Saturday, December 31, 2016

Total Insanity At Candlestick: Saturday, July 5th, 1969

Scores!

PHI 9, MON 6  W-Fryman 6-7 L-Wegener 6-6  HR-Staub(17)  Fryman 13 K's.

NY 6, PIT 1  W-Seaver 7-6 L-Ellis 5-10  HR-Boswell(4)

CHI 5, STL 0  W-Selma 4-9 L-Briles 6-8  HR-Hundley(6)

CIN 3, LA 1  W-Maloney 11-4 L-Sutton 10-5  S-Granger(10)  HR-May(20) Perez(15) Davis(9)

HOU 8, SD 3  W-Wilson 5-9 L-J.Niekro 6-6  S-Womack(3)  HR-Wynn(12)

ATL 11, SF 10  W-P.Niekro 9-6 L-Bryant 2-4  S-Upshaw(16)  HR-Millan(4) Bonds 2(12)  Bonds 5 rbi.


It took a bad hop. Twice. Into his stupid face.
Mercy what a wild game at Candlestick Park! Scoreless through three between Braves ace Phil Niekro and kid lefty Ron "Call me Anita" Bryant, that all changed in the top of the 4th when the Braves plated half a dozen runs, aided by two consecutive miscues by the bewildered Ron Hunt. Even Niekro chipped in a two-run single. Four of the tallies were unearned, but they all count. 6-0 Braves. Meanwhile, Knucksie hadn't given up a hit through four. He walked Dietz to start the 5th, and with two out walked the opposing pitcher, setting the stage for Bobby Bonds to smash a three run jack to cut the Atlanta lead in half! 

"Neon" Millan
No matter. In the top of the 6th, Felix "Neon" Millan hit his second three run homer in as many days, prompting him to rhapsodize about cable cars and to start wearing flowers in his hair. "I love it here!" Felipe Alou followed with a triple and was singled in by Orlando Cepeda, bent on punishing his old team.  After an out, Clete Boyer was safe on an error by none other than Willie Mays and by the time the inning ended, it was 11-3 Braves. By the seventh inning stretch, with Niekro having surrendered only the one hit--albeit a big one--it looked like the rout was on, and Clyde King removed Mays and began making plans to play his scrubs the rest of the way.

"Watch me fail to finish this game!"
Sitting on an 8-run cushion, Knucksie naturally walked the lead off man, Bob "Hi Bob" Burda. Then seldom-seen Bob Barton, who had replaced Dietz, singled. Tito Fuentes singled in Burda to make it 11-4. Still no outs. Disgusting malcontent Cesar Gutierrez (who broke up Tom Seaver's earlier no-hit bid, gaining him the deathless enmity of your Impartial Goddess) walked to load 'em, and after Bonds fanned, Ron Hunt redeemed himself by blooping a crazy three-run triple to make it 11-7! Ken "Where's Barbie?" Henderson, who had come in for Mays, lofted a sac fly to make it 11-8 and that was all for Niekro, who saw his e.r.a. jump from 1.91 to 2.34 by giving up 8 earned runs in less than 7 innings. Relief ace Cecil Upshaw, who had gone back to the hotel, was hastily brought back and put into the game. Jim "Couch me!" Davenport greeted Upshaw with a single, then went insane and tried to steal second base but was, of course, thrown out by Bob "Hi Bob!" Didier to finally end the inning. 


"I need a fucking shortstop!" Language, Luman. Language.
11-8 it stayed through the 8th, but disaster still struck the Atlanta nine. With two out, Bob "Hi Bob!" Barton singled and, crazed by the sight of Davenport trying it, took off for second and was similarly thrown out to end the inning. However, he killed Braves third-string shortstop Bob Aspromonte for ten games, leaving all three of their shortstops on the shelf. Tommie Aaron, who played short at Eau Claire in 1958, will start the next few games on an emergency basis, but he had already been removed from the game for defense, replaced by Tony Gonzales who batted just once, fanned--Bryant's only strikeout over 7 innings of taking it on the chops for the team--and got himself ejected for questioning umpire "Hell" Enkeller's ancestry. (The Giants are down to 7 pitchers with the departure of Ron Kline and the injury to Mike McCormick.) So, Ralph Garr, who played second base for Austin in '67 had to come in and play short, replaced in the pasture by fossil Tito Francona. Thank goodness I kept my 1969 Sporting News baseball register that my father bought me; it shows their minor league records as well as major. 

