Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mets Hit The Road, Sweep Pods : Tuesday, August 26th, 1969


CIN 8, CHI 7  W-Ramos 6-1 L-Abernathy 4-8  S-Granger(17)  HR-Perez 2(20) Banks(11)  Tolan, Perez and Banks each drive in 4. 

PIT 5, ATL 0  W-Blass 15-6 L-Jarvis 13-9  HR-Stargell(20)

STL 3, HOU 2  W-Carlton 17-6 L-LeMaster 14-13  HR-Shannon(7)

LA 4,  MON 3  W-Singer 18-8  L-Renko 2-6  HR-Jones(14)

NY 6, SD 2  W-Koosman 15-9 L-Kirby 3-15  HR-Grote(8) 

NY 8, SD 1  W-Gentry 14-8 L-Sisk 6-13  HR-Shamsky(12) Martin(2) Stahl(8)

SF 3, PHI 2  W-Perry 17-6 L-Jackson 12-11  HR-Allen(29) Dietz(7)

"You keep hitting, but we keep losing!"
We start off in San Francisco, where the Phillies were seeking their first win over the Giants. You read that right. They played 'em tough, riding a 2-2 tie into the bottom of the 8th, but with 2 out, Dick Dietz got a hold of one and put S.F. up by a run. Gaylord Perry disposed of the bottom of the Quaker order in the 9th, and the Giants are now 10-0 against the Philadelphians. Rich Allen continues to belt the ball, hitting his 10th homer of August, but it isn't translating into wins. Meanwhile, iron man backstop Mike Ryan finally died with his gear on and was carried off the field for the next 5 contests. Dave Watkins dons the tools of ignorance in his stead.

The red-hot Mets took their show on the road to San Diego, where they handily swept two from the lowly Friars. Even J.C. Martin got in on the act, slugging a homer in the nightcap as reader William fumed.

Tim McCarver says, "Lay it on in here, baby!"
Houston went into St. Louis with hopes of dumping the Cardinals, but a late 3-run jack off the bat of Mike Shannon brought the Redbirds back. Oft-injured backstop Tim McCarver is out again, making another opportunity for Dave Ricketts to show what he can do. "Get healthy, or we trade you to Philadelphia!" opined St. Louis skipper Red Schoendienst to his fragile catcher.

"They say I may have already won millions!"
Bill Singer and the hated Dodgers seemed to have things well in hand, despite a top of the 1st inning round tripper off the bat of Mack Jones. The Dodgers built a 4-1 lead going into the 9th, but the stubborn and scrappy Expos plated a pair, and the Tinseltown nine had both star relievers up. Singer talked ancient Walter Alston into keeping him in the game for the final out, and also made the old codger believe he was about to win the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. Lo and behold, Singer escaped with the win, but Alston is still waiting for Ed McMahon to appear. Your Impartial Goddess finally hit a Dodger with her elephant gun, relegating outfield caddy Bill Russell to a makeshift hospital in the bush for 10 games. Mack Jones was punished for his good deed as well, and will sit out 5. Adolpho "Captain" Phillips takes over in the Expos pasture.

Happiness is 2 home runs!
Tony Perez and Bobby Tolan powered the Reds to a thrilling 8-7 win at Wrigley. Perez smoked a pair of bombs, and Tolan upped his August rbi total to a gaudy 25. Wayne Granger nailed down the save. That Tolan and Granger for Vada Pinson deal is looking very very good these days for the Rhinelanders. For the Cardinals not so much. Vada can't buy a hit in St. Louis.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lucky 7 For The East : Sunday & Monday, August 24th & 25th, 1969

Scores, August 24th

CHI 2, HOU 1  W-Jenkins 15-7 L-Dierker 13-12  HR-Hickman(20) Dierker 2-hitter.

CHI 7, HOU 2  W-Hands 17-8 L-Billingham 2-11  HR-Morgan(10) Rudolph(4)

MON 6, SF 3  W-Jaster 9-10 L-Marichal 15-10  S-Face(14)  HR-Hunt(1) Henderson(5)ph Bailey(10) Staub(25)

NY 4, LA 3  W-Seaver 11-11 L-Bunning 9-9  Charles 1-out walk-off double.

