Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Two New Division Leaders! : Friday, July 4th, 1969


PHI 4, MON 3  W-Wise 5-6 L-Renko 0-3  HR-Briggs(7)

NY 5, PIT 1  W-Gentry 8-5 L-Bunning 6-7  HR-Kranepool(5) Clendenon(17)ph

NY 1, PIT 0  W-Koosman 9-5 L-Walker 3-4

CHI 5, STL 1 (12inns)  W-Regan 5-3 L-Hoerner 6-6  

LA 6, CIN 0  W-Osteen 9-3 L-Culver 7-2  HR-Crawford(9) Sizemore(2)  Osteen 2-hitter.

HOU 1, SD 0  W-Dierker 7-8 L-Santorini 3-15  HR-Morgan(5)

ATL 5, SF 4  W-Reed 8-5 L-Marichal 6-9  S-Upshaw(15)  HR-Millan(3)

ATL 9, SF 1  W-Jarvis 9-6 L-Sadecki 5-3  HR-Cepeda(11) Henderson(4)  Aspromonte 4 rbi.

Geez, these races are amazing. In the east, the Cubs and Cards are going head to head on the 4th of July weekend, and the Cubs took Friday's game in extra frames to take over sole possession of first place after St. Louis had led all season until now. After Ken Holtzman and Steve "Carlton Your Doorman" Carlton had dueled to a 1-1 tie, the Cubbies teed off on reliever Joel Hoerner to sink the haughty two-time National League champs. Ron Santo's heels are getting worn down from clicking them, as the Chicago club has won 9 in a row and 12 of 13. 

O.J. turned Gerry into one of the walking dead!
Out west, it's a game of musical chairs with four teams within a single game of each other. The Dodgers hadn't seen the top spot in a while, but took it over by defeating the Reds for the second day in a row, with lefty Claude Osteen holding Cincinnati to just a pair of singles, by Johnny Bench and Darrel Chaney. Reds hurler Gerry Arrigo didn't enjoy the visit to southern California, as he was attacked on the mound by O. J.  and will pretty much miss the rest of July.  

Felix shows off his home run grip from his bag of tricks.
In San Francisco, the Braves finally found the winning method, as they swept a holiday doubleheader from the Giants.  Little Felix Millan managed to pole a three-run homer in the opener, and the Braves got 5 in all against Juan Marichal. They needed them all as the Giants scored 3 in the bottom of the ninth and had the tying run 90 feet away when Cecil Upshaw retired Ron Hunt to secure the victory. Who'd have thought that Marichal (A-yz) would only be 6-9 at the 4th of July?!? In the nightcap, hit-happy Bob Aspromonte stroked three safeties, including a pair of doubles, and knocked in 4 as the Braves drubbed the home team 9-1, allowing only a meaningless blast by Ken "Call me Florence" Henderson. After the game, the now-sober San Francisco brain trust peddled embarrassment Ron Kline away to the Red Sox, his third team this season. He only lasted a month after being acquired at the cost of Joe Gibbon. "It seemed like the thing to do at the time," mumbled a scout who was seen dancing with a lampshade on his head when the trade was being approved.

Donn Clendenon *finally* hit his first homer and drove in his first runs as a Met, and it helped the New Yorkers to sweep his old Pittsburgh pals at Forbes Field. In the nightcap, Cleon Jones drove in Jerry Koosman with the game's only run, as Kooz blanked the Buccos for his 9th win. The Mets are slowly getting healthy again and stand just 6 games back.

Al "Losing Pitcher" Santorini
I feel bad for poor Al Santorini, who lost his 15th game of the season when Joe Morgan hit a wall-scraper in the 9th for the only run in a 1-0 contest. It was the second straight game that the Pods went into the 9th with a scoreless tie, only to surrender a round tripper and lose. Santorini fanned ten Astros, but lost anyway as his Friar teammates managed only three hits off of Larry Dierker, and he had one of them himself. The Holy Men really miss the hobbled Nate Colbert. As for Joe Morgan, he couldn't help over-analyzing his tater at length. "Where did everybody go?" he asked when he finally noticed the clubhouse was empty. "I wasn't done!"
You're done, Joe.


Anonymous said...

This is a good day!

Fireblossom said...

I had a sneaking hunch you'd think so, Steve!