Camden Courier-Post - August 28, 1980
‘Cy-lent Steve’ posts 20th win
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – It wasn't the first time in Steve Carlton's career that he won 20 games. And, it may not have been the last.
But last night's 4-3 victory over the Dodgers before 39,116 fans in Veterans Stadium was significant for the Phillies in a number of ways, not the least of which was it narrowly avoided a series sweep by Los Angeles.
Carlton, now 20-7, became a 20-game winner for the fifth time in his career, fourth since becoming a Phillie in 1972, by holding the Dodgers at bay for eight innings. He is a leading candidate for the Cy Young Award.
IT IS the earliest Carlton has won his 20th since that magic season of '72, when he reached the plateau on Aug. 17 en route to a 27-10 record. And, it was the first time the lefthander has won 20 since 1977, which is the last time he beat the Dodgers in a regular-season game.
The game went into the eighth inning tied, 3-3. Lefthanded reliever Steve Howe was on the mound for the Dodgers, having replaced Bob Welch and quelched a seventh-inning rally, when Larry Bowa opened with a single to deep shortstop.
After Bob Boone sacrificed, Manager Dallas Green sent Keith Moreland in to hit for Carlton. Moreland got the hit, but Bowa had to wait for it to clear the infield and had to stop at third.
So it was that Pete Rose, who already had three hits, faced Howe with runners at the corners and the Dodger infield playing for the double play.
GREEN MADE two moves to prevent the double play, sending in Lonnie Smith to pinch run for Moreland and flashing Rose the hit-and-run sign.
The run was one the Phils had to have in a game they sorely needed to win. And Rose got it, with Smith running, by bouncing a grounder to short.
"They (the Dodger infielders) weren't really deep – about halfway," said Rose. "That's why Dallas put the hit-and-run on, to stop the double play. Before I went up there they told me he (Smith) wasn't going to steal, but to be alive for the hit and run. It was a good move. He didn't want Lonnie to steal because then they would walk me."
Said Green: "We knew what that run meant to us as a team. We had to have it and you can bet your boots he (Rose) was going to get it in. I knew he'd hit the ball and I knew he'd hit the ball on the ground."
IT WAS not without a touch of irony that Tug McGraw was called in from the bullpen to protect the fragile lead.
McGraw struck out the first two batters he faced, then all that remained between him and his 14th save was Dodger shortstop Bill Russell, who had taken a strong dislike to being hit by a 3-0 McGraw pitch on Monday night.
McGraw, if you recall, had permitted a two-run single to Joe Ferguson on the second pitch of what was supposed to have been an intentional walk.
Angered by the blunder, McGraw threw at Russell, the next hitter, four straight times and Russell retaliated by charging the mound, precipitating a bench-clearing brawl.
"I FELT like a fool the other night," McGraw said. "I lost control of my temper. There's nothing I can say or do that will rectify it. It happened and I did it and that's all. It's over with and I'll just have to overcome that. I'm talking about my rapport with the other players and my reputation."
The win, coming as it did on a night when both the Pirates and Expos lost, did much to restore the Phillies' reputation in the crazy, mixed-up world of the National League East.
The Phils went 4-5 during the disappointing home stand but, amazingly, picked up a full game on the Pirates. The Phils today leave for an 11-game West Coast trip trailing the Bucs by 2Vz, one game in the all-important loss column.
"I'm not very pleased with the home stand," said Green. "A ball-club going for a pennant should make hay when the sun shines. We have to forget our personal problems, our personal gripes, and go for one win at a time. If we do that, we'll be a better baseball team."
Whether or not the Phillies apply themselves to Green's one-day-at-a-time philosophy is a question that will be answered on the road trip, which begins tomorrow night with four games in San Diego.
PHIL UPS – Third baseman Mike Schmidt made a diving, backhand stop of a Ferguson shot in the fourth, preventing a run from scoring... Rose made a nice play picking a foul pop up out of the stands in the seventh... Phils scored two runs in fifth to take 3-2 lead when Rose doubled borne Carlton and Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey made a throwing error... Ron Cey tied it with his 20th home run of the season to lead off the sixth... It was first time since June 24 that the Phils fielded their opening-day lineup... Channel 17 will televise tomorrow night's game at San Diego, beginning at 10 p.m., and the first game of Saturday's doubleheader... Phils will use Larry Christenson tomorrow, Dick Ruthven and Nino Espinosa Saturday, and Bob Walk Sunday.
