Los Angeles Times - August 28, 1980

Dodgers’ Trip Is a Winner; So Is Carlton (20-7)


By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – The Dodgers played the role of tapped-out tourists Wednesday, just playing out the end of a long and difficult but most successful trip.


Winning is execution and the Dodgers, this one night, were the ones with the ax marks on their necks.


In beating the Dodgers, 4-3, Steve Carlton won his 20th for the fifth time in his career and Philadelphia, which made the plays that the Dodgers didn't, averted a sweep.


And in losing the game, the Dodgers averted a happy ending to a 7-2 trip.


Still Two Games Behind


Even so, they remained two games behind Houston in the National League West and must be content with the knowledge that a bad trip, as most have been for the Dodgers, could have blown them out of the running.


"We would have been dead," Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda said. "Dead, dead," He made his point, repeatedly.


But on Wednesday, it was the faltering Phillies, themselves in a pennant race, 4-5 for the home stand, who made most of the points.


The final blow was struck in the eighth, a Pete Rose grounder on a hit-and run play with one out, runners on first and third and the Dodgers infield back.


Three Hits for Rose


In such situations, Rose, who had three hits, is deadly. All that's required is that he make contact. And Rose ("The right man for the job," Phillies Manager Dallas Green said) makes contact more often than Jack Tatum.


It's not a difficult play. In fact, it's right out of a page in the Dodger playbook. Rose said it was a "good call." Why not? The Phillies won with it. But it was not the play that beat the Dodgers.


At least a few of the ax marks were by their own hand.


"We didn't execute," Dodger leader Davey Lopes said. "If you don't score a bundle of runs, you have to do the basics or you don't win. We didn't."


•  In the fifth inning, with the score tied, 2-2, Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey had Bake Mc-Bride dead at the plate. But Garvey played faith-healer, resurrecting McBride by throwing the ball 10 feet wide of the catcher, over the dugout and into the stands. Will the Venus de Milo jokes (as in: Name someone who doesn't have a better arm than Steve Garvey) be resurrected as well?


•  In the Dodger eighth, with the score tied 3-3 and Garvey on first base, Ron Cey attempted to bunt. Twice. Once he bunted foul and once he missed. Eventually, he struck out. Could Cey, who had hit a homer his last time up to tie the game, have been unhappy with Lasorda's play selection? Garvey remained at first until Mickey Hatcher's two-out single sent him to second. If Garvey had already been at second, he would have scored.


•  In the Phillie eighth, Steve Howe, who had extracted Dodger starter Bobby Welch from a jam in the seventh, was pitching. He yielded an infield hit to Larry Bowa. Bob Boone bunted, too hard it seemed. Howe hesitated slightly and then looked to second. Too late. "Nobody told me to throw," he said. That's catcher Joe Ferguson's job, Lasorda said. "I didn't say anything when he looked to second," Ferguson said. Could Bowa have been had? The aye votes were from Howe, Ferguson and shortstop Russell, who finally waved Howe off because, he said, "it was too late by then."


Howe Was Teed Off


Howe then gave up a single to left by pinch-hitter Keith Moreland, putting runners on first and third. Speedster Lonnie Smith, who ran for Moreland, took off. Rose hit the ball and Bowa scored the winning run.


"Howe was teed off," Lopes said. "He had a right to be."


None of the Dodgers looked too happy, in fact. Garvey, when asked what happened on the play, said, "It was fairly obvious, wasn't it?" He sat silently in front of his locker. So did most of his teammates. Apparently, they had a lot to think about.


Carlton (20-7) wasn't as sharp as he can be, but he wasn't bad either, allowing eight hits and striking out eight in eight innings. Tug McGraw got the save. That couldn't have made the Dodgers too happy, either.


"We could have been buried," Dusty Baker said of the trip.


They weren't. In fact, they're flourishing, still in the race and, after taking the day off, ready to begin an 11-game home stand Friday. But, in the end, they did get a little sand kicked in their faces.