PHI 5, SD 2  W-Wise 10-11 L-J.Niekro 8-12  HR-Allen(28) Hisle(8)

PIT 4, CIN 3  W-Hartenstein 6-3 L-Maloney 15-9  HR-May(25) Stargell(19)

STL 4, ATL 3 (11inns)  W-Hoerner 9-6 L-Doyle 5-4  HR-Gonzales(6) Aspromonte(3)ph Maxvill(6)  Flood 1-out walk-off single.

No games for August 25th.

"Is this the right bus?"
The east beat up on the west to the tune of 7-0 on Sunday, and there was plenty of excitement along the way. First, the New York Mets and their "Lucky Bus" struck yet again when Eddie Charles stroked a walk-off double to give the Metropolitans a 3 game sweep of the Dodgers, with all 3 wins of the come-from-behind variety, with the last 2 being walk-offs. Asked by scribes about his dramatic hit, Charles just screamed something about having a woman "way over town" who's good to him. Oh yeah!

In Pittsburgh, the Reds seemed poised to take all 3 from the Bucs, but then Dave Cash got on and Willie Stargell cranked a two-run shot off of Jim Maloney to send the Rhinelanders down in bitter defeat after Chuck Hartenstein slammed the door in the 9th. However, the Cincinnati club took 7 of 12 on the season. 

Curt contemplates success, failure, and bloop singles to center.
The Braves thought things looked good at Busch Stadium when they plated a run in the opening inning off of Bob Gibson, but the Cards tied it off Knucksie Niekro in the bottom of the initial frame. Rico Carty led off the 2nd with a screamer right into Gibby's sour old puss, shelving the right-hander for the next 5 games. Enter Jim "Mudcat" Grant, fresh from his tomb, who twirled 6 and 2/3 innings and gave up just one run. Dal "Federal Super Max" Maxvill cranked his astonishing 6th homer of the year to tie the game at 2, and then Curt Flood brought in Lou Brock with the lead run 3-2. Joe Hoerner came in and got the first two Braves out in the 9th, but Bob "Hi, Bob!" Aspromonte pinch hit and launched a deep drive to left which departed the yard and tied up the contest at 3. No matter. Curt Flood delivered his 3rd rbi, driving in Brock each time, to cap his 4-for-4 day and a 4-3 extra inning Cards win. 

John Bateman being backed up on the throw by Larry Jaster. This baseball stuff is a cinch!
Juan Marichal was looking for his 10th straight win when he took the mound at Jarry Park against the Expos, but they cleaned his clock instead. Following a walk, the 'Spos delivered a pair of doubles and then back-to-back blasts by Bailey and Staub, to hang a five-spot on the high kicking chucker and send him to an early shower. With the win, their 53rd, the Expos officially exceed their actual win total of 52, and August isn't even over yet! 

Ken Rudolph and friend.
Finally, the Cubs eked out just 2 hits against Larry Dierker of the Astros, but one of them was a late 2-run bomb by Jim Hickman to take the opener, and then Ken "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Back-Up Catcher" Rudolph hit one out to power the sweep in Chicago. The Astros are so weird. After going 23-4 to reach .500 at 54-54, the Spacemen have slumped to 5-15 ever since. 

And I could mention the Pods-Phillies game, but why?

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Lucky Bus Rolls On! : Saturday, August 23rd, 1969


CHI 7, HOU 6  W-Aguirre 5-3 L-Womack 4-5  S-Regan(14)  HR-Wynn(20) Hickman(19)

SF 7, MON 2  W-Sadecki 6-7 L-Wegener 9-11  HR-McCovey(25)

NY 6, LA 5  W-McGraw 4-10 L-Mikkelsen 8-3  HR-Jones(9) Grote(7)  Agee 1-out 2-run walk-off triple.

SD 7, PHI 5  W-Reberger 5-10 L-Raffo 1-4  HR-Stahl(7) Briggs(10)

CIN 2, PIT 0 (13inns)  W-Granger 8-5 L-Dal Canton 5-6

ATL 4, STL 0  W-Reed 13-7 L-Washburn 8-13  HR-H.Aaron(38)  Reed 1-hitter.

