Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Young Champion Emerges: Saturday, May 3rd, 1969

Scores!

NY 1, CHI 0 (12inns) W-R.Taylor 1-2 L-Abernathy 0-4 HR-Gaspar(1)

PIT 10, MON 2 W-Veale 3-2 L-Wegener 1-3 HR-Oliver(4)

PHI 2, STL 1 W-Champion 2-0 L-Washburn 3-2 HR-Ryan(3)

LA 5, ATL 3 (12inns) W-Mikkelsen 1-2 L-Raymond 1-2 S-Brewer(1) HR-H.Aaron(5)

CIN 6, SD 2 W-Merritt 2-3 L-Roberts 1-4 HR-Savage(1)

SF 10, HOU 8 W-Bryant 2-1 L-LeMaster 2-4 S-Linzy(2) HR-Dietz(3)


"Here it is, hit it!" Oops.
Ron "Insta-loss" Taylor found a mound opponent even more unlucky than himself when Ted Abernathy came on to secure his 4th loss in relief out of the Cubs' pen. A long ball by the unlikely Rod Gaspar broke up a scoreless duel. Jerry Koosman and Bill Hands had pitched most of the game before giving way to the firemen. Ron Santo had 3 hits for the baby bruins; the rest of the line-up almost nothing.

"Gosh! Somebody buy me a celebratory glass of milk!"
Young Billy Champion had rotted away at the end of the bench in the Phillies bullpen all year, appearing only once, pitching three and a third shutout innings for the win in a wild extra inning game at Forbes Field back in April. He only appeared then because nobody else was left. However, John Boozer, unable to shake rumors of drunkenness and the flat fact of his ineffectiveness,  was booted from the Quaker rotation and Young Master Billy was inserted against the Redbirds this day at Busch Stadium. His mound opponent? The famed Bob Gibson. Gibson lasted only an inning, though, before having to depart with an injury--he has won just one game despite a fabulous e.r.a and the Cardinals' torrid start--and Ray Washburn had to step in in relief. He and his infant mound opponent dueled scorelessly into the 7th, when Mike Ryan launched a two-run blast. Champion did allow a run eventually, but he fanned ten and downed the Redbirds 2-1 for his second win and first as a starter. All his teammates mobbed the apple-cheeked young chucker except for John Boozer, who staggered around muttering something resentful. 

By the way....your infallible Goddess messed up due to a weirdly printed schedule and neglected to play the Cards-Pirates game on the docket for May 1st. They were scheduled to play a 4 game series, the first 3 in April, and so the odd 4th game was on the next line down. And so, the season's first--and hopefully only--"rain-out" will be made up on May 5th, a day everyone has off as teams prepare for cross-divisional play. The Cards will have to travel from St. Looie to Forbes and then back, while the Buccos simply stay put. Your infallible Goddess blames reader Steve, who, after seeing the Bucs drop the first 3 games, prayed to a prohibited deity and made it rain, hoping for a better performance later by the Pirate nine. In the meantime, both teams have action on Sunday the 4th.

Harry Walker, a sad bitter man.
Astro lefty Denver LeMaster was unable to hold a 7-2 lead and left the game in disgrace, much to the amusement of mop-up man turned winning pitcher Ron Bryant. Marty Martinez kicked two grounders at shortstop and Julio Gotay booted one at second base just to help the San Franciscans along. The Spacemen remain just a half game ahead of the last-place Padres, while the Giants moved ahead of the Braves into third. In a fit of childish pique, 'Stros skipper Harry Walker whined, "Ya don't make it rain inside the Dome, do ya Reader Steve? Ya don't help *us* out, do ya?" Walker was then gently led away to a place where he can get help for talking to people no one can see.
 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Expo Waste-A-Thon: Friday, May 2nd, 1969

Scores!

NY 6, CHI 5 (10inns) W-McGraw 1-1 L-Aguirre 1-1 HR-C.Jones(2) 

PIT 12, MON 10 (13inns) W-Hartenstein 1-0 L-Shaw 1-2 HR-Wills(3) Clendenon(9) Staub(4) Laboy 2(5)  Sanguillen 5 hits.

STL 4, PHI 0 W-Briles 2-0 L-Fryman 1-2 HR-Torre(3) Briles 1-hitter.

ATL 5, LA 1 W-P.Niekro 3-2 L-Moeller 3-2 P.Niekro 1-hitter.

