Allentown Morning Call - May 6, 1980

Carlton getting closer to first no-hitter – four outs


By Jack McCallum, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – The way the Atlanta Braves are being run these days, it was perfectly logical. You have two right-handed hitters on the bench named Bob Horner and Gary Matthews and a left-handed pitcher on the mound. Horner hit .314 last year and Matthews hit .304. 


So, in a pinch-hitting situation you quite obviously go to the immortal Bill Nahorodny. And Nahorodny – who once labored in the Phillie organization and thinks Steve Carlton is a "great guy" – gets an eighth-inning single that spoils Carlton's bid for his first no-hitter.


And, oh yes, the same Nahorodny didn’t even know Carlton had a no-hitter going. 


"I was too involved in the game," said Brother Bill. 


Carlton finally won a three-hitter 7-1 last night at Veterans Stadium but he carried the no-hitter farther than he ever had before in his six previous one-hitters, one of which came on April 26 of this season against the Cards. Nahorodny's hit came with two out in the eighth. The longest Carlton had gone previously with a no-hitter was on July 4 of last season when the Mets' Elliot Maddox ended it with a one-out double in the seventh.


Carlton's gem went to hell in a handbasket in the ninth when he obviously lost interest. Dale Murphy, a strikeout victim three times before, hit a home run to lead off the inning and the Braves loaded the bases after that before a game-ending double play. 


As Carlton became more unsettled in the ninth, pitching coach Herm Starrette decided to pay a visit to the mound. In the broadcast booth, Carlton's former batterymate, Tim McCarver, mentioned that it was an unnecessary move by Starrette. And it probably was. At any rate, it went unappreciated by Silent Sullen Steve as he stared at the scoreboard through Starrette's brief but no doubt erudite words of wisdom. 


Before Naha's hit, Carlton simply breezed through the Hornerless, Matthews-less Atlanta lineup which featured Larvell Blanks at third base to name but one highlight. Bruce Benedict hit a hard liner to short in the fifth and Chris Chambliss twice hit line drives to the outfield but there was precious little else until the eighth. 


First baseman Pete Rose made a good play on a hard Brian Asselstine grounder to his left to lead off the eighth. Carlton then struck out Charlie Spikes on a 3-2 pitch. Luis Gomez lifted a high foul near the Atlanta dugout which Bob Boone could not quite grab as he slipped in the dugout, a popup that will live in infamy. Carlton then walked Gomez and Naha. who had come in as a pinch-hitter in the sixth he struck out followed with his single up the middle on the first pitch. 


"I should've had it," said Boone. "I thought I was closer to the dugout than I really was. I actually had about another foot and I could've got to it. I took my mask off and I had to fool with my glasses and I lost where I was for a little while.


Naha, who was obtained in a winter trade with the White Sox for minor league pitcher Richard Wieters, hardly felt the pressure. 


"The first time I realized it was when I was standing on first base and I saw the scoreboard change to one said Naha who makes his home in Clearwater. the site of the Phils' spring training camp. 


As for the game, it wasn't one. Mike Schmidt hit two bases-empty home runs in the third and fourth innings and Carlton himself had a run-scoring single in the second and a sacrifice fly. The Braves showed why they are in the running for the Marx Brothers Defensive Award with a couple of interesting errors and everybody went home happy. Everybody except Steve Carlton, now the National League's winningest pitcher at 5-1.

They resume talking today


NEW YORK (AP) – Talks resume today between the Major League Player Relations Committee and the Players Association, 16 days before a strike deadline. 


Negotiations between the management committee, headed by Ray Grebey, and the union, represented by Marvin Miller, were recessed April 16 by mutual agreement of the two sides. Since then, Grebey and Miller have met at pension meetings in Atlanta but there ha ve been no formal talks regarding the expired collective bargaining agreement. 


The main issue is management's demand for free agent compensation, which would permit a team losing a top player to receive a replacement from the club signing him. The union has balked at that proposal so far and warned that unless agreement on a new contract is reached by May 22, the players will strike.


"I'm still optimistic," said Grebey. "I see no reason for calling a strike. I see no reason for an artificial crisis. Baseball is being played and should continue to be played."