Saturday, May 27, 2017

Reds Plate 20, Griffin Fans 15 : Monday, September 8th, 1969


PIT 8, MON 7  W-Veale 17-9 L-Jaster 10-12  S-Dal Canton(10)  HR-Oliver(29) Mazeroski(3) Bailey(12) Fairly(10)  

CHI 6, NY 0  W-Selma 10-13 L-McAndrew 10-13  HR-Williams(17) Smith(10)

STL 4, PHI 3  W-Taylor 9-8 L-Wise 10-14

LA 8, ATL 5  W-Mikkelsen 9-3 L-P.Niekro 14-12  S-Brewer(14)  HR-Sudakis(10) Millan(5) F.Alou(4) Carty(21)

SF 8, CIN 6 (12inns)  W-Linzy 8-5 L-Carroll 6-5  S-McMahon(2)  HR-Bonds(22) Tolan(13) May(27)  SF turns 6 DP.

CIN 20, SF 1  W-Nolan 4-8 L-Sadecki 6-9  HR-Tolan(14)  Rose 5 hits and 5 runs, Tolan 4 rbi, Reds 28 hits.

HOU 12, SD 2  W-Griffin 10-12 L-J.Niekro 8-13  HR-Blefary(12) Miller(6)GS Rader(7) Edwards(7)  Griffin 15 K's.

"Let me go right out there and fail!"
It was an action-packed Monday around the league, so let's get to it. To start off with the most important match-up, the Braves were leaning heavily on Phil Niekro to pitch well for them against front-running L.A. because they had to start the two game home set without the services of Henry Aaron, who will return tomorrow. With Atlanta's sliver-thin hopes riding on his performance, Knucksie gave up 4 in the second and 2 more in the third. Gah. The Braves fought back to make it 6-5, but never got any closer. The loss effectively eliminates them from the race. Meanwhile, Bill Sudakis continues his late-season homer barrage for the Dodgers, swatting his 4th since August 28th. 

"I'm woke," quoth Bobby as he circled the sacks.
The Giants played a pair at Cincinnati and won the opener in dramatic fashion when Bobby Bonds, who had up to then gone oh-for-6 with 3 strikeouts, hit a two-run shot in the top of the twelfth to give the Giants a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The blast undid Cincy's earlier rally that was capped off by Bobby Tolan's two-run game-tying bomb. However, the Reds got their revenge in the nightcap, demolishing the Giants 20-1. Ron "Call me Anita" Bryant took one for the team, toiling 5+ frames and surrendering 13 earnies in relief of Ray Sadecki. His suffering saved the San Francisco bullpen for another day. 

Tom Griffin struck out 15 feebly flailing Friars in just 7 innings of work before being decapitated by a line drive off the bat of Ollie Brown. He'll miss two weeks, but should have his noggin reattached in time to make one or two more starts in '69. Jim Bouton finished up, with the Astros bench warmers in the field behind him, marveling at the view from outside the dugout.  

The tiresome Cardinals beat the Phillies on a late rbi triple by none other than hurler Chuck Taylor.  "I am the Taylor's face and hands," he opined irrelevantly as Paul Simon looked on approvingly.

He can't be bothered with sordid reality.
The Pirates took over 3rd place in the east as their hot streak continued with a win over the Expos, though the baby Canadians did give them a tussle right up until the final out. Scoops Oliver's crazy power production continues unabated, as he swatted homer number 29. (He never actually hit more than 22 in any season, and only reached 20 twice. He hit just 17 in 1969, but has the rolls going his way. Also, he has made good use of his 5, with runners frequently on base ahead of him.)

He blinded them with science.
"Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." Thus spake the Cubs' Dick Selma, who blanked the Mets, dropping them to 4th. The win didn't help the Cubbies much, though, what with the Cardinals winning, too. At least they got to stay in second.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Revenge of The 'Stros and Pods : Sunday, September 7th, 1969


PIT 4, CHI 1  W-Dal Canton 8-6 L-Hands 17-11  S-Gibbon(12)  

PHI 8, NY 7 (11inns)  W-Raffo 2-4 L-McGraw 4-11  HR-Ryan(9) Grote(10)

STL 5, MON 3  W-Briles 13-12 L-Wegener 9-13

CIN 11, ATL 2  W-Cloninger 2-3 L-Stone 9-10  S-Carroll(3)  HR-Carty(20) Johnson(13) Tolan(12)

HOU 6, SF 5  W-Gladding 4-5 L-Linzy 7-5  HR-Burda(4) Menke(6)  Menke 2-out walk-off HR.

