Camden Courier-Post - August 23, 1980

Poor defense costs Carlton 20th win


By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies had been hot. Ever since they escaped Pittsburgh, downtrodden after four straight defeats, the Phillies had been barbecuing opponents with an offense that had been, well, blazing.


But some of the fire that had the Phillies hitting .354 over eight previous games was extinguished last night by four San Francisco Giant pitchers, who brought the Phils' attack under control to take a 4-3, 10-inning decision and deprive Steve Carlton of his 20th victory.


Carlton was the victim of a Phillie defense that rested during crucial points of the game. Mike Schmidt made two errors, the second allowing the winning run to score in the 10th.


Leadoff hitter Bill North opened the deciding inning with a walk – Carlton's second of the game – and moved to second on Joe Pettini's well-executed sacrifice. Carlton struck out Larry Herndon and seemed out of the inning when Jim Wohlford grounded a ball to shortstop Larry Bowa.


Bowa had to go into the hole to field the ball and did not come up with it cleanly, throwing too late to first and putting runners on the corners. Mike lvie followed with an AstroTurf chopper that Schmidt charged, barehanded, then threw away as North crossed the plate with the game-winner.


"Lefty pitched a fine game," said Manager Dallas Green. "In the first inning, he doesn't give up a run if we play the game. The home run was the only mistake of his doing. We did not play very good defense."


The home run came on a 2-0 fastball to opposing pitcher Tom Griffin, who rifled it into the stands in left-center for his first homer of the year and a 3-2 Giant lead in the fifth. An inning later, Manny Trillo would tie the game with his sixth homer of the season, fourth in eight games. But that was the only thing that recalled the kind of explosive baseball the Phillies had been playing.


In fact, Garry Maddox followed Trillo's homer with a single to center, moving to second on a balk and to third on a ground ball to the right side by Bowa. But then Maddox foolishly attempted to score on a grounder to third by Bob Boone.


The Phillies had art excellent chance to score in the eighth when Bake McBride singled and went to second on a Trillo sacrifice. But Maddox fanned and, after Bowa was walked intentionally, Boone popped out.


Carlton may not have become a 20-game winner for the fifth time in his career, but he did join a select list of pitchers who have struck out 2,900 batters when he made Ivie one of his 13 strikeouts in the fourth. Only five before Carlton (Walter Johnson, Gaylord Perry, Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan , and Tom Seaver) have reached that plateau.


The loss was particularly damaging to the Phillies in the National League East Division pennant race, since both Pittsburgh and Montreal won. The Phils now are in third place, 2½ games behind the Bucs.


Carlton barely had time to consider what he would not be saying to the press after the game when North was beating out a single to deep shortstop. Pettini sacrificed before Carlton made Herndon his first strikeout.


Wohlford, who was hitless in four at-bats the last time Carlton pitched against the Giants, followed with a triple to center field, then scored to make it 2-0 when Schmidt bobbled Ivie's grounder.


Schmidt atoned for that miscue in the Phils' half of the first by hammering an Ed Whitson pitch to center for a double that scored Pete Rose. Rose had gotten the Phils' first hit by ripping a ball that caught Whitson on the right foot. The righthander finished the inning, but was removed in the Giants' second and taken to Methodist Hospital, where precautionary X-rays proved negative.


Griffin replaced Whitson and was touched for an unearned run, tying the score at two, in the fourth. Trillo opened that inning with an infield single, moved to second on a wild pitch and trotted into third when Wohlford dropped Gary Maddox' pop up in shallow left. Bowa followed with a sharp bouncer to the mound, but hustled to avoid the double play as Trillo scored.


PHIL UPS – Lonnie Smith extended his hitting streak to 12 games, matching a season-high reached by Bake McBride and Maddox, with a single in the seventh... But Smith was caught stealing on a pitchout by catcher Mike Sadek... Chuck Klein and Lefty Grove were inducted into the Philadelphia Hall of Fame prior to the game... The 13 strikeouts marked the 10th time this season Carlton has fanned at least 10... Bowa had a hitting streak stopped at seven games... Larry Christenson makes his second start since coming off the disabled list tonight (7:35) against Allen Ripley.

Luzinski return poses problems


By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – One of the more intriguing questions the Phillies face right now is, what happens when Greg Luzinski returns?


The problem, really, is twofold. Manager Dallas Green must decide, first, what he'll do with Lonnie Smith, who has been a spectacular addition to the lineup. And Green eventually will have to drop someone from the 25-man roster, making that player ineligible for any post-season play that might be in the future.


"It's a damn critical decision," Green said last night prior to the Phillies' game against the San Francisco Giants in Veterans Stadium. Despite the obvious difficulty, Green added that he would probably make such a decision prior to the conclusion of this home stand Wednesday, if not before the end of this weekend.


Luzinski has made excellent progress since undergoing knee surgery July 28. The Bull has been taking batting practice for the last week or so and, while he still seems to have some difficulty running, he seems ready to return to at least parttime duty.


"When he comes back, he probably won't be able to play nine," said Green. "It'll be a two-man situation with him, because we'll probably be using him as a pinch-hitter first and, if he gets on, we'll need a pinch runner. That's pretty expensive."


Smith has been the Phils' regular left fielder since Luzinski was injured July 5 while sliding into second base during a game at St. Louis. And, while Smith's defense has been, at best, erratic, his offense has been spectacular. He has a 12-game hitting streak in which he batted .484. Smith also had scored a total of 28 runs in 28 previous games.


"It can't," said Green, "drag on too long, in fairness to Bull. I'll have to pick my spots, pick my pitchers... There'll have to be some lineup changes."


Beyond the problem of whom to play when and where, there lies the dilemma of making room on the roster for Luzinski. Green must present the National League office with a 25-man roster by Sept. 1. Those not on that roster would not be eligible for the playoffs or World Series. Any players who were disabled, however, could be added after Sept. 1 and still be eligible for post-season play.


The Phillies might simply wait a few more days to see if the arms of Nino Espinosa or Larry Christenson continue to hold up. If either were put on the disabled list, he could be brought back late in the season, if necessary.


But the bottom line remains that the Phillies will eventually have to drop someone from their roster to make room for Luzinski. It is a job Green does not relish.


"I'll make the decision as soon as I figure out what we're going to do with the guy that's going to get hurt by this," Green said.