Reading Eagle - September 14, 1980
Carlton Decks St. Louis for 22nd Victory
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – If Steve Carlton could pitch every game against the St. Louis Cardinals he’d probably go down as the best pitcher in history.
Ever since Carlton was traded by St. Louis to Philadelphia in 1972, he has beaten the Cardinals in 28 of 36 decisions. He’s 5-0 against them this year, including a 2-1 decision Saturday night that moved the Phillies within one game of the National League East-leading Montreal Expos.
A pair of consecutive hits batsmen and a sacrifice fly by Mike Schmidt keyed a two-run sixth inning that gave the Phillies the victory.
Carlton disposed of St. Louis with just 92 pitches in a 1 hour and 42-minute game, the fastest game of the season here.
Phillies Manager Dallas Green said that considering the number of innings Carlton has pitched this season (271) he rated it a darn good performance for his star left-hander.
“You also have to consider the team he was pitching against. They really swing the bats. It just shows what kind of pitcher he is. I’ve never seen one more consistent. He’s amazing,” Green said.
Green admitted, however, that he is a little concerned over the Phillies’ lack of offense in recent games. Their two sixth-inning runs were the first in 18 innings.
“We’ve had to scrap to get some runs. We’ve been sluggish. We have to kick ourselves in the butt,” said Green, who also noted that this is the time of year when you find out if a team has trained properly.
“If guys are in shape, they can handle it (the stretch drive). I think our club’s in good shape,” he said.
Down the hall from the Phillies’ dressing room, St. Louis interim manager Red Schoendienst was angrier than a wounded hornet.
“We were terrible,” he said. “We haven’t got our mind in the game. You can’t give Carlton a chance or he’ll beat you every time.”
He referred to the fourth and sixth innings when the Cardinals had runners at second and third and nobody out and didn’t score. He was particularly incensed about the fourth when Keith Hernandez failed to run home from third base on a high bouncer by George Hendrick.
“If that ball had been hit in the Astrodome, it would have hit the roof,” said Schoendienst. “We should have won not only this game, but 30 more just like it all year.
“I don’t know what their minds are on, but it certainly can’t be baseball. When you put that uniform on you should be all business. It’s not that way with a lot of these guys,” he said.
St. Louis led 1-0 when the Phillies came to bat in the sixth. Bob Boone led off with a double and went to third on a single by Carlton after the pitcher twice failed on sacrifice bunt attempts. Bob Forsch then hit Pete Rose with a pitch to load the bases and hit Bake McBride to force in the tying run.
Schmidt then delivered a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Carlton and boosting Schmidt’s RBI total to 103.
The St. Louis run came in the second when George Hendrick singled with one out, took second on a wild pitch and continued to third when Boone threw into center field for an error. Terry Landrum singled Hendrick home.
Phillies Get Lyle
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Sparky Lyle, long one of baseball’s premier relief pitchers, was acquired Saturday by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later, the club announced.
The Phillies tried desperately to pry Lyle from the Rangers in a multi-player deal at last December’s baseball winter meetings in Toronto. At that time, contractual problems nullified the trade.
Lyle is in his 15th major league season during which he has compiled an 87-67 win-loss record with 231 saves in 796 appearances.
This year, he has worked 49 games, recorded a 3-2 record with eight saves and compiled a 4.69 ERA.
Lyle, who has won the Cy Young Award as the American League’s top pitcher while playing for the New York Yankees in 1977, was acquired to help the Phillies’ bullpen in the September stretch drive for the National League East championship against the leading Montreal Expos and the third-place Pittsburgh Pirates.
Since all major league teams were allowed to expand their rosters to 40 players as of Sept. 1 the Phillies don’t have to drop a player, according to Personnel Director Paul Owens, who announced the deal.
Lyle reportedly earns around $300,000 a year, and Owens said he had guaranteed it through 1982, although the pact with Texas only ran through next season.
The left-hander had a clause in his contract that guaranteed him 10 years as a broadcaster after his career is over.
“That’s been handled by Texas and Sparky,” Owens said. “I don’t know the particulars.”
The Phillies player designated for Texas will be named during the interleague trading period this winter.
“We feel that the incentive of being in the pennant drive will bring the best out of Lyle,” Phillies Manager Dallas Green said, adding that Lyle wasn’t acquired because of dissatisfaction with Tug McGraw’s left-hand relief.
“As a matter of fact, McGraw is the only one (reliever) I can close with with confidence,” Green said. “The others (relievers) have been sporadic and inconsistent. These last 20 days of the season, we have to be consistent.
Green was asked why the Phillies were able to make the deal for Lyle now, that they couldn’t consummate last December.
“I think it’s the change in ownership (at Texas) and the fact that Paul (Owens) and Eddie Robinson (Texas’ general manager) have kept in contact. I think they were willing to let Lyle go since Texas has dropped out of the race, and this altered their thinking,” Green said.
Lyle led the AL with 35 saves in 1972 and 23 in 1976. He averaged 20 saves in seven seasons with the Yankees. He posted five saves in five successive appearances in 1977, and at one point in that season recorded seven saved and four victories in 13 outings.
Lyle started his career with Bluefield, W. Va., before coming to the majors in 1967 with the Boston Red Sox. He joined the Yankees in 1972 and was moved to Texas last year.