Wilmington News Journal - September 14, 1980
Cards’ blunders help Carlton win 22nd
By Rod Beaton, Staff Correspondent
PHILADELPHIA – The Cardinals as spoilers? Interim St. Louis manager Red Schoendienst snorts at the idea. The Cards, he suggested, are simply spoiled.
Twice last night at Veterans Stadium they had Phillies' left-hander Steve Carlton on the brink of disaster – and each time he wriggled free.
The Phils scuffled for two sixth-inning runs, a hit batsman and a sacrifice fly scoring the pair, and it was enough to nip the Cards and hard-luck pitcher Bob Forsch 2-1.
For the second straight time, Forsch lost a four-hitter to the Phils. Schoendienst thundered that Carlton, 22-8, and the Phils could thank the Cards' disinterest for the game they picked up on first-place Montreal, which lost to Pittsburgh 4-0.
"We were horsebleep,", said Schoendienst. "That's why we're where we're at (fourth place, 14 games back).
"They don't have their bleeping minds on the game. It's somewhere else. I've seen it all year. Baseball is a workshop. You put the uniform on and it's all business."
Forsch and Carlton were all business. In route-going performances, they authored the shortest Phillies game of the season – one hour, 42 minutes.
Schoendienst gave the business to first baseman Keith Hernandez, who went unnamed but cost the' Cards a run, possibly more, with a fourth-inning base-running blunder.
It allowed Carlton to make the first of two escapes from second- and-third, no-out situations unbloodied, unbowed and unscored upon.
As a result, pitching with mere mortal stuff, Carlton was able to throw an eight-hitter.
Starting the fourth, Hernandez singled and reached third when Ted Simmons' drive directly at Mike Schmidt bounded by, generously ruled a double.
George Hendrick followed with a grounder that almost bounced high enough to bring rain to the drought-parched Delaware Valley. Hernandez inexplicably remained rooted at third while Simmons barreled over to join him.
Schmidt noticed none of this, firing to first to retire Hendrick. At that point, Hernandez awakened, saw the error of his ways, and bolted for the plate. Pete Rose's relay awaited him. It was a mighty strange 5-3-2 double play.
"If we were playing in an indoor stadium like the Astrodome, it (Hendrick's bouncer) would've hit the roof, that's how high it was," said Schoendienst.
Instead, Schoendienst hit the roof. And he wasn't too happy about the Cards' sixth, either.
Tony Scott led off with a single to right and Hernandez doubled him to third. Carlton held the runners on Simmons' grounder to a drawn-in infield, walked Hendrick intentionally, then struck out Tito Landrum and got Ken Reitz on a force.
"It was a helluva performance," said Phillies' Manager Dallas Green, beating the drum for Carlton as he has – justifiably – all year. "Consider the innings he has pitched (271) and consider the team he pitched against. Those guys can swing the bats."
Carlton swings the bat well, too. He figured prominently in the game-winning sixth inning and scored the decisive run.
Bob Boone led off with a double to left and Carlton singled sharply to center with Boone stopping at third.
At this point, Forsch, 11-9, unveiled a nasty curve. The veteran right-hander, who signed a six-year contract last week, is known for one of the league's finest hooks. This time it was just a little too nasty.
First, on a 1-2 count, one nosedived onto Rose's right foot, loading the bases. Then, with Bake McBride up, same count, same pitch, same result. Tie game.
Schmidt broke the tie with a moon shot 405 feet away in center. The sacrifice fly scored Carlton. It was Schmidt's 12th game-winning RBI.
If pitchers weren't the only recipients of saves, Garry Maddox and Manny Trillo would warrant one each for pulling Carlton through a rocky eighth.
Maddox flagged down Scott's leadoff drive to left-center, getting a great jump and backhanding it in full stride.
One out and two baserunners later, Trillo saved a tie by ranging to the shortstop side of second to grab Landrum's hard, ground-skimming drive. He shoveled the ball to Larry Bowa for a force.
Carlton needed no help in the ninth, finishing flamboyantly with two strikeouts for a total of five to raise his major league-leading total to 257.
The last victim, surprisingly, was Forsch. The Cards pitcher is hitting .301 and, with three homers in 74 at-bats, he is a superior longball threat, compared to Terry Kennedy and the other right-handed hitters on the St. Louis bench.
