Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Astros Make it To .500 : Saturday, August 2nd, 1969

Scores, as my replay reaches the exact two-thirds point:

CHI 9, SD 5  W-Abernathy 4-7 L-Sisk 4-11  S-Regan(13)  HR-Santo(16)

HOU 10, MON 3  W-Griffin 8-10 L-Stoneman 4-11  HR-Miller(5)

NY 4, ATL 1  W-McAndrew 7-11 L-Pappas 8-6  HR-Gonzales(4) Shamsky(8)

CIN 12, PHI 8  W-A.Jackson 4-0 L-Raffo 1-3  HR-Stewart(4) Allen(20)  Reds 22 hits.

PIT 11, SF 2  W-Bunning 8-7 L-Sadecki 5-7  HR-Mazersoski(1) Oliver 2(23)  Oliver 5 rbi, Mazeroski 4 rbi.

LA 4, STL 2  W-Moeller 11-6 L-Washburn 7-12  S-Brewer(11)

So weird that a 5th place team is hogging all the headlines, but what the Astros have done in 5 weeks time is truly astounding. At the end of June, they were 31-49, 16.5 games out of first, and 15 games out of 4th. Then they promptly lost their first game of July. But since then they are 23-4, and are now 10 games out of 1st place and 5 games out of 4th. Fifth is still fifth, you may say, but they sure have been fun to play lately. Their most recent victim is expansion Montreal, whom they have drubbed 14-1 and 10-3 at Parc Jarry.  A doubleheader is scheduled for Sunday.

Right in his beer!
The Reds went into Philadelphia and smashed 22 hits against the Phillies, who had taken a 5-0 lead only to see hapless Jerry Johnson be unable to hold it. The Cincinnati crew are still not hitting homers--although reserve Jimmy Stewart did hit one Saturday, landing it right in Old Man Potter's beer cup--but they *are* finally hitting again, and scoring runs. Nonetheless, it is a real mystery why May, Perez, Bench et al are no longer finding the seats. 

"No...not the bicycle spokes! No! Please, AAAAAAAGGGHHHHH!!!"
Veteran second sacker Bill Mazeroski was reinserted into the Pirates line-up the past two games, and responded with 7-for-8, a double, a homer, 4 runs and 5 rbi. Kid keystoner Dave Cash may have to rot on the bench for a while. Jim "Easter" Bunning went the distance against the Giants, then rushed home to chase some neighborhood kids off his lawn. "It's not easy being a geezer," he opined.

He experienced occasional irregularity.
Finally, Phil Regan of the Cubs, who went the entire month of July without garnering a save, picked one up on Saturday against the preposterous Pods. "They were threatening!" he insisted, fighting down a guffaw.  
Friar Man threatens the universe.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

July 31st, 1969 results and end of July stat board!

Scores for Thursday, July 31st

SF 3, CHI 1  W-McCormick 9-3 L-Hands 14-6  S-Linzy(14)  HR-Mays(6) Banks(8)

ATL 9, PHI 1  W-Jarvis 12-6 L-Fryman 6-11  HR-Tillman(8) Allen(19)

PIT 3, LA 0  W-Blass 13-4 L-Osteen 10-7  HR-Oliver(21)

MON 5, CIN 0  W-Renko 1-4  L-Culver 8-6  Renko 13 K's

The 10th time is the charm!
The Expos' Steve Renko finally got his first major league win on Thursday, and it only took him ten tries! Steve showed a little of why the 'Spos parted with (at the time) NL home run leader Donn Clendenon to get him, as he fanned 13 Reds in a complete game shutout. Clendenon, for his part, has been a bust in New York, hitting just 2 homers for the Mets since being acquired a month and a half ago. As for the Reds, they suffered through an astonishing 10-17 July in which they hit just 11 homers as a team. Unbelievable. 

For July, the best team was, of course, the Astros, at 21-5. The worst was the Padres, who turned in a putrid 6-20 performance. And now, stats!