"Forget the Love Train, I'm on the Lucky Bus!"
Too much, the Lucky Bus! The Dodgers were at Shea again on Saturday as your Impartial Goddess lounged in her private box seat wearing her Mets gear and taking potshots at the Tinseltown nine with her elephant gun, all the while smiling benignly. Things started well when the crazy-hot Cleon Jones smacked a two-run bomb in the bottom of the first. However, Nolan Ryan's express delivered a train load of slop in the top of the 5th, serving up 5 big runs before being removed by stadium security. The Metropolitans got one back in the 4th on a solo jack by Jerry Grote. Cal Koonce twirled 3 and a third of shutout relief, Ron Taylor 2 more, and Tug McGraw 1, but it was still 5-3 Dodgers going into the bottom of the 9th. Kenny "They killed Kenny!" Boswell made the first out against L.A. relief ace Pete Mikkelsen, but Al Weis, in for injured shortstop Bud Harrelson, dinked a single to give New York hope.

Now I got my Lucky Bus....
At this point your Impartial Goddess rubbed up the roof of the Lucky Bus, so instrumental in yesterday's win. Cleon Jones, a walking fireball he's so hot, bashed a double to make it 5-4! More roof rubbing. Shamsky draws a walk. Yet more roof rubbing as your completely Impartial Goddess implored the New York nine to rally on.  Tommie's disciples led him away from his pinball machine to the dish to hit, and Mr. Agee launched a soaring drive to the wall in center field for a 2-run walk-off three bagger! DOWN go the evil Dodgers! Oh yeah! Incidentally, after a very lackluster 40-41 first half, the Mets are 27-17 in the second half.

"I'm soooo high...."
In Chicago, Astro chucker Dooley "Freaking" Womack coughed up the losing tallies for the second straight day and was promptly peddled to the lowly Pilots in exchange for blabbermouth author and washed-up kuckleballer Jim Bouton. Dooley's former teammates shouted encouragement as he left the clubhouse for the last time: "Get outta here ya no-talent busher! And don't come back!" It is rumored that, upon arrival in Seattle, Dooley was immediately issued a plaid flannel shirt and a cup of Starbuck's. 

The two best hitting teams in the league squared off for 13 innings before either one could score. At last, Tony Perez singled in a run, and Johnny Bench did the same for a 2-0 win for the Reds. Starter Jim Merritt had nothing to show for 11 innings of shutout ball, as he and Dock Ellis dueled to a stand-off. 

My little petlet.
Finally, my little pet Larry Stahl hit a two-run shot off of the immortal Al Raffo, and Frank "Double" Reberger made it stand up for a 7-5 win at Philadelphia, the Friars' 4th win in a row! As for the Phillies, they are on suicide watch. Larry Stahl turns up riding the bench for tail-enders in my replays, but always seems to do well for me when he gets in there. After hostile influences tried twice to kill him off yesterday, today he showed his glowing good health with his homer, even though the return of Nate Colbert knocked Larry back to the bench from whence he came to save the day after replacing Cito Gaston in center field. Larry now stands third on the Pods in homers with 7, trailing only Ollie Brown and the aforementioned Nate Colbert. "I'm like a God!" quoth Larry as he polished his spot on the bench with loving care.
Pods mgr. Gomez lights up yet another victory cigar!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cubs and Reds Stage Miracle Rallies : Friday, August 22nd, 1969


CHI 5, HOU 4 (10inns)  W-Regan 6-6 L-Womack 4-4  HR-Blefary(11) Williams(15)  Popovich 1-out walk-off single.

SF 14, MON 2  W-Bolin 13-10 L-Robertson 9-12  HR-Hart(9)  Hart 6 rbi.

