Reading Eagle - August 28, 1980

Carlton Is First 20-Game Winner in N.L.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia Phillies’s manager Dallas Green isn’t sure whether his team will beat Pittsburgh and Montreal for the National League East title, but he’s already awarded his league’s Cy Young Award to Steve Carlton.


Carlton beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-3, Wednesday night for his 20th victory against seven losses, the first NL pitcher to reach the 20 victory plateau.


Steve Stone already has won 21 in the American League.


“I don’t think there is any question (of Carlton winning the Cy Young),” said Green. “Just look at his innings pitched (238), his strikeouts (232), what he’s meant to the team. I don’t think there is anybody close.”


The closest pursuers are Jim Bibby of the Pirates and Jerry Reuss of the Dodgers, each with 15-4 records.


Carlton on Radio


Carlton never talks with the reporters who crowd the dressing room after the game, but he did go on a post game radio show Wednesday night.


“I had some problems with my lower back tonight (Wednesday), but I was able to crank it up,” he said.


Carlton, who didn’t elaborate on the back problem, was asked to compare this season with 1972, the year he posted a 27-10 record for the last-place Phillies and won his first of two Cy Young Awards, made to each league’s best pitcher. He won it again in 1977 (23-10).


“I’ve lost something off my fastball,” admitted the 35-year-old lefthander. “But… I’d say I’m right there with 1972.


“I went through that whole season with three pitches. I don’t have the same control, and I’m not as consistent to spots. But my slider and curve are right there,” Carlton said.


Carlton pitched eight innings, lifted for a pinchhitter in the winning eighth inning rally. Tug McGraw finished for his 14th save.


Added Pressure


Ironically, McGraw had to get out Davey Lopes and Bill Russell in the Los Angeles ninth. He hit Russell with a pitch Monday night that started a brawl. Lopes and Russell were highly critical of McGraw, insisting he his Russell deliberately.


Did he feel any extra pressure?


“Certainly there was added pressure,” said McGraw, who had a one-two-three ninth. “But have to go out there.”


“I felt like a fool the other night. I lost control of my temper. And nothing I say or do can ever rectify that,” McGraw added. “It’s over, but it hurt my professional reputation.”


The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead on Carlton in the first on consecutive doubles by Lopes and Russell. The Phillies tied it in the second with an RBI single by Bob Boone.


Dodgers Go Ahead


Los Angeles went ahead in the fourth, Mickey Hatcher doubling home a run. Pete Rose doubled in one and another scored on an error for a 3-2 Philadelphia lead in the fifth. But Ron Cey’s 20th home run tied in the sixth.


The Phillies won it in the eighth on a single by Bowa, a sacrifice, Keith Moreland’s single and an infield out by Pete Rose.


Rose had three hits, including a double, and drove in two runs. He now has 147 hits in chase of his 11th 200 hit season. The Phillies have 38 games to play.


Rose Needs Streak


Rose said he thought of the 200 hit mark only in that had to mean a hot streak for him which would add to the Phillies’ offense and help win more games in chase of the East title.


Rose talked about Carlton, who the 18-year veteran described as the most consistent pitcher he ever played behind. Rose also worked behind Tom Seaver at Cincinnati.


“Lefty is a battler,” said Rose. “He works fast, keeps you on your toes. He even makes the ground crew hustle. I love to play behind the guy. He’s such a good pitcher.”


Los Angeles manager Tom Lasorda agreed.


“He (Carlton) is a hell of a pitcher, a tremendous competitor.”


Lasorda said it was a well played game in which the Dodgers had some chances but didn’t take advantage.


He defended his move of playing the infield back with one out and the potential winning run on third in the eighth: “I had no doubt about playing it that way,” Lasorda said.


The problem was that Rose hit a slow roller to Russell, and the shortstop had no play but to go for the out at first as Bowa scored.


Steve Garvey tied Nellie Fox for eighth place on the all-time consecutive games played list as he played his 798th straight game.


The Dodgers’ loser was Steve Howe (6-6), the rookie reliever who had allowed just three earned runs in his last 16 appearances over 25-1/3 innings.