Sunday, October 30, 2016

Giants Sweep Into Second: Sunday, June 15th, 1969


PIT 12, ATL 3  W-Bunning 5-5 L-Reed 5-4  HR-H.Aaron(14) Clemente 2(7)

STL 3, HOU 0  W-Carlton 9-3 L-Wilson 3-8  S-Hoerner(6)

CHI 6, CIN 1  W-Nye 2-5 L-Merritt 4-8  HR-Hickman(10)ph

CIN 6, CHI 1  W-Culver 4-1 L-Holtzman 5-4  HR-Johnson(8) May(13) Perez(11)

LA 14, NY 2  W-Foster 3-0 L-McAndrew 3-9  HR-Martin(1)ph Kosco(9)  Kosco 4 rbi.

PHI 17, SD 4  W-Jackson 6-6 L-Santorini 3-11  HR-D.Johnson(6) Rojas(2)  Briggs 4 runs, Johnson 4 rbi, Harmon 4 rbi.

SF 2, MON 1 (12inns)  W-Linzy 5-2 L-Face 1-3  HR-Wine(1)  Bonds 1-out GW single.

SF 7,  MON 1  W-Sadecki 3-2 L-Renko 0-1  HR-Henderson(2)

You say it's your birthday? Happy birthday to you!
The Giants moved up to second in the sardine-can west division race by sweeping the trade-weakened Expos. In the opener, Bobby Bonds stroked a walk-off single in extras off of Roy Face for the second time in three days. "Old dude can't stop me," crowed the Giants young star. In the nightcap, newly-acquired Steve Renko made the start and prompty got hammered by the San Francisco nine, lasting only 3 innings and surrendering 5 earned runs. Birthday boy Ken Henderson, starting in center while Willie Mays has his full body cast signed by everyone, celebrated turning 23 by swatting a 3-run jack. Bobby "Wine Me Up" Wine popped his first of the year, a solo blast for the 'Spos, but somehow it wasn't the same.  

Not so much.
All season, the Phillies have been the league's punching bag, but when they play the Friars, they take out all their frustration and angry tears on the defenseless Holy Men. On Sunday, they plated half a dozen runs in the top of the first, including a 3-run triple by Larry Hisle. Even spare part Terry Harmon drove home 4 runs, and he was only in there to give Don "Twenty Errors" Money a rest from seeing E-6 on the scoreboard. But, in addition to his 4 ribbies, Mister "World's Sexiest Man!" Harmon also made...wait for error. The Quakers are now 5-1 against the Pods and look forward to playing them in the future. 

Nice work if you can get it, and if you get it, tell me how.
This season, kid hurler Jim McAndrew has worked in tough luck for the Mets. Sunday he just wasn't any good, getting his head handed to him by the mellow men from SoCal.  Claude Osteen, the Dodger starter, would have easily notched the win, but he got injured after just two innings of work, when he was hit in the pinkie finger by an errant slurve. Claude won't miss any starts, but had to give way in this one to Alan Foster, who said, "Thank you very much" for the easy win in relief. 

The Buccos took two of three over the weekend from the visiting Braves, roughing up Phil Niekro and Ron Reed--the Braves' top two starters--but being mystified in between by the unheralded "D" Milt Pappas.  The Forbes faithful  are giddy at their team's rise, once again, to mediocrity, and are hoping that their boys can finally make a move on the Cards and Cubs.

Joe Hoerner and friend.
Finally, Steve "Carlton your doorman" Carlton worked in traffic all day long at Busch Stadium, allowing only three hits, all singles, but walking eight. He finally needed last out help from Joe Hoerner to nail down the combined shutout. "Man, I'm exhausted!" opined Mr. Hoerner as he ate his belated Christmas pie. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Larry Stahl's Season of Glory Continues: Saturday, June 14th, 1969


ATL 5, PIT 2  W-Pappas 6-3 L-Walker 2-2  S-Upshaw(11) HR-H.Aaron(13)

HOU 7, STL 4  W-Ray 5-1 L-Washburn 3-8  HR-Miller(3)

CHI 6, CIN 3  W-Hands 9-2 L-Nolan 2-2  S-Regan(9)

NY 4, LA 2  W-Gentry 6-4 L-Drysdale 0-5  S-McGraw(8)

SD 4, PHI 3 (10inns)  W-Reberger 3-6 L-Wilson 1-5  HR-Hisle(4) Stahl 2-out GW single.