Into the bottom of the 9th went this nutso-cuckoo fiasco, with Upshaw gamely trying to close it out, and the Giants "B" team refusing to die. Fuentes led off with a single, and after pinch hitter Marshall made the first out, Bobby Bonds poked his second homer of the game, giving him 5 rbi'sand cutting the score to 11-10! Ron Hunt made the second out and up stepped Ken "Call me Florence" Henderson as Barbie pretended not to know him and Willie Mays writhed in frustration on the bench. Upshaw induced the final out and the Braves, bloodied but unbowed, escaped with the victory to stay just a half game back of the Reds. What a nutty game.


Tom Seaver. Squee! Back way off, Nancy.
There *was* other action, but I'll be brief. The Cardinals' collapse just gets worse all the time, with Dick Selma blanking them and fanning 11. Woody Fryman of the Phils allowed Montreal to plate 4 in the top of the first and it was only the arrival of Bobby Wine and pitcher Wegener at the dish that kept him in the game. He ended up going all the way and fanning 13, one short of Al Santorini's season high of 14. Ken Boswell, not finding anyone to be biographer for, decided to hit a homer to lead off the game instead, and Tom Seaver pitched the Mets to another win over Pittsburgh. 


WKRP's battery holds a confab on the mound.
I had been challenged to do a special bit about WKRP's charity softball game against WJM Minneapolis, and I will, but my editor, Zac the dog, says there's only an inch on page 12C for the story. I bow to his authority. The Cincy team plated a run in the top of the first inning when Ted Baxter dropped an easy fly ball. "I lost it in the fog," he intoned. Bailey pitched shutout ball until the final frame, when Gordy doubled, Sue Ann Nivens was hit with a pitch--some say on purpose!--and Mr. Grant hit one out for the 3-1 WJM win. Your team really showed spunk, Lou. Oh that's right...you hate spunk!
next opponent?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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

Scores!

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.

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Pitching Gem & A Beanball Brawl! : Thursday, July 3rd, 1969

Scores!

CHI 8, MON 4  W-Jenkins 11-4 L-Robertson 7-7  HR-Williams(7) Hickman(17)

STL 1, NY 0 (11)  W-Hoerner 6-5 L-McGraw 3-6  HR-Flood(3) walk-off.

LA 4, CIN 3  W-Mikkelsen 4-2 L-Granger 6-3  HR-Perez(14)

SF 12, ATL 0  W-Perry 12-4 L-Pappas 8-4  HR-Mays(4) Mays 4 runs, 4 rbi.


"I wonder who threw Schoendienst through the wall..."
What a match-up! Future HOFers Nolan Ryan and Bob Gibson head to head, albeit with a very young Ryan. Someone forgot to tell Noley that he wasn't ready for prime time, because the two pitchers matched zeroes for ten innings at Busch Stadium, each allowing just 4 hits, and each fanning 10. The Mets had several chances, but just could never get the big hit. (Donn Clendenon, who tore up the league for the Expos, has yet to club an extra base hit or drive in a run for the Mets.) The Cardinals had a few mild opportunities too, but failed. In the bottom of the 10th, Red Schoendienst removed Gibson for a pinch hitter. How the Redbird skipper ended up embedded in the clubhouse wall is a mystery. When asked, Gibby opined, "Aw shucks, who knows?" Pinch hitter Rocky Johnson made an out and the game went to the 11th with Joe Hoerner on the mound, eating his Christmas pie. Mets manager Gil Hodges decided he wasn't going to let this kid Ryan possibly lose such a magnificent effort, so he took him out and sent up a pinch hitter.  Nothing came of it. Enter Tug Mcgraw in the bottom of the 11th. He fanned Byron Browne, who had entered the game when Lou Brock goofed up his whatchamacallit, and then faced Curt Flood. Flood jacked a homer and just like that it was all over. "Man, I'm exhausted!" sighed Hoerner upon receiving the victory for his one inning of work. Now the Cards await the arrival of the Cubs for a 4-game set.  

Everything is sunny for the Cubs these days!
Speaking of the Cubbies, they dispatched the Expos for the fourth day in a row, getting a homer--his first in nearly a month--from Billy Williams and another from the suddenly fearsome Jim Hickman. This kept the baby bears tied with the Cardinals atop the NL east. Despite the loss, the 'Spos completed a very good (for a new expansion team) first half, going 35-46. After starting 1-9, that's nothing to sneeze at.  