NY 6, LA 4  W-McAndrew 9-11 L-Osteen 13-8  S-McGraw(21)  HR-Jones(8)

SD 4, PHI 2  W-Santorini 5-19 L-Fryman 7-13  S-Reberger(14)  HR-Stahl(6)

CIN 6, PIT 5 (10inns)  W-Granger 7-5 L-Veale 14-9  HR-Stewart(6)ph Stargell(18)

STL 5, ATL 0  W-Taylor 8-8 L-Britton 0-1  HR-Javier(7)

Too much! The Lucky Bus!
Imagine the verbiage your Impartial Goddess may have employed when the hated Tinseltown nine plated 4 runs in the top of the first against the Mets at Shea. Imagine my colorful patois as every roll and circumstance seemed to go their way. Who knew, when Maury Wills singled in the second inning and advanced to third with one out, that the Dodgers had only one hit left in them? Who could have predicted a fly out/ throw 'em out double play to exterminate the threat and prevent Jim McAndrew from being reduced to a "D"? What peerless seer could have predicted that the Mets would score 2, and then 4 more, with the big blow coming off the bat of Cleon Jones in the form of a 3-run HR to give him 8 rbi in the last two games? Who could have envisioned McAndrew advancing to "A" status, or Tug McGraw turning in a flawless inning of relief? In any event, that's what happened. Some credit my newly trotted-out 1960s NYC transit bus, now dubbed the Lucky Bus. 

Fear the mighty Po-Po!
Second-place Chicago looked like they were going down in dismal defeat to fireballer Don Wilson and the Astros, but when he allowed two runners to reach with two out in the bottom of the ninth, and the Spacemen up 4-1, Dooley "Freaking" Womack was ladled out of the Houston bullpen to try to get Ron Santo out. Nothing doing! Ron knocked a two-run double, and then a pinch runner scored the tying run, sending the contest into extra frames. That's when Leo Durocher dusted off little Paul Popovich, who singled home the winning run. The bruins scored all five runs from the 8th inning on, to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. As for Dooley Womack, he is rumored to be on the block following several lackluster performances of late. 

Bill meets his end. (courtesy of Pepper's Dog Blog)
Not to be outdone, The Reds had a rally of their own. After being one-hit by Bob "Hi, Bob!" Veale at Cincinnati, he was setting them down again with regularity, and carried a 5-2 lead into the 9th. However, the big lefty walked a pair, and with 2 out, pinch hitter Jimmy Stewart cranked a three-run bomb to tie the game in front of the dismayed Pittsburgh crowd. "Aw that's swell!" chirped Stewart. Then in the 10th, with Veale still on the hill, Bobby Tolan, who had been mystified by the left-handed slants all day, managed a single, then took off for second. Manny Sanguillen rag-armed the throw into center field, allowing Tolan to advance to third. Up stepped slump-encrusted Lee May, who dinked a single to score Tolan, and although in the excitement Lee managed to get thrown out trying for a double, it was all the Reds and Wayne Granger needed to seal the victory.  As for the Buccos, they are sinking like a stone, and lost the services of Bill "Oh no, Mr. Bill!" Mazeroski for the next ten games while he works on his baseball magazine and rests his smashed-in face after being creamed by a fastball. Kid keystoner Dave Cash returns to the line-up in his stead. 

"Yeegh! There's something crawling up the inside of my uniform!"
Poor Atlanta. With Ron Reed and Pat Jarvis both sidelined for the moment, kid chucker Jim Britton had to toe the slab (why does that sound so gross?) against the Cardinals at Busch. He didn't do too badly, giving up 4 earnies in 7 innings and fanning 9, but Chuck Taylor blanked the teepee dwellers for the second straight start, this time on 3 hits. Asked by a scribe about his future plans, losing pitcher Jim explained, "I plan to really foul up my elbow, get traded to the Expos, make a few more futile appearances in '71, and then fade from the scene!" Oh that youthful exuberance! 

Guess who our favorite player is?
In Montreal, Jim Ray Hart exploded for 6 rbi to lead the San Franciscans past the Expos by a whopping count of 14-2. Ever since Mike McCormick's injury saved him and kept him in the rotation by the hair on his chinny chin chin, Bob "Bolin For Dollars" Bolin has done nothing but win. He hasn't pitched especially well, mind you. He just wins. Cue Reader William's views on the "W". 