MON 8, SF 1  W-Reed 2-2 L-Bolin 4-7  HR-Clendenon(16) Reed(1)

He leads the Friars with 8 rbi in June!
Larry Stahl strikes again! He stroked a 2-out walk-off single to defeat the visiting Phillies, who had been perfect guests by making 4 errors and allowing 3 unearned runs to even send the game into extras in the first place. It was a smorgasbord of sloppiness with four different Quakers kicking the ball. In came Billy "Old Kerosene" Wilson to cough up yet another walk-off for the opposition. There was a bright spot for the Phils, though, with kid flyhawk Larry Hisle jumping out of his hospital bed to fall a double short of the cycle for the visitors, and driving in all 3 runs. Frank "Double" Reberger feasted on the win for the Pods.

"Watch me baffle 'em with bullshit!"
Grizzled vet Howie Reed got the spot start for the Expos and wowed 'em with a complete game win. Not only that, but he crushed a double and a home run as well! The convincing win over the Giants was the Expo swan song for slugger Donn Clendenon, dealt early the next morning to the Mets for busher Steve Renko and spare part infielder Kevin "Call Me Joan" Collins. Donn hit a round tripper in his final game for Montreal, once again putting him atop the league alone, with 16. He takes his 40 rbi and .290 average to New York, who can really use the offense. With earlier acquisition Ron Fairly still sidelined with whooping cough, Bob Bailey takes over at first base for the time being. Fans in Canada burned the Expo GM in effigy after he dealt away their starting 1,2, and 4 hitters over the past few days.

A new career may be in order for Big "D".
Mister Drysdale left the bank long enough to lose yet again, this time bowing to the Mets at Dodger Stadium, 4-2. Don's pride is taking a beating after he was passed over in favor of Moeller for yesterday's start, and despite the encouragement of all the Clampetts, he just can't buy a win. How the mighty have fallen. Too bad, Don was one of my favorite players. Newly acquired Manny Mota, hitting a cool .400 since donning Dodger flannels, stepped in a gopher hole while chasing down a fly ball, and will miss 5 games. This momentarily resolves the log jam in the L.A. pasture, with Kosco,  Crawford, and Willie Davis taking over without interference. Geezer skipper Walt Alston heaved a sigh of relief and trimmed his eyebrows with a hedge clipper so he could see the three in action.

The Astros punished skidding Cardinal hurler Ray Washburn by handing him his 7th consecutive loss. The Cubs are creeping up on the Red Birds, and are now just two and a half back. Normal Norm Miller went deep, and then Mrs. Miller took the field and serenaded fans with all her best-loved hits! I heard 'er/ play once or twice./ Oh, murder!/ Still it was nice!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

You Betcha! Pete Rose Powers Reds: Friday, June 13th, 1969


PIT 10, ATL 2  W-Veale 7-5 L-P.Niekro 6-4  HR-Stargell(10) May(4)

HOU 4, STL 1  W-LeMaster 7-6 L-Taylor 4-3  HR-Blefary(6)

CIN 6, CHI 5 (14inns)  W-A.Jackson 2-0 L-Nye 1-5  HR-Hundley(4) A.Johnson(7) Rose(15)  Rose 2-out GW double.

NY 5, LA 2  W-Koosman 7-3 L-Moeller 5-4  HR-C.Jones(4) Parker(5)  Jones 5-for-5.

PHI 10, SD 1  W-Fryman 4-5 L-Sisk 3-5  HR-Callison(10)  Callison 5 rbi.

SF 6, MON 5 (11inns)  W-Linzy 4-2 L-Face 1-2  HR-Staub(13) M. Jones(7) Bonds(6) Henderson(1)  Bonds 1-out GW single.

