Doubleheader, 'Bull Blast' At Vet

Posted: August 21, 1987

There are all kinds of reasons to head down to the Vet for tonight's twi- night doubleheader between the Phillies and the Dodgers.

You've got your red-hot Phils, winners of nine of their last 11, and suddenly, just seven games out of first in the NL East.

You've got Kevin "Sandpaper" Gross, who has won twice while appealing his 10-day suspension. The suspension, of course, followed his infamous Aug. 10 ejection for having a glove with optional features not available from the manufacturer. Before the sandpaper incident, Gross (8-10, 4.62) hadn't won since June 30. Tonight, he is scheduled to pitch the first game, vs. Bob Welch (11-7, 3.27).

You've got Shane "Cy Young Contender" Rawley (15-5, 3.95), bidding for his league-leading 16th win, against Tim Leary (3-8, 5.00).

And between games, you've got the "Bull Blast," a home-run hitting contest between ex-Phils Greg Luzinski and Dick Allen.

Such a deal.

Plus, it will be the first Veterans Stadium meeting between the Phils and Dodgers since May 20. Who knows how much weight Tom Lasorda has gained since then? Certainly, Lasorda has had reason to drown his sorrows in a plate of pasta - the Dodgers are 54-66, and have seven players on the disabled list.

Consequently, Lasorda has used 90 different lineups this season. The Phils have used just 74. But there is no truth to the rumor that after Luzinski and Allen square off, the Dodgers will try to sign the winner to play for them in the nightcap.

Luzinski has been approaching the contest as if that were the case, however. He was down at the Vet during the three-game Phils-Padres series taking batting practice, from 3:30 to 4 each afternoon. Allen's approach, typically, has been more enigmatic.

"He came in from the West Coast a few days ago and went straight down to Maryland," reported Dick Allen Jr., a member of the Phils' ground crew. "I don't know what he's doing, whether he's practicing or not. He's been playing in some of those old-timers' games . . . I think he can still hit one out. But I'm hoping they'll let me shag. I want to jump over the wall and rob somebody, like Eric Davis does."

The balls that make it over the wall and over young Allen will win money for charity. Luzinski has designated the Medford, N.J., American Legion baseball program for his cash; Allen has tabbed the Baseball Alumni Team Fund.

Phils bullpen coach Mike Ryan is scheduled to pitch to both Luzinski and Allen.

BEST OF THE REST

You probably can't get over there this afternoon in time to see much action, but the Atlantic City Classic LPGA tournament was to begin today and continue through the weekend at the Marriott Seaview Country Club in Galloway Township, N.J.

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