SD 7, CIN 6 (12inns) W-Kelley 1-0 L-Cloninger 0-2 S-Ross(1) HR-May(4)

SF 7, HOU 2 W-Marichal 3-2 L-Billingham 1-3


Manny Sanguillen dons the Cap O' Five Hits.
The good news for Gene Mauch's Expos: they hit 5 home runs and built a 10-4 lead! The bad news: they wasted 5 home runs and lost. Roy Face had a chance to nail down his 3rd save as an Expo in only his 4th day with the team, and he came within an out of doing it, but gave up a game-tying two-run double to Willie Stargell instead. Manny Sanguillen went 5-for-7 with two runs, two rbi and 2 steals as the Buccos stunned the baby Canadians.

Nelson Briles of the Cardinals threw away his crutches, ran out to the Busch Stadium hill and blanked the Phoolish Phillies on just one hit, a 5th inning line drive single by Deron Johnson. Beer truck Johnson had the audacity to immediately steal second base on backstop Tim McCarver, who was so abashed that he later went down with a shame-related injury. No matter! The Cardinals roll on. After winning their first 9, they lost 4 of 7 but have now reeled off another 8 straight wins. Who can stop them? Surely not the ridiculous Phils, who have already been blanked 5 times and who are once again without Allen or Callison who both reappeared for part of one game before going back to the Island Of Broken Players.  

Johnny Miller (?) gets kudos for his hit, L.A. style.
In Atlanta, Phil Niekro mowed down the Dodgers without a hit until Johnny Miller (who???) singled in the seventh, a little 16-hop seeing eye dribbler.  Unfortunately for the Tinseltown nine, Willie "Call Me Joan" Crawford went down with nervous hysteria and will have to go to an exclusive rest home in Beverly Hills for a while. That's why Johnny Miller (really, WHO?) was in there to ruin everything for Knucksie Niekro. Things have really tightened up in the west, with 4 teams within a game and a half of the top spot. 

Ed Spiezio
NOT Ed Spiezio
The Padres battled the Reds into extra innings and saw the hand of a benevolent God in it when third sacker Ed Spiezio cracked a two-run double in the top of the 12th to give the Friars a 7-5 lead. But then I, er, Pods skipper Gomez forgot to pinch run for the lead-footed Spiezio, even though Tommy Dean was practically bouncing in his seat to get into the game. Naturally, backstop Chris Cannizarro (Canizarro? Cannizaro? Kenny Zorro?) blooped a single to left and talented head case Alex Johnson was able to track down the ball, stop for lunch, mail the ball library rate to catcher Johnny Bench and still nab Spiezio when he finally came steaming into home three days later. I was, er, I mean, Gomez was afraid that my, er, his blunder might cost the Holy Men a rare victory should the Reds rally, which they promptly did. Braves cast-off Dick Kelley walked the first batter in the bottom of the twelfth, fanned the next, and then walked 3 straight, making it 7-6 with the bases loaded and one out. Gary Ross, acquired from the Cubs in a recent deal, came on to retire two batters without incident to nail down the Prayer Circle's 8th one-run win out of eight total! Saved from ignominy! I'm sure happy for Gomez. *cough*
Gomez, victorious.


 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Reds Snag First, Mets Sag To Cellar: Thursday, May 1st, 1969

Scores!

MON 3, NY 1 W-Jaster 2-2 L-Seaver 2-3 S-Face(2) HR-Staub(3)

SD 3, ATL 2 W-J.Niekro 2-0 L-K.Johnson 1-2 S-Reberger(3) HR-Brown(4) Cepeda(4)

CIN 4, HOU 3 (12inns) W-Granger 4-1 L-Ray 2-1 Alex Johnson 2-out walk-off single.

SF 5, LA 2 W-Perry 4-1 L-Sutton 3-1 HR-Crawford(6) McCovey(7)


A dinosaur still roaming Canada!
Acquired from Detroit on April 29th for a bag of baseballs, Elroy Face has been a godsend for the weary Expos bullpen, already saving two games. Tom Seaver made only one bad pitch, but it turned into a 3-run jack by Rusty Staub and that was enough to send the Mets to the cellar while the 'Spos laugh at them from the dizzy heights of 4th place! Poor Mets, they've lost 15 of 21 since sweeping three from these same Expos to start the season.

He's got the moves!
Speaking of acquisitions, Joe Niekro, picked up from the Cubs for Dick Selma, registered his first win as a Friar, stopping the Braves with 9th inning help from Frank "Double" Reberger. Every single one of the Pods' seven wins have been by a single run. "I'm a genius!" crowed skipper Gomez after the game. 