0.63 just wasn't good enough.
New acquisition Al Jackson barely had time to put on his new Reds uniform when he was sent in to pitch and got the win when Pete Rose doubled home the winner in the 14th at Crosley. Earlier in the game, Rose had connected for his 15th HR, giving him a share of the league lead with Montreal's Donn Clendenon, who has not homered since May 31st. As for Jackson, his 1-0 record and 0.63 e.r.a out of the Mets' bullpen just wasn't good enough and they sold him to the Cincy nine.  In Friday's game, Fat Jack Fisher the Miracle "D" pitched 7 strong frames and departed with a 4-2 lead, putting him in line to join Gaylord Perry as the league's only 9 game winners, but Wayne Granger walked two batters and then served up a 3-run shot to Randy Hundley, putting the Cubbies up 5-4. Only Rose's heroics saved the day, but not for Fat Jack.

For the second straight day, Stargell and May crushed homers for the Buccos, this time back-to-back to chase Phil Niekro, whose knuckler wasn't knuckling. With the win, Pittsburgh once again achieved mediocrity at 31-31 and moved back to six and a half games off the pace. 

Readers always ask, and ruin everything.
The Phillies wish they could always play the hapless Pods, as they ran their record against the expansion ne'er-do-wells to 4-0. John Callison drove in 5 with a three run bomb and a two run single. Woody Fryman came close to pitching the Quakers' first shutout of the year, but gave up a run in the 8th on a...wait for it...balk. With a huge lead, he was weirdly concerned about the runners. Readers always ask, "Why do balks always seem to happen only with runners on first and third?" Shut up, reader. Just go with it.  

"Watch me throw this thing away!"
Finally, the Expos and Giants hooked up in a see-saw contest at Candlestick, with Mack Jones hitting his first HR and garnering his first rbi of June, but it wasn't enough, as Bobby Bonds' walk-off single won it for the San Fran squad. Hal Lanier had reached second leading off the 11th when Bobby "Wine Me Up" Wine threw wildly to first on a grounder. After the hated weasel Cesar Gutierrez made an out, Bonds stepped up and put a stop to the proceedings with his decisive safety. New acquisition Adolpho Phillips, beloved by certain readers, doubled twice for Montreal, but the Canadians fell anyway.  


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!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Taking Care Of Business (And Working Overtime!) : Wednesday, June 11th, 1969


ATL 4, CHI 3 (14inns)  W-Doyle 3-1 L-Aguirre 1-2  HR-Hickman(8) Cepeda 2-out walk-off double in 14th. 

STL 5, CIN 4 (11inns)  W-Hoerner 5-4 L-Carroll 2-3  HR-Tolan(7) May(12)

HOU 6, PIT 0  W-Dierker 5-5 L-Ellis 3-7  HR-Menke(4)

LA 13, PHI 2  W-Sutton 8-3 L-J.Johnson 2-9  HR-Haller(6) Haller 6 rbi.

SD 5, MON 1  W-J.Niekro 4-3 L-Stoneman 2-6  HR-Staub(12)

NY 7, SF 3 (15inns)  W-Koonce 1-0 L-Kline 0-1  HR-Collins(1)

"Why play at all?" Banks wrestles with an existential crisis.
Orlando Cepeda, energized by his recent return visit to St. Louis, continues to punish whomever is available, as the Cubs found out Wednesday at Atlanta. "Cha-Cha" cracked a game-winning double with 2 gone in the 14th. On the Cubs' side, slump-encrusted Ernie Banks went a not very helpful 0-for-6, including 4 K's and a GIDP. Skipper Leo Durocher says he is dropping Banks to 7th in the order, effective immediately. Ernie has only 2 home runs all year. 

Dal Maxvill believes.
At Crosley Field, the Reds watched in horror as Dal "Muscles" Maxvill smacked a double off of Clay Carroll to drive home Mike Shannon with the lead run in the top of the 11th. Bobby Tolan did his best to keep torturing the team that traded him, but the ice cold bats of Tony Perez and Pete Rose (yes, Pete Rose! He is hitting less than .250 in June!) doomed the Rhinelanders. They can take some comfort, though, in having scored 4 off of Bob Gibson, snapping his 6-start winning streak with the no-decision. 

"Induct me!"
The Phillies, having dipped into (yet again) what they laughingly refer to as a bullpen, decided to leave Lowell "Lulu" Palmer out there to take it on the chops for the team. He gave up 8 runs in less than 3 innings. Dodger catcher Tom Haller got fat off the easy deliveries, smacking a homer and knocking in 6, a season high for the SoCal nine. New Dodgers Maury Wills and Manny Mota each collected two hits, scored two and drove in one.  

