Wilmington News Journal - August 23, 1980

Carlton loses bid for 20th victory 4-3


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


PHILADELPHIA – No, Dallas Green said, it wasn't a hangover from Thursday's 17-inning migraine.


"I'd like to find an excuse, but that's not it," said the manager. "Heck, we won that game and that should have helped us."


Nothing seemed to help the Phillies at cool Veterans Stadium last night.


San Francisco took advantage of a leaky defense to hand the Phils and Steve Carlton a painful 4-3 setback in 10 innings.


The loss kept Carlton, who went the distance, from becoming the first 20-game winner in the National League.


The pesky Giants who never trailed in this one, scored the winning run in the 10th without hitting a ball out of the infield.


Over the years the Phils' defense has spoiled its fans. Last night, 36,073 customers sat in almost disbelief when usually sure-handed Mike Schmidt and Larry Bowa were unable to come up with key plays.


Take the 10th.


Carlton, who struck out 13, dug himself a hole when he walked lead- off batter Bill North on a 3-2 pitch. Joe Pettini advanced the runner to second with a sacrifice.


Carlton then struck out Larry Herndon, but Jim Wohlford, who tripled home the first run in the first inning, hit a bouncer to deep short. Bowa gloved the ball, but had trouble getting the throw off and Wohlford was safe.


Runners at first and third.


Mike Ivie then hit a chopper to third. Schmidt, who was playing deep, charged the ball, grabbed it with his bare hand and rifled a wild throw to first.


As the ball skidded past first baseman Pete Rose, North easily scored from first and it was 4-3.


Ivie was credited with a single, with the throwing error allowing him to go to second.


"It was a tough play because Schmidt was playing deep and had to charge the ball," said Green. "We have become accustomed to him making those kinds of plays. I guess our defense can spoil you.”


Carlton then got Johnnie LeMaster to fly out to center and he was out of the inning.


Manny Trillo, whose home run in the sixth had pulled the Phils even at 3-3, sent a murmur of hope through the crowd when be singled with two out in the ninth, but reliever Al Holland choked off the threat as Garry Maddox popped out.


"It's a shame Lefty had to lose this game," said Green. "We didn't play very good defense tonight and we don't score the one run when we have to. I guess Bowa had trouble getting the ball out of his glove in the 10th."


Green also reasoned better defense could have gotten Carlton out of the first inning when the Giants scored twice. The speedy North opened the game with a shot to deep short that Bowa gloved. The shortstop, however, elected not to throw. Pettini sacrificed the runner to second and after Herndon fanned, easily scored on Wohlford's screaming triple to left-center.


Wohlford waltzed home when Schmidt bobbled Ivie's bouncer down the line for an error.


The Phils retaliated in a hurry. With one down, Rose hit a liner off starter Ed Whitson's right foot. Whitson, who had to leave the game after the inning because of a deep bruise, remained in and Schmidt drilled a double to center, with Rose scoring.


The Phils tied in the fourth against reliever Tom Griffin when Trillo singled, went to second on a wild pitch. When Wohlford dropped Maddox' fly ball for an error, Trillo stopped at third and Maddox at first. Bowa forced Maddox at second, but Trillo scored with the tying run.


Griffin, who now has nine career home runs, put the Giants on top with a shot to left field with two out in the fifth.


"Lefty made a mistake on Griffin," said Green. "We all know he is a good hitter and can put the ball out of the park. That really was the only run Steve should have given up."


The Phils had a chance to take the lead in the sixth after Trillo's fourth home run in eight games deadlocked the score.


Maddox followed with a single, went to second on a balk and to third on Bowa's infield out. But when Bob Boone hit a shot to third base, Maddox was an easy out trying to score.


"With Garry's speed, he breaks on the crack of the bat," said Green. "You have to try to score in that situation. That's the run I felt we had to score."


On Wednesday night loose fielding cost the Phils a 7-5 decision to San Diego. Last night, they went down to their 23rd one-run loss compared to 18 victories.


"These are the games we have to win, especially at this stage of the season, said Green. "I don't know what it is about our defense. People say we have the best infield in the majors and at times we play that way. I don't know what causes play like we had tonight."


The setback dropped the Phils back to third place in National League East, 2½ games behind first-place Pittsburgh. The Pirates defeated Cincinnati 4-2, while Montreal climbed back into second place with a 6-2 decision over San Diego.


"This was a scuffling win on our part," said San Francisco Manager Dave Bristol. "When you beat Steve Carlton it should count for three victories."


EXTRA POINTS – When Carlton fanned Ivie in the fourth inning, it was his career strikeout No. 2,900... The left-hander glanced at the message board, then under-handed the ball to the dugout for safe keeping... As the crowd gave him a standing ovation, he tipped his cap... The Phils are 2-2 on this homestand, with all four decisions vs. lefthanders... Lonnie Smith has hit in 12 straight games, matching the club high for 1980.... Trillo has a nine-game hitting streak... Carlton's league-leading strikeout total is at 224... Lefty Grove and Chuck Klein were inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously prior to the game.