Reading Eagle - May 11, 1980

‘Awesome’ Phils Lose


CINCINNATI (AP) – Tom Seaver survived three home runs but not a slide into second base Saturday as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the “awesome” Steve Carlton and the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3.


Neither Seaver, 2-1, nor Carlton, 5-2, gave up a hit over the first three innings.  Finally, Philadelphia’s Bake McBride blasted his first homer of the season in the fourth, breaking the ice.


“It was a slow curve.  I think he’s slowing down and using more finesse now,” McBride said of Seaver.  “I think he’s getting older now, and he’s trying to pitch with his head instead of relying on fast balls.”


Seaver, however, feels he’s getting stronger and was prepared to go nine innings when he hurt his shoulder sliding in the sixth inning and went on to score the go-ahead run.


“This is my best throwing day all year,” said the veteran right-hander.  “I was ready to go nine innings until I jammed my arm.  I feel the strength is coming back into my shoulder.”


Bowa Homers


Larry Bowa had an inside-the-park homer in the fifth inning when Cincinnati outfielders Dave Collins and Sam Mejias collided in left-center and Mike Schmidt homered in the sixth.


Dan Driessen had Cincinnati’s only home run, a two-run shot off Carlton in the fifth.


“I was just scratching to stay in there, hoping for a pitch I could hit,” said Driessen, whose homer knotted the score 2-2.


“He (Carlton) is tough, awesome.  If I had not got around on it slow, it would have been way foul,” Driessen said of the slider he hit.”


11 Strikeouts


Carlton, who had 11 strikeouts before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth, gave up his first hit to Collins in the fourth but he was erased on a double play.


The Reds scored twice in both the fifth and sixth innings.  Driessen’s sixth home run of the season came in the fifth after Mejias walked.  Carlton walked Seaver to open the sixth.  A sacrifice and Junior Kennedy’s double tied the score.


Kennedy scored when shortstop Bowa dropped Ray Knight’s pop fly in short center field and the Reds added a run off Tug McGraw in the eighth on Dave Concepcion’s triple and a wild pitch.


Seaver was relieved by Tom Hume to start the eighth inning.


Lifted in 8th


Carlton struck out four consecutive batters in the second and third innings, fanning Johnny Bench, Knight, Mejias and Driessen.  He was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth.


The shortstop rivalry between Concepcion and Bowa was evident before the game when the Reds shortstop tossed his 1979 Gold Glove at Bowa during the banter.


After the game, Concepcion defended Bowa’s error that resulted in the winning run.


“It’s tough.  He lost it in the wind or something,” said the six-time National League Gold Glove winner.


Then he joked:  “Now I’ll call him Elmer.”


In 1975, Bowa suggested that an “E” before Concepcion’s name in a box score might stand for Elmer.


Hume, who pitched the final two innings, lowered his earned run average to 1.86.