Wednesday, October 19, 2016

And Then There Were Two: Thursday, June 12th, 1969


CHI 9, ATL 3  W-Jenkins 8-3 L-Stone 2-5  HR-Santo 2(10) Hickman(9) Santo 4 rbi.

CIN 7, STL 2  W-Maloney 7-4 L-Briles 5-4  HR-Rose(14) Bench(8) Maloney(3)

PIT 9, HOU 1  W-Blass 8-2 L-Griffin 2-7  HR-Stargell(9) May(3)

LA 4, PHI 3  W-Singer 8-5 L-Wise 3-4  S-Mikkelsen(8)  

MON 7, SD 6 (10inns)  W-Face 1-1 L-Reberger 2-6  HR-Laboy(9)

Walt's so excited he could shit.
Walt Hriniak arrived in San Diego on Thursday night, baggage in hand, and immediately donned the tools of ignorance to give regular backstop Chris Cannizzaro a much-deserved break. Having gone 0-for-7 (as opposed to 1-for-7 in actual) for the Braves, Walt found himself in the thick of contention for the coveted (?) Paul Schaal Award, annually awarded to the last position player in the league from opening day to get a hit. In his very first at bat as a Padre, Hriniak threw up a prayer and lined a Larry Jaster delivery onto the outfield grass for a hit, thus eliminating himself. Later on, he added a two-run single off of Dan McGinn, so it was quite a day for young Walt. "I think I'll become a hitting instructor!" he crowed. This leaves only two "hopefuls" left: Hector Torres of the Astros and Billy Grabarkewitz of the Dodgers. As soon as one of them finally gets a hit, it's over, the other one wins. But don't hold your breath! They hardly play, and in fact, Grabby is injured for another 15 games. 

"When's dinner? It's almost four thirty!"
As for the Expos-Padres, Hriniak's safety was not the only excitement. Coco Laboy touched Pod starter Clay Kirby for a 3-run bomb in the first, and the 'Spos built a 6-2 lead. When Larry Jaster tired, Dan McGinn came on and was apparently unclear on the concept, because he immediately gave up 4 runs to allow the Friars to knot it up at 6. Frank "Double" Reberger came on and gave up an rbi single to Donn Clendenon to put the Expos up 7-6 and ancient relief ace Roy Face was gently guided back out to the mound and told to "take this white stitched thing and throw it over there." Heaving his long white beard over his shoulder, Roy did as instructed and notched the win. With that, the Expos moved back ahead of the idle Mets and into 4th place.

He can do it all!
The Reds unleashed a home run barrage at Crosley, driving that high-steppin' Nellie Briles to the showers early.  Hurler Jim Maloney got it started with a 3-run shot his first time up (on a "4", no less!) and later on Johnny Bench and the tiresome Mister Rose chimed in with dingers of their own. Rose had 4 hits to break out of his brief slump, and is once again just one HR off the league lead, behind the slumbering Mister Clendenon. "Home run hitters drive Cadillacs!" quoth Pete as he laid odds he is not done yet. "You betcha!"

At the Astrodome, 'Stro fireballer Tom Griffin returned to his early-season punching bag form, and was demolished by the Buccos. Emerging from a walk-in freezer, Willie Stargell put an end to his 0-for-June slump with a long home run, and added a single later on. 

(from R to L) Santo, Hickman and rookie Jim Qualls are disappointed with the post-game spread.
Speaking of thawing out, Ron Santo deposited two horsehides into the stands in Atlanta, each time with a man on, to power the Cubs past the Braves. Teammate Jim Hickman hit a HR in each of the three contests down south. It's about time the baby bears stopped screwing around with porridge and put up some crooked numbers!
The President of the Immortals!


William Sagle said...

I have no doubt, as the Impartial Goddess stated, that as soon as Hriniak got his first hit, he clapped his hands at first base and said, "I am going to be a hitting instructor." But, but, isn't the BIG NEWS the 3-run bomb by Coco Laboy?

stevemryan said...

I love the NL West Leapfrog especially when the Reds win and the Cards lose. Wings!