Wilmington Morning News - August 8, 1980

Tug nails down No. 17 for Carlton


By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent


PHILADELPHIA – Steve Carlton continued his mastery over his former St Louis Cardinal teammates last night, but it took a big pitch from Tug McGraw to nail down Carlton's 17th victory of the year 3-2.


Carlton, 17-6 on the season and 27-8 lifetime vs. the Cards, left with two out and two on in the ninth last night and watched McGraw throw one pitch to the Cards' Tom Herr, who bounced it to short for the game-ending force play.


"One pitch, not much to talk about," smiled McGraw, who has picked up four saves in eight appearances since coming off the disabled list on July 17.


"I've had good success coming in for Lefty, but once you toe the rubber, it's just a case of getting the guy out."


Tug hasn't allowed a run – and just five hits – in 10 innings since leaving the disabled list.


"Tug's done the job for me every time I've called on him," said Manager Dallas Green, who definitely wasn't the Vet fans' favorite for lifting Lefty just one out short of his eighth complete game.


"I just thought Lefty had had enough. He lost a little of his stuff in the eighth, and when he started struggling with his control against the guys he was struggling with (walking .125-hitter Steve Swisher after jumping ahead 0-2), it was time to make a move."


As for the fans' boos as Green followed Carlton to the dugout, the manager said: "That was not the people's choice, but I don't care. Boos aren't gonna worry me too much."


Green said the victory, underlined by some sparkling defensive play, was a godsend, considering Wednesday night's 14-0 loss.


"You have to feel good after last night," Green nodded. "You feel shaky after games like that. You know it's a freak thing and it shouldn't worry you, but those games can depress a club in a hurry if you let it."


Last night the Phillies didn't and finished an 8-4 homestand, although they haven't hit a home run in their last 51 innings. And last night, it took them a while to hit anything.


In fact, neither team managed a hit until the fifth as both teams made one fine defensive play after another. The Cards had only one baserunner to that point – Keith Hernandez, who walked in the first inning.


But that was one more baserunner than the Phillies, who watched John Fulgham mow down the first 12 men he faced.


St. Louis broke the scoreless tie with an unearned run in the fifth.


Mike Schmidt, who'd made a sparkling barehand pickup and pinpoint throw on Ted Simmons' chopper to end the fourth, was handcuffed by Terry Landrum's easy chopper with one out and booted it for a two-base error.


Landrum moved to third on Ken Reitz's chopper and scored on Mike Ramsey's broken-bat chopper to short that Bowa barehanded but threw a step late to first to catch Ramsey.


It was the first hit of the game.


Schmidt ended Fulgham's perfect-game bid by walking on four pitches to open the Phils' fifth, but Garry Maddox wiped him out on a force play.


Manny Trillo picked up the Phils' first hit when he doubled down the left field line, sending Maddox to third.


Bowa hit a soft liner over third and both Maddox and Trillo scored, in relay fashion, one behind the other, as Landrum's throw to the plate was late and wide.


"Manny had a better angle on the ball," said Green. "He saw it was a hit."


After Bob Boone struck out, Carlton helped his own cause with a single to right that scored Bowa for what turned out to be the winning run.


"That was nice hitting," smiled Green. "I wouldn't say Lefty won this one more with his bat than his arm, but I'm really glad that one got through."


The Cards threatened in the next three innings, but watched their rallies snuffed by some fine Phillie leatherwork.


Schmidt ended the Cards' sixth-inning threat with a fine pickup on George Hendrick's shot, forcing Hernandez at second.


After Reitz picked up a ground-rule double on a shot off Schmidt's glove that caromed into the stands, Pete Rose made the best defensive play of a night-long defensive showcase.


Rose chased pinch-hitter Keith Smith's foul fly near the Phils' dugout, making one of his headfirst slides and gloving the ball just before it hit the ground, then sliding a few more feet for good measure.


The crowd of 31,397 cheered and, after a bit of a wait, Rose reappeared from the dugout to acknowledge the cheers.


“I didn't think it was high enough to get to," said Rose, "but, with a guy on second, you gotta try for it. But I didn't do anything I don't always do."


Hernandez died on second after a two-out double in the eighth, but Hendrick led off the ninth with a double to right-center and scored on Ramsey's single to right, making it 3-2.


When Carlton walked Swisher, Green went out to get him. And the team that scored 14 runs the night before couldn't get any closer.


Tug McGraw saw to that.


EXTRA INNINGS  Phils snapped a 16-inning scoreless streak with their three-spot in the fifth... Phils picked up a half-game on the division leaders with the 8-4 homestand... Rose's next run scored will tie him with Eddie Collins for 10th place on the all-time list... Greg Luzinski will accompany the Phils on their 12-game, three-city road trip that begins tonight in Pittsburgh with Dick Ruthven facing Rick Rhoden.