Sunday, July 31, 2016

Extra! (Innings!) Read All About It!: Tuesday, May 13th, 1969


CHI 6, SD 5  W-Regan 3-0 L-Reberger 2-5  HR-Colbert(3) Spiezio(2) Beckert GW single.

HOU 6, MON 3 (13inns)  W-Ray 3-1 L-Reed 0-2

NY 2, ATL 1 (11inns)  W-McGraw 2-1 L-Upshaw 2-2  HR-Carty(5) Swoboda GW walk.

CIN 8, PHI 6 (13inns)  W-Cloninger 1-2 L-Farrell 0-2  HR-Tolan(3) Bench(5) Helms(1)

SF 6, PIT 3 (11inns)  W-Linzy 1-2 L-Moose 1-3  HR-McCovey(8) Hart(1)

LA 7, STL 3  W-Singer 4-5 L-Washburn 3-4  HR-Haller(3) R.Johnson(2)

Ron Swoboda knows how to stand still and let good fortune come to him!
Rico Carty leapt out of his hospital bed and hit a game-tying dinger for the Braves, but it was all for naught, as Ron Swoboda's bases loaded walk (off of Upshaw, who has a "Z"!) brought victory to the resurgent Mets. They are still 3 games under .500, so deep was the hole they dug for themselves, but they are playing much better. Your impartial Goddess waved her Mets pennant and shouted "Way to go, Ronnie! Mwah!" 

"Can't this wait until I finish eating?"
In Chicago, Frank "Double" Reberger could not pitch well enough--due to ketchup all over his fingers--as the Cubbies rallied for 4 in the bottom of the ninth, capped by a walk-off single by Glenn Beckert. The north side crowd went crazy.

Eat hearty, Larry. Send in the box tops and get a weird hat.
In Philadelphia, supposed staff ace Rick Wise stupidly gave up 5 early runs to the Reds, but then he settled down and the Phillies rallied to take a 6-5 lead. However, the Reds finally tied it, setting the stage for Bobby Tolan's two-run smash off of Turk Farrell in the top of the 13th. Tommy Helms, who had a terrible April and was demoted to the number 8 slot in the lineup, has been hot in May and even sent one into the stands! That's how badly things have been going in Philadelphia, where Larry Hisle joined the hospital brigade when he came down with a sudden case of food poisoning from eating bad oatmeal. Poor Quakers! 

Houston's Gordie Howe puts the hurt on Rusty Staub.
At Parc Jarry, Le Grande Orange twice had a chance to win the game, but both times flied out harmlessly. Staub explained that Gordie Howe elbowed him at the crucial moment, throwing his swing off, then stole the puck and scored. As I've observed before, baseball is different in Moan-Ray-All!

At Forbes Field, Jim Ray Hart chose the top of the 11th inning to drill his first homer of the season, a 3-run shot off of Bob "Moose & Squirrel" Moose, to send the Giants to victory. Fearless Leader Clyde King was jubilant.

Robert Johnson: blues legend, or the new Babe Ruth?
And finally, at St. Louis, Robert Johnson found power hitting so much to his liking that he smacked his second in as many days after only hitting singles all season until then. No matter, the Dodgers ruined everything by continuously pummeling the absurd Ray Washburn until he burst into angry tears and had to be given a candy-flavored aspirin and his teddy and be put to bed. Mike Torrez put out the fire, but by then there was no saving this one for the Cardinals. Reader Steve will be all smiles when he hears that Mike Shannon was kicked in the shins by a leprechaun and will miss three games. Phil "Gag Me" Gagliano, who had only just gotten comfy again on the bench, will have to come back in at the hot corner. "I think I can remember how to do this," he opined.
"Worship me, pigs!" quoth the ever-humble Mister Johnson.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dem Bones, Dem Bones Gonna Walk Around: Monday, May 12th, 1969


CHI 4, SD 1  W-Jenkins 5-1 L-Sisk 1-3  HR-Young(2)

