Wilmington News Journal - September 6, 1980
Sutton handcuffs Phillies
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
LOS ANGELES – Don Sutton has been pitching for the Dodgers since 1966. Before last night, he had been involved in 27 decisions against the Phillies.
Few veteran Phils can ever remember the 35-year-old righthander ever being as effective as he was last night.
Sutton limited the Phils to just three singles – none after the fourth inning – and rode Ron Cey's 23rd homer of the year to a 1-0 victory over Steve Carlton. Carlton, who suffered his eighth setback compared to 21 victories, turned in his usual outstanding effort, but it was not enough last night.
"I have seen Don Sutton pitch some great games," said Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda, "but I have never seen him so overpowering. He probably could have gone out in the ninth, but his toe (it was broken earlier in the year) was bothering him.
"This was a very important victory for us, to come back after losing on Thursday night 3-2 and beat Steve Carlton. Believe me, it took an effort like this to beat Carlton."
"Both pitchers were outstanding," said Dallas Green. "Sutton was just a little bit better. He moved the ball in and out, changed speeds and I thought his fastball was popping."
Sutton, who left after eight innings in favor of Don Stanhouse, struck out 10 batters, walked only two and reduced his National League-leading earned run average to 2.15.
Carlton gave up only six hits, but his teammates could not overcome Cey's second-inning, leadoff homer. The setback ended the Phils' four-game winning streak and was their first loss after three successes in Dodger Stadium this year.
"Carlton struggled a little with his slider and that's what Cey hit," said catcher Bob Boone. "It was hanging over the plate."
Even though the Phils lost, they remained in first place" in the div-sion by a percentage point over Montreal, which defeated San Francisco 8-0. Pittsburgh, a game back, lost to Atlanta 7-4.
"He made some excellent pitches," said Pete Rose of Sutton. It's difficult to believe his record was 9-4 before tonight. But when you look at his hit ratio and earned run average, it's obvious he has been pitching well."
"Best stuff I have had in several years," said Sutton, who is now 18-10 vs. the Phils. "I had a good fastball and breaking pitch, but the key was my location. I was hitting the corners."
By winning, the Dodgers moved 1½ games over Houston in the Western Division.
Cey blasted his homer leading off second inning and after that Carlton repeatedly worked out of jams. In the third, Davey Lopes singled with one out, but was caught stealing with Carlton's deceptive pickoff move.
In the fourth, again with one down, Steve Garvey doubled and Cey walked on four pitches. Joe Ferguson ended the threat, bouncing into a double play.
Controversy stirred the fifth. Mickey Hatcher beat out an infield single behind the mound and went to second when Carlton balked. Darrel Thomas' infield out allowed the runner to move to third.
With the count 1-1, the Dodgers attempted a suicide squeeze. The Phils, smelling the play, pitched out and Hatcher was halfway down the line. Boone's throw to third hit Hatcher on the arm. The umpires, however, ruled interference and, although Lasorda protested, the call stood. Sutton then fanned.
In the sixth, with two down, Dusty Baker doubled to left, but Garvey grounded out.
Rose singled with one out for the Phils in the first, but was forced at second by Mike Schmidt and Bake McBride grounded out. A double play after Greg Luzinski walked in the second put the Phils down, with their best threat coming in the fourth.
Schmidt led off with a single to left. McBride was called out on strikes and when Luzinski went down swinging, Schmidt stole second. Trillo grounded out to end the threat.
Sutton put the Phils down in order in the third, fifth, seventh and eighth.
With one down in the eighth, Greg Gross batted for Carlton and hit a weak grounder. That brought on Ron Reed to face the Dodgers in the eighth, who put them down in order.
Stanhouse one-two-threed the Phils in the ninth to record his fifth save of the year.
EXTRA POINTS – Rose has batted safely in 12 of his last 13 games and 15 or 17... Schmidt has hit safely in 15 of 17 games... From July to September, Tug McGraw has pitched in 20 games, allowing just three earned runs and an 0.96 earned run average over that span... Tonight's game starts at 10 o'clock, with Larry Christenson going against Bob Welch... The Phils complete the Coast swing tomorrow with Dick Ruthven facing Dave Goltz. After that, 'they return to Philadelphia for a two-game set with the Pirates.