BAL 1, NY 0 W-Richert 10-11 L-Talbot 5-8 Richert and Talbot both throw 2-hitters.
CHI 4, CAL 1 W-Howard 11-12 L-Clark 8-14 S-Locker(19) HR-Causey(3) Hall(7)
BOS 7, DET 3 W-Bell 14-9 L-Lolich 21-6 S-Osinski(11) HR-Foy(18) Horton(21) Foy 5 rbi.
MIN 3, KC 1 W-Merritt 16-10 L-Dobson 4-17 S-Worthington(23) HR-Killebrew(37) Allison(18)
Scores September 19
BAL 5, NY 3 W-Dillman 3-2 L-Barber 4-3 S-Watt(9) HR-Tresh(25) Bowens(5)
CHI 4, CAL 2 W-Peters 13-10 L-Wright 7-10 HR-Fregosi(5) Hall(8) Peters 2-hitter.
CLE 4, WAS 2 W-Siebert 16-13 L-Coleman 3-18 S-Allen(9) HR-Maye(11)
DET 4, BOS 3 W-Gladding 6-3 L-Lonborg 18-11 HR-Yaz(44) Scott(24) Kaline(20) Cash(38)
KC 11, MIN 0 W-Krausse 4-15 L-Perry 9-8 HR-Monday(19) Suarez(4) Monday 4 rbi.
Let's get right to it! The Red Sox came into Tiger Stadium on Monday trailing the Tigers by 4 games with 12 left for each team. A sweep of the two games by Boston would make a real race of it; anything less would probably hand the flag to Detroit.
|Monday's hitting hero, Joe Foy.|
Anticipation ran high for Tuesday's crucial contest. (Do you like that alliteration? Am I the daughter of a newspaperman, or what?!?) The Boston club decided to bypass Gary Waslewski for this important game, and send big Jim Lonborg to the mound. The Tigers countered with Joe Sparma, who has struggled all year, but did better in his last outing. The bullpen phones were checked and double-checked before game time. Once play began, Lonborg and Sparma hooked up in a classic pitching duel; the game remained scoreless through 5 innings. Then in the top of the 6th, Yaz led off with a long home run into the right field stands that Al Kaline could only turn and watch. Yaz has been on fire, doing everything he can to lift the Bosox to the pennant. George Scott followed with a single, and after yesterday's hero Joe Foy grounded out, Rico "The Disappointment" Petrocelli singled in Scott for a 2-0 Red Sox lead and Petrocelli's first rbi of the entire month. Reggie Smith walked, and it looked like more runs might be on the way, but Elston Howard grounded into a double play to end the rally. (A couple of innings later, a foul tip would end Howard's season.) In the bottom of the 6th, the (lately) toothless Tigers were looking for somebody to give the offense a spark. After Wert flied out, veteran star Al Kaline launched a home run off of Lonborg to cut the margin to 2-1, one of three hits he would have in this big game. But Bill Freehan, clearly fighting it, popped up to Mike Andrews, and when Horton bounced a ball to shortstop, the inning looked over. Not so fast! The ball clanked off of Petrocelli's glove and into short left field for an error, giving Horton, and the Tigers, continued life. Norm Cash stepped up, having fanned both trips previously. This time he lofted a mile high fly ball to right. Joe Foy (playing out of position with Conigliaro injured, so that his and Dalton Jones's bats can both be in the line-up) drifted back, and then back some more, as the ball arced through the night sky. Finally, as more than 40,000 Tiger fans held their breath, Foy reached out his bare hand to feel for the wall, right behind him. He kept a bead on the baseball, lifted his glove hand up to make the play, and then watched in disbelief as it plunked into the right field upper deck overhang for a 2-run home run and 3-2 Tigers lead. Bosox shortstop Rico Petrocelli found a particularly interesting spot on his shoe to stare down at as Cash trotted around the bases. Passing in front of Petrocelli, the always-wisecracking Cash quipped, "Thanks, chump!"
|Rico "The Disappointment" Petrocelli|
|Shades of future heartbreak?|
Jitters among the Tigers faithful got doubly bad as the suddenly vulnerable Mr. Gladding immediately gave up a bloop single to lead-off man Reggie Smith. Spare part Jose Tartabull emerged from the first base dugout to hit for catcher Russ Gibson. Everybody on the field knew he was up there bunting, and he did, but poorly! The out was made at second, and the Tigers very nearly doubled off Tartabull, but his speed allowed him to beat the throw by a hair, with umpire Haller spreading his arms as the crowd groaned. That brought up late-season acquisition Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, to bat for Lyle. Harrelson had come to the team in late August, and had started out red hot, but then been injured, and when he returned, Foy and Jones were doing too well to take out of the line-up. So Hawk found himself riding the lonesome pine when he was summoned to hit with everything riding on the result. He stepped in, as Gladding took a deep breath and prepared to deliver the next pitch. In it came, and Harrelson swung hard but got on top of the ball, sending a grounder to slick-fielding shortstop Ray Oyler, who flipped to second sacker McAuliffe for one, and on to Cash for the inning-, game-, and probably season-ending double play for the Red Sox. I'll say this: it was a hell of a two game series, the kind of games an APBA fan plays the entire season in hopes for. Thank you, gentlemen. Your Goddess salutes you.