Wilmington News Journal - April 27, 1980
Carlton plays favorite trump card: 1-hitter
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent
PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies-Steve Carlton set a modern National League record last night at the Vet with his sixth career one-hitter.
Then Lefty extended a personal record by refusing to discuss his 7-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals with the assembled scribes.
Everybody else was talking, though – in superlatives.
"He had an outstanding curve ball and his slider was exceptional," said Manager Dallas Green after Ted Simmons kept Carlton out of the no-hit ranks again with a second-inning single. Simmons also walked in the seventh and was the Cards' only baserunner all night.
"Lefty went after them like he really wanted this game tonight. Not that he doesn't want to win all of them, but he really went after them tonight," Green said.
Catcher Bob Boone has replaced Tim McCarver – now in the broadcasting booth but still bubbling over Lefty's "awesome stuff" – as Carlton's designated talker. Boone called the left-hander's pitches "exceptional." Which wasn't news to anyone in the crowd of 25,168.
"But then he's had great stuff from Day One of spring training," added Boone, who homered off reliever Donnie Moore in the eighth for the Phils' final two runs.
As for the fastball Simmons hit to left for a single, Boone just shrugged. "Teddy hits Steve better than anybody in the league," he said. "Teddy's just an outstanding hitter."
But it was Carlton's game all the way and he left five National League pitchers – Mordecai Brown, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Jim Maloney, Tom Seaver and Don Sutton – in second place with five one-hitters.
The major-league record is either 11 or 12, depending on which record book you check, by Cleveland's Bob Feller.
Carlton threw two one-hitters last season, losing both in the seventh inning.
The Phils finally solved loser John Fulgham with three runs in the seventh on Del Unser's pinch triple and a throwing error. They added four more runs in the eighth.
The Phillies ended Fulgham's perfect game in the fourth after the Cards' right-hander had set down the first 10 men he faced.
A Greg Gross walk, Garry Maddox's single and Greg Luzinski's infield hit loaded the bases, but Fulgham escaped unscathed when Boone narrowly forced Luzinski at second.
Fulgham wasn't as lucky in the decisive seventh. Luzinski started the rally with a one-out double down the left field line. The hit tied the Bull with Pinky Whitney and Cy Williams on the Phils' all-time doubles list at 237 but, more important, set the stage for the three-run rally.
Boone kept things going with a walk and, after Larry Bowa popped out on the next pitch, Green sent Unser up to bat for second baseman Luis Aguayo.
The Phils' pinch hitters, after starting the season 0-for-10, had collected seven hits in their last nine times up, with Unser getting two singles.
Unser made it three straight pinch hits – perhaps not quite as dramatic as the three consecutive pinch homers he drilled last season to establish a major-league record – but enough to get three runs home.
Unser drilled the ball over Tony Scott's head in right center and off the wall on one hop. Both runners scored and Unser slid in with a triple. And when second baseman Tom Herr's relay skipped past Ken Reitz and went into the stands, Unser was waved home.
"If pinch-hitting is something I'm gonna do, I'd better do it or I'm not gonna have a job," said Unser. "You just have to be aware of the situation and hit according. You might take one or two shots at hitting one out, then you just try to make contact."
Unser got enough contact on a Fulgham slider to get the trick done.
Green was a bit surprised that Fulgham gave Unser a fat pitch to hit.
"As a pitcher, you can't let Unser beat you," Green said. "He knows who's coming up next (Carlton) and there's no way I'm taking Lefty out with the job he was doing."
The Phils added two more runs in the eighth to kayo Fulgham. Pete Rose, nursing a sore left elbow after hyperextending it on a tag play Friday night, led off with a single and dove into third when Gross followed with a single to left. Gross moved to second with the play on Rose.
Maddox singled both runners home. Moore relieved Fulgham, got Schmidt and Luzinski, then served up a home run to Boone to make it a laugher at 7-0.
"We do like the late innings, don't we?" laughed Green, a bit sarcastically.
One guy who wasn't smiling was Randy Lerch. Lerch, a Carlton crony, may have been wondering where all those hits were on Friday night when he was losing 3-1 to St. Louis in a game in which the Phils stranded 12 baserunners.
But then the Phillies always support Lefty, especially when Carlton makes it easy on them by only giving the opposition a measly hit or two.
You can look it up.
EXTRA INNINGS – Carlton's six one-hitters is a "modern" record since Charles Radbourne, pitching for Providence, Boston and Cincinnati from 1881-91, threw seven one-hitters before 1900... Bob Feller has 12 one-hitters in The Little Red Book of Baseball Records and 11 in the Record Book published by the Sporting News... Rose needs one more at-bat to tie Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list. Rose has been up 10,880 times... George Hendrick's 10-game hitting streak ended... Carlton is 25-8 lifetime vs. the Cardinals... Dick Ruthven vs. Bob Forsch today at 1:35.