If your lovin' is hot and your cookin' ain't greasy....
Poor Braves. After logging the league's best mark in June, the month of July has been a nightmare for them so far. After getting shellacked 11-3 by the Reds yesterday, the tomahawkers traveled to Baghdad By The Bay and got rocked 12-0 by the Giants.  Miracle "D" Milt Pappas ran out of magic while Gaylord Perry notched his fourth shutout for the Giants. He also tied Bill Hands for the league lead with 12 wins. 

The Goddess abhors violence. Get him!
Finally, despite all that your Impartial Goddess has done to keep violence out of the game, it exploded on the field at Dodger Stadium on Thursday. Wearing a Red Wings jersey with "Kocur" on the back, your Most Serene Goddess screamed "Hit him! Deck him!" while bouncing on her heels in, um, disapproval.  Here's what happened: in the top of the second, Tony Perez launched a long home run off of Don Drysdale to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. The Rhinelanders had beaten the Tinseltowners 7 out of 8 on the season,  and frustration was boiling on the Dodger side. Andy "The Human Bulk Store" Kosco stood in against Jim "Bones" Merritt, and was decked by a high and tight pitch that knocked his helmet off and left him sprawled in the dirt. As soon as he stopped seeing double, Andy saw red and charged the mound! (The first fight the Orsino Board has ever produced in three seasons.) Kosco rained punches in bulk on the dome of the Reds hurler, and it took Johnny Bench to throw Kosco off. Of course, by then the benches had emptied and the obligatory savage milling around was accomplished. Ump "Hell" Enkeller thumbed both combatants, and Kosco injured his hand on Merritt's face and will miss a week's action. He's the team's home run leader and will be missed.  

An rbi single can do wonders for your confidence!
When play resumed, Little Al Jackson had been retrieved from the Reds' luggage and sent in to pitch. He allowed Willie "Call me Joan" Crawford, who had run for the dismissed Mr. Kosco, to score, but then he hurled 4 frames of shutout ball, preserving the 2-1 lead. In the 4th inning, Don Drysdale plunked Reds flyhawk Bobby Tolan. Would Big D do that on purpose? Of course he would! And was he ejected, fined, lectured? No! This is 1969! He pitched on. In the 6th, the Dodgers finally tied it against reliever Clay Carroll when Willie Davis tripled and scored on Crawford's single. "Let's see Bette Davis do THAT!" said Crawford, preening at first base. The inning ended when Wes Parker belted a fly to left center. Ted Savage made the catch and hung on, but Pete Rose was bent in the collision and will miss a couple of games. 

"Wingy" has wings on his feet!
The Reds tied it in the top of the 7th when Wingy Whitfield singled, and Ted Savage doubled. With runners on second and third and one out, newly-summoned strikeout artist Jim Brewer fanned the lefty-swinging Tolan, just the way it was drawn up, but backstop Tom Haller let the ball squirt away! As he chased it down, Wingy came chugging across home plate to make it 3-2. Tolan was gunned down at first,  but the damage was done. No Matter. In the bottom of the inning, pinch hitter Len Gabrielson singled in pinch runner and Paul Schaal Award winner Billy Grabarkewitz to tie it again at 3.  Clay Carroll could only hang his head.  In the bottom of the 8th with two out against Wayne Granger, pesky Wes "Call me Fess" Parker singled in Manny Mota and that's the way it ended, 4-3, with lots of band-aids.
Bob Probert, chairman of the Goddess's new commission on preventing violence.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Cubs Catch Cards, Reds Sweep Braves: Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969

Scores!

CHI 6, MON 1  W-Hands 12--2 L-Reed 2-4  HR-Banks(3) Rudolph(2)  Hands 2-hitter.

PHI 5, PIT 4  W-Jackson 9-6 L-Blass 10-3  HR-Clemente(10) Oliver(13) 

NY 4, STL 2  W-Cardwell 5-5 L-Washburn 4-10  S-McGraw(13)  HR-Agee(12) 

CIN 11, ATL 3  W-Ramos 4-1 L-Stone 5-6  S-Granger(9)  HR-May 2(19)  May and Helms 4 rbi each.