PIT 3, SF 2  W-Blass 5-0 L-Marichal 4-3 S-Dal Canton(2)

STL 9, LA 6  W-Gibson 2-1 L-Moeller 4-3 S-Hoerner(4) HR-Crawford(8) Brock(2) R.Johnson(1) Maxvill(1)

Dal Maxvill's guns shred his uniform sleeves!
Dal "Bonesy" Maxvill overdosed on Wheaties before the game and sent a 3-run shot into the stands at Busch to get the Cardinals rolling against the Dodgers. He was joined by Robert Johnson, who also hit his inaugural blast. Now he has 22 singles and one homerun, not to mention a very unique style of playing blues guitar! Lou Brock, a veritable fence-buster with TWO blasts on the year, rounded out the barrage, as the Redbirds scored 9 runs on 12 hits in the second and third innings, but had no runs on two hits in all the others. Maxvill added a single later in the game. He appeared to have been thrown out, but first base ump "Hell" Enkeller called him safe. Reader Steve was seen throwing rotten vegetables at that fine arbiter.

"Missed me!"
In that same game, Bob Gibson collected his first win since opening day, despite giving up more runs in this game (6) than he had all season long until now (5). Willie "Call Me Joan" Crawford saw Bette Davis sitting in the bleachers and tried to hit her with a homerun ball. Cat fight! Gibson, unsuccessful with his meditation classes, vowed to "stick the next one in Crawford's ear." Now, Bob. Play nicely with the other APBA cards or I'll put you back in the envelope.

The Cubs seemed on the verge of breaking out of the offensive deep freeze when they scored three runs in the first two innings against the Padres, but then they didn't score again until Don Young's round-tripper in the 9th. No matter. The Pods have gone to sleep again themselves. The Cubbies have been carried by their excellent pitching; without the great arms, they wouldn't be in second place.

Anyone else wonder what ever happened to Donny?
Steve Blass, with help from three relievers, won his 5th without a loss at the expense of the Giants, who fell a half game off the pace. The Buccos did it without Willie Stargell, who was kidnapped by Marie Osmond and forced to reside in her Diet Basement for two games. No problem, Carl Taylor stepped in with a single and a double. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hal Lanier Channels Fred Merkle: Sunday, May 11th, 1969


SF 2, CHI 1  W-Perry 6-1 L-Selma 0-4  Perry 13 K's.

CIN 11, MON 5  W-Maloney 5-1 L-Grant 2-5  HR-May 2(7) Bench(4) Clendenon(11) Laboy(7) Reds 20 hits.

NY 6, HOU 3  W-A.Jackson 1-0 L-Dierker 2-3  S-McGraw(4) HR-Agee(5)

HOU 3, NY 1  W-Griffin 1-5 L-McAndrew 1-6  S-Gladding(1)

ATL 7, PHI 4  W-Jarvis 5-1 L-J.Johnson 2-5  S-Upshaw(6)  HR-Money(1)

LA 11, PIT 4  W-Sutton 4-2 L-Bunning 2-4  HR-Crawford(7) Sudakis(2) J.Martinez(1)ph

STL 1, SD 0 (11inns)  W-Hoerner 4-0 L-Reberger 2-4  Shannon 2-out GW single.

Your grandfather's dumbass.
A newer dumbass.
Has your gracious Goddess ever mentioned that she has never, over many leagues, ever had a perfect game? I have had 25 no-hitters. No perfect games. So, when Gaylord Perry of the Giants mowed down Cub after Cub, setting down the first 20 batters he faced, your imperturbable Goddess got pretty excited. Two out in the 7th! Seven outs to get!  That's when shortstop Hal Lanier decided to let a grounder roll up his arm for an error.  I may have shouted encouragement--or something--to Mister Lanier as the first Cubbie (Billy Williams) reached base. Oh well, the no-hitter was still intact. Up stepped Ron Santo, who rolled a 9 for the first hit, a scratch single that would not have been a hit with the bases empty. Your Goddess may have quoted reassuring affirmations in Lanier's general direction. Oh well, the 1-0 lead was still intact. So Ernie Banks singled in Williams with the unearned tying run and just like that, it was all gone: the perfect game, the no-hitter and the lead. Your Goddess may have thrown a bouquet--or was it a brickbat?--at Mister Lanier as he came off the field at the end of the inning. I may have called him by other than his given name. Perry was supplied with a second run, however, and won the game 2-1, with 13 K's, the most in the replay so far.