San Diego won their third straight, besting a down-hearted Expo squad who just saw their brain trust deal Wills and Mota for Adolpho Phillips (.104) and an injured Ron Fairly. "Let the losses begin," said an unnamed Expo. League HR leader Donn Clendenon hasn't hit one in June, and has driven in just one run while hitting around the Mendoza Line for the month. Could he be next to go? 

The hateful Mister Gutierrez. Trade him to Detroit. Trade him to Antarctica. See if I care.
Finally, a Mets-Giants match-up featuring Seaver vs. Marichal promised a 1-0 game, but it didn't turn out that way. Things started out pretty much according to script, as the Mets scored a pair of unearned runs in the 4th, and carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the 8th. The big news was that Seaver had not allowed a hit to that point! With one-out, though, the immortal Cesar Gutierrez pinch hit for Hal Lanier, whose earlier error had resulted in the two runs the Mets had. The hateful Mr. Gutierrez ripped a single to ruin everything. Ken Henderson, who had walked leading off, moved up. Ron Hunt knocked in Henderson with a single, and that was suddenly all she wrote for Mr. Seaver as he gave way to Tug McGraw to face lefty-swinging slugger Willie McCovey. McCovey greeted McGraw with a single, scoring the stinking little weasel Gutierrez with the tying run.  "You ruin everything!" commented your Impartial Goddess, sitting in the Candlestick Park box seats wearing her Mets hat.

My hero! Er, I mean, Kevin Collins of the Mets.
Jim Ray Hart, continuing his hot hitting,  added another rbi single off of McGraw to give the Giants a 3-2 lead. Your Impartial Goddess may have said some unladylike things. The Mets entered the 9th not having had a hit since the 4th, and Bud Harrelson kept that dubious streak alive by making the first out. Then up stepped Kevin Collins. Collins had been asked to bunt with Harrelson on first with no outs against Marichal in the 1st inning.  He laid down the bunt all right...on a 66-0. Why must APBA torment its managers by letting them know what might have been, on such bunts? It's inhuman. Anyway, in the 9th, Collins sent a Marichal delivery into the first row of seats, as Bobby Bonds felt it graze just over the fingers of his glove for a game-tying homer! Your Goddess bounced in her seat and cheered at the top of her lungs, but Impartially, and with delicate reserve. Not!

He was never really there. Beware of treacherous women! ;-)
In the bottom of the 10th, the despicable little scoundrel Gutierrez got another hit leading off the inning but nothing came of it. In the last of the 14th, the Giants got a one-out walk from Dick Dietz and then Ken Henderson was hit by a Cal Koonce delivery, putting two on for the awful little toad-faced miscreant Mister Gutierrez. Seeing the lumbering Mr. Dietz at second and two serviceable pinch runners on the bench (Etheridge and Barton, both average runners), your Impartial Goddess set about distracting Giants skipper Clyde King. "Hey what's that? A contract extension?!?" "Look over there, is that Roy Hobbs??!!?" By the time King turned his attention back to the field, the pox-ridden Mr. Gutierrez had lined a hit to left. Dietz came thundering around third as Bobby Pfeil picked up the ball and fired home. Out! Tie preserved! Pinch hitter Bobby Etheridge failed to bring in the winning run and the game continued. (Some malcontents may claim that the Goddess simply didn't think to run for Dietz, but these rabble rousers are not to be taken seriously. They are in league with the loathsome Mr. Gutierrez.)