"It's amazing, Mr. Stahl. There's not a scratch on you!"
Finally, the unstoppable Pods have cobbled together a real live 3-game winning streak! Of course, this also means that the Phillies' dreadful season has reached a new low, with the Friars stopping the hometown Quakers 4-2, and not only that, but Al "Losing Pitcher" Santorini scored the win! Flyhawk Larry Stahl, only in there against the lefty Fryman due to a lack of living bodies to pencil into the line-up, cranked a two-run shot for the Holy Men. He did this despite twice trying to get injured, but the Magical Protective Shield (TM) that prevents injuries to teams down to a bare minimum of participants swooped in and saved him both times. "I can't be killed!" he crowed, as the glum Philadelphia nine shambled off the field in shame.
The Phillies' team bus is here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Sisk-sational Pods Victory : Thursday, August 21st, 1969


ATL 7, CHI 4  W-Pappas 10-7 L-Holtzman 10-6  S-Upshaw(24)  HR-H.Aaron(37) Cepeda(17)

SD 4, MON 3  W-Sisk 6-12 L-McGinn 7-4  S-Reberger(13)  Sisk 4 rbi, Herrera 5-for-5.

NY 6, SF 0  W-Gentry 13-8 L-McCormick 11-5  HR-Jones(7)  Jones 5 rbi.

LA 11, PHI 1  W-Sutton 15-7 L-J.Johnson 5-18  HR-Allen(27)

STL 2, CIN 0  W-Briles 11-11 L-Fisher 11-10  Briles 2-hitter.

He's in a quiet vibration land.
Tommie Sisk, the Pods' very own deaf dumb and blind boy, did it all on Thursday! Not only did he take the "W" for the second straight start and draw to within one of team leader Joe Niekro, but he had a an rbi single and a 3-run triple for all 4 rbi as the Friars downed their expansion cousins 4-3 at Parc Jarry.  And if all that isn't enough to give your heart palpitations, it was the Holy Men's second win in a row, and now they head to Philadelphia for a Clash of the Titans.

Your Impartial Goddess has about had it with L.A.
When I was nearing the end of my '67 AL replay and trying to decide what to play next, I liked a lot of things about '69 NL (obviously), and one of the teams that drew me was the Phillies, who had a lot of my old favorites in their line-up. Imagine, if you will, how bitterly disappointed I am in them now, especially after they dropped all 3 at home to the despised Dodgers. Your Most Serene Goddess even visited them in their clubhouse, deep in the bowels of crumbling Connie Mack Stadium before Thursday's contest, to implore them to put on their hitting shoes. Skipper George Myatt had a huge decision to make: Johnson or Fryman for the start? He chose Johnson, who immediately gave up a 5-spot in the top of the fist inning as your Imperturbable Goddess flipped her program into the aisle in disgust. Rich Allen did pop a homer in the bottom of that frame, but it didn't prevent yet another Dodger victory. "Next time I'm bringing my elephant gun," muttered your Impartial Goddess on her way out.

Cleon Jones hoisted the Mets on his back and Gary Gentry did the rest as the New York nine downed San Francisco 6-0 with Jones knocking in 5 of the 6. The Metropolitans now move to within three of the second place Cubs.

Beanie & Cecil don the high fash shades.
The Cubs, for their part, fell behind the Braves at Wrigley 7-1, then tried to claw their way back but the hole was too deep. Miracle "D" Milt "Uncle Miltie" Pappas garnered his 10th win with help from super relief ace Cecil Upshaw, who kept asking, "Where is Beanie?" 

NOT Joe Torre.
That high-steppin' Nellie Briles stopped the visiting Reds on just two hits, harmless two-out singles in each of the first two innings. Cards' first sacker Joe Torre, finally deciding to actually do something, drove in both runs to go along with the 4 he knocked in on Wednesday. However, he *was* cut down on the base paths, making Joe a dismal 0-for-3 in steals on the season, effectively ending his bid to displace Lou Brock as the St. Louis lead-off man.  

Finally, the Astros and Pirates didn't even take the field on Thursday, both teams citing "ennui" as the reason for their pervading sense of indifference and malaise. Jean Paul Sartre was called in to speak to both squads before Friday's upcoming action.
Aw, sez you!