HOU 5, LA 4  W-LeMaster 8-8 L-Brewer 2-4  HR-Kosco(10) Haller(8)

SF 2, SD 1  W-Bolin 7-8 L-Kirby 2-9  S-Linzy(10)  HR-Bonds(10)


Cardwell Banker wins again.
After leading the NL east all season long following their stupid-good 20-4 start, the Cardinals have been stumbling along for some time now, and after losing to the Mets at Busch Stadium on Wednesday, they finally have been caught by the Cubs, with the Pirates and Mets close behind. Don "Cardwell Banker" Cardwell called in the birdies' loan, winning his fifth straight after starting the season 0-5. The Cardinals scored 2 in the first, and I thought to myself "there's their quota" as the Redbirds have a bad habit of scoring just a pair, all too often. (But they are as hard to shut out as the mighty Reds, with 2 each. Weird!) When they were hot, they scored more than five runs a game; since then they average a little over three. Anyway, my thought turned out to be right on the money, as they scored no more while the Mets put together single runs in three straight innings mid-game to take the contest. 

Don Bosch needs something to do.
The Cubs had no trouble making short work of the Expos at Parc Jarry, riding a two-hitter by Bill Hands, the circuit's first 12 game winner.  Even Ernie Banks woke up, smashing merely his 3rd dinger all year. Ken "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Back-Up Catcher" Rudolph added a blast, too, somehow sensing Christmas in the air in some other dimension. The baby bears have won 7 straight and ten of eleven.  Amazing what a modicum of hitting can accomplish! As for the 'Spos, they are without Mack Jones, Larry Jaster, Adolpho Phillips, Kevin Collins, Ron Fairly and Ron Brand.  Little-used picket Don Bosch denies going around setting booby traps in order to get some playing time.

The Quaker bullpen.
The Pirates, drooling at the sight of the good ship Cardinal taking on water, smacked a pair of homers with 10-game winner Steve Blass on the mound, but the Fightin' Phillies kept rallying and finally won it 5-4 behind Grant Jackson. The game was stopped in the 4th inning to administer a random drug test to Quaker backstop Mike Ryan. Reader Kurt is to blame for this. "Irish" came up clean except for a wee bit o' the dram.  Credit for the victory goes to whoever placed a padlock on the Phillies' bullpen gate.

"Here I come to save the dayyyy!"
At Atlanta, the visiting Reds destroyed the Braves three straight, capping the sweep with an 11-3 massacre on Wednesday. Lee May took over the second spot in the league in home runs by smashing a pair, and he and Tommy Helms both drove home 4 runs. Pitching? Who needs pitching? Once again, the Reds' starter--this time Tony Cloninger--faltered, but once again it was Pedro Ramos to the rescue, plus 3 innings by Wayne Granger as the Reds batters poured it on.  Braves starter George "Ben" Stone was driven from the mound and retired to watch old "Law & Order" reruns and contemplate his failure. The Braves are having trouble keeping shortstops on the field. With Sonny Jackson already out with a cleaved skull, Gil Garrido departed for three weeks during this one with "a tingling feeling" in his pinkie finger. This brings all-hit no-field Bob Aspromonte back into the fray, bringing with him his .350+ batting average and his stone glove. His double was the only x-base hit of the game for the teepee dwellers. 

"What's going on? Who are all these people? Did someone steal my Jell-O?"
The Dodgers, 8-1 on the season against the woeful Spacemen, scored 4 in the first 3 innings against southpaw Denver LeMaster, but flinty-eyed Astro skipper Harry Walker stuck with his new line-up and they delivered, rallying for the 5-4 win and scoring the decisive final two runs off of Dodger portsider Jim Brewer.  L.A.'s Walter Alston observed the action from his rocking chair, unaware of anything.  "When is lunch?" he asked confusedly as the game slipped inexorably away. 

Home sweet home.
In the Unexpected Department, Bob "Bolin For Dollars" Bolin--a.k.a. The Human Launching Pad--hooked up with young Clay Kirby of the Padres in a scoreless duel through 8! Kirby was especially tough, allowing only a double and a single up until then. In the top of the ninth, right fielder Cito Gaston allowed a single to drop in front of him (as had the other single) because he just couldn't get to it. Giants pinch hitter Bob Burda said 'thank you very much" and departed in favor of pinch running specialist Don Mason, who lives inside a glass jar when he isn't playing. Up stepped Bobby Bonds, who had fanned three times. He immediately smoked a Kirby delivery over the fence for a 2-run bomb. I felt bad for Kirby, a just-turned 21 year old kid who has pitched pretty well for a terrible team. In the bottom of the 9th, the Pods plated one against fireman Frank Linzy, but fell short 2-1. At the half-way point of their season, the Friars stand at 26-55, exactly on pace to match their actual 52-110 log. This pleases your Most Serene Goddess, because in APBA, tail-enders often do even worse than in real. I credit Gomez for staying the course!
Has brains.
Eats brains?