Ron Kline models his old Tiger uniform, unlaundered since 1963.
The Mets went back to their hitless ways until the top of the 15th inning, when newly acquired reliever Ron Kline was sent in to pitch for the Giants. Kline faced seven batters and gave up hits to six of them before being summarily removed. Giants brass, now sober and regretful after their drunken stunt of trading for this bozo, sank in their seats as the Mets took a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the 15th. Bobby Bonds led off with a single and stole second. Ron Hunt made the first out. Jack Hiatt, who had come on when McCovey had been pinch run for earlier, stood in. To the astonishment of everyone, Bonds wandered too far off second and was caught in a pickle and tagged out. Hiatt then made the final out, with the San Fran nine losing despite three hits in four trips by the revolting stunted troll Cesar Gutierrez, who had ruined--did I mention?--Goddess favorite Tom Seaver's no-hit bid. Impartiality, it is me.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Night Of The Killer Ground Balls! : Tuesday, June 10th, 1969


ATL 6, CHI 3  W-Reed 5-3 L-Hands 8-2  S-Upshaw(10)  HR-Hickman(7) H.Aaron(12)

CIN 3, STL 2  W-Merritt 4-7 L-Hoerner 4-4  HR-Tolan(6) Helms GW ground out.

HOU 3, PIT 2 (10inns)  W-Womack 4-1 L- Gibbon 1-2  HR-Blefary(5) Menke GW ground out.

LA 8, PHI 4  W-Osteen 6-2 L-Jackson 5-6  HR-Kosco(8)

SD 8, MON 4  W-Santorini 3-10 L-Robertson 5-5  HR-Staub(11) Ferrara(3) Stahl 2(4) Stahl 4 rbi.

SF 6, NY 0  W-Perry 9-3 L-McAndrew 3-8  McAndrew 11 K's. 

Bobby Tolan of the Reds came back to haunt his old team with an early 2-run shot off Steve "Carlton Your Doorman" Carlton, followed by a one-out triple in the bottom of the ninth. Cards skipper Red Schoendienst signaled for the intentional walk to both Lee May and Tony Perez, loading the sacks with one out for the double play prone Mister Helms. Helms immediately smacked a Joe Hoerner delivery on the ground to third base where Mike Shannon stepped on third and then...and then....well, the board doesn't exactly say, which is really annoying. Bases loaded, infield in, Fielding Three third baseman shows a putout at third and that's it. I have played about a zillion games of APBA and don't recall this ever happening to decide a game. I even checked the old boards and it's the same. So, did Shannon try for the DP and the runner beat the throw? Or did he come home and Tolan slid under the tag? Or did he just stand there like a big dummy? Oh well, Reds win and this result will probably never happen again, right?

The very next game, the Pirates scored two in the top of the ninth to tie the 'Stros at 2. In the bottom of the tenth, up stepped Denis Menke with the bases loaded and less than two out and darned if he doesn't ground it to third, where Richie Hebner steps on third and then stops to read The Sporting News or something as the winning run scores.  What are the odds?!? Two games in a row!

In other action, Al Santorini--who fanned 14 his last time out--fanned ten more as the Padres won their second in a row, this time defeating the Expos on the strength of two blasts by Larry Stahl! Larry Stahl is a nobody who happens to love your Impartial Goddess and always does well for me. With regular right fielder Ollie Brown out of the line-up to contemplate the stations of the cross, Stahl stepped in and led the Friars to victory.  "It was God's will," he opined.

Come back for our next exciting episode "Holy Shit, Where Are My Players?" or "Kidnapping In Canada"!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fat Jack Glory and Mota Madness: Sunday & Monday, June 8th & 9th, 1969

Scores, June 8th

CIN 5, CHI 3  W-Fisher 8-3 L-Selma 2-6  S-Granger(4)

ATL 2, PIT 1  W-Johnson 2-2  L-Veale 6-5  HR-Sanguillen(1) Cepeda(8)GW

PIT 3, ATL 2  W-Walker 2-1 L-Pappas 5-3  S-Hartenstein(4)  HR-Clemente(5)

HOU 7, STL 1  W-LeMaster 6-6 L-Washburn 3-7  HR-Miller(2) Morgan(3) Wynn(8) Edwards(4)

MON 14, LA 2  W-Wegener 4-3 L-Drysdale 0-4  HR-Mota(1) Staub(10) Kosco(7) Mota 5 rbi.

SD 3, NY 0  W-Sisk 3-4 L-Gentry 5-4  HR-Pena(2)

SF 8, PHI 2  W-Bolin 4-6 L-Fryman 3-5  HR-McCovey(14) 

No games June 9th. 