From the expansion pool scrap heap, a mighty masher!
At Moan-Ray-All, Donn Clendenon just won't stop. He hit his league-high 11th homerun, but the Reds still beat the Expos' brains in. The Reds remain tied atop the west with the Giants and Braves, all at 20-12, with the Dodgers 2 games back.

Tom Griffin of the Astros finally decided to do something about his double-digit earned run average, and turned in a great performance, stopping the Mets with 11 K's. The loss went to Jim McAndrew, who is 1-6 despite a 3.09 e.r.a. Life is not fair, Jim. 

Beany and Cecil
Cecil Upshaw saved all three games as the Braves swept the woebegone Phillies over the weekend. Beany cheered loudly for his pal. 

Reader Steve surely loves the Cardinals' Mike Shannon, as he collected his second walk-off single of the season--and St. Louis's second in a row--to defeat the Padres 1-0 in 11 innings. Wasted was a fabulous effort by Joe Niekro as the Monks reverted to noodle bat form against that high-steppin' Nellie Briles. Lefty Joe Hoerner came in and pitched one inning to collect the win. "I'm a lazy taker," he explained with a smirk. 
Nellie Briles
That high-stepping Nellie Bly.
Ten days in a madhouse indeed! Come back for the next crazy adventure.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

He Sho' Is Hip, Ain't He?: Saturday, May 10th, 1969


CHI 3, SF 2 (13inns)  W-Regan 2-0 L-Bryant 2-2 HR-Williams(3) Santo(6) Young GW double.

MON 5, CIN 4  W-Stoneman 1-3 L-Fisher 4-3 S-Face(3) HR-Bench(3) Clendenon(10)

NY 12, HOU 6  W-Gentry 5-1 L-Billingham 1-4  HR-Blefary(3) Agee(4)

ATL 8, PHI 6  W-Pappas 4-1 L-Champion 2-1 S-Upshaw(5) 

PIT 7, LA 6  W-Dal Canton 2-1 L-Brewer 0-2  Alley GW single.

STL 2, SD 1 (12inns)  W-Hoerner 3-0 L-Baldschun 1-1  Flood GW single.

Gene Alley steps to the plate.
The Tinseltown nine had built a lead against the Buccos at Forbes, but the Pirates kept chipping away against Claude Osteen, who clearly did not have his best stuff. Finally, Gene Alley, who had entered the game earlier as a pinch runner, got out his caveman club and knocked in the winner. Your impartial Goddess stifled a smirk as the Dodgers trudged from the field in dismal defeat. However, now that they have dropped 7 of 9, your Goddess doesn't find hating them as sweet anymore. 

A Cub batter does his thing.
At Wrigley Field, the Cubs got back-to-back dingers from Williams and Santo to take a 2-0 lead, but once again Jack Hiatt hurt them, this time with a two-run single to tie the game. Just the same, the Cubs won it in the 13th inning on a walk-off double by kid picket Don Young. He's the hottest Cub batter so far in May, which tells you all you need to know about Cub batters in May. The loss snapped the Giants' 8 game win streak.