SD 14, LA 8  W-Sisk 7-13 L-Moeller 11-9  S-Reberger(16)  Haller 4 rbi.

Everybody's got something to hide except me and my Menke.
The downtrodden rose up and smote a few of their tormentors on Sunday. Let's start with Denis Menke's 2-out walk-off solo shot off of Frank Linzy, putting a dent in the Giants' pennant hopes.  The San Franciscans beat the Spacemen's collective brains in Saturday, 23-0, but it was the Astros who took the series two games out of three. "M-m-m-m-Menke!" crowed jubilant Astro skipper Harry Walker, believing himself to be Mick Jagger in the excitement of the moment. 

Junk food junkie Frank saves the day.
Now we move on to an Diego, where the woebegone Pods exploded against the Dodgers, taking an early 9-2 lead and then hanging on for dear life. They finally did salvage the finale of their four game set with the  Tinseltown nine, winning 14-8. Junkballer Tommie Sisk tied Joe Niekro for the staff lead in wins with 7, even though he pitched pretty poorly and did not survive the 6th inning. Jack Baldschun came on and then gave way to Frank "Double" Reberger, who was required to get the last 8 outs, which he did. And he wants fries with that.

Tom Seaver, he of the mere 12-12 record, managed to blow leads of 4-0 and 6-4 to the last place Phillies. The Quakers finally dispatched the Metropolitans in extras, 8-7. This leaves the Mets as part of a 3-way clusterbunch fighting for second in the east. It seems extremely unlikely that any of them can still make a serious run at the Cardinals, who toyed with the Expos before finishing them off for the sweep at Busch. 

The Cubs, still unable to find their missing offense, carried a 1-0 lead into the top of the 9th against Pittsburgh. However, Don Kessinger's error put the lead-off man on, and 4 unearned runs later, the "L" flag was hoisted over Wrigley. Bill Hands has now lost 7 of his last 10 decisions. As for the Pirates, they have won 8 of 9 and now move on to Montreal.

Mister Friendly, Alex Johnson.
Finally, affable Alex Johnson jumped out of his hospital bed and drove the first pitch he saw into the grandstand for a homer. The Rhinelanders went on to drub the Braves and take 2 of 3 at Crosley for the weekend. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Giants Demolish Astros 23-0 : Saturday, September 6th, 1969


CHI 4, PIT 1  W-Holtzman 11-7 L-Moose 3-7  S-Regan(16)  HR-Hickman(21)

NY 6, PHI 3  W-Gentry 15-9 L-Fryman 8-14  S-McGraw(22)  HR-Johnson(16)

STL 4, MON 0  W-Carlton 19-6 L-Renko 2-8  HR-Javier(10)

ATL 7, CIN 4  W-Jarvis 15-9 L-Fisher 11-11  S-Upshaw(26)  HR-Cepeda(20)

SF 23, HOU 0  W-McCormick 13-5 L-LeMaster 14-14  HR-Bonds(21)  Bonds and Lanier 5 rbi each, Burda 4 runs, McCormick 2-hitter. Astros issue 14 walks.

LA 6, SD 0  W-Osteen 16-8 L-Santorini 5-22

Bobby hit a three-run bomb late, just to run up the score.
Incensed at having been beaten by the preposterous Spacemen on Friday, the Giants made it look like the men against the boys on Saturday, destroying the Houston club by a whopping score of 23-0. So thorough was this lambasting that lefty hurler Mike McCormick had a no-hitter going into the 8th inning before surrendering a 1-out safety to John "Johnny Angel" Edwards. The Giants poured 17 runs across the plate in the final two innings off of absurd Houston relievers Wade "In The Water" Blasingame and Skip Guinn, the latter of whom's e.r.a. ballooned north of twelve. Astro skipper Harry Walker was on the point of sending utility man Marty Martinez to the hill when he realized that, if he did, he'd have no one to play third, and so Guinn was left in to be shelled further. (Martinez actually did pitch one frame that year and is rated D.) The Giants collected 19 hits, 14 bases on balls, a hit batsman and were safe on errors 3 times. And they did all this with Willie McCovey going hitless, though he did walk. Even silly Hal Lanier knocked in five. It was ugly, fans.