Quick! Who remembers me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Jim Maloney held the bewildered spacemen hitless through 7 frames and was enjoying a 3-0 lead when he ran into trouble in the 8th. Suddenly unable to find the plate with GPS and both hands, Jim found himself facing Normal Norm Miller with the sacks jammed and two out. Miller cleared the bases with a double and it took Alex Johnson's walk-off single with two gone in the twelfth to make a winner of fireman Wayne Granger. It's his 4th win and he says his ambition is to notch 20 without ever starting a game! "Too much work," he opined. The Rhinelanders have played a league-high 7 extra-inning games, winning 4 of them. 

When the Tinseltown nine swept two at home from the Giants a while back, the Gints were without star slugger Willie McCovey. He's back and he helped his team return the favor at Candlestick with a 3-run blast off of Don Sutton. The loss dropped the Dodgers to second place despite Willie "Call Me Joan" Crawford's sixth home run. Variety panned the blast, saying it was irrelevant and tedious. "Bastards!" fumed Joan.
Crawford shows off the home run swing.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Monthlies! Wednesday, April 30th, 1969 plus end of month stats and leader board

Scores!

MON 4, NY 3 W-Grant 2-3 L-McAndrew 1-4 S-Face(1) HR-Kranepool(2) Herrera(1) Clendenon(8)

PHI 4, CHI 3 W-J.Johnson 2-3 L-Abernathy 0-3 S-Wilson(4) HR-Young(1)ph Hisle(2)

STL 10, PIT 3 W-Giusti 2-1 L-Bunning 1-3 S-Waslewski(1) HR-Torre(2) Stargell(5) Torre 4 rbi.

ATL 4, SD 3 W-Jarvis 3-1 L-Reberger 2-2 HR-Millan(2) Lum 2-out walk-off single.

CIN 14, HOU 0 W-Culver 2-0 L-Griffin 0-4 HR-Rose(7)GS  Reds 20 hits.

SF 6, LA 3 W-Sadecki 1-1 L-Singer 3-3 HR-Davis 2(4) Crawford(5) Bonds(3) McCovey(6)


"Step aside, midgets!"
Pete Rose caps off his fantastic month with a grand slam. You betcha!

PITCHING....ERA....CG......K.....SV.....RA
CHI.................2.43......11......174.....5.......70
STL.................2.67......14......152.....4.......68
CIN.................2.75........9......124.....2.......86
NY...................2.90........6......135.....2.......73
ATL................3.09........8......144.....4........86
LA...................3.09.......8.......127.....5.......72
SF....................3.50........9......124......1......90
PIT..................3.78........6......171......4......105
HOU...............3.80........7.......144.....3......111
PHI.................4.31........7.......138.....4......109
MON...............4.95.......6.......134......3......122
SD...................5.31.......5.......122.....2......137

BATTING....AVG.....R.....2B....3B.....HR.....SB-CS
CIN...............291......121...47......6........23.......10-2
STL...............279......116...37.....10.......11.......13-6
ATL..............273.......111...27......2........20........6-8
MON.............269.......83....20......3........20.......14-9
LA.................265.......96....18......6........19.........5-8
SF..................264......104...27.......5.......16.........7-8
PIT................258......106...34.......5.......13........14-3
CHI...............257........96...38.......3.......19.........7-4
HOU.............248........95....38.......6.......13........15-11
NY.................228........65....27......4........8..........9-5
PHI...............216........81....23......2........13........6-6
SD..................178.......51....22......2.........9.........6-3

FIELDING...AVG.....ERR....DP
STL...............19.27.......11......20
LA.................13.00.......15......10
ATL...............11-67.......18......32
CHI...............11.10........20......22
SF...................10-96.......19......19
NY...................9.45........22......18
PHI.................9.26........23.......19
PIT..................9.22........23.......14
SD...................8.68........24.......11
HOU...............8.12........26.......14
MON..............7.43........27.......17
CIN.................6.87........30.......29


WINS--Blass-pit 4-0, Jenkins-chi 4-0, Maloney-cin 4-0, Osteen-la 4-0, Carlton-stl 4-1, Fisher-cin 4-1, Hands-chi 4-1 

!!!
ERA (min 21 IP)--C.Taylor-stl 1.03, Maloney-cin 1.08, Gibson-stl 1.16, Culver-cin 1.23, Dierker-hou 1.25, Jenkins-chi 1.50, Blass-pit 1.59, P.Niekro-atl 1.59, Osteen-la 1.59, Carlton-stl 1.60

