Camden Courier-Post - September 14, 1980

Phillies one out as Carlton wins


By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – It is the time of the season when every win, every loss, takes on added significance; when the glare of a pennant race can be almost blinding.


Certainly, the St. Louis Cardinals made the Phillies blink once or twice during Friday's forlorn double-header. But yesterday was a new day, another chance for the Phils to stay close to first-place Montreal in the National League East Division standings. So the Phils opened their eyes and used good pitching, superb defense and a large measure of luck to defeat the Cards, 2-1, before 41,728 fans in Veterans Stadium.


The win enabled the Phillies, who close out the four-game series against St. Louis this afternoon before traveling to Pittsburgh for two games, to move within a game of the Expos, who lost, 4-0, to the Pirates.


Cardinal righthander Bob Forsch, who once no-hit the Phillies, was as close to perfect as a pitcher can be through the first five innings. In fact, the only baserunner the Phils got was Bake McBride, whose opposite-field double could easily have been an out had left fielder Terry Landrum been able to hold on to the ball.


It seemed quite possible Forsch would later be fielding questions on how it felt coming THAT close to another no-hitter. The righthander was absolutely boring in his brilliance, retiring 14 in a row – 10 on routine ground balls – before Bob Boone opened the sixth with an untainted double into the left-field corner.


"We've seen him better because he no-hit us," said Boone. "But he had the sinker going very well. We really didn't crush the ball other than in that one inning."


Which would be the sixth, Boone's double touching off a rally – of sorts. Of course, when your offense produces four hits, almost anything can seem like a rally.


Steve Carlton, who made the two runs stand up and worked out of jams in the fourth and sixth to win his 22nd game, followed Boone's double with a sharp single up the middle. Then Forsch made his first big mistake by hitting Pete Rose on the foot with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases.


McBride, one of the only two Phillies to hit the ball to the outfield during Forsch's run of ground balls, was behind 1-2, in the count when Forsch made his second big mistake. He also hit McBride on the foot, forcing in a run and tying the game, 1-1. The run was the Phillies' first in 18 innings.


Mike Schmidt followed by sending a high sinker to the center field wall, scoring Carlton with the game-winner. A little thing happened on the same play that cost the Phils a third run. Rose, on second, slipped while trying to tag and never made it to third, from where he would have scored on Greg Luzinski's liner to deep center.


"I fell down," said Rose. "I slipped on the bag."


Said Manager Dallas Green: "Pete was just reminding everyone that he's human, too. Give Forsch credit. To pitch out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam with the guys we had coming up is doing the job."


Fortunately, for the Phils, the proof of Rose's humanness had no bearing on the outcome. That was because Carlton, once presented with the lead, permitted the Cards only one more hit (they finished with eight) and because the defense turned in a couple crucial plays.


First to help Carlton was center fielder Garry Maddox, who robbed Tony Scott of extra bases with a running backhand snare of Scott's line drive to open the eighth. Later in the same inning, after Keith Hernandez had walked and Ted Simmons flied to left, second baseman Manny Trillo ranged behind second base to glove a George Hendrick ground ball that seemed through.


Trillo not only fielded the ball near shallow center, but flipped the ball to shortstop Larry Bowa, forcing Hernandez and ending the inning.


Trillo currently is in a wicked batting slump. His 0-for-3 last night made him 2-for-his-last 43. But, so far, Trillo has refused to allow the slump to affect his defense. "I'm trying everything to get a base hit," he said. "I won't give up. My defense has been great, so I can help the team with my defense."


Carlton spotted the Cards a 1-0 lead in the second when Hendrick singled, went to second on a wild pitch and continued on to third on a throwing error by Boone. Landrum followed with an RBI single.


Carlton found himself involved in second and third, no-out difficulty in the fourth. The lefthander, however, was removed from the problem by the Cards when Hendrick hit a high chopper to Schmidt. Simmons, the runner at second, broke on contact. But Hernandez, who had reached third on Simmons' double, held his ground, giving Schmidt time to throw to first.