Friday, December 23, 2016

You Want Races? I've Got Races! : Tuesday, July 1st, 1969

Scores!

CHI 3, MON 2  W-Nye 4-6 L-Stoneman 3-9  

PIT 5, PHI 3  W-Veale 11-5 L-J.Johnson 3-12  S-Gibbon(4)  HR-Ryan(6)

NY 3, STL 1  W-McAndrew 4-10 L-C.Taylor 5-5  S-McGraw(12)

CIN 7, ATL 2  W-Ramos 3-1 L-P.Niekro 8-6  HR-Carty(13)

LA 5, HOU 3  W-Singer 10-7 L-Womack 4-2  HR-Parker(6)

SF 9, SD 7  W-Herbel 2-1 L-Reberger 3-7  S-Linzy(9)  HR-McCovey 2(18) Spiezio(5) Sipin(1)  McCovey 5 rbi.


Davalillo, acquired from the Angels for Jim Hicks, wonders why he is hated.
Wow, now there are TWO tight races! The fading Cardinals tasted bitter defeat yet again--due to poor hitting yet again--as a 2-run Ken Boswell double led the Mets to victory at Busch Stadium. The New Yorkers, though in 4th place, have drawn to within six and a half of the top spot in the east as your Impartial Goddess does a happy dance in her private box. The Redbirds not only lost, but saw right fielder Vada Pinson aggravate the wrist injury he incurred while playing pinball with Tommy. He'll sit out 9 contests. His replacement, the hated under-achieving gnat Vic Davalillo, also departed when he was accidentally squished; he'll miss 3 games being reassembled. That leaves a platoon of Byron Browne and Joe Hague to patrol the right pasture for the Redbirds.  

"Good heavens, Miss America, you're beautiful!"
The surging Cubs took advantage of the Cardinals misfortunes by edging the Expos 3-2 behind Rich Nye the Science Guy. "He blinded us with science!" complained the Canadian nine, all to no avail. Now the baby bruins find themselves just a single game out of first. Weren't they 7 out just a minute ago?!? 

Joe Gibbon waits in the bullpen for the call that is sure to come.
Right behind the Cubs we find the Pirates, now just 2 games back and in third place after dispatching their Pennsylvania cousins, the Phillies, behind Joe Gibbon's 4th save in as many games.  Mike Ryan poled one out of Forbes Field for the Quakers, but it wasn't enough to stop the Buccos.  

In the west, the Reds once again proved to be rude guests when they roughed up knuckleballer Phil Niekro and sent him to an early shower, then beat up some more on hapless fireman Claude Raymond. Fat Jack Fisher didn't last very long for the Rhinelanders, but Pedro Ramos snapped back to form and got the job done in relief.  The Reds have taken over the top spot, but lead the Dodgers and Braves by just one game, with the Giants a game and a half back. It's anybody's division so far!

Poor Harry. Nothing he does works!
The Astros showed off a completely revamped line-up in L.A., with Jim Wynn moving from clean-up to lead-off, Joe Morgan dropping from 2nd to 8th, and Curt Blefary moving up from 7th to 5th, but they still lost, although they gave Bill Singer all he could handle. The Songster was on the edge of being removed from the game on a couple of different occasions, but he somehow survived to go the distance for the win. The Spacemen, for their part, have now reached the season's half way point with 50 losses, a far cry from what was expected from them.  