K-s--Veale-pit 42, Jenkins-chi 39, Nye-chi 37, Carlton-stl 35

SHO--Hands-chi 2

CG--Carlton-stl 5, Fisher-cin 4, Hands-chi 4, Marichal-sf 4

IP--Carlton-stl 45, Hands-chi 44, Sutton-la 43, Jackson-phi 42.1, Jenkins-chi 42

SAVES--Regan-chi 5, Mikkelsen-la 4, Wilson-phi 4, Hartenstein-pit 3, Hoerner-stl 3

ERRORS--Arcia-sd 8, Boswell-ny 8, Kessinger-chi 8

AVG (min 57 ab)--Rose-cin .451, Bench-cin .417, Mota-mon .410, Santo-chi .374, Javier-stl .365, Brock-stl .361, McCovey-sf .350, Cepeda-atl .347, Kessinger-chi .347, Menke-hou .344

HR--Clendenon-mon 8, Perez-cin 7, Rose-cin 7, McCovey-sf 6, Wynn-hou 6, Crawford-la 5, Santo-chi 5, Stargell-pit 5

RBI--May-cin 21, Rose-cin 21, Santo-chi 21, Torre-stl 19, Hisle-phi 18

RUNS--Rose-cin 27, Javier-stl 19, Wynn-hou 19, H.Aaron-atl 18, Kessinger-chi 18

2B--Kessinger-chi 10, May-cin 9, Oliver-pit 7, Rader-hou 7, Torre-stl 7

3B--Rose-cin 3, many tied with 2.

STEALS--Morgan-hou 10, Wills-mon 9, Brock-stl 7, Arcia-sd 5, Javier-stl 5

League batting average--.253 (actual .250)

League E.R.A.--3.54 (actual 3.59) 

I hope you enjoyed! Now, on to May!
 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Interim Post

Hello, dear readers. While I am lost in end of month stat time--I have finished the east, but have 3 west games plus stats to do--here are pictures of the Cardinal-Pirate game just as the umps yell "Play ball!" (Umps cannot be seen because, well, because they're shy.

You'll notice my Sparkling Crack, er, Ice close at hand. The Cardinal reserves are out of frame on the left. They're shy, too.

Here you get a good view of Forbes Field. If you look out in the parking lot you'll see Officer Friendly on patrol. He catches runaways. Runaway dice, that is. He is strategically placed and has yet to be charged with any errors!

Finally, here is my new assistant manager, the excellent strategist Mister Zac! He makes sure that I know when it's time to stop for snack time! 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

"Nothing Is Better For Thee, Than Me!" Quakers Fall To Cellar: Tuesday, April 29th, 1969

Scores!

MON 7, NY 6 (10inns) W-McGinn 2-0 L-R.Taylor 0-2 HR-Clendenon(7)GW Laboy(3)

CHI 4, PHI 0 (11inns) W-Holtzman 2-2 L-G.Jackson 1-3 HR-Hundley(2) Holtzman 2-hitter.

STL 7, PIT 2 W-Carlton 4-1 L-Ellis 2-3 HR-Hicks(1) Stargell(4) Carlton 11 K's.

HOU 9, ATL 7 W-Wilson 2-3 L-Pappas 2-1 S-Ray(1) HR-Wynn(6) Menke(2) Lum(1)

LA 10, SD 1 W-Osteen 4-0 L-Santorini 0-5 S-McBean(1) HR-Fairly(3) Haller(2)

CIN 8, SF 3 W-Fisher 4-1 L-Bolin 1-3 HR-A.Johnson (3) May(3) Perez(7) May 4 rbi.


"I dreamed I was really on the other team!"
Ron "Instant Loss" Taylor emerged from the Mets bullpen, where firebugs are sent by the court, and immediately served up a walk-off home run to Donn Clendenon, who had been silent all game until then. With the win, Les Expos rise to the giddy heights of 5th place, while the Mets continue to look like, well, the Mets.

"Watch me mow down the Phillies!"
The Cubs and Phillies hooked up in a quite thrilling 0-0 duel between Ken Holtzman and Grant Jackson at Shibe Park. Batter after batter went down as the two hurlers battled inning after inning. Then in the top of the 11th, backstop Randy Hundley launched a 2-run homer off the tiring Mr. Jackson. The Cubbies added two more off the Quaker bullpen and Holtzman shut down the Phils in the bottom of the inning for an 11 inning 2-hitter, dropping the Phils to the cellar. Rich Allen, who had just returned to the line-up, was suspended mid-game by Phillies skipper Bob Skinner for not washing his car between innings. Rich will miss the next 14 games, which is extremely bad news for the already stumbling ballclub. They do get John Callison back next game, though.

