Wilmington Morning News - July 7, 1980
Lefty KKKKKKKing of hill
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
ST. LOUIS – It was not even one of Steve Carlton's greatest performances of this season, but it was one he will long remember years after he has retired.
The 35-year-old Carlton became the all-time left-handed strikeout pitcher in major-league history yesterday as he hurled the Phillies to an 8-3 victory over St. Louis on another swelteringly hot day in Busch Memorial Stadium.
Carlton, now 14-4 with a 2.15 earned run average, went eight innings, allowing only George Hendrick's fourth-inning homer. Ron Reed pitched the ninth and was touched for the Cards' other two runs.
The victory left the Phils in second place in National League East, one full game behind Montreal, a 9-4 winner over New York in 10 innings yesterday.
Carlton, who punched out seven Cards, passed Mickey Lolich's record of 2,832 when Tony Scott fanned moments after Hendrick's homer. Carlton, in eighth place on the all-time list, has 2,836 strikeouts.
Scott was the third out of the inning and, moments after Carlton returned to the dugout, the crowd of 17,769 gave him a standing ovation. He finally came out of the dugout and waved his hands at them.
Carlton, in his 15th major-league season, pitched for St. Louis until he was traded to Philadelphia for Rick Wise after the 1971 season. He still makes his home here.
"Later, when Steve is able to reflect on it, I think this record will mean a lot to him," said Manager Dallas Green. "At the time, when they gave him the ovation, he was just thinking about winning the game. I'm sure Steve is happy it happened either here or in Philadelphia."
Even though Carlton was never in serious trouble after the Phils gave him a 5-0 lead off nemesis Pete Vuckovich, it was not one of his sharpest outings. He had won eight games in a row before dropping his last two starts to New York and Montreal.
"This is the fourth outing in a row when he didn't have that real good slider," said catcher Bob Boone. "I think this time off for the All-Star game is going to do him a lot of good. He needs the rest. In most of his starts this year he's had that slider which bites and explodes in the dirt to right-handed hitters. Even though he struck out seven, he really didn't have a strikeout pitch today."
But Carlton was Carlton and that was good enough to give the Phillies, who had lost two in a row to the Cards, the kind of performance they needed.
"This could have been a tough game for us," said Green. "The Cardinals are an explosive team. Steve just went out today and gave us what we needed – a win!"
The Phils hammered out six doubles, three by Manny Trillo, and finally kayoed Vuckovich in the sixth inning.
Vuckovich, now 7-6, had beaten the Phils twice this year and had won seven straight games from them, including four last season. The last time the Phils defeated him was in back-to-back appearances on April 14-15, 1978, as a relief pitcher.
"You have to give Steve Carlton a lot of credit," said St Louis catcher Ted Simmons. "He went out there in that heat today, didn't have outstanding stuff and got the job done. He is a great, great competitor."
Actually, when Garry Maddox blasted a three-run homer off the fourth St. Louis pitcher, Kim Seaman, in the eighth, the runs appeared to be nothing more than a cushion. But when the Cards came to life to score twice in the ninth with two out off Reed, the runs looked very, very important.
Green estimated the temperature on the field was over 130 degrees and said Carlton could have worked the eighth, but that he felt the lefthander had had enough.
"I didn't take him out because of the All-Star game," said Green. "He's going to Los Angeles, but I don't see how in the world he can pitch in it after today. He threw 104 pitches. Heat like this takes its toll.
"I was pleased with the way we approached this game. I thought we had more intensity than we snowed in the last two."
"Carlton is a magnificent pitcher," said St. Louis Manager Whitey Herzog. "He got us out today with a lot breaking – pitches curves and sliders. He had excellent control. I didn't think Vuckovich threw too well. He was coming back after only three days rest."
The Phils vaulted out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning and added single runs in the fifth and sixth.
Trillo opened the fifth with his first double and easily scored when Bake McBride doubled to right. McBride went to third on Greg Gross' infield out add scored when shorstop Garry Templeton made a wild throw to the plate on Maddox's grounder. Maddox, who advanced to second on the play and stole third, came home on Boone's sacrifice fly.
Hendrick, whose 10th-inning homer gave the Cards a 1-0 victory over the Phils on Friday, blasted a 1-0 Carlton pitch to left field for his 18th homer of the year with one out in the fourth. The Phils got the run back in the fifth when John Vukovich singled to left, sped to second on Carlton's infield out and scored on Trillo's second double.
EXTRA POINTS - The victory gave the Phils a 5-3 record on this road trip, the second trip in a row in which they have had a winning record... They are now 18-18 away from Veterans Stadium...After 76 games last year, the Phils were 39-37, in third place 6 ft games out... At the All-Star break a year ago (July 15), they were tied for second, three games out of first.
All-Star Game has a decided Dodger flavor
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Baseball's 1980 All-Star Game looks like a home game in more ways than one for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With Los Angeles hosting the midsummer classic for the first time in 21 years, four Dodgers will be in the National League's starting lineup and hurlers Jerry Reuss and Bob Welch will be on the mound staff of Manager Chuck Tanner.
Los Angeles' Steve Garvey will open at first base, Davey Lopes at second, Bill Russell at short and Reggie Smith in the outfield as the fans' choices. Lopes was the top vote-getter in both leagues, being named on 3,862,403 ballots.
There was criticism of the fan voting – as usual – with some claiming the ballot boxes were stuffed and re-stuffed at Dodger Stadium. Lending credence to the claim was that, in addition to the four Los Angeles starters voted in, the fans' top choice, Lopes, is hitting .240 this season.
Even Lopes finds his popularity slightly amazing.
"I didn't feel I was having an All-Star type of year," he said. "To get more votes than anybody, that's surprising. But it's nice to know you are that popular with the fans."
Reuss, having an outstanding season – including a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants – after an off year, said, "Being on the All-Star squad this time means more to me than before because I was so far off my game. It means something to come back to being All-Star caliber."
Rounding out the NL starting lineup are Cincinnati catcher Johnny Bench, outfielders Dave Parker of Pittsburgh and Dave Kingman of Chicago, and third baseman Ray Knight of Cincinnati. Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt was voted the starting third baseman, but will not start because of a hamstring pull.
Heading the list of 12 reserves is Phillies first baseman Pete Rose, on his 14th All-Star squad.
The NL pitching staff includes Philadelphia's Steve Carlton, Pittsburgh's Jim Bibbv and Kent Tekulve, Houston's J.R. Richard, Chicago's Bruce Sutter and San Francisco's Ed Whitson – named to replace ailing Giants' teammate Vida Blue.
The American League, which hasn't won an All-Star Game since 1971 and has won but one of the past 17 contests, tries again with a number of newcomers.
Half the players on Manager Earl Weaver's AL squad will be making their All-Star debuts. Only two of the pitchers – the New York Yankees' Tommy John and Rich Gossage – previously have appeared in All-Star Games.
The new AL pitchers are Kansas City's Larry Gura, Baltimore's Steve Stone, Seattle's Rick Honeycutt, Toronto's Dave Stieb and relievers Ed Farmer of Chicago and Tom Burgmeier of Boston.
Three AL starters as voted by the fans – Boston outfielder Jim Rice, Milwaukee second baseman Paul Molitor and third baseman George Brett of Kansas City – will not play because of injuries. Milwaukee's Ben Oglivie probably will start in Rice's spot, with either California's Bobby Grich or the Yankees' Willie Randolph replacing Molitor at second. Graig Nettles of the Yankees or Cleveland's Buddy Bell is expected to start for Brett.