DET 13, CAL 8 W-Hiller 2-3 L-Brunet 13-9 S-Gladding(26) HR-Horton(20)Mathews(3) Horton 4 runs, 4 rbi. Joe Sparma, the one member of Detroit's rotation not having a good year, managed to walk the first four batters of the game! "Where's the plate?" he inquired, waving his white cane around in confusion. For his part, George Brunet was a noted Tiger tamer, but he couldn't stand the prosperity. Trailing 6-5 and due to lead off the bottom of the inning, Gorgeous George got the first two men out, then walked McAuliffe and Kaline, then plunked Freehan to load 'em up. Horton then stroked a two-run single. With lefty Jim Northrup up next, I decided to ride the rapids with Hey There Georgie Girl, and paid for it when Northrup ripped a two run triple to knock him out and give the Tigers a 5 run lead. The Halos did make it tight enough to force the Bengals to use their ace reliever later on, but when Pete Cimino coughed up three more Detroit runs, that was all she wrote. My grandmother, a big Angels fan in the 60s, would have been perturbed with her boys.
CLE 10, KC 8 (13inns) W-Bailey 1-0 L-Odom 3-10 HR-Brown(10)Monday(18)Duncan(4)ph Brown 4 rbi. Cleveland was cruising with a 6-2 lead behind Looie Tiant going into the bottom of the 9th, but for the second straight start, he couldn't close it out. Last time, the bullpen saved him, but this time, a 3-run pinch jack by Dave Duncan, and a crucial passed ball by Joe Azcue, let the tying run come scampering home. The Tribe scored in the top of the 11th, but with two gone and nobody on, Rick Monday went yard to tie it again. Leon Wagner knocked in two in the top of the 13th as Cleveland built a 10-7 lead, but there was nobody left to pitch except Steve "Call me George" Bailey, who had to be pried from his desk at the good ol' savings and loan and sent to the hill to pitch. He allowed a run but managed to finally subdue the pesky A's for his first decision all season, despite being with the team since opening day. And it was a win! "Thanks, Clarence" he chirped.
BAL 6, MIN 1 W-Hardin 17-9 L-Perry 7-7 HR-Blair 2(11) Hardin 2-hitter. Despite the weird number re-roll minefield I created--more on that in a minute--Mr. Hardin has been a miracle J-4, pitching like an ace and refusing to get injured all season so far. When Jim Merritt couldn't go at the last minute, Jim Perry had to step in and absorb the loss as the Twinks couldn't muster a hit at all until Rod Carew's lead-off double in the 7th. Jerry Zimmerman's single was the only other knock. For the O's, Paul Blair has three HRs in the past two games. Now, about my re-roll chart...I call it the Orsino board, because in my 1961 replay, the Giants' John Orsino was tearing it up, despite having hardly played in real life. I don't think a real manager would bench a guy who's hot because "he just shouldn't play that much!" so he stayed in and piled up the stats. So, at the All-Star break, I invented the Orsino board, which lays many springes for those with high J-factors. ("Fate lays many springes for those with imagination" --Amy Lowell) Orsino did indeed get crushed under a garbage truck or two in the second half, but still put up 26 HR and 103 rbi for the season.
BOS 6, NY 1 W-Lonborg 16-9 L-Talbot 5-6 HR-Harrelson(10)GS Harrelson 5 rbi. With Tony Conigliaro convalescing from a bout of acid reflux, the Bosox picked up Ken Harrelson last Friday for nothing after he was summarily booted from the A's by petulant owner Charlie Finley. All he's done since then is hit .333 with 2 doubles, 2 HR and eleven rbi! In this game, he singled, doubled, hit a grand slam, and even stole a base before giving way to his new personal caddy, George Thomas. "Wash my car when you're done," quipped Ken.
WAS 2, CHI 0 W-Bertaina 7-16 L-Peters 10-9 S-Baldwin(20) With Mr. Peters and his sub-2 e.r.a. going against the popgun Nats, I figured this would not be a slugfest, and indeed, there was no score into the bottom of the 8th when Ken McMullen doubled. Hank Allen bunted him to third, then Bob Saverine executed the suicide squeeze to such perfection that not only did pinch runner Eddie Brinkman come limbo-ing across the plate, but Chisox second sacker Don Buford was so stunned by the beauty of the bunt that he dropped the throw at first. Saverine (Wtf is UP with Mr. Saverine lately, anyway?) promptly stole second base. Dick Nen was out, as Dick Nen always is, bringing up the pitcher Bertaina, who was working on a 2-hit shutout, having allowed only two early singles, so I let him hit. Lo and behold, he rolled a 66 for an rbi single and a 2-0 lead! However, when Tim Cullen booted one to put a runner on with a man out in the ninth, I brought in bullpen ace Dick Baldwin to nail down the win. The Nats have played decent ball in August, going 13-14.
All in all a great day on the local ball field!