In this era of the erudite, sophisticated, wheeler-dealer players who are apt to think first in terms of stocks when averages are mentioned, the plowboy gait of Cincinnati's Clay Carroll coming in from the bullpen is a refreshing reminder of days gone by. From Clanton, Ala., Carroll is almost apologetic about the garden out back. "Nothing big," he says. "I guess I got my walk plowing furrows for watermelon, tomatoes, okra, string beans and corn." Carroll usually had to sneak off to get in his baseball licks, which usually preceded the licks his father gave Clay when he caught up to him. "We lived kinda downhill," Carroll explains. "Uphill about 15 blocks was a ball park. When Dad found me up there, it was a sorry walk back." No one whips Clay Carroll when he walks up a hill today. Presently baseball's most successful relief pitcher with 11 wins, four saves and a 2.71 ERA, he relieved last week for the 36th, 37th and 38th times, pitched 6? innings and won his ninth and 10th games in a row. Should he continue to pitch as effectively, he has a good shot at league records for games pitched (84 by Ted Abernathy for Chicago in 1965) and relief wins (18 by ElRoy Face for Pittsburgh in 1959). Carroll impressed the Reds so much last year after they got him from the Braves that they felt safe in trading their own superb Abernathy back to the Cubs. Two things have combined to make Carroll effective: a crackling fastball and a willingness to work. Although he has walked 40 batters in 72? innings this season, he has also set 57 others down on strikes, most of them with fastballs. Last year, with the Cincinnati pitching staff a shambles, Carroll saved the first game of a doubleheader against the Pirates, then started and finished the second game, giving up just one unearned run in nine innings. "I'll pitch anytime," Carroll says. "Beats plowing and lickings."