Fat Jack Fisher wins again for the Reds, downing the Cubs at Wrigley. "I pitch just well enough for just long enough; that's my secret!" he crowed. With the Rhinelanders at the exact one third point of their season, Fats is on track to win a cool 24 games! Not bad for a Dz. He's always had good luck for me. He went 9-4 for my '61 Orioles, and 14-17 for my putrid '65 Mets. He seems to turn up on a different team every year. Fat Jack Fisher, Miracle D!

"Rabbit" Maranville
In Atlanta, the Braves and Pirates met for a doubleheader. Bob Veale pitched brilliantly in the opener, carrying a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Then he walked Tommie Aaron and gave up a stunning two-run walk-off blast to Orlando Cepeda. "I'm good, but I'm no Fat Jack Fisher," confessed a tearful Mr. Veale. Ken Johnson got the win for Atlanta, and was rewarded by being sold to the Yankees following the Monday off day. Thanks a lot, here's your hat! In the nightcap, the Buccos once again had the Braves shut out, leading 3-0 when the Braves rallied again, making it 3-2 before succumbing. Having run for Bob Aspromonte, and with Sonny Jackson injured, Braves skipper Lum Harris had no choice but to let shortstop Gil Garrido bat with two out in the bottom of the ninth and the tying run at third, while Rico Carty rotted on the bench. "Who would I have put in at short if we tied it? Rabbit Maranville?"

In Houston, the usually meek Spacemen exploded with four round trippers against a beleaguered Cardinals staff. Ray Washburn lost his 6th straight decision and has not won since April. Joe Morgan and Jim Wynn hit back-to-back blasts. 

Manny is always good for one fluky wind-blown pop fly homer every year!
Montreal is on fire! Mike Wegener continued to pitch well and the Expo hitters piled up 14 runs against Don Drysdale and two relievers. The Canadians have won 8 of 9 to move ahead of the Mets into 4th place, and they are 24-21 in their last 45 games! Manny Mota came to bat with two on and two rbi already to his credit, and lofted a drive down the line in right. It wobbled and wafted and headed for the foul pole. The ump signaled home run. The Dodgers screamed that it was a foul ball. Guess who won? Three run blast for Mota, his first dinger of the season. 

He mystified a line-up boasting Bobby Pfeil, Kevin Collins and J.C.Martin!
Finally, Tommie Sisk baffled the Mets to collect his team-high 3rd win of the season, and the Padres first shutout all year. The game was scoreless at the 7th inning stretch, but the Pods managed to plate 2 in the 7th and add a solo homer in the 8th by Roberto Pena. The Mets not only lost and slipped to fifth place, but they sustained yet another injury, with Al Weis departing for the next 24 games. Wayne Garrett slid over from third to second, and Kevin Collins took over at third. Fortunately, Cleon Jones returns next game, and Ed Kranepool the game after that.

No games on Monday, June 9th as the league pauses to savor 4 teams being within a half game of first place in the west!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Sorry, Mr. Wilson! : Saturday, June 7th, 1969


CHI 6, CIN 2  W-Jenkins 7-3 L-Maloney 6-4  HR-Corrales(1) Williams(6)

ATL 5, PIT 3  W-Stone 2-4 L-Blass 7-2  S-Upshaw(9)

STL 4, HOU 3  W-Taylor 4-2 L-Billingham 1-6  S-Hoerner(5)

MON 3, LA 2  W-McGinn 3-1 L-Brewer 2-3

NY 7, SD 5  W-Koosman 6-3 L-Kirby 2-6  S-McGraw(7)  HR-Grote(4) Spiezio(3)

SF 3, PHI 2 (11inns)  W-Linzy 3-2 L-Wilson 1-4  HR-Briggs(5) McCovey(13)GW

The Phillies may want to disconnect all bullpen phones before the start of each game. This time, Rick Wise pitched valiantly through ten innings of a 2-2 tie, then departed for a pinch hitter. On came Billy Wilson, yes, the same Billy Wilson who served up the three-run walk-off bomb to Jim Ray Hart in yesterday's game. Wilson wasted no time in serving up a cookie to Willie McCovey, who launched it far into the stands for another Giants win and another Phils defeat. "I blame Dennis," grumbled Mr. Wilson inscrutably. 

