Camden Courier-Post - May 15, 1980
Carlton nets 6th as Phillies breeze
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
ATLANTA – To use one of Manager Dallas Green's pet terms, the Phillies' 9-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves last night was a "no-brainer."
In fact, the only managerial skill required of Green was filling out the lineup card and making sure he sat in the right dugout. The Phils put this one away so early, Chief Noack-A-Homa was still in a cab on his way to the ballpark and Ted Turner didn't have a chance to bench any more of his players.
Led by Pete Rose, Bake McBride and Larry Bowa – all of whom went 3-for-4 – the Phillies ravaged three of four Atlanta pitchers for 14 hits, their highest total since April 19. Everybody in the starting lineup except struggling Greg Luzinski joined in, making Steve Carlton the National League's first six-game winner.
IT WAS Rose's first three-hit game of what has been a frustrating first six weeks of the season. And it came against Larry McWilliams, whom some may remember as the starting pitcher when Rose's 44-game hitting streak was stopped here in Fulton County Stadium in 1978.
"I hit two balls harder off him the night I had my streak stopped," said Rose, who also drove in four runs, doubling the number of RBIs he carried into the game.
Rose, whose sagging average was pumped up some 20 points by the three hits, opened the game by taking a slow curve ball by McWiliams on his hip, and rapidly went to third on a single to right by McBride. Rose scored on a ground ball to third by Mike Schmidt and McBride checked in when second baseman Jerry Royster misplayed a broken-bat ground ball by Luzinski.
THE BULL went 0-for-4, extending his slump to 0-for-18. Luzinski does not have a hit on this road trip and has watched his average dip below .250.
Even with only three days rest, Carlton seemed safe with a 2-0 lead. The lefthander, now 6-2, flirted with a no-hitter the last time he saw the Braves in Philadelphia. This time he allowed two hits, including Bob Horner's first home run of the year, in six innings before Green gave relievers Kevin Saucier and Tug McGraw some much-needed work.
"Lefty's in a good groove right now," said catcher Bob Boone, who has been making similar statements since the season began. "He just has great concentration. Before he even comes to the park, he knows he has it."
CARLTON MIGHT have been content with the two runs, but the Phils were hardly finished with McWilliams and those who would follow. Boone, Garry Maddox and Bowa got McWilliams out of the game with consecutive singles in the third. Manny Trillo plated one run with a ground ball and, after Carlton flied out, Rose – who had driven in one of two runs with a double in the second – singled in two more off reliever Tortimy Boggs. McBride followed with an RBI single to make it 8-0 and raise his batting average with runners in scoring position to a phenomenal .459.
When Trillo singled, went all the way to third on a Carlton sacrifice bunt and scored on Rose's second double to make it 9-1 in the fifth, Green felt it was time to get his bullpen some work.
"Sauce (Saucier) hasn't pitched for nine days (since May 4) and Tug needed to be sharpened up some," said Green. "Steve's pitching Monday , so there was no sense stretching him out in this kind of ballgame."
THERE IS a possibility Green rested Carlton not because the lefthander is pitching Monday, but because Green is contemplating starting him Sunday against Nolan Ryan in Houston. There is a much stronger possibility that Green will have to use some of his storied managerial prowess in the Astrodome, where the Phils will face J.R. Richard tomorrow, Joe Niekro on Saturday and Ryan on Sunday.
To call this eight-game road trip successful, the Phils will have to take at least two of three from the Astros, an accomplishment easier said than done. Houston is merely neck-and-neck with the Cincinnati Reds in the West Division standings, and Richard, Niekro and Ryan happen to be three of the National League's better pitchers.
Which is one reason why the Phils, who have had their season interrupted by off days and rainouts, would rather be flying to Houston today instead of playing an exhibition game in Oklahoma City.
"THE OPEN dates would hurt anybody," said Rose. "I'm not using that as an excuse, but I'm happy there's a game tomorrow (today) I don't care where it is.
"Once you get your act together, you don't want to stop. We're going to face the best righthander in baseball Friday night, and who knows what's going to happen."
PHIL UPS – Bowa had a double among his three hits... That, coupled with Rose's two doubles, gave the Phils 25 in their last 10 games and raised their league-leading total to 54... McBride. has. a 10-game hitting streak, longest of any Phillie.
Talks still knotted
NEW YORK – After another round of negotiations in the baseball contract talks yesterday, wide gaps apparently still remain between management and the major league players association.
"The clock is running down," said Marvin Miller, executive director of the union. "There's a long way to go and a short time to get there."
Miller has said he will not be available for negotiations after Sunday night. The players have set a strike deadline of midnight. May 22 and the union chief said he would need time after Sunday to make contingency plans for the work stoppage.