"Who needs Pinson when you have studs like us?"
The Cardinals won again. Nothing can stop them. Vada Pinson's latest replacement, Jim Hicks, who has a terrible card, nonetheless has a "1" at 66 and rolled it. Of course he did.  After that, the Redbirds were off and running.

Don Wilson appeared to have the win in the bag when he handed the game off to fireman Fred Gladding, but Fred got knocked around, as did Dooley Womack. Finally, Jim Ray had to be summoned to nail down the win. Save-Ray? C'est Vrai!

Al McBean collects the save.
Old pal Al McBean picked up the garbage save against his former mates the Pods. Weeping sentimentally together about the glorious couple of weeks they spent together, the Friar hitters couldn't see the ball for all the tears. Infielder Juan Arcia got out of traction and back into the line-up and collected three hits and two stolen bases, but also committed his 8th miscue. Al Santorini lost for the 5th time, making pundits wonder whether he can drop 30 before it's all said and done. "I'm the reverse Dizzy Dean!" he crowed.

"Man do I ever stink."
Finally, Bobby "Bolin For Dollars" Bolin lasted just 3 frames against Cincinnati, getting his brains bashed in for his trouble. Fat Jack Fisher, who loved me as a Met in '65, still loves me as a Red in '69, and showed it by picking up another win and another complete game. "Pay no attention to my D rating," he chuckled. "I'm a flamethrowing ace hurler!"

 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chico Ruiz Offers Language Lessons: Monday, April 28th, 1969

Scores!

CHI 7, PHI 5 W-Hands 4-1 L-Wilson 1-2 S-Regan(5) HR-Santo(5) Joseph(1)

STL 2, PIT 1 (12inns) W-Hoerner 2-0 L-Dal Canton 1-1 

ATL 5, HOU 0 W-Reed 1-2 L-LeMaster 2-3 HR-T.Aaron(2)

LA 3, SD 2 W-Moeller 3-1 L-Roberts 1-3 S-Mikkelsen(4) HR-Colbert(2)

SF 3, CIN 2 W-McCormick 3-1 L-Merritt 1-3 S-Linzy(1) Reds turn 6 DPs!


He tomahawked it.
Since moving Ron Santo to clean-up instead of the still-homerless Ernie Banks, the Cubs have been scoring much better. They won a see-saw game against the plummeting Phils when Billy Wilson came on to cough up three late runs. Ric "Chief" Joseph, utility man and leader of the Nez Perce, launched a 3-run jack for the Quakers, but all in vain.

I am too lazy to go back through and find out, but I'd love to know how many games the Cardinals have won while scoring three or fewer runs. It's a bunch, I'm certain. The Redbirds continue to knock everybody else off the feeder, rising to 4-0 against the Buccos.

Ron Reed kicks and deals.
Ron Reed credits his first win of the season to sinking his free throws and executing the pick and roll. Teammate Tommie Aaron has already doubled his actual 1969 homer output.  He urges big brother Henry to "watch and learn!"

Your Goddess, looking an awful lot like actress Lou Doillon, declares her impartiality.
When the Padres had the nerve to show some life against the Dodgers, Walter Alston looked up from perusing the rest home's lunch menu and summoned Jim Brewer. However, Mr. Brewer allowed the bases to become loaded with Men of God and so Walter had to reluctantly go to Pete Mikkelsen again. The exhausted Mr. Mikkelsen promptly fanned an overmatched Jerry DaVanon to seal it for the Tinseltown nine as your impartial Goddess tore up her program and sighed.

Exchanging pleasantries and rotting on the bench are Chico's specialties!
In San Francisco, the Reds turned an incredible 6 double plays in 8 innings, but still lost to the Gints, 3-2. Mike McCormick staked himself to a 2-0 lead early with a 2-run triple. The Giants added a seemingly meaningless run in the 8th off of Clay Carroll, but needed it when the Reds rallied in the 9th. A 2-run single by Tony Perez made it 3-2 and chased Mr. McCormick, who went to rearrange his spice rack as Frank "Old Kerosene" Linzy came on to face pinch hitter Chico Ruiz, batting for Woody Woodward. Plate umpire "Hell" Enkeller called Ruiz out on a pitch that appeared to be well out of the zone to end the game. Chico went cuckoo and was ceremonially tossed, even though the contest had ended. Speaking to reporters after the game, he assured them that "pendejo" is Spanish for "my friend" and that he had no idea why he was ejected. Chico F***king Ruiz, you rascal!