Schmidt went 3-for-4 during last night's 10-2 victory over the New York Mets and showed signs of breaking out of his slump at the plate and in the field.
One of his hits never left the infield, one bad-hopped Mets third baseman Howard Johnson and the other was poked softly to right. But since the slump began when he started pressing after a few line drives were caught, this could mean he's starting to come out of it.
"We didn't crush the ball all over the place," he said. "And if I keep swinging this way I'm not going to do much awainst Dwight Gooden (tonight). If my hitting fundamentals continue to be as bad as they were last week, I'm in trouble.
"But hitting some balls hard that are caught can ignite a slump, so maybe a little bit of luck will help end it."
Woodward, disturbed at a Phillies' losing streak that reached seven before Monday night's win over the Mets, said, in part:
"I see (the Phillies) continually making and executing mistakes that are made by a Double A club. Our overall play in the infield outright stinks. It's been terrible.
"I'll tell you what: This infield, if they're not embarrassed, I sure as hell am."
Responded Schmidt: "The third baseman is embarrassed. There's not a player in here who feels good about what's been happening, or who wouldn't agree with what Woody said."
Woodward also wondered out loud if this Phillies roster has the right stuff to win.
"I can remember one opposing infielder wiped out on a doubleplay," he said. "And I don't think I've seen one opposing batter pushed off the plate . . . maybe it's complacency. Maybe we're just too nice."
Said Schmidt: "I have to believe that's not the case, but we still look, or seem to be, complacent when you can't play catch in the infield and you're a major league player."
Woodward specifically exempted manager Lee Elia and his staff from his criticism and Schmidt, again, concurred.
"It's for sure that Lee Elia and his coaches have done everything on God's green earth to make us a better team," he said.
Quote of the Day: Greg Gross, asked about the Phillies' team "chemistry," said: "All I know about chemistry is that I couldn't pass it in high school."
Phillers: The Mets suffered their first real setback of the season last night when righthander Rick Aguilera had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a small bone spur on the inside of his right elbow. The Mets are hoping that a couple of weeks of rest will allow him to return; in the meantime the contract of righthander Jeff Innis has been purchased from Triple A Tidewater.
Minor league notes: Brad Brink, who developed a sore shoulder late in spring training, made his first start for Triple A Maine last night and pitched a five-hit shutout as the Phillies beat Pawtucket, 3-0. Monday night, Maine split a doubleheader. Tom Newell got the win and Todd Frohwirth the save in the opener; John Russell hit his first home run of the season in the second game . . . Class A Spartanburg improved its record to 9-3 by beating Asheville.
The Phillies will bus back to Veterans Stadium after tonight's game against the Mets. Tomorrow is an open date and then the Montreal Expos visit for a three-game homestand. The pitching matchups: Pascual Perez (2-1) vs. Kevin Gross (0-1) Friday, undecided vs. David Palmer (0-0) Saturday and Dennis Martinez (2-2) vs. Bruce Ruffin (2-1) Sunday.