Wilmington Evening Journal - October 2, 1980
Maddox sits out Carlton’s two-hit victory
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – When Garry Maddox arrived at Veterans Stadium yesterday, he looked up on the wall and saw his name on the lineup card. He also quickly noticed that Greg Luzinski and Bob Boone were back in after two nights on the bench.
Only Maddox knows what went through his mind after that. But in essence, Maddox took himself out of the Phillies' lineup on a night when his glove might have given Steve Carlton his first no-hitter.
Carlton had to settle for a brilliant two-hitter and his 46th career shutout as the Phillies whipped the Cubs 5-0.
Through seven innings, Carlton had allowed the Cubs just a second-inning walk. Mike Vail led off the eighth with a sinking liner to center that Del Unser was unable to reach. He made a valiant try, but the ball bounced a few feet in front of the 36-year-old outfielder.
Most of the 25,658 fans who were here will tell you Maddox would have caught that ball.
With two out in the ninth, Bill Buckner lined a pitch off the tip of Manny Trillo's glove for the second Cubs' hit. Trillo probably should have caught the ball, but had Vail's liner not fallen in, the dangerous . Buckner (.321) would not have gotten to the plate in the ninth.
Maddox, Luzinski and Boone were benched after disappointing losses to Montreal on Saturday and Sunday. Luzinski and Boone returned last night and made huge contributions to the victory. The Bull blasted his 19th homer in the sixth inning moments after Mike Schmidt's 45th of the year had given the Phils a 1-0 lead againt Dennis Lamp. Boone had two singles and drove in a run.
Luzinski and Boone both said they understood why Manager Dallas Green benched them Monday and Tuesday nights.
The extremely sensitive Maddox, who has had differences with Green much of the last six weeks of the season, was a different story.
Did he really take himself out of the lineup because of the finger, or was it his way of replying to the Monday and Tuesday night benching which came after he lost Chris Speier's liner in the sun on Sunday?
"When I got to the park, I saw my name in the lineup, said Maddox. "I told Bobby Wine that my finger was bothering me. We have been having trouble generating offense and because of the finger I did not think I could swing the bat well. I wanted him to know that."
When the coach relayed the information to Green, the manager did not hesitate. He substituted Unser for Maddox.
"If a player does not think he can play, he's not going to start," said Green, emphatically. He obviously was not letting his true feelings be known. "I will never ask a player to go out there if he is hurt."
Maddox first injured the little finger on his left hand while sliding into third base in Pittsburgh on Sept. 17. During the following series in Chicago, he had trainer Jeff Cooper put some tape around the handle of his bat so he would not have to place so much pressure on the finger.
"I hurt it again on Sunday," said Maddox. "X-rays were taken and they were negative, but I cannot grip the bat the way I want to. These are tough times for me. The conversation I had with that reporter on Monday was supposed to be private, yet that was blown out of proportion. I'm really down mentally at a time when I want to be contributing to this team."
The victory was another important one for the Phils, who remained a half-game behind first-place Montreal in National League East. The Expos blanked St. Louis 8-0.
Carlton, who holds the National League record of six one-hitters, was never in serious trouble on the cool night as he struck out 10 to run his league-leading total to 286.
The victory was his 24th of the year, second only to his 27 in 1972. The shutout was his 45th.
Carlton, who was given at least three standing ovations last night, pitched a one-hitter against St. Louis on April 26, the only hit being Ted Simmons' leadoff single in the second inning. On May 5, he went 7⅔ innings before Bill Nahorodny singled. Carlton finished with a three-hitter.
"He definitely had no-hit stuff tonight," said Green. "He was virtually unhittable the first six innings, but I thought he began to get up with his pitches a little in the seventh."
"His slider tonight was like it was in the early part of the season," said Boone. "He also had an excellent curve and fastball. Really, he kinda spotted the fastball."
It was the fastball that Vail hit to ruin the no-hit bid.
The Cubs' left fielder swung and missed Carlton's first pitch and took the second Inside for a ball. Vail lined the 1-1 pitch to center and Unser tried to make a shoestring catch, but in the end let the bail drop three feet in front of him.
"We started Vail off with breaking balls," said Boone. "Lefty shook me off on the 1-1 pitch and threw a fastball. It was up an on the outside of the plate, not a bad pitch because that is where he usually throws the fastball in that situation."
"I was aware of the no-hitter and wanted to do everything I could to save it for him," said Unser. "I didn't think I had a chance, but wanted to give it everything I had. When it was obvious I wouldn't get it, I let it drop and stopped it."
"I'm tired of saying Steve Carlton is the best left-handed pitcher in baseball, but he proved it again tonight," said Vail, who was hitting .296 at the time. "His slider is just unhittable. When I went up there in the eighth, I was thinking about the fact we didn't have any hits because it was so obvious. I was just trying to get something going, something started for the club. I was looking for anything but that fastball he threw me. I think he was using it as a waste pitch to set me up with a slider.
"Carlton is a tremendous competitor. You say he just can't possibly get any better, but the next time up he does. I feel sorry for the Expos next weekend if he's got his best stuff. He is the Cy Young Award winner hands down."
Earlier, a brilliant stop and subsequent tag by Pete Rose on Buckner's grounder with one out in the fourth deprived the Cubs of a bit and moments later Trillo leaped high to pull down Jerry Martin's high chopper before throwing out the batter.
After Vail singled, Carlton issued his second walk, to Carlos Lezcano. He then fanned the next three batters. Pinch-hitter Dave Kingman sent a scare through the crowd when he sent a liner screaming to the left-field corner, only a few feet foul. He then fanned for the third out.
Carlton got two quick outs in the ninth before Buckner lined a hit off Trillo's glove above the second baseman's head.
Shortstop Larry Bowa, again booed by the fans and again playing outstanding baseball, forced Buckner at second on Martin's grounder to end the game.
The Phils waited until the sixth to move in front against Lamp. With one down, Schmidt sent a 1-0 pitch over the left-field fence for his 45th homer, tying his career high set in 1979. With that homer, he also scored his 100th run for the fifth time in eight years.
Luzinski, in a dreadful slump before being benched in favor of rookie Lonnie Smith, hit Lamp's first pitch and it jumped out of the park. The Bull's last homer came off Lamp on Sept. 24 at Wrigley Field.
Unser then followed with a triple. Trillo beat out an infield single to deep third base. Unser scored on Bowa's infield single and Trillo waltzed home from third on Carlton's sacrifice fly to center. Carlton had singled his previous two times up.
Bowa's double and Boone's single produced the fifth run in the eighth off reliever Lee Smith.
"It was good to get an important hit tonight," said Luzinski. "I know why Dallas sat me down. I wasn't hitting. When you're struggling and thinking about a lot of things, it is tough. I had a couple of days to work on my stroke. I felt better up there tonight than I have."
EXTRA POINTS – Schmidt and Luzinski have hit back-to-back homers six times this year and nine times during their careers... Schmidt now has 116 runs batted in, tying his career high set in 1974... Carlton has now pitched 304 innings, the second time in his career he has gone over 300. He pitched 346 during his 27-10 season of '72. His ERA is now 2.34. He has a 30-16 lifetime record against the Cubs and is 3-0 in 1980... Woody Hayes, the former Ohio State football coach, was at the game last night, a guest of Rose's... The Phils will leave immediately after tonight's game for Montreal and Showdown II... The Expos' Scott Sanderson will go against Dick Ruthven tomorrow.