Curt Flood contemplates his own extensive grooviness.
But that's not the end of the walk-offs! The staggering Cardinals missed a chance to dispose of the pesky Padres in the bottom of the 8th of a 1-1 tie when I, er, I meant Cardinals skipper Red Schoendienst, elected not to pinch run for Joe Torre, who was on second base with 2 out. "I was terrified of needing him later and only having some bozo in the clean-up spot!" whined Red. Naturally, Mike Shannon blooped a hit and Tony Gonzales threw out Torre at the plate. In extra innings, the Redbird flyhawks put on a show, with Vada Pinson stretching out to take away extra bases, and Curt Flood returning the favor for Torre by throwing out Chris Cannizzaro at the plate. Pods skipper Gomez had no choice, having no other backstop available. "Pugsley did something to the other catcher," he explained with fatherly pride. In the end, it took a walk-off single by that self-same Mister Flood to put an end to it all and put the Cardinals back on the winning track.

Sign Man and his trusty sidekick Usher Dude.
Don't look now, but the Mets have won 6 of 8 and are slowly creeping back into it. Your impartial Goddess was seen wearing a Mets cap at Shea Stadium as the Metropolitans outslugged the ridiculous Spacemen. The Houston nine has now given up more runs than even San Diego. Sensing that his club needed a lift, Houston manager Harry Walker entreated the fans to "Kiss my Astros!" Mets fans responded with helpful suggestions.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

We're Gonna Get Hi-Hi-Hiatt (As The Noonday Sun!): Friday, May 9th, 1969


SF 1, CHI 0 (12inns)  W-Gibbon 1-0 L-Abernathy 1-5 S-Linzy(3) HR-Hiatt(1)

CIN 9, MON 2  W-Merritt 3-3 L-Robertson 2-3 HR-Tolan(2) A.Johnson(5)

NY 3, HOU 0  W-Koosman 3-2 L-Wilson 2-5 HR-Shamsky(2)

ATL 2, PHI 1  W-Reed 2-2 L-G.Jackson 1-4 S-Upshaw(4)  HR-Ryan(5)

PIT 4, LA 2  W-Veale 4-2 L-Singer 3-5  HR-Parker(2) Stargell(7) Hebner(1)

SD 5, STL 3  W-Santorini 2-5 L-Carlton 4-2  HR-Gonzales(1)

"Throw THIS back, suckers!"
Funny how things work out, sometimes. With Willie McCovey out with acid reflux, and understudy Bob Burda stuck in a storm drain, Jack Hiatt emerged from the shadows at the end of the dugout and played first base at Wrigley against the Cubs. In the 12th inning of a scoreless tie, he found a Ted Abernathy pitch to his liking and launched it into the stands for a 1-0 lead. Frank Linzy bequeathed his trusty gas can to Abernathy, saying he should have it. Linzy got the save, all the while complaining of having been effective.

"Can't touch this!"
In New York, Art Shamsky jumped up out of his wheelchair and smacked the first delivery he saw into the Shea Stadium stands for a quick 3-0 Mets lead. Jerry Koosman made it stand up, tossing the shutout despite having to face the Astros' hottest hitter, Normal Norm Miller, with the bases loaded. He got him out, and shut down the now last-place Spacemen. 

At Shibe Park, Mike Ryan hit a Ron Reed fastball nine miles into the night. It may still be rolling, somewhere near the Rocky statue. Unfortunately for the Phillies, that was all they got, and they fell to the Braves 2-1.

Stargell's got the hot bat!
The Pirates have quietly risen from the depths and are now just 4 games back, and only a half game behind the Cubs! Your impartial Goddess giggled like a girl as the Dodgers fell to the Buccos at Forbes Field, continuing their May doldrums. "Too bad!" cooed yours truly.  

Speaking of schadenfreude, Reader Steve mocked the hapless Cardinals from his seat at Busch Stadium as the Redbirds dropped their 6th in a row. Steve "Crackers" Carlton (Ritz....Carlton...crackers....never mind!) seemed like a lock against Al "Old Weepy" Santorini and the prayerful Padres, but after being staked to a 2-1 lead, he kept serving up hittable pitches to the gleeful Monks, who rallied for the win. "I should be traded to the stupid Phillies," he lamented, but no one took him seriously. Meanwhile, skipper Preston Gomez has guided the Friars to the wild heights of fifth place! Whee! "Watch us take the flag, cara mia!" he crowed. Why not? 
Gomez celebrates the win.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Big Broadcast of May 8th! : Thursday, May 8th, 1969


HOU 4, PHI 0  W-LeMaster 3-4 L-Fryman 1-3  LeMaster 1-hitter.

