ross Grimsley muzzled the Mets 5-0.
Pittsburgh's Lumber Company looked more like the Slumber Company until the final game of the week. During their first seven games of the season, the Pirates (1-5) hit .176. Then they broke loose, bopping the Cubs 13-10 as Bill Robinson drove in six runs.
Dave Kingman slugged his first homer for the Cubs (4-2) as they trimmed the Pirates 4-3 and doubled in the winning run against the Mets as Ray Burris won 4-2. Then, before a crowd of 45,777, the largest ever for a Cub home opener, Chicago edged the Pirates 5-4 on Larry Biittner's homer in the ninth.
PHIL 4-3 NY 5-4 STL 5-4 CHI 4-4 MONT 3-4 PITT 3-5
The back's great reads the message printed on Dodger Outfielder Rick Monday's T shirt. That's his way of making a quick reply to the oft-asked questions about the ailment that hindered Monday last season. When he is unable to flash his T shirt to questioners, Monday merely punches his digital watch, which flashes: YES, FOLKS, THE BACK'S FINE. While Los Angeles was winning three of five games, Monday supplied even more graphic proof of his good health by hitting a homer in his first at bat this year at Dodger Stadium. Also proving they were hale were Tommy John and Ron Cey. John showed that his once damaged left arm is fine and that his sinker is better than ever by getting 23 infield outs as he beat Atlanta 5-1. Cey, who pulled a hamstring in spring training, homered and raised his early-season average to .414.