The Phillies hadn't scored a run against the Dodgers all year for pitcher Steve Carlton. So when Mike Schmidt golfed a low Jerry Reuss slider over the center field fence in the first inning to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, Carlton was prepared to defend it.
The Schmidt homer turned out to be the only score of the day for either side, as Philadelphia took the first game of the National League Championship Series yesterday, 1-0, before a crowd of 49,963 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers, who beat the Phillies 11 out of 12 times this year and have dominated them in championship series in 1977 and 1978, blew several chances to score last night. In the sixth inning. Steve Sax led off with a single and advanced to second on Bill Russell's sacrifice bunt. Sax went to third on Carlton's 14th wild pitch of the year, but was left stranded there when Dusty Baker popped to Carlton, and Mike Marshall waved at strike three.
In the eighth inning, the Dodgers left the bases loaded. Sax singled with one out and went to third when Baker looped a single out to right field, after a Bill Russell popout. But after Pedro Guerrero walked to load the bases, Phillie reliever Al Holland came in to take over for Carlton and got Marshall to fly to right field to end the inning.
The Phillies also blew some chances to add security runs. In the top of the seventh, Garry Maddox singled with one out, and after Bo Diaz grounded out, Ivan DeJesus was intentionally walked. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch from Reuss, but were left stranded as Carlton struck out for the second time.
Carlton not only got the win, but was also named the game's most valuable player. Reuss, the Dodger starter, took the loss, and Holland picked up a save.