Clear the air lanes, clear all air lanes, for the big broadcast of May 8th! Ten teams stepped aside on this Thursday in May, so that the full glorious spectacle of two fifth-place teams going at it could be brought to you without distraction! 

"I'm like a god!"
Crumbling Shibe Park was the setting as the Astros and Phillies did battle. Astro lefty Denver LeMaster was the story as he tossed a 1-hitter at the feeble Phils, allowing only a two-out single by the immortal Ron Stone in the second inning.
"Watch me bloop one over shortstop!"

Woody Fryman kept it interesting for the Quakers by tossing a blank job of his own until the eighth inning, when Cookie Rojas booted one, followed by back to back singles by Normal Norm Miller and Little Joe Morgan, who then over-analyzed his hit until everyone was asleep.  Thus armed with a 1-0 lead, the Spacemen sent Lemaster to vanquish the Phils in the bottom of the inning, which he did. Fryman gave way to a pinch hitter, and the Phillie bullpen coughed up 3 insurance runs in the top of the ninth, putting the game out of reach.

In addition to the loss, the Phils incurred further injuries when John Briggs went down for the third time already this season (!) and Ric "Chief" Joseph did the same, although as an injury novice in his case. In came Rojas, hitting .031 on 1 for 32, and seldom-seen reserve flyhawk Rich Barry, who is said to excel at underhand free throws. Wait, maybe that's someone else. 
Rich Barry....

...not Rick Barry.

 Stay tuned next time when all the teams are back in action!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cardinal Nosedive Continues: Wednesday, May 7th, 1969


LA 6, CHI 1  W-Moeller 4-2 L-Jenkins 4-1  HR-Parker(1) Fairly(5)

CIN 6, NY 2  W-Nolan 1-0 L-Cardwell 0-4  HR-May(5) Bench(2) Grote(2)

PHI 13, HOU 8  W-Wise 2-3 L-Griffin 0-5  HR-Edwards(1) Briggs(3) Briggs 4 rbi.

SD 3, PIT 2  W-Kelley 2-1 L-Hartenstein 2-1 S-Reberger(4)

SF 9, STL 1  W-Marichal 4-2 L-Washburn 3-3

ATL 3, MON 2  W-P.Niekro 4-2 L-Jaster 2-3

Dave Ricketts. Baseball god, or your old high school science teacher?
The Giants beat the Cardinals brains in, even without McCovey. It was the Redbirds' 5th straight loss, more losses than they had in all of April.  Joe Torre, behind the plate in place of the injured Tim McCarver, lost a digit to a foul tip in the top of the first inning, and had to give way to third string backstop Dave Ricketts, who drove in the only St. Louis run. Torre sportingly clapped for his teammate with what remained of his hands.

At Shibe Park, the Quakers built a 13-0 lead in the first three innings before Astro hurlers Griffin and Guinn were retired to a bomb shelter. However, the spacemen kept chipping away at newly-healed Rick Wise, and made a game of it before it was all over. Nonetheless, the Phils were the only east division team to win on this day.

He's got the moves.
The Padres employed 4 pitchers to get through the 8th inning at Pittsburgh, but they held the fort, and Frank "Double" Reberger held on in the 9th this time, making a genius of Pod skipper Gomez. Again! All but one of their wins have been by one run, and the other was by 2.  

At Shea, Johnny Bench smacked his first homer since opening day, exactly a month ago. Reds manager Dave Bristol told Bench to stop acting like some kind of spray hitting shortstop from Latin America, and big John responded.  Chucker Gary Nolan was just glad to finally get a decision. "I felt invisible until now," he told his therapist, in tears. Chin up, Gare. Your team is tied for first place! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Wild Wild West: Tuesday, May 6th, 1969


CHI 6, LA 4 W-Abernathy 1-4 L-Sutton 3-2 S-Regan(6) HR-Fairly(4) Banks(1) Hickman(5)

NY 5, CIN 3 W-Seaver 3-3 L-Maloney 4-1 HR-Grote(1)

HOU 10, PHI 3 W-Dierker 2-2 L-J.Johnson 2-4 HR-Hisle(3)  Dierker 2-hitter. 