Long-balling, hitting of any kind, is a concern to Green as the Phils leave tomorrow, an open date, for a seven-game road trip. The Pirates, the not-yet-dead Bucs, will host the first two.
"It (weak hitting) has to be a little cause for concern," said Green. "We're all a little sluggish right now."
The Phils might not have picked up a "W" last night without the help of some Cardinals sluggers turned slugs. Pittsburgh might not be so charitable.
PHILS FACTS - The Cards scored in the second when Hendrick singled, advanced on a wild pitch and Boone's throwing error and scored on a single by Landrum... The Phillies are adding a left-handed reliever for the second day in a row. Joining new acquisition Sparky Lyle in the bullpen is Kevin Saucier, fresh from the disabled list. Saucier went on the infirmary roll Aug. 24... Attendance was 41,728... Carlton took just 92 pitches to set down the free-swinging Cards... Marty Bystrom follows his own show-stopping act, a shutout of the Mets in his first start, today at 1:35. He'll face Silvio Martinez, 5-9... Carlton is 5-0 against the Cards this year.
Phils finally get Lyle from Texas
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
PHILADELPHIA – Tug McGraw and Sparky Lyle in the same bullpen?
Anybody who would put the zany McGraw and the whacky Lyle in the same bullpen must be writing a script for 'Animal House."
Unlike the two relievers, Paul Owens and Dallas Green weren't in a wise-cracking mood yesterday when they announced the Phillies had obtained the 36-year-old Lyle from the Texas Rangers for a player to be named within the next 90 days.
"We're tickled to death to have Sparky Lyle," said Green, the Phils' manager. "He fits in as a quality reliever. He's proven he can close a game against left-handed or right-handed hitters and will take some of the innings-pitched pressure off Tug. We haven't had anyone come out consistently and do that, other than Tug.
"As critical and pressure-packed as the next 20 games are going to be, Paul Owens and I felt we needed help in the bullpen. Sparky can get us over the hump. He's going to be a plus because we are at a need stage right now."
Owens, the Phils' player personnel director, came close to landing the former New York Yankee relief ace during the winter meetings last December. The last reported deal had the Phils sending McGraw, Larry Christenson and Bake McBride to the Rangers for Lyle and outfielder John Grubb.
The deal was reportedly nixed because Lyle, who was dealt to Texas prior to the 1979 season, had a personal services contract with the Rangers after his retirement as a player. He was supposed to receive an estimated $50,P00 a year for 10 years as a member of the team's radio-TV team.
"I was not going to burden Ruly Carpenter with that kind of an obligation," said Owens. "We have been negotiating with Texas for several months, but the breakthrough came when Sparky and the Rangers worked out something on that broadcasting thing. We are not involved in that at all."
Instead, the Phils will pay Lyle an estimated $400,000 through 1982. He had a guaranteed contract with the Rangers through 1981 and part of the agreement that brought him here was a year's extension.
"To get him, he had to clear waivers," said Owens. "We're not only getting him for this year, but also for down the road. I feel we have the starters and I feel Sparky can pitch not just the next three weeks, but also a few more years."
Lyle had a 13-5 record and 26 saves in 1977 as the Yankees won the World Series. But after they obtained Rich Gossage, Lyle was no longer the ace of the relief corps. To be effective, Lyle has to work frequently. That did not happen his last year in New York, nor this summer in Texas.
Lyle has been in only 49 games so far this year for the Rangers. He had a 3-2 record, a 4.69 earned run average and led the team in saves with eight. He has pitched very little since July. Last year he had 13 saves.
"My mood is that I'm elated," said Green, who as recently as Friday night admitted he was worried about overworking McGraw down the homestretch. "I just wish we could have had him all year."
Lyle, in his 15th major-league season, will not be eligible for the playoffs or World Series.
Another consideration in going after Lyle is the fact that McGraw may very well test the free-agent market.
"We're not going to talk to Tug until after the season about the contract," said Owens. "I know he wants to stay here, but we have to think about the possibility he may go the free-agent route."
Lyle, author of "The Bronx Zoo," based on his days with the Yankees, was expected to arrive here late last night and be in uniform today. He will wear No. 39.