With Simmons bearing down on him, Hernandez had no choice to break belatedly for the plate, and Rose threw him out for a rare 5-3-2 double play.


"We," smiled Green, "accept those kind of favors."


Carlton needed no luck to work out an identical jam in the sixth, getting Simmons to bounce to short, striking out Landrum and inducing Ken Reitz into a ground ball.


PHIL UPS – Carlton is 5-0 against St. Louis this year... Last Phillies pitcher to win five games against one club was Jim Lonborg, who was 5-1 against the Expos in 1976... Last pitchers to go 5-0 were Art Mahaffey against the Pirates in 1964 and Jim Bunning against the Mets in '64... McBride has 11 hits in his last 18 at-bats... Phils will activate lefthander reliever Kevin Saucier for this afternoon's game... Saucier was placed on the disabled list two weeks ago to make room on the roster for Luzinski... Rookie Marty Bystrom pitches today against Silvio Martinez.

Phils get Lyle for stretch run


By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post


PHILADELPHIA – Sparky Lyle, late of the Bronx and Arlington zoos, was acquired yesterday by the Phillies to bolster their bullpen during the season's final three weeks.


General Manager Paul Owens convinced the Texas Rangers to part with Lyle, who had fallen into disuse anyway, for the proverbial "player to be named later." In this case, the anonymous player will be named during the inter-league trading period this winter.


The trade, Owens said, has "been in the works quite awhile, on and off for a couple of months. We were never too close until last week. We pretty much agreed on the deal last night (Friday) and we wrapped it up this afternoon."


Lyle, who was to have arrived here at 9:30 last night, has an 87-67 record with 231 saves in 796 relief performances over a 15-year career that began in Boston and bloomed in New York. As the ace of the Yankee bullpen from 1972-78, the lefthander averaged an amazing 20 saves a season. In 1977, Lyle won the Cy Young Award – the only relief pitcher to do so in the American League – with a 13-5 record, 26 saves and a 2.17 earned run average.


"We've been after him for quite some time and we're just not thinking of this year, either," said Phillies Manager Dallas Green prior to last night's game against the SL Louis Cardinals in Veterans Stadium. "We've got a few more years ahead of us and I think Sparky has some quality years ahead of him – even at his age (36)."


Indeed, the Phillies have been pursuing Lyle ever since the Winter Meetings, when they offered Texas right fielder Bake McBride. The deal might have been completed, except Lyle had a clause in his contract guaranteeing him a job as a broadcaster for 10 years after his baseball career was finished. The Phils, of course, already had all the broadcasters they needed. Although a Lyle-McCarver battery might have been interesting.


Apparently, Lyle and the Rangers have ironed out that wrinkle themselves. "It's been handled by Texas and Sparky," said Owens. "I don't know the particulars. He had a guaranteed contract through next season and I've guaranteed it through 1982."


The mere presence of Lyle in the Phillies' bullpen does not guarantee a National East Division championship. Lyle is one of those short men who thrives on work. One of the reasons he became disenchanted with the Yankees was because he felt the bullpen wasn't big enough for him and Rich Gossage. Similarly, Lyle was not particularly pleased when Texas acquired Jim Kern. This season, Lyle was 3-2 with eight saves and a 4.69 ERA in 49 appearances for the Rangers. It remains to be seen how well Lyle will complement lefthander Tug McGraw, who has been the Phils' only consistent reliever all season.


“This will take innings-pitched pressure off Tug," said Green. "We haven't had anybody to come out front and do that for us. We've had sporadic successes... (Ron) Reed... (Dickie) Noles... Brew (Warren Brusstar)... But we haven't been consistent.


"Paul and I talked it over and I felt that as critical and pressure-packed as the games are going to be the next 20 days, this is where we need the help.


"We'll work him (Lyle) as much as we possibly can. Sparky will give us that extra guy that's very capable of closing a game for us.


"We've got a shot at this thing. I think that quality bullpen help, experienced bullpen help, will help get us over the hump."