Two different paths lead to the same goal
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – Trying to compare the divergent personalities of Phillies Steve Carlton and Pete Rose might be like attempting to find a common ground between a brain surgeon and a coal miner.
Carlton is the aloof professional' whose skills are as much instinctive as learned. When Carlton pitches, he stuffs cotton in his ears to shut off all distractions. He uses his fastball, curve and slider – the tools of his trade – with the precision of a diamond cutter. He rarely shows emotion.
Rose is the workingman's player, a self-made man who's risen to the heights of his profession through sheer labor and determination. Rather than avoid distractions, Rose seems to invite them. He constantly watches the scoreboard for results of other games, banters with teammates and opposing players, and is keenly aware of the presence of the fans who pay his sizable salary.
Yet, strange as it might seem, there are similarities between the two men. Phillies catcher Bob Boone, among others, has noted more than once the intense concentration Carlton and Rose maintain while they're playing the game of baseball. Carlton and Rose also share a fierce competitive drive that is unmistakable. Neither likes very much the concept of losing.
Both, too, have been invaluable to the Phillies this season, Carlton as their No. 1 pitcher and Rose as the one man in the batting order who can, under most any circumstance, get the job done.
In their own ways, Carlton and Rose were largely responsible for the Phils' 4-3 victory over the Dodgers last night in Veterans Stadium. Carlton, despite having stuff that was less than awesome, shrugged off some lower back pain to win his 20th with eight innings of eight-hit pitching.
Rose, batting leadoff with Lonnie Smith off for the night, had three hits – one a double that scored the tying run in the fifth – and drove in the deciding run in the eighth with a ground ball.
After the game, someone asked Manager Dallas Green how valuable Carlton has been to the Phillies this year. "Just subtract his wins, innings pitched and strikeouts from the rest of the staff," Green shot back.
Carlton's 20 wins represent nearly a third of the club's total, and the other four starters in the present rotation are 28-16 – combined. No one on the staff is even close to Carlton's 238 innings pitched (righthander Dick Ruthven is second with 169⅔). And, the eight strikeouts Carlton had last night raised his major-league leading total to 232, which is five more than the combined total of Larry Christenson, Nino Espinosa, Bob Walk, Ruthven and spot starter Randy Lerch.
Those larger-than-life numbers make Carlton a towering figure in the Phils' stubborn pursuit of the Pirates and Expos in the National League East Division. But they tell little of the man who has made it possible for the Phillies to remain in contention as the season turns to its final weeks.
Carlton has steadfastly avoided talking to the press and has, as a result, remained distant from the fans. It is a gulf he should take steps to bridge.
But Carlton showed no restraint after Tug McGraw pitched a one-two-three ninth to save the victory. Carlton, who was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth, remained in the dugout to watch McGraw close out the win. And, when McGraw got Bill Russell to bounce to second baseman Manny Trillo for the final out, Carlton greeted the reliever with an appreciative hug and kiss. Carlton made sure he shook hands with all of his teammates as they left the field, then waved his cap to the 39,116 applauding Veterans Stadium fans.
"This year, he (Carlton) has been what I've expected from everybody – and it's not over," said Green. "Tonight, I know he wanted it. I know the team wanted it. We played with intensity."
That intensity is perhaps best illustrated by Rose's at bat in the eighth. With one out, runners on first and third, the Dodgers infield at double-play depth and the game on the line, Rose produced the ground ball the Phillies had to have.
"It was," Rose would later say, "a situation at bat. I really wanted to do it there because Lefty (Carlton) was out of the game... I'm looking at the scoreboard (with news of the Pirates' loss to Atlanta)... I'm aware of the situation. It's a big win for us."
And somehow, it doesn't seem at all strange that Rose was the one who got it for Carlton.