Beware the crazed Sipin-osaur! Run for your lives!
Finally, the Giants sent kid lefty Ron Bryant to the hill at San Diego to make his first start of the season, and the Pods shelled him to the tune of 7 runs in 3 frames. The big blow was a bases-loaded base-clearing double by the suddenly red hot Al Ferrara. Ed Spiezio and John Sipin (!) chipped in homers of their own as the San Diego fans went into paroxysms of joy. However, Willie McCovey blasted a pair of homers and the Giants tied it up by the top of the ninth against reliever Frank "Double" Reberger when Jim Ray Hart walked with the bases full to make it 7-7. Enter Jack "Baldy" Baldschun, who made a bid to squirm out of it when Jim "Couch Me!" Davenport forced a runner at home, and Dick Dietz knocked a grounder to short. Cubs cast-off Roberto Pena put his glove down, closed his eyes, and booted it for a two-run error that undid the Friars once again.  When Ron Kline turns in 4 innings of one-hit shutout relief against you, you know you're not going to end up in the winner's circle. His e.r.a. shrunk to a nifty 6.61 as he complained of having been effective. 
"My eyebrows intimidate opponents"

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Monday, June 30th, 1969 Plus End Of June Leaders!

Scores!

CHI 9, MON 2  W-Selma 3-9 L-Wegener 6-5  HR-Santo(12) Hickman(16)

PIT 4, PHI 3  W-Ellis 5-9 L-Fryman 5-7  S-Gibbon(5)  HR-Allen(12) Pagan(3)

STL 2, NY 1  W-Briles 6-7 L-Koosman 8-5  HR-Torre(6)

CIN 4, ATL 2  W-Maloney 10-4 L-Jarvis 8-6  S-Granger(8)  HR-Maloney(4)

LA 2, HOU 0  W-Sutton 10-4 L-Griffin 3-10  Sutton 1-hitter.

SF 7, SD 6  W-Sadecki 5-2 L-J.Niekro 6-5  S-Linzy(8) HR-Ferrara(5)  Ferrara 5 rbi.


PITCHING

NY  2.74  240 runs against
ATL  2.81  267
CHI  2.86  262
STL  3.00  270  most CG (37)
SF  3.37  301  least K's (442)
LA  3.47  289  most saves (21)
PIT  3.62  339  most K's (564)
CIN  3.64  339
HOU  3.95  367  least saves (6)
MON  4.31  383  least CG (17)
PHI  4.52  397
SD  4.86  436

BATTING

CIN  .276  386 runs  most HR (84)
PIT  .272  387  most steals (56)
LA  .263  327  least steals (16)
SF  .259  364
STL  .254  309  most doubles (124) least HR (30)
ATL  .253  323
MON  .252  332
CHI  .244  305
HOU  .232  322  most triples (29) most caught stealing(27)
PHI  .229  323
NY  .224  250  least doubles (79)
SD  .210  245

FIELDING (avg is IP divided by errors. How many innings between errors.)
STL  14.87  61 DP turned
CHI  12.24  78
ATL  11.66  99
CIN  10.86  70
LA  10.76  52
NY  10.22  60
PIT  9.98  55
SF  9.27  70
MON  9.02  62
PHI  8.65  73
SD  8.48  49
HOU  7.64  52


WINS: Hands-chi 11-2, Perry-sf 11-4, 7 tied with ten wins.

ERA (75 IP): Gibson-stl 1.77, Hands-chi 1.77, P.Niekro-atl 1.81, Koosman-ny 1.83, Perry-sf 1.83, J.Niekro-sd 2.10, Taylor-stl 2.19, Reed-atl 2.28, Dierker-hou 2.30, Marichal-sf 2.33, Seaver-ny 2.33

IP: Hands-chi 152.2, Maloney-cin 149, Dierker-hou 145, Jenkins-chi 143.2, Jackson-phi 143.1


Can't touch this!
K's: Carlton-stl 117, Jenkins-chi 115, Veale-pit 111, Perry-sf 110

shutouts: Gibson-stl and Veale-pit 4


Baffling 'em with bullshit!
SAVES: Upshaw-atl 14, Regan-chi 12, McGraw-ny 11, Mikkelsen-la 11

CG: Carlton-stl 12, 6 tied with 11.

LOSSES: Santorini-sd 3-14, Johnson-phi 3-11


With MON: 16 HR. With NY: doodley squat.
HR: H.Aaron-atl 24, May-cin 17, Rose-cin 17, Clendenon-ny 16, Hickman-chi 16, McCovey-sf 16, Staub-mon 16

AVG. (202 AB): Mota-la .388, McCovey-sf .376, Rose-cin 369, Davis-la .349, Jones-ny 336, Bench-cin 324, Oliver-pit .324, Clemente-pit .323, Tolan-cin .323, Hebner-pit .322

RBI: McCovey-sf 70, May-cin 62, Staub-mon 57, H.Aaron-atl 56, Menke-hou 56

RUNS: Rose-cin 73, Wynn-hou 61, Bonds-sf 60, Brock-stl 54

2B: Kessinger-chi 22, Rader-hou 21, Torre-stl 20, 3 tied with 18.

