Reading Eagle - June 1, 1980
Schmidt Clubs Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) – Mike Schmidt’s home-run hitting in Wrigley field has become legend, but the Philadelphia slugger insists it wasn’t always so.
“I’ve had great success in the last four or five years here,” said Schmidt, who blasted two homers Saturday to lead Steve Carlton and the Phillies to a 7-0 victory over Chicago.
“When I first came to this park I had a lot of trouble hitting,” said Schmidt. “It took me awhile to learn that you don’t have to pull everything to hit it out. All you have to do is sit back and wait and don’t overreact.”
Schmidt sat back and waited, “went with the pitch” and homered onto the right field catwalk.
“It was a good pitch out and away,” said Schmidt. “I got the meat part of the bat on it. I’ll admit the wind took it out but even on a normal day it would at least have been a double. But I’ll take the homer.”
His homer in the seventh, and major league-leading No. 16, came off reliever Bill Caudill.
“It was a fastball, out,” said Schmidt. “I know Caudill has a good fastball and when the count went to 2-2 I figured he’d challenge me.”
Carlton didn’t get a chance to complete his third shutout of the season and was lifted by Manager Dallas Green in the seventh.
“He pitched three very quick innings in a row,” said Green, “and he struggled a little in the seventh, so I decided to give him a rest. Shutouts and complete games aren’t important to me and I’m sure they’re not to Lefty (Carlton).”
Carlton was asked the same question but refused to answer.
Schmidt, who now has 24 career homers in Wrigley Field and 34 against the Cubs overall, slugged a two-run homer to feature a three-run third, walked in a three-run fourth and homered again to lead off the seventh.
It was the fifth time Schmidt has hit two home runs in a game in Wrigley Field, where he slammed four in a row on April 17, 1976.
Carlton, 9-2, allowed only four singles in the seven innings he worked. He struck out 11 for the fourth time this season and didn’t walk a man. Dickie Noles finished up.
Lonnie Smith doubled in the third and scored on a single by Pete Rose before Schmidt homered, an opposite field shot to the right field catwalk.
Smith and Greg Luzinski each singled in a run in the fourth with another scoring on Mike Vail’s throwing error. Schmidt drilled his 16th homer onto the left field catwalk to open the seventh.
Willie Hernandez, 1-4, was the loser. When he was lifted in the fourth, Hernandez threw his glove toward the dugout, but missed as it landed in the first row. He then tossed a chest protector out onto the field.