Los Angeles Times - September 6, 1980
Cey’s Homer Gives Sutton 1-0 Decision Over Carlton
Phillies Get Only 3 Hits; L.A. Lead 1½
By Mark Heisler, Times Staff Writer
Friday night Don Sutton went out against Steve Carlton, the Phillies' 21 -game winner and Cy Young candidate, and the only left-handed starter to beat the Dodgers this year.
What followed was swift justice for Sutton, one hour and 54 minutes worth of a pitching battle, won by the Dodgers, 1-0, before 41,019 in Dodger Stadium. Sutton went eight innings, allowed three hits and struck out 10, the Dodgers' high for the season. Don Stanhouse worked a 1-2-3 ninth and the Dodgers were 1½ games ahead of second-place Houston in the National League West.
Carlton worked seven innings, gave up six hits and made one mistake, a slider he threw Ron Cey in the second inning that was supposed to be in on Cey.
Carlton's catcher, Bob Boone, said it was a little too far in the direction of the middle of the plate. Cey hit it over the left-field fence for his 23rd homer of the season. That was everybody's offense for the evening.
"We had a guy pitch a game he's going to win 9 out of 10 times," Phillies Manager Dallas Green said. "They had a guy who pitched a better one."
Sutton decided after the game he hadn't pitched one this good since the 1974 playoffs, his 3-0 opening-game victory over the Pirates.
Someone asked him how often he could pitch like this.
"Looks like about once every six years," Sutton said laughing.
Good Stuff, Live Arm
"It was like everything Fergy (Joe Ferguson) set his finger down, that was the way it went. Mark Gresse told me in the bullpen I had good stuff and a live arm. That's something they don't say to me. They say that to the Seavers and Carltons and Bob Welches. I think it'd be virtually impossible to hit spots any better than I hit them tonight."
"Could you have thrown anything you wanted tonight?" he was asked.
"I don't know," Sutton said. "I couldn't have thrown a knuckle-ball."
Battle of first-place teams, taut September contest, a match-up with the dread Carlton, whatever this was, Sutton was approaching it with the usual solemnity.
"Carlton's won 12 more games than I have," Sutton said before the game. "He makes more money. What chance do I have?"
A pretty good one, it turned out. Carlton pitched a terrific game but Sutton pitched a better one. Carlton made one pitch that wasn't good enough, Sutton didn't.
Sutton gave up a single by Pete Rose in the first, a single by Mike Schmidt in the fourth and a single by Larry Bowa in the second.
He allowed one runner as far as second base, Schmidt, who stole second while Greg Luzinski was striking out for the second out of the inning. Then Sutton retired Manny Trillo on a ground ball.
Sutton's sore toe started throbbing in the eighth inning, so he let Stanhouse finish up. Stanhouse worked an easy ninth, his fifth good outing in a row. "Jim Palmer and I are going to make him famous," Sutton said.
"Hey!" yelled Stanhouse, to the little mob of writers with Sutton in the middle, "nice game, Jim!"
Sutton's earned run average was down to 2.15, second among National League starters only to J.R. Richard's 1.89. And now Sutton was only 11 wins behind Carlton. Their salary differential was unchanged, but this is the last year on Sutton's contract, so stay tuned.
The Phillies began the evening with a two-game winning streak, which followed a two-game losing streak. After the second of the losses, the team was given a pep talk by Paul Owens, the vice president in charge of personnel. It reportedly went like this: All right, you've been playing for yourselves for five months, play the last month for Ruly (Carpenter, Phillies owner) and me who've given you everything you've got." "It was my type of speech," Owens said before Friday night's game. "Let "em have it. It was the way I felt. Got to let it out once in a while." After last season's fourth-place finish, Phillies management suggested that this year's team would win the National League East or it would be broken up into many pieces...Dodgers Manager Tom Lasarda, taking a little pre-game needling Friday for his choice of pinch hitters Thursday night (he sent Joe Ferguson up in the eighth with the tying run on third and Ferguson popped out): "That's why baseball is a great game. That's why the Teamsters are full of ex-managers." Reggie Smith's right shoulder surgery Thursday went well. Dr. Frank Jobe performed it and Smith said he is very optimistic. He is due to be discharged from Centinela Medical Center Hospital Monday... It's Bob Welch vs. Larry Christenson tonight at 7.05.