He pretty much sucks lately.
The Braves continue to watch Cecil Upshaw struggle after having been almost unhittable through the season's first half. On Saturday he did notch his 26th save, but let the Reds load the bases before he finally got them out. Pat Jarvis is now the staff leader in wins with 15. "I'm like a god," he opined modestly. 

Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre cheered wildly at Deron's tater.
The Mets ran up a healthy 6-0 lead over the Phillies behind the slants of Gary Gentry before ice-cold, slump-encrusted laughingstock Deron Johnson stepped up and swatted a meaningless three run jack. "All action and endeavor are meaningless in a hostile or indifferent universe," quoth D.J., who nonetheless showboated his way around the bases. 

Al "Losing Pitcher" Santorini
And finally, the Pods barely even went through the motions against the Dodgers, losing 6-0 behind Al "Losing Pitcher" Santorini, who had control problems early but righted the ship and hung around through the 8th. "I know my candy-assed two-bit scrap heap teammates are out there trying to support me in every start, but they really suck and should all be shot," said Santorini, smiling benignly.
The Pods vow to take the final game of their four game set with L.A. tomorrow. We'll see.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

McCarver Knocks In 4, Offers Lengthy Analysis : Friday, September 5th, 1969


PIT 4, CHI 0  W-Ellis 8-13 L-Jenkins 15-9  HR-Oliver(28)  Ellis 12 K's.

NY 5, PHI 3  W-Koosman 16-10 L-Jackson 12-13  S-Taylor(1)  HR-Clendenon(22) Swoboda(5)

STL 8, MON 4  W-Gibson 17-6 L-Robertson 10-13  HR-Bailey(11)  McCarver 4 rbi.

CIN 1, ATL 0  W-Maloney 17-9 L-Reed 13-8  S-Granger(18)

HOU 5, SF 2  W-Ray 7-3 L-Perry 18-7  S-Gladding(9)

LA 2, SD 1  W-Sutton 17-8 L-Kirby 3-16  S-Mikkelsen(17)  HR-Sudakis(9) Murrell(1)

148  games left.

"And then for my third rbi...gee, I hope I'm not boring you!"
The Cardinals made short work of the infant Expos at Busch Stadium on Friday, riding 4 ribbies from backstop/color man Tim McCarver and 3 from the newly-healed and suddenly productive Vada Pinson. Five errors by the suddenly sloppy Redbirds did nothing to dampen their victory. McCarver offered lengthy analysis of his 4 ribbies, reminding many of Ted Striker. 

To Itchycoo Park, that's where he's been.
Dock Ellis--the one the Bucs have waited all season to see--finally showed up, fanning a dozen Cubs as the Pirates won their 7th straight game. Al Oliver continues to smoke NL pitching, notching his 28th homer, while Dock just smokes whatever's handy. 

A home run barrage from Donn Clendenon and Ron Swoboda staked lefty Jerry Koosman to a 5-0 lead against one of his several future teams, and he held on for a 5-3 decision over the Phillies. "I stay in the now," he opined, mystically.  Donn Clendenon now has 6 blasts as a Met.

"Missed me, missed me, now ya gotta kiss me!" taunted Jim.
The banged-up Reds plated one run, courtesy of an rbi single by Darrel Chaney, and fireballer Jim Maloney made it stand up, with relief help from Wayne Granger when the Braves put two on in the 8th via the base on balls. Maloney barely escaped with his life, let alone the win. On a result of 38, he would have been destroyed limb from limb while covering first had the Reds been fielding one or fielding three, but they were fielding two at that moment and so the Braves' Henry Aaron took the fall into the threshing machine instead. He'll miss 3 games, which is very bad news for the Atlantans. They are having trouble scoring runs anyway, and now must put a popgun in right field instead of a cannon.  As for Mr. Maloney, he sat at his locker after the game, polishing his untouched J-3 rating, and wearing a big shit-eating grin.

The much-dealt Mister Davis. If it's Friday, this must be Houston!
At Houston, the Giants flag hopes took a hit when Gaylord Perry got roughed up by the disrespectful Spacemen, who were seemingly unimpressed with his league-leading e.r.a.  When Rooster Rader bisected himself on a railing while going for a foul pop, Marty Martinez shifted to third and in came new acquisition Tommy Davis, who drove in 3 after entering the fray.  The Giants are dismayed at seeing their two aces, Marichal and Perry, lose back to back against crap teams.  In Astro news, Fred Gladding's save was their first since July 20th.

