Philadelphia Inquirer - August 23, 1980
Larry Christenson, who has made a career of heroic comebacks, sees if his latest is for real when the Phillies play host to the San Francisco Giants tonight at 7:35 at the Vet.
Christenson blanked the Mets for six innings at Shea Stadium last Friday, making his first appearance in 85 days and getting credit for an 8-0 victory.
This will be the first chance for Philadelphia fans to get a look at the newest Christenson, now sporting a gaudy 4-0 record.
PHILLIES vs. San Francisco at Veterans Stadium (Radlo-KYW-1060, 7:35 p.m.); Celebrity game begins at 6 p.m.
Phillies Clinic at Flnnegan Play ground, 69th Street and Grovers Avenue, 1 p.m.
Giants defeat Phillies, Carlton, in 10
Schmidt error is costly
By Danny Robbins, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies had a lot going for them last night, mostly Steve Carlton's left arm.
The San Francisco Giants were in a little different situation.
Their best hitter, Jack Clark, a guy with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs to his name, was out with a bruised left hand. Their starting pitcher, Ed Whitson, left the game with a bruised right foot after the first inning. Their lineup had nobody hitting over .257.
So how did this group leave the Vet last night with a 4-3 victory over the Phillies in 10 innings?
Well, Mike Schmidt tossed in two errors – including the one that came as the winning run scored in the 10th. Carlton threw a home run ball to San Francisco pitcher Tom Griffin – his second gopher ball to a pitcher in his last three starts. And the Phillies' production of big hits was slowed by four Giants pitchers, including one, Al Holland, who hadn't been on the mound since Aug. 11.
As a result of all this, Carlton, who struck out 13 but allowed 11 hits, was turned back in this attempt to gain-his 20th win of the season, and the Phillies lost some ground in the National League East. Both the Pirates and Expos won last night, so the Phillies are 2½ back again.
"I wish it counted as three wins," said San Francisco manager Dave Bristol. "Carlton is some pitcher."
Dallas Green knows that, of course, and that's why he considered this to be one of those games the Phillies must win "especially," he said, "now."
Carlton ran into problems in the first inning, but – as would be the case later – they were not all of his own making.
Bill North opened the game with an infield single, a ball deep in the shortstop hole that Larry Bowa reached but couldn't throw, and Jim Wohlford – that .257 hitter – tripled him home with two out. It would have remained a 1-0 game at that point, but Schmidt fumbled Mike Ivie's bouncer behind third base. So the Phils were down, 2-0, from the start.
Also, a trend had been set.
They got one run back in the bottom of the first, and they also got rid of Whitson, 2-0 against the Phillies this year.
Pete Rose put a low line drive off Whitson's right foot and wound up with a single. Whitson wound up in pain on the ground. He stayed in the game, giving up a run-producing double to Schmidt before retiring the side, but Bristol lifted him after that.
The new pitcher was Griffin, and the Phillies could get nothing but one unearned run off him in the next four innings.
In the fourth, Manny Trillo singled and went to second on a wild pitch. He reached third when shortstop Johnnie LeMaster and leftfielder Wohlford couldn't figure out who should take Garry Maddox' popup to shallow left – thus letting it fall – and he scored on a fielder's choice. 2-2.
Meantime, Carlton was in one of his trances. He retired 12 men in a row after Schmidt's error; that total had five strikeouts, including the 2,900th of his career. He had 1-2-3 innings in the second, third and fourth.
But with two out in that inning, he threw a bad 2-0 pitch to Griffin, who has nine career homers, and the reliever golfed it onto the walkway in front of the seats in straightaway left field. Mike Krukow solved Carlton two starts before, but that was in Wrigley Field.
"I thought Lefty pitched a pretty fine game," Green said. "In the first inning, we don't give up a run if we play the game right. Now, the home run was his doing."
Still, Trillo (3-for-4) kept the Phillies even, leading off the sixth against Griffin with his fourth home run in the last eight games.
The Phillies could have done more there. Maddox singled and was on third with one out. Bob Boone hit a sharp grounder that third baseman Joe Pettini fielded cleanly, and Maddox, for some reason, headed for home. He was caught almost in his tracks.
Carlton, who hit (and fanned on three pitches) in the ninth, started the Giants' 10th by walking North. Pettini bunted him up. Herndon struck out, and then Wohlford (3-for-5) hit a ball into the hole that Bowa bobbled for an instant in his glove. Wohlford beat the throw and got a hit. North got to third.
Up came Ivie with two away, and he topped a ball down the third-base line. Schmidt fielded it cleanly, bare-handing it, but his peg to first was wild. And so North was home free with what proved to be the winning run.
Holland then pitched his second scoreless inning to get the win – and take away one that the Phillies should have had.
Dallas Green stayed in a holding pattern on the Greg Luzinski case yesterday. "It's a damn critical decision for us to make, and I'm gonna make it when I'm ready," he said. He said he would make it "before the end of the homestand (Aug. 27) and hopefully before the weekend (is over)." Basically, the Phillies must add Luzinski recovered from knee surgery now before Sept. 1 or be without him if they make a postseason appearance. But they also must drop a player.