Jerry keeps hitting his hand on that stupid trophy!
The rag-tag Injury Edition of the Mets took the field against the Pods. The Pods pitchers started hanging and the Mets started banging, helped along by the return of flyhawk Tommie Agee. Jerry Koosman was not at his best, but got some karmic justice with the 7-5 win, to make up for at least one of the times he pitched brilliantly but lost due to poor run support. 

A big yellow taxi came and took away Popo.
Montreal continues to get outlandishly effective outings from the likes of Saturday's starter Larry Jaster, leading to a 7-1 hot streak. Dan McGinn tossed the final 3 frames as the 'Spos rallied to take the win and snap the Dodger win streak. It might sound strange, but the L.A. line-up is all screwed up without injured ace number two hitter Paul Popovich. Rookie shortstop Ted Sizemore hit there in this contest but contributed nothing. Jim Levebvre played second base and did not create any deathless memories, either.  Meanwhile, the Braves and Giants crept closer.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hart This! : Friday, June 6th, 1969


CIN 9, CHI 7 (12inns)  W-Ramos 1-1 L-Nye 1-4 S-Cloninger(1)  HR-Bench(7)

ATL 4, PIT 2  W-Jarvis 7-4 L-Ellis 3-6 S-Upshaw(8)  HR-Oliver(10)

STL 3, HOU 1  W-Gibson 7-1 L-Dierker 4-5  HR-Javier(2)

LA 3, MON 1 W-Sutton 7-3 L-Stoneman 2-5 S-Mikkelsen(7)

NY 6, SD 1  W-Seaver 5-5 L-J.Niekro 3-3

SF 9, PHI 7  W-Linzy 2-2 L-Wilson 1-3  HR-Taylor(1)GS McCovey(12) Hart(6)GW

You just know who their favorite player is.
The lowly Phillies brought their unlikely winning streak--gained at the hands of the even lowlier Padres--to San Francisco and promptly roughed up the mighty Juan Marichal for two runs in the top of the first. No matter, the Giants countered with a 3-run bomb by Willie Mac in the bottom of the inning. The Giants built a 6-3 lead and were feeling all fuzzy about themselves when two walks and a bonehead error by the much-plunked and delirious Ron Hunt loaded the bases for Tony Taylor. Tony the (future) Tiger unloaded his first home run of the season, a grand slam, to put the upstart Quakers ahead, 7-6! Due to lead off in the last of the 8th, Marichal stayed in to face John Briggs, but when he issued his 8th walk of the day (to go with 8 K's) the proud Dominican was removed to a rest home. Rons Bryant and Herbel cobbled together the rest of the inning, and Billy Wilson was summoned from the Phillies bullpen (snicker!) to get the final six outs. He did fine in the 8th, but in the 9th Ken Henderson touched him for a lead-off single. Henderson was in there because Willie Mays had broken every bone in his body making a spectacular inning-ending two-run-saving circus catch earlier in the game. Willie McCovey followed with another single, and Jim Ray Hart sent Wilson's next delivery into the stands for a 3-run walk-off blast. At the one-third point in their season, the Giants have 30 wins, and so are exactly on pace for the 90 they actually won in '69. 

Don't worry, be happy!
Good-time Bob Gibson won his sixth straight start, subduing the Astros 3-1, despite more nonsense out of Curt "Must eat brains" Blefary in the 9th, ruining his shutout bid. "Aw shucks," scoffed the easy-going Gibby. "We still won the game!" His final victim to seal the win was former battery mate Johnny Edwards.  

Mets coaches try to assemble a line-up.
The injury-riddled Mets found just the panacea they needed in the woebegone Pods. Tom Seaver mowed them down and his teammates dinked out 14 singles for an unexpected 6 runs to garner the easy win. However, the casualties continued. Ron Swoboda was smashed in the beak with a fastball and will miss 10 games, and Art Shamsky was frightened to death by a fly ball and will likewise sit out 10. This left Ed "Ray" Charles to don his sunglasses and take left field while Bobby Pfeil moved to center and Kevin Collins took over in right. Two OF-O's in the same pasture! Ed had played one game in the outfield in '66 for the A's, and Collins *will* play 2 for the Tigers in his final season, so they were elected. Fortunately for the Mets, Tommie Agee comes back next game, but one of the others will have to actually start in left field. Twirler Gary Gentry came back for this game, but was met with yawns. "Sit down and don't get in the way," was the fatherly advice doled out by Mets skipper Gil Hodges.
Gill Man or Gil Hodges?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Oliver! : Wednesday & Thursday, June 4th & 5th, 1969

Scores, June 4th

CHI 6, HOU 2  W-Hands 8-1 L-Wilson 3-7  HR-Smith(5)

MON 3, SF 0  W-Robertson 5-4 L-Perry 8-3  Robertson 1-hitter with 12 K's.