3B: Rose-cin 7, several tied with 5.

STEALS: Morgan-hou 26, Wills-la 24, Brock-stl 23

"I suck but I'm fast!" Joe stays just ahead of the Mendoza Line.
ERRORS: Money-phi 24, Arcia-sd 23, Morgan-hou 21 

Final notes: Poor Phillies. Their pitching went from awful to not as awful, their hitting really picked up, but they still went 10-20 in June, including 2-11 in one-run games. Atlanta was the cream of the June crop, at 19-11; San Diego the worst at 9-20. The Expos enjoyed their first winning month ever, at 16-15. Hank Aaron is the Player of the Month for June after hitting 14 HR. He joins Pete Rose (April) and Willie McCovey (May).



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cubs Sweep, Close To Within Two! : Sunday, June 29th, 1969

Scores!

CHI 2, STL 1  W-Holtzman 7-4 L-Carlton 10-5  S-Regan(12)  HR-Hickman(14)

CHI 5, STL 3  W-Jenkins 10-4  L-Gibson 10-2  HR-Flood(2) Popovich(3) Hickman(15)

MON 6, PHI 4  W-Robertson 7-6 L-Champion 2-5  S-Face(9)  HR-Briggs(6) Allen(10)

MON 8, PHI 7  W-McGinn 5-2 L-Farrell 1-5  HR-Joseph(4) Allen(11)GS Herrera(3) Laboy(12)  Bailey 2-out walk-off single. 

PIT 5, NY 3  W-Bunning 6-6 L-Gentry 7-5  S-Gibbon(4)  HR-Oliver(12) Stargell(12)

CIN 1, SF 0  W-Culver 7-1 L-Marichal 6-8  HR-May(17)  Culver 2-hitter, May 1-out walk-off HR.

ATL 4, HOU 1  W-Reed 7-5 L-Dierker 6-8  S-Upshaw(14)  HR-Cepeda(10) Aspromonte(1)

LA 4, SD 3  W-Osteen 8-3 L-Santorini 3-14  S-Brewer(9)  HR-Brown(8)


He can't be stopped.
The Cardinals, sinking like a stone, sent their two aces Carlton and Gibson to the mound at Wrigley against the Cubs and both lost! Jim Hickman ran his June home run total to 9 by launching a blast in each game as the Cubbies swept the doubleheader and moved to within 2 of the top!  Bob Gibson has only lost twice all season, both times to the Cubs and both times to Ferguson Jenkins.

The Pirates, too, closed to within 3 by completing a series sweep of the Mets. The Corsairs rode a pair of two run homers to victory. 

"Good ole Savings & Loan!" Uncle Billy would be proud.
The Phillies, desperate not to be swept by the Expos, staged a furious rally in the nightcap to tie it up on a Rich Allen grand slam, but Turk Farrell coughed it up anyway when Bob "The Pride of Bedford Falls" Bailey dinked a game-winning single with two out in the 9th. "Thanks, Clarence!" said Bailey with a wink. In the opener, kid hurler Billy Champion cemented his demotion back to the bullpen by disappointing once again. 

George, no man is a failure who has friends like Lee May!
The Giants took the field at Crosley behind Juan Marichal, hoping to take 3 of 4 from the Reds, but miracle "D" George Culver had something to say about that, matching zeroes with his famous opponent until Lee May cranked one in the bottom of the ninth to make the Rhinelanders 1-0 winners. The Giants have been shut out in each of Marichal's last two starts, and scored just one run the game before that. 

Bob is filled with a terrible hatred of his old team. Why, Bob, why?
The silly Spacemen thought they'd get cute and refuse to pitch to the torrid Hank Aaron, so they walked him with a base open but Orlando Cepeda put the kibosh on all that. He hit a three-run bomb that effectively decided the game in the top of the first inning as the Astros visibly deflated like a bunch of leaky balloons. They have now lost 11 of 12 against the teepee dwellers from Atlanta who now own the best record in the NL. Old pal Bob Aspromonte, who connected exactly once all year as an Astro in '68, put one in the seats against his old mates. "I hate them," he said cryptically. 

