Chicago Tribune - October 2, 1980
Carlton two-hits the Cubs, but Phillies aren’t happy
By Dave Nightingale, Chicago Tribune Press Service
PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies’ Steve Carlton pitched a two-hitter Wednesday night to beat the Cubs 5-0.
Mike Schmidt [No. 45] and Greg Luzinskl [No. 19] hit back-to-back homers for the sixth time this season and ninth time in their careers.
The Phillies remained a half-game behind first-place Montreal in the torrid National League East race and can draw even with a win Thursday night [when the Expos are idle].
So what was the main topic of conversation after the game?
Garry Maddox's finger.
For it was Maddox's finger that may have robbed Carlton of the first no-hitter in his long and glorious career.
REMEMBER, THIS Is Philadelphia – where the local denizens allegedly have the capability to boo a cure for cancer.
Carlton [24-9], who has six one-hitters among his 249 career victories, cruised through seven hitless innings against the Cubs, the farthest he has ever gone without yielding a safety.
But the Cubs' leadoff man in the eighth was Mike Vail, registered bat.
Vail has nothing but respect for Carlton. "He's the best left hander in baseball and I've never seen him better than he was tonight," said Mike. "But, then, I said that the last time I faced him."
Carlton got a quick strike on Vail. "Then," said Mike, "I think he tried to waste a pitch to set up his slider. He threw me a fast ball, outside the strike zone and high, and I hit it."
THE BALL TORE out to center Held on a line and 35-year-old Del Unser took a couple of steps toward it, then watched it bounce two feet in front of him for a hit.
Unser was playing center field because five-time Gold Glover Maddox wasn't.
Phillie Manager Dallas Green benched Maddox after Sunday's game, when Garry lost a liner in the sun, perhaps because he wasn't using the sunglasses he had.
Green also benched Luzinski and catcher Bob Boone after the Sunday loss to Montreal, but for a different reason. Luzinski was 2-for-21 at the plate; Boone, 0-for-21.
Wednesday, Green put Maddox, Luzinski, and Boone back in the lineup.
"He said he was hurt... that he had a bad finger," said Green.
DID GREEN previously know of the Injury?
"I knew he hurt it; it happened in Pittsburgh," said Green.
When in Pittsburgh? 1979?
"I didn't say that," Green retorted. "H you want to bury me, bury me. But I didn't say tha.t"
Green paused, then chuckled. "Hurt it in 1979, eh? That's not a bad line," he said.
Maddox didn't see the humor. Garry said he was tired of being in the middle of "disruptive" stories about the team.
"WITH OUR offensive problems lately, I felt I had to tell the manager that my finger [the little one on his left hand] was hurting; that I couldn't swing a bat tonight," said Maddox.
Green picked up an injury report. What did it-say?
"It says his finger was X-rayed on Sept. 30 [Tuesday] and that there was no fracture," said Green. "The report says he has a mild sprain."
Lost in the welter of the controversy over Maddox was the fact Carlton pitched a two-hitter, not a one-hitter, it was almost as if everyone forgot that Bill Buckner ripped a two-out single through Manny Trillo's glove in the ninth to stay alive in the league batting race. [Buckner is hitting .321, second only to the .324 mark of St. Louis' Garry Templeton.]
"IF VAIL'S BALL is caught, Buckner never gets up," said one Phillie. "And besides, that play should have been called an error on Trillo."
"Look," said Green, "what was more important about our victory tonight: the no-hitter or the back-to-back homers? If I was writing the story, I'd write about the offense and that the veterans did the job: Schmidt and Luzinski, Larry Bowa and Boone."
Bowa got two hits, drove in a run and scored one; Boone's drought ended at 0-for-23 with a pair of singles and a run batted in.
The Philadelphia crowd repeatedly booed Luzinski, Boone, and Bowa.
"I want to win just as badly as everybody else out there does," said Bowa, who has used his radio show recently to rip his manager, the fans, and the press. "This has been a rough year for me, personally. I have nothing to say beyond that until the season is over."