Reading Eagle - June 23, 1980
Carlton Wins 13th
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – It was probably fitting that neither Steve Carlton nor Vida Blue was overpowering in their pitching matchup Sunday.
The day’s biggest cheer, a standing ovation went to 42-year-old Willie McCovey, who didn’t even play in the game which Carlton and the Philadelphia Phillies won 4-3 over the San Francisco Giants.
The earned run averages of both Carlton, who won his eighth straight decision and improved his record to 13-2 and Blue, 9-4, went up. A run-scoring triple by Mike Schmidt, followed by Greg Luzinski’s sacrifice fly, sent the Phillies ahead in the top of the seventh inning and Carlton got out of trouble in the bottom of the seventh by starting a double play and picking a runner off first base.
The Phils ended a three-game losing streak and snapped the Giants’ four-game winning streak.
“The Giants are a pretty good team right now,” noted Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green. “They’re getting key hits from some people you don’t expect them from, and Jack Clark is hotter than the devil.”
Clark had a 2-for-2 day at the plate, giving him 13 hits in 20 at-bats over the last five games. He had a triple, the seventh extra-base hit in his hot streak, to open a three-run rally in the fourth.
McCovey announced just before gametime that he plans to retire, effective July 10, ending a major league playing career that has produced 521 home runs. The 27,315 fans at Candlestick Park got the news in a second-inning announcement and they cheered until McCovey came out of the dugout, holding a bat in one hand, and waved his cap in appreciation.
“It’s not a sad day for me because it’s still possible I can go out there and help win a game today,” McCovey said beforehand.
But, in the team’s only pinch-hitting situation, Giants Manager Dave Bristol called on Mike Ivie, a right-handed hitter, to face left-hander Carlton in the ninth. Carlton made Ivie his eighth strikeout victim of the day and 135th of the season.
“Willie told me the news before the game, and I told him we’re going to miss him. He’s a credit to the game, on and off the field,” said the Phillies’ Pete Rose, who broke into the major leagues in 1963, four years after McCovey.
Carlton allowed eight hits in what catcher Bob Boone described as the pitcher’s second consecutive sub-par performance.
“But like all great pitchers, when he smells a victory, he goes out and gets it,” said Boone.
Blue, who has suffered two straight one-run losses after winning seven straight decisions, yielded nine hits in eight innings Sunday and said, “I wasn’t dominant, as I like to be when I’m out there.”