Finally, the Dodgers finished a 3 game sweep of the reeling Padres, teasing them all game with a slim lead that the Pods could never overcome. To make it all worse, first sacker Nate Colbert somehow set himself on fire with a sparkler, and will miss 14 games while he watches safety movies aimed at 6 year olds. 
Nate's been on fire. No, really on fire.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

It's All Too Much For Bob Tillman! : Saturday, June 28th, 1969

Scores!

CHI 6, STL 2  W-Hands 11-2 L-Washburn 4-9  HR-Javier(3)

PHI 4, MON 3  W-Jackson 8-6 L-McGinn 4-2  S-Wilson(8)  HR-Jones(9) Bateman(3) Herrera(2)ph

PIT 6, NY 3  W-Walker 3-3 L-Seaver 6-6  S-Gibbon(3)  HR-Clemente(9) Boswell(3)

CIN 7, SF 2  W-Merritt 6-9 L-Perry 11-4  HR-May(16) Bench(10) Perez(13)

ATL 11, HOU 5  W-Pappas 8-3 L-Wilson 4-9  HR-Gonzales(3)GS Boyer 2(9) Tillman 2(6) Blefary(8)  Gonzales, Boyer and Blefary 4 rbi each.

LA 9, SD 3  W-Drysdale 2-6 L-Sisk 4-7


He's high strung.
The Atlanta homer barrage keeps coming! Even with Hank Aaron quieting down for a game, Boyer continued to knock the ball over the fence, accomplishing it twice, Tony Gonzales launched a grand slam, and backstop Bob Tillman also went deep twice. Upon crossing the plate with his second dinger, Tillman became overwhelmed, fanned himself dramatically, and swooned onto an old-fashioned fainting couch that was once used by Sarah Bernhardt and which had been placed, as a precaution, in the left-hand batter's box while Bashin' Bobby was circling the sacks. He'll miss the next 19 games while taking a rest cure. This means that the terror of April and May--Bob Didier--will get his old job back. Atlanta leads the league in catchers named Bob! Meanwhile, the Astro pitcher bobblehead giveaway continues.

He can't see anything!
Remember how the Giants went homer crazy against the Reds at Crosley on Friday? The Reds, under the expert tutelage of skipper Dave Bristol, returned the favor with three blasts off of Gaylord Perry. Bristol shouted instructions to each of his hitters, but no one could understand any of it because of the giant wad of chaw in Dave's chipmunk-like cheek. No matter! The Rhinelanders' power show kept them in the thick of the NL west race. 

"Go ahead without me...I'll never make it!" Okay, see ya!
At Montreal, homers by pinch hitter Herrera and lead-off man Mack Jones tied the game late, only to see it slip away against the last-place Phillies. The Phils are nearly healthy, lacking only the immortal Ron Stone, who keeps in shape by sparring with the pretty nurses on his ward, and losing. The Quakers are no longer the worst team in the league, that mantle passing to the even worse Padres!

He had his Wheaties!
The Cardinal's slow nosedive continues as the Cuibs, behind ace Bill Hands, defeated the Redbirds at Wrigley. However, Julian Javier got one up into the wind and it went over the fence, leaving the savvy second-sacker blinking in confusion. "What now?" None of the Cardinals knew because it had been so long since any of them had hit a home run. Finally one of the Cubs provided instructions and the game continued.  Ray Washburn did what he does best--lose--and the setback left him praying to activate his J-4 some time soon. 

Your Impartial Goddess contemplates Tom's mediocrity.
Pittsburgh jumped all over the newly-healed Tom Seaver, scoring 4 in the first and never looking back. Oh, the Mets delivered a whimper of protest with Kenny "They Killed Kenny!" Boswell's lead-off homer in the bottom of the first, but after that, it was all over except for Tom Terrific getting injured yet again. 75 games in, Tom is just 6-6, has had three minor injuries, and will never make it to his actual log of 25-7, leaving your Impartial Goddess fuming in her box seat wearing her Seaver jersey. But perhaps he'll go 19-1 in the second half! Yeah! Especially if your Impartial Goddess fiddles with the rules and requires all opposing batters to start wearing blindfolds. ;-)

Finally, Don Drysdale won his second straight decision, downing the Padres at San Diego. He went the distance for the first time in '69. I can't even tell you how impressed Jane is!

Bob Tillman's new walk-up music!