Wilmington Morning News - June 5, 1980
Green counts blessing, Carlton
Phillies edge Pirates as Lefty wins No. 10
By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent
PITTSBURGH – Dallas Green thanked heaven for small favors – and Steve Carlton – last night.
"Feel good managing a team with Steve Carlton on it?" Green said smiling after last night's 4-3 victory over the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium. "On this team I am. He's got 10 victories and how many does the team have?"
Just 24, Dallas. And only two in their last seven games, both by Carlton, who breezed past the Pirates in just 1:53 last night in what Green said was an off-night for the NL Pitcher of the Month for May.
"Steve's been super all year," said Green, "although this wasn't one of his better ones. But it was a helluva-pitched game against the Pirates. Every inning seems tough against Pittsburgh."
Pirates' starter John Candelaria lasted seven innings and left trailing 4-3. That meant that the Phillies had to face the Bucs' bullpen, namely Enrique Romo, the last two innings. Which also meant that they would finish with four runs.
Not only had Romo allowed no runs in his last six appearances and just one earned run in 18 innings, tut he hadn't allowed any runs in three appearances and five innings against the Phils this season.
And last night's outing made that no runs in seven innings, as well as running the string to five games in which Pirate relievers hadn't allowed an earned run.
The Pirates threatened to tie the score in the eighth when Dave Parker reached second with two out on a single to center and Garry Maddox's error in fumbling the ball. But Carlton struck out Bill Robinson to end the inning.
The 31,075 customers held their breath when Bill Madlock flied to the warning track in left leading off the ninth, but George Vukovich made the catch.
Lee Lacy, who'd already doubled, did it again, drilling the ball off Mike Schmidt's glove and down the left-field line. But Carlton got the final two batters, with Greg Gross' on-charging catch of Dale Berra's sinking finer ending the game.
"I've gotta charge that ball," said Gross. The tying run was on second. If it stays up and I make the catch, the game's over. If it bounces, I still have a good shot at getting him at home.''
Gross was glad the ball stayed up.
"If it bounces, it can bounce anywhere on this stuff," said Gross, who was subbing for Lonnie Smith, who was filling in for Bake McBride against left-hander Candelaria.
"I'm glad he hit it as hard as he did."
Carlton, fresh from winning pitcher of the month laurels with a 6-1 record, 70 strikeouts and a 1.65 earned run average, wasn't as sharp in the early going as he has been.
With two out in the first inning, Carlton walked Parker. Robinson followed with a gapper to right center that the diving Smith couldn't hold for a double. As the ball rolled away, Parker circled the bases and scored.
Candelaria, who'd allowed five earned runs in each of his last two starts and hadn't won in five weeks, was faced with a bases-loaded, nobody out situation in the Phils' second – and escaped by allowing just one run.
Bob Boone opened the inning with a 345-foot single off the left-field wall. Maddox singled to center and Larry Bowa chopped a hit to left, with Boone being held at third. Manny, Trillo got the tying run across by grounding into a double play.
The Pirates quickly got the run back in their half of the inning. Lacy, whose 12-game hitting streak was snapped in one pinch-hitting appearance Tuesday night, doubled over Schmidt's glove and scored on a two-out single by, of all people, Candelaria.
The Bucs made it 3-1 in the fourth when Madlock hit a carbon copy of Lacy's double over the leaping Schmidt down the left field line. Lacy got Madlock to third with a ground ball and Steve Nicosia scored him with a single to left.
"Steve didn't have his best stuff," said Green. "I haven't seen his slider hit like it was tonight. His fast ball was his best pitch tonight."
In a television interview, Carlton agreed.
"It was my best fastball of the year," Carlton told Tim McCarver, one of the few media types to whom he'll talk about baseball.
The Phils got three runs off Candelaria in the fifth to win it.
Bowa drilled the ball over third but left-fielder Lacy's quick pickup held Bowa to a single. Trillo singled off Candelaria's glove into center field and Carlton's sacrifice bunt advanced the runners.
Smith fought off Candelaria's assortment of curves till he found one he liked and punched it to right for a single. Bowa scored easily and Smith took second on the throw home.
Pete Rose, whose eight-game hitting streak ended Tuesday night, singled to center, scoring both Trillo and Smith and taking second himself on the throw.
But Candelaria got Schmidt on a fly to the wall in center and struck out Greg Luzinskl, who almost was a last-minute scratch due to a sore shoulder.
Luzinski jammed the shoulder into the left field wall making a running catch Tuesday night and spent a miserable night, icing the shoulder for five hours and barely getting any sleep.
Until he took his swings in batting practice, Luzinski was a questionable starter but decided to play.
"I knew it was going to hurt' said the Bull, who was in obvious pain, "but I wanted to give it a shot. It wasn't my throwing shoulder and I couldn't lift my arm over my head very well, but I wanted to play."
EXTRA INNINGS - Schmidt was named NL player of the month for a torrid May in which he hit 12 home runs, drove in 29 runs, batted .305 and scored 19 runs... Phils signed both of their first two draft picks - catcher Henry Powell and right-hander Larry Knight - and will send them to their Helena, Mont., rookie club next month Phils will open a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs tomorrow night at the Vet... Rookie Bob Walk will pitch against Mike Krakow in the 8:05 p.m. opener, with Randy Lerch against Rick Reuschel Saturday at 7:05 and Dick Ruthven vs. Lynn McGlothen Sunday at 1:35.