Wilmington Morning News - July 3, 1980
Expos are just wild about Lefty
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
MONTREAL – After stinging Montreal in the first two games of the series, the Phillies were feeling rather smug yesterday.
After all, they had won the first two battles behind Dickie Noles and Randy Lerch and now it was Steve Carlton's turn. The way Carlton has been pitching this year, a victory was almost automatic.
The Phillies, however, stumbled to a 6-1 loss last night at Olympic Stadium that left them two games behind the first-place Expos in National League East.
Carlton, whose eight-game winning streak was snapped by the New York Mets on Friday night, struggled from the beginning. He was continually behind the batters and had just one perfect inning, the sixth.
And to complicate his night, he threw two wild pitches that let in runs enabling the Expos to take a 3-1 lead even though they were being outhit at the time 6-3.
Steve Rogers, a one-time Phils' nemesis, won his first game after two losses this year to Philadelphia and contributed to his own cause by driving in the first run. Rogers, 13-13 lifetime against the Phils, had lost three straight games to them after winning six straight between 1977 and 1979.
The Expos clung to their 3-1 lead until the eighth when they scored three no-questions-asked runs. It was during that uprising that Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green was forced to lift Carlton, now 13-4, for the first time since May 1 and only the third time this year.
"I was trying to milk everything out of him I could," said Green as he prepared for a late-night flight to St. Louis. "If Steve Rogers had merely beaten us tonight, I wouldn't feel so bad. We had a lot of chances to make it a lot more interesting than it was."
The Phils outhit Montreal 9-7 and were still in the game until Andre Dawson's single, Gary Carter's double, Warren Cromartie's bunt single, Larry Parrish's sacrifice fly and a hit by Chris Speier produced three runs.
"He was just out of gas in the eighth," said Green. "Steve struggled from the beginning. I didn't think he had good concentration tonight. In fact, I didn't think he had himself all together tonight."
"He never did establish his slider, he just didn't have it tonight," said catcher Bob Boone. "He had a fairly good curve, but his slider has been his most effective pitch all year and he didn't have it tonight."
The wild pitches doomed Carlton.
"The first wild pitch was a side-arm curve to Cromartie," said Green. "He dropped down to get the first two strikes and the next one just got away."
By winning two of the three games, the Phils chipped a game off Montreal's three-game lead, but had they won last night would have been tied for first place.
"I feel a little empty even though we took two out of three," said Green: "I just wasn't pleased the way we played this game tonight."
Green was especially concerned about the heart of his batting order. Mike Schmidt was hitless in three at-bats and Greg Luzinski went down four times. The Bull is hitless in his last 18 at-bats with 10 strikeouts and has just two hits in his last 41 at-bats with 15 strikeouts.
"You have to have patience with him," said Green. "He took extra batting practice Monday and Tuesday and we saw some improvement. He just has not been able do it in a game."
The Phillies had a chance for a big inning against Rogers in the first, but managed to get just one run.
Pete Rose and Manny Trillo opened with singles and Schmidt walked to load the bases. But Luzinski fanned and Garry Maddox forced Schmidt at second as Rose scored. Greg Gross, again in right field for the ailing Bake McBride, walked before Bob Boone hit a soft fly to shallow right field to end the inning.
Carlton worked out of trouble in the first, but Montreal pulled even in the second when Cromartie doubled and scored on Rogers' single through the middle.
The Expos' daring baserunning, plus Carlton's wild pitches, enabled Montreal to jump in front 3-1 with single runs in the third and fifth innings.
Dawson almost single-handedly gave the Expos a second run in the third when he stretched a single into a double, raced to third on a fly to deep left and scored on the first of Carlton's wild pitches.
Carlton walked Rogers to start the fifth, but the pitcher was forced at second on Rodney Scott's one-out grounder. With Dawson batting, Carlton had Scott picked off at second, but the runner broke for third and Trillo's throw hit him in the back. Carlton then unleashed his second wild pitch and it was 3-1.
And, as far as the Phils were concerned, the game was over.
EXTRA POINTS - Carlton is now 19-16 against Montreal... He and Rogers have squared off 12 times, with Rogers having a 5-4 edge... Rose needs just one more run to tie Ted Williams for 11th place on the all-time list with 1,798... Trillo's hitting streak is eight games... In addition to Carlton, Rose and Schmidt will represent the Phillies at the All-Star Game... When Carlton struck out Warren Cromartie in the third, he moved into eighth place ahead of Ferguson Jenkins on the all-time strikeout list with 2,827... After 71 games last year, the Phils were 37-34, in third place seven games behind first-place Montreal... The Expos have signed Larry Parrish through the 1985 season. Parrish, 26, spent a month on the disabled list before returning to action in this series... Expos are about to announce that Manager Dick Williams will also sign a new contract... The Phils left immediately after the game for St. Louis... Dick Ruthven and Bob Walk will start tonight's double-header against Bob Forsch and Jim Otten.
Carlton heads NL All-Star staff
NEW YORK (AP) – Steve Carlton of the Phillies, baseball's win-ningest pitcher with a 13-4 record, beads the eight-man staff named yesterday by National League President Chub Feeney and Pittsburgh Manager Chuck Tanner for the NL All Star team.
Joining Carlton on the NL team for the July 8 game against the National League at Los Angeles are Jim Bibby of Pittsburgh, San Francisco's Vida Blue, Jerry Reuss of Los Angeles, J R. Richard of Houston, Bob Welch of Los Angeles, Pittsburgh's Kent Tekulve and Chicago's Bruce Sutter.
Carlton, who started last year's game for the NL in Seattle and also was the NL starting pitcher in the 1969 game at Washington, has a 1.93 earned run average and was NL litcher of the month for May. He eads the league in strikeouts and innings pitched.
Four NL pitchers – Bibby, Blue, Reuss and Richard – have won nine games apiece.
Bibby, 9-1 with a 3.00 ERA, leads the league In winning percentage. Blue, 9-5, won seven straight over one stretch and is the only man to start the All Star Game for both leagues, opening for the AL in 1971 – the only AL victory in the last 17 years – and for the NL in 1978.
Reuss, 9-2 with a league-leading 1.74 ERA, pitched the season's only no-hitter last week and was chosen NL pitcher of the month for June. He was the starting pitcher for the NL in tbe 1975 game in Milwaukee and pitched three shutout innings. Richard, 9-4 and 1.90, had a string of 31 consecutive scoreless innings earlier this season.
Sutter, winning pitcher in the last two All Star games, is 3-4 with a 3.06 ERA and leads the majors with 18 saves. Tekulve, bulwark of the Pirate bullpen, is 5-4 with nine saves and a 3.23 ERA and Welch is 8-3 with a 2.35 ERA.
The American League named its eight-man pitching staff earlier Wednesday, selecting New York Yankee teammates Tommy John and Rich Gossage, Rick Honeycutt of Seattle, Dave Stieb of Toronto, Boston's Tom Burgmeier, Ed Farmer of Chicago, Steve Stone of Baltimore and Larry Gura of Kansas City.