LA 3, NY 1  W-Osteen 5-2 L-McAndrew 3-7 S-Brewer(6)  HR-Swoboda(2)

PHI 4, SD 3  W-Jackson 5-5 L-Santorini 2-10  Santorini 14 K's.

PIT 8, CIN 1  W-Bunning 4-5 L-Merritt 3-7  HR-Oliver 3(9)  Oliver 7 rbi.

STL 8, ATL 4  W-Carlton 8-3 L-Reed 4-3  HR-Cepeda(7)

Score, June 5th

HOU 4, STL 3  W-Ray 4-1 L-Briles 5-3  Blefary 1-out 2-run walk-off triple.

Please, sir....more?
"Scoops" Oliver socked three homers good for seven ribbies as the Pirates drubbed the sleepy Redlegs 8-1. All three blasts were off left-handers (2 off Jim Merritt and 1 off Jerry Arrigo). Who to blame the most? Why, they will place the blame on the one who named him Ah-lee-ver! If only Mister Bumble could pitch, the Rhinelanders might move back to the top. They did acquire veteran right-hander Pedro Ramos, who simply walked across Forbes Field to the other clubhouse, bringing his 0-1 record with him.
Mr. Bumble, Oliver's first coach.

Orlando Cepeda seemed intent on torturing his ex-mates in St. Louis, bombing a homer among three hits as the Braves built a 4-1 lead, but the Redbirds kept dinking singles against Ron Reed until they had stormed out to an 8-4 lead, which was the final margin. 

Nothing he does is ever enough.
Al Santorini fanned an amazing 14 Phillies, but a 3-run first plus an rbi single by pitcher Grant Jackson gave the Quakers just enough to beat him anyway as they swept the hapless Holy Men. At the one-third point of the Padres' season, Santorini has 10 losses; can he lose 30??? I doubt it. Skipper Gomez would undoubtedly relegate him to the attic before that could happen. 

One of these is Bobby Pfeil. No, I don't know which one, either.
Claude Osteen (no relation to Claude Raines or Claude Aikens) won for the first time since April, subduing a paltry Mets squad. Ron Swoboda did go deep for the second straight game, but the Dodgers swept three at Shea. The Metroplolitans are having to field an outfield of Bobby Pfeil in left, Swoboda in center and Art Shamsky in right. Every fly ball is an adventure. 

Jeanne Mauch? Jeanne D'arc? Jean Beliveau?
In Montreal, the upstart Expos completed their second straight 3-game sweep, with Jerry Robertson dispatching the suddenly punchless Giants. The home fans are giddy as the 'Spos have claimed fourth place, moving ahead of the Mets! Meanwhile, the Giants, after going 14-2, have gone into a 3-11 swoon.  

Curt Blefary
In Thursday's only game, the Cardinals visited the Astrodome and Nelson Briles (no relation to Nelson Riddle or Ozzie Nelson) seemed to be in control. Then in the bottom of the ninth, the Spacemen plated one to make it 3-2, and had two on with one out. Briles was removed and former Colt .45 Joel Hoerner came on to face lefty-hitting Curt Blefary and Johnny Edwards. "Clank" Blefary immediately blasted the ball into the right field corner as Denis Menke scored the tying run. Doug Rader was picking 'em up and putting 'em down all the way from first base as Vada Pinson corralled the baseball and flung it home to Joe Torre. Rader came thundering down the baseline and slid just under Torre's tag as Blefary cruised jubilantly into third with the game-winning hit. We have lift-off! Reliever Jim Ray considers it very fair that he get the win for one inning of work while Tom Griffin receives nothing for 8 innings toil. 
Life isn't fair, Tom. And you look really stupid.