Reading Eagle - May 6, 1980

Carlton Hurls Masterpiece


Nahorodny Puts Clamps on Steve’s No-Hitter


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Steve Carlton almost became the first no-hit, no-speak pitcher in the history of major league baseball.


Then again, who knows, if Carlton hadn’t lost his no-hit attempt Monday night against the Atlanta Braves he might have broken a four-year silence with the media.


Carlton held the Braves hitless through 7-2/3 innings.  He led 7-0 and the crowd of 26,165 was on its feet cheering every pitch.  But Bill Nahorodny, a former member of the Phillies’ organization, ripped a solid single to center with two out in the eighth to break the spell.


Before it was over, the Braves had three hits and one run – Dale Murphy’s leadoff homer in the ninth – and Carlton had a 7-1 triumph, his fifth of the season against one loss.


Carlton has maintained a stony silence with the media for four years.  Nobody can find out why because he won’t talk.  When one newsman tried to break down the wall during spring training, he was greeted with a stare and “a policy is a policy.”


Forgetting his personality quirk, Carlton pitched a masterful game in search of his first career no-hitter.  He had never come closer than 6-1/3 innings before, although he holds the modern National League record of six one-hitters, the last one on April 26.


His fastball was cracking and his slider had the Braves baffled.  When they looked for either of those pitches, he broke off a curve to keep them off-balance.  Carlton struck out 11, walked five and chipped in with a single and two RBI.


Nahorodny was asked how he felt about breaking up Carlton’s no-hit bid.


“Getting a hit against Steve Carlton under any circumstance is a thrill,” he said.  “I’ve played with him and against him in spring training and he’s a great pitcher.  It’s something to remember.”


Nahorodny said he hit a fastball on the outside part of the plate but was looking for a different pitch.


“I was thinking breaking ball,” said Nahorodny, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and struck out.  “He pitched super.  It’s kind of tough to break up a no-hitter, but that’s my job.”


While Carlton was turning back the Braves with monotonous regularity, the Phillies built a 7-0 lead against Rick Matula in the first four innings.  Mike Schmidt hit solo homers in the third and fourth innings, his seventh and eighth of the season.