Reading Eagle - August 8, 1980
Tug Provides Plug for Carlton’s 17th
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Steve Carlton puts cotton in his ears so he can’t hear the crowd and can concentrate. Dallas Green doesn’t give a hoot if the crowd hoots.
Green, the Philadelphia Phillies manager, made a controversial decision Thursday night, but fortunately for him the Phillies went on to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2.
However, Green could have cared less what the 31,397 fans thought when he came out to make the unpopular decision.
Green left himself open to the biggest second guess of the year.
The Phillies were leading the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2, with two runners on base, two out and Carlton just one batter from his 17th victory of the season.
But Green strode to the mound, his head high, cap tilted on his head in customary fashion, and said to Carlton, “I’ve got McGraw.”
What did Carlton reply?
Green laughed because he knows Carlton doesn’t customarily talk to sports writers. So, the manager supplied his answer. “He said, ‘Okay,’” according to Green.
Why did he take Carlton out?
Some managers might have leaped the desk and throttled a reporter questioning his judgment. Not Green, one of the most cooperative and accessible managers in the game.
“I thought he had enough,” Green said. “I thought he had lost a little of his stuff in the eighth. And when he started to struggle with his control against the guys he struggled with, I thought it was time for a fresh pitcher.
“I’m sure Lefty (Carlton) would have figured a way out of it, but I wanted a fresh guy in there,” Green concluded.
McGraw came in and threw a fresh slider that rookie Tom Herr hit hard back to Bowa, who tossed to second baseman Manny Trillo for the final out.
Before that, George Hendrick had doubled, hitting in his 17th of 19 games, and with two outs, Mike Ramsey singled home the run that left the Cards one short at 3-2.
Pinch hitter Steve Swisher then walked, and that walk convinced Green he had to act. Fortunately for Green his act was a success, or the fans might have hanged him in effigy from the center field flag pole.
The game started out as a pitcher’s battle between Carlton and the Cardinals’ John Fulgham. The Cards broke through with an unearned run in the fifth, on their first hit, a broken bat infield single by Ramsey. Mike Schmidt’s two-base error and an infield out set up the run.
Fungham (3-4) pitched perfect ball through four innings. He walked Schmidt, however, to start the fifth, and Garry Maddox forced Schmidt, beating the potential double play throw by an eyelash.
Manny Trillo then doubled Maddox to third, and Larry Bowa sliced a single to left scoring two and sending the Phillies ahead 2-1. After Bob Boone struck out, Carlton singled home what proved to be the winning tally as he became the first National League pitcher to win 17 games.
St. Louis manager Whitey Herzog said the key to the game was Maddox beating that double play throw.
“He (Maddox) really got down that line. That’s what wins games. He gave them that extra chance.”
The Phillies played superbly in the field but for Schmidt’s error. But Schmidt made two spectacular plays. Maddox made two excellent catches. And Pete Rose dove for a foul pop that brought him a standing ovation.