Padre pipsqueak, or folk-singing purveyor of hokum? Neither! It's Big Daddy. "Brick!"
Finally, Don Sutton outdueled kid chucker Clay Kirby 2-1, despite a late blast off the bat of Ivan Murrell, not to be confused with Burl Ives. It was Ivan's inaugural blast of the year. The Tinseltown nine garnered just 3 hits, but eked out the win against Kirby, who once again pitched well but lost. "I know my wimp-ass, no-talent, busher teammates are out there trying their best every day," he proclaimed magnanimously.
Born to lose. He's toed the slab in vain....


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cross-Divisional Play Ends : Wednesday & Thursday, September 3rd and 4th, 1969

Scores, September 3rd

PIT 5, ATL 1  W-Veale 16-9 L-P.Niekro 14-11  HR-Oliver(27) 

LA 2, NY 1  W-Bunning 11-9 L-Cardwell 6-7

SD 3, PHI 2  W-Reberger 6-11 L-Wise 10-13  HR-Wise(2) Stahl(10)  Murrell 2-out 2-run walk-off double.

MON 6, SF 4  W-Jaster 10-11 L-Marichal 16-11  S-Face(15)  HR-Staub(28)

Thus ends cross-divisional play for the season. The west ends up 20 games over .500 against the east.

Score, September 4th

LA 9, SD 2  W-Singer 20-8 L-Roberts 4-14  HR-Wills 2(6) Kosco(14)  Wills 6 rbi.

"Hi! I'm Maury Wills!"
On Wednesday, the Dodgers squeaked across a pair of runs against the newly-healed Don "Cardwell Banker" Cardwell, but the Mets could do nothing with superannuated Dodger hurler Jim Bunning until the 9th, when they plated one and had runners at the corners with nobody out. However, Jerry Grote hit a stupid grounder to the drawn-in infield and the runner from third was a dead duck at the plate. That's as close as the Mets would get. On Thursday at San Diego, Tinseltown chucker Bill "The Singer Throwing Machine" Singer became the league's first 20-game winner, downing the preposterous Padres 9-2. He was backed by a pair of homers off the unlikely bat of speedster Maury Wills. The blasts were Maury's first since rejoining the Dodgers, and both came right-handed, off Dave Roberts and Billy McCool. And so, the Tinseltown nine takes over first place in the west by one game.

He garnered his 10th win. No one knows how.
The Giants were feeling good about themselves, having jumped out to a 4-1 lead behind their ace, Juan Marichal. But lo and behold, the infant Expos battled back. Twice, Rusty Staub came up with a runner in scoring position and first base open, and twice Giants mastermind Clyde King ordered him walked. This led to Coco Laboy twice singling in a run to make it 4-3. The situation came up a third time later in the game, and a chastened King elected to pitch to Staub and paid the price when Le Grand Orange smacked that pea into outer space to give the 'Spos the lead. And Laboy? He flied out, naturally. It was the second time recently that Larry "Court" Jaster has outdueled the great Marichal, with Staub connecting in both contests.

Ivan Murrell connects for a walk-off two-bagger.
Rick Wise's own 2-run bomb seemed to stand him in good stead against the Pods, but the wheels came off in the bottom of the 9th when Ivan "The Terrible" Murrell swatted a 2-out, 2-run game-winning double to undo Mister Wise. Murrell then declared himself Czar Of All The Russias. Those wacky Pods! 

Braves fans implore their team to hang in there.
Finally, the Buccos completed their sweep of two at Atlanta, to extend their winning streak to 6. The Pirates are in 4th place, but just a half game behind 3rd place New York, and just 2 games in back of 2nd place Chicago, who they visit next. Pittsburgh has seemed to be about to make a move before, and they always fall flat again, so we shall see. Meanwhile, what's become of the Braves? They sat in first place at the end of July and seemed like the most consistently strong team in the west, but they have gone just 13-16 since then. Hank Aaron has cooled from his torrid pace of high summer, and no one else has stepped up to take up the slack except for Orlando Cepeda, who can't do it all by himself. Things seem nearly hopeless now for the Atlanta club, 7 games back with 3 teams ahead of them.

Legal stuff: "The Court Jester", pictured above, is by Tyler Robbins.