PIT 6, SD 5 W-Hartenstein 2-0 L-Reberger 2-3  M.Alou GW Sac fly.

SF 3, STL 2 W-Perry 5-1 L-Briles 2-1 

ATL 5, MON 0 W-Jarvis 4-1 L-Grant 2-4 S-Upshaw(3)  Braves combined 1-hitter.

Whoa! Look at that, four teams within a game of the top in the NL west! Coke and box office flops have slowed the Dodgers, while the Giants are on a tear.

In the east, Ted Abernathy scoffs at your infallible Goddess, notching his first win out of the Cubs' pen after four setbacks. Ernie Banks finally found the range and popped his first dinger of the season as the baby bruins topped the staggering Dodgers.  Banks insists he will hit no homer before its time.

Tom Terrific
Tom Terrific and Mighty Manfred
Tom Seaver turned in a gutty performance against the hard-hitting Reds at Shea, enabling the Metropolitans to top the Rhinelanders 5-3.  The Mets have been looking better of late, and your impartial Goddess hopes they will make a move. At least they've moved up to 4th.

Larry Dierker laughed derisively at the Phillies batters as he limited them to just 2 hits. However, his merriment caused him to be wild and issue six free passes, resulting in the Quakers scoring more runs than hits. No matter. The Spacemen prevailed and command the giddy heights of fifth place all by themselves! Whee.

Frank Reberger wonders, WWJD? And is He going to eat those fries?
The Padres seemed poised to dispatch the Pirates when they sent Frank "Double" Reberger to the mound in the 9th inning with a 5-3 lead at Forbes Field. The Holy Men have scored five runs in each of their past three games, an explosion for them. But I digress. The Pirates rallied, finally scoring the winning run on a sac fly off the bat of Matty Alou. Deep frozen in April, Matty has begun to find the range in May. Meanwhile, Mister Reberger lost his appetite and retired to his cell to repent.

"Watch me drop this baseball!"
There was carnage and bloodshed at Busch Stadium as the Redbirds dropped their 4th straight after losing only 4 of their first 24. The Giants were cruising behind Gaylord Perry, building a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, largely courtesy of two errors by Cards shortstop Steve Huntz. Filling in for the smashed Dal Maxvill, Huntz has made 4 errors in two games. So anyway, the Cards did not go gently into that good night. They rallied for 2 runs and had runners on the corners with 2 out and Joe Torre at the plate, but Perry retired him to secure the narrow victory. It came at a cost. Willie "Stretch" McCovey will miss the next 4 games with a sudden case of whooping cough. The Giants didn't do very well when he was out before. Little-used Jack Hiatt will see some rare playing time. As for the Cardinals, they lost Mike Shannon for one game with avian flu. Phil Gagliano will be taken out of moth balls to play that contest. Reader Steve was seen jeering the woebegone Mister Shannon as he was put back inside his bird cage with a cloth over it so he can get some rest.
"Reader Steve put flu virus in my Gatorade!"

Finally, Pat Jarvis of the Braves cruised through 5 against the Expos, allowing only a dink single by his mound opponent Jim Grant. However, in the bottom of the 5th, Jarvis stepped on a land mine while running out a checked-swing nubber. He had to come out of the game (but will not miss any starts) and so the Atlanta bullpen completed the one-hit blank job. The Expos were held scoreless for only the second time so far this season, but languish in last place now, along with the Phillies.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Birds Fall Off The Feeder: Sunday & Monday, May 4th & 5th, 1969

Scores, May 4th:

CHI 2, NY 0 W-Holtzman 3-2 L-McAndrew 1-5 Holtzman 1-hitter.