Noles shoots straight as Phils’ bullpen ace
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – Dickie Noles reminds you of a fearless gunf ighter in one of those old cowboy flicks. He swaggers into the middle of a saloon brawl, draws his six-shooter and when the smoke settles, all the problems are sprawled on the floor.
The only difference is Dickie Noles does not use a six-shooter. He uses his right arm, and after two weeks of the National League season he has become the Phillies most impressive reliever.
Take last Saturday's game in Montreal.
The Phillies were on their way to a 13-4 victory over the Expos in the igloo that is Olympic Stadium. Even with such a big lead the pitching had been so-so, but Noles worked the last four innings and had the Expos shaking their heads. He struck out six, allowing just one hit.
After 13 games, the 23-year-old Noles has appeared in five, punched out nine batters, allowed only five hits and no runs, and has one save.
For the Phillies, who did everything they could during the off-season to land a stopper for the ailing bullpen, Noles has been quite a find.
But wait a minute.
As early as last December when it appeared certain the Phillies would not be able to land Texas reliever Sparky Lyle, Manager Dallas Green told people Noles could do the job.
"I still feel that way," Green said, using his statistics sheet to back up that belief. "I like the way Dickie comes at hitters. I think our guys do, too. He goes after them and challenges them. He has demonstrated more and more he can get the ball over the plate and doesn't scare. He's got some belly.
"I've always had in the back of my mind he'd be a damn good bullpen man. All he has to do is be consistent and so far he has been just that."
It was last July 5 that Noles stalked into Veterans Stadium, an emergency call-up from the Oklahoma City farm team the day after three starting pitchers went down with injuries. Used mostly as a starter, he compiled a 3-4 record and a 2.80 earned run average.
"I don't mind switching to relief," Noles said. "I'll do anything to pitch in the majors. Hell, I'm a scrub. I just want to pitch on this club, so whatever I can do I'll do.
"In relief, you still have to get people out. I just come in and pitch. I regard the first batter as the last batter. I've never relieved that much, but I'm willing to try it and give it my best.
"Relieving is different now. Everybody is a specialist. You're expected to come in, go right at them and get them out. That's what a pitcher is supposed to do, whether he's a reliever or a starter. Like I said, I want to be here. It doesn't matter to me what they have me doing."
Noles came out of Harding High in Charlotte, N.C., after a brilliant scholastic career in football and baseball. He was drafted by the Phillies fourth in 1975 and given a $20,000 bonus.
"It was gone just like that," Noles said, flicking his fingers. "I had a lot of places for that money to go."
People, including Green, have inferred Noles is so effective because he refuses to be in awe of the reality of the situation. He treats the stars of the game as if he has been around them all his life. His neighborhood in Charlotte was supposedly tough, an environment where kids had to be aggressive to survive the little day-to-day battles.
"I've read where people said I come from a tough neighborhood," said Noles. "I guess my neighborhood probably wasn't any different than any other neighborhood. It wasn't a rich neighborhood, but I was proud of it. We played more sports than they do now. That's all we did, from dawn to dark."
Dickie completed 12 years of school, but did not graduate because he missed a lot of time during his senior year.
"I didn't really have any grade problems, but I was too busy playing baseball. I wish I would have gone to school, just for the education... I mean college, but I don't think I'd have ever gone if I had had a thousand scholarships. All I wanted to do was play major-league baseball. When I found out I was going to get a chance, that was all I wanted and the heck with college."
Noles thought the Phillies were going to use him as an outfielder because he played both roles in high school. But the day he arrived at Auburn, N.Y., he was a pitcher.
When disaster struck the Phils' pitching staff last summer, they looked at his 6-4 record at Oklahoma City which included five straight victories and a 1.26 earned run average.
"I just came up here to get people out," he said, almost nonchalantly. "When Danny Ozark decided to send me back I thought it was a bum deal. I had pitched well. I just couldn't understand him, but I was the only guy they could option. Instead of pouting, I busted my butt and got recalled."
Noles looks around "Millionaires' Row" in the Phillies' clubhouse and says he never thinks about all the money his teammates are making.
"That's not my concern," said Dickie, who is making $27,500, "I am lucky to be playing baseball. Hell, I would do it for the meal money alone. But as long as they are going to pay me I'll take it. One of the things that bothers me about the talk of a players' strike is that everybody thinks we all make tons of money. There are a lot of players who are earning something under $30,000. Still, we're making more than most businessmen.
"When you make $600 a month and $700 a month and then $800 a month and struggle to get a thousand a month in the minors, you have to be happy with what you're getting here.
"Look, I have never worried about money in my life. And I'm not gonna worry about it as long as I'm healthy and can play baseball. That's what makes me happy."