Oakland Tribune - August 23, 1980
Giants defeat Phillies in 10th
By Nick Peters, Tribune Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – It had all the makings of a classic mismatch.
The Giants staggered into Veterans Stadium Friday night to face baseball’s best left-hander, Steve Carlton, with their top run-producers, Jack Clark and Darren Evans, out of the lineup.
Moreover, they were facing the torrid Philadelphia Phillies, who top the National League in batting and posses a solid defense featuring Gold Glove infielders Larry Bowa and Mike Schmidt.
But Carlton's best-laid plans for a 20th victory went awry and a pair of misplays by the usually-reliable Bowa and Schmidt in the 10th inning gave the Giants a somewhat stunning 4-2 victory before 28,827 fickle fans.
"We didn’t play very good defense tonight,” understated Phillies' Manager Dallas Green in the funereal atmosphere of his clubhouse. Carlton and Bowa were left speechless, as is their custom.
"We didn’t make the plays net i usually maker." said Green after the Phillies lost for only the second time in nine games, despite a 13 strilkeout performance by Carlton, now 19-7.
Giant who have won eight out of 11, did it ln mysterious whys. Starter Ed Whitson fasted only one inning after being struck on the right fool by a Pete Rose grounder. Clark was injured, Evans was resting and Jim Wohlford was thrust into the cleanup role.
But remarkable relief pitching by Tom Griffin, Greg Minton, and Al Holland limited the Phillies to seven hits and one earned run over the final nine innings and Griffin chipped in with his ninth career home run as an added bonus.
“A win like this has to give our club a boost,” chortled Giants Manager Dave Bristol, who attempts to get the team, above .500 for the first time by sending Allen Ripley against Larry Christenson in tonight’s televised (KTVU-2, 4:35 p.m. PDTJ) game.
The 10th inning definitely was a morale builder, as the Phillies normally sturdy defense betrayed Carlton, the silent southpaw they call Lefty.
Billy North led off with a walk and Joe Pettini sacrificed for the second time. After Larry Herndon struck out, newfound slugger Wohlford came to the plate after already slapping a pair of hits off Carlton.
Wohlford grounded sharply to Bowa, but the star shortstop had difficulty getting the bell out of his glove and the fortuitous infield hit sent North to third.
Mike Ivie, who didn't bat fourth because Bristol elected to keep the pressure off him, then hit a high hopper to Schmidt. The crack third baseman charged, grabbed the ball and threw low, enabling Ivie to beat it out.
North scored and Ivie was credited with a single. Schmidt was charged with an error when the ball skipped past first baseman Rose, allowing Wohlford and Ivie to advance.
“I just threw it away,” said a solemn Schmidt while nervously munching on potato chips. “It was an easy play… I have no idea how I threw it.”
On a night when the Giants sorely needed some breaks, they received several. The good fortune began in the first inning when Carlton quickly was jolted by a pair of runs, one of them unearned.
North led off with a single to short, Pettini sacrificed and Herndon struck out, the identical pattern which set up the winning rally in the 10th.
This time, however, Wohlford left no doubt. He drilled a triple to left-center and later scored when Schmidt booted Ivie’s grounder for his first of two errors.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Rose’s sizzler struck the top of Whitson’s foot, obviously hurting the pitcher. Schmidt followed with a run-scoring double for 2-1 and Whitson departed at the end of the inning.
“I wanted to keep going, but Dave didn’t want to take any chances,” said Whitson, who was taken to a nearby hospital for x-rays, which proved negative. “It’s just a bad bruise – I’ll be alright.”
Griffin took over and was torched for an unearned run in the fourth. Manny Trillo singled and went to third when left fielder Wohlford waved off shortstop Johnnie LeMaster and dropped Garry Maddox’ fly for an error.
“It was Johnnie’s play, I shouldn’t have called him off,” said Wohlford. Trillo scored for 2-2 when Bowa grounded to Griffin, who forced out Maddox at second while trying for a double play.
Griffin then pushed the Giants ahead with a two-out homer in the fifth, a 390-foot bolt to left-center. It was his first since 1977.
“I consider myself a good hitter, but they have to throw the ball where my power is,” Griffin noted. “I’m a good hitter when it’s down and in, and that’s where he threw that fastball.
“I really didn’t have very good stuff out there. I’m surprised he (Bristol) left me in so long. I threw one and two-thirds innings at New York Thursday after going six in San Francisco Sunday, so I was dragging.”
Griffin yielded a leadoff homer to Trillo – the second baseman’s sixth, and fourth in the last eight games – in the sixth for a 3-3 tie before Minton and Holland each threw two scoreless innings.
Holland, the winner, hadn’t pitched since Aug. 11 because of an inflammation above his left elbow, but he fired tablets while retiring six of the last seven batters.
“I had to go right at them,” explained Holland, who fanned Schmidt with a blazer to open the 10th. “I was throwing heat because I was well rested and because I was confident.”
“I wanted a second opinion, so I went to one of the Phillies’ doctors when I came to the park. He assured me I could throw hard without risking any further injury. That set me at least and I went after them.”