NY 3, CHI 0 W-Gentry 4-1 L-Selma 0-3  Gentry 1-hitter.

MON 4, PIT 2 W-Robertson 2-2 L-Ellis 2-4 HR-Stargell(6) Staub(5) Laboy(6)

PHI 6, STL 3 (16inns) W-Raffo 1-0 L-C.Taylor 3-1 HR-Briggs(2) Ryan(4)

ATL 12, LA 3 W-Pappas 3-1 L-Singer 3-4 S-Raymond(2) HR-W.Davis(5) H.Aaron(6) H.Aaron 4 rbi.

SD 5, CIN 3 W-Santorini 1-5 L-Fisher 4-2 HR-Rose(8) A.Johnson(4)

CIN 6, SD 5 (13inns) W-Carroll 1-1 L-Kelley 1-1 HR-Stewart(1) 

SF 16, HOU 7 W-Bolin 2-3 L-Wilson 2-4  McCovey 4 rbi.

Score, May 5th (make-up game from May 1st.)

PIT 18, STL 6 W-Bunning 2-3 L-Giusti 2-2 HR-Oliver(5) Alley(2)  Shannon 4 rbi, Oliver 4 rbi, Sanguillen 4 runs, Hebner 4 rbi, Pirates 24 hits.

"Go ahead, try and hit me!"
Ken Holtzman tossed his second blank job in a row, and has given up just three hits in the two games. Not to be outdone, Gary Gentry stopped the baby bruins on one hit in the nightcap. Both pitchers gave up a double in the third inning. Holtzman's mound opponent, Jim McAndrew and Cub shortstop Don Kessinger got the two-baggers.

Late homers by Staub and Laboy enabled the Expos to rally past the inconsistent Pirates.

"Behold my works, ye mighty!"
The Cardinals, sore from being beaten by Billy Champion and the lowly Phils on Saturday, scored three in the first two innings on Sunday to take a 3-0 lead. The Quakers managed to tie it later, though, and the game went into extra innings, as threat after threat by the Cardinals was turned back by Dick "Fossil" Farrell. Finally, the Redbirds had to bring on Chuck Taylor, who had been scheduled to start on Monday, and he set down the Phils in the 13th, 14th and 15th innings before serving up a three run shot to Mike Ryan, hitting hero of Saturday's game. Al Raffo nailed down the win for Philadelphia, as they took two of three from St. Louis. 

"I really blow chunks!"
Bob "Bolin For Dollars" Bolin took the mound for the Giants at the Astrodome, and although the SF nine poured runs across the plate like water over Niagra Falls, he is still Bob Bolin and couldn't make it to the end without relief help. The Giants scored 16 times and the Astros 7 without either team ever hitting a home run! The Giants were able to send the likes of Bobby Etheridge and Cesar Gutierrez out onto the field with fear of no man, so great was their lead.

In Atlanta, Claude Raymond collected the garbage save as the west race got crazy close. Al Santorini of the Padres finally managed to not suck and break into the win column as the Friars nearly swept the Reds but were turned back by Ted "Silly" Savage's walk-off double in the 13th inning off Dick Kelley, who failed to retire anyone.

On Monday, the Cards were forced to trot out Dave Giusti again as a starter, just when he had made it safely back to the bullpen with the return of Nelson Briles to full glowing health. Giusti was lit up like a 4th of July firework by the relentless Buccos, who banged out 24 hits and scored in all 8 innings in which they batted. Giusti had beaten the Pirates just days ago, but the Steel Town nine had had enough of going down meekly before the Cardinals. (They were 0-6 against them before this game, and had shown little sign of their potent offense.) This was the Redbirds' third straight loss (ring them bells, Reader Steve!) and with the Pirates having bagged 24 or more hits for the third time already this young season, one wonders if they can find consistency and be a factor. For now, as all 12 teams prepare for the start of cross-divisional play beginning Tuesday, it's raining hits!