NY 2.61 (league low 308 runs against.)
CHI 2.81
STL 2.84 (most complete games--52)
ATL 3.06
SF 3.30 (least K's--582)
LA 3.36 (most saves--26)  
PIT 3.51 (most K's--769)
HOU 3.52 (tie for least saves--12)
CIN 3.82 
MON 4.30 (least complete games--21)
PHI 4.42 (tie for least saves--12)
SD 4.97 (most runs against--593)

PIT .269 (most runs scored--510)
CIN .269 (least caught stealing--16)
LA .262
ATL .260 (most HR--102. least steals--27)
STL .253 (most doubles--163. least HR--41)
MON .251
SF .250
CHI .242 (least triples--15) 
HOU .238 (most triples--40. most steals--75. most caught stealing--32.)
PHI .226
NY .224 (least doubles--104)
SD .209 (least runs--314)

FIELDING (avg is innings pitched divided by errors)
STL 15.19 (least errors--65)
CHI 13.12
ATL 12.13 (most DP's turned--135)
CIN 11.62
LA 10.34
NY 10.00
PIT 9.44 (least DP's turned--66)
SF 9.34
MON 9.29
PHI 9.03
SD 8.70
HOU 8.14 (most errors--115)

ERA (103 ip min.)--Perry-sf 1.71, Gibson-stl 1.77, Hands-chi 1.93, Marichal-sf 2.04, P.Niekro-atl 2.04, Dierker-hou 2.08, Seaver-ny 2.15, Koosman-ny 2.22, Carlton-stl 2.24, LeMaster-hou 2.42 

SHO--Dierker-hou 5, Perry-sf 5

WINS--Perry-sf 15-5, Gibson-stl 14-3, Hands-chi 14-6, Blass-pit 13-4, Carlton-stl 13-6, Maloney-cin 13-6, Veale-pit 13-7, Singer-la 13-8

IP--Hands-chi 205.1, Carlton-stl 196.2, Dierker-hou 195

K's--Carlton-stl 162, Jenkins-chi 152, Singer-la 144, Veale-pit 144,  Hands-chi 143, Gibson-stl 136, Perry-sf 136   

Losses--J.Johnson-phi 4-16, Santorini-sd 4-16

CG--Marichal-sf 17, Carlton-stl 16, 5 tied with 15

Saves--Upshaw-atl 21, McGraw-ny 18, Granger-cin 14, Linzy-sf 14, Mikkelsen-la 13

Steals--Morgan-hou 37, Wills-la 34, Brock-stl 33, Bonds-sf 32

Avg (278 ab min.)--Rose-cin .367, Mota-la .364, Davis-la .347, McCovey-sf .342, H.Aaron-atl .333, Oliver-pit .333, Jones-ny .332, Hebner-pit .323, Bench-cin .322, Tolan-cin .312

HR--H.Aaron-atl 35, Staub-mon 23, Oliver-pit 21, May-cin 20, McCovey-sf 20, Allen-phi 19, Rose-cin 19  

RBI--Staub-mon 86, H.Aaron-atl 84, May-cin 82,  McCovey-sf 82, Oliver-pit 81, Santo-chi 70, Torre-stl 68, Menke-hou 67

Runs--Rose-cin 92, Bonds-sf 84, Wynn-hou 84, Brock-stl 81, H.Aaron-atl 76, Oliver-pit 73, Wills-la 72

Doubles--Laboy-mon 29, Kessinger-chi 28, May-cin 26, H.Aaron-atl 25, Rader-hou 25

Triples--Davis-la 8, Rose-cin 8

Errors--Money-phi 27, Morgan-hou 25

Player of The Month: Hank Aaron, Braves
previous winners
April--Pete Rose, Reds
May--Willie McCovey, Giants
June--Hank Aaron, Braves   


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spacemen Conclude 21-5 Month: Wednesday, July 30th, 1969


CHI 4, SF 1  W-Holtzman 9-5 L-Perry 15-5  HR-Williams(10)

HOU 2, NY 0  W-LeMaster 12-10 L-Koosman 10-9  

ATL 3, PHI 1  W-Reed 11-6 L-Jackson 11-8  S-Upshaw(21)  HR-H.Aaron(35) Carty(17)

LA 8, PIT 3  W-Singer 13-8 L-Walker 3-6  HR-Oliver(20)  W.Davis 4 rbi.

STL 9, SD 1  W-Carlton 13-6 L-J.Niekro 8-9  HR-Javier(4) Maxvill(5)ISP  Javier 4 rbi.

CIN 3, MON 2  W-Ramos 5-1 L-Face 2-6  Helms 2-out 2-run walk-off single.

"Fear us!"
The Astros finished off their unbelievable July (they are idle on the 31st) with back-to-back shutout wins at New York behind Dierker and LeMaster. Behold their monthly logs: 9-15, 12-15, 10-19, 21-5. "Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds!" opined 'Stros skipper Harry Walker. I, er, I mean Harry completely revamped the Houston line-up at the start of July and boy has it paid off. Jim Wynn moved from clean-up to lead-off, and disappointing Joe Morgan moved down to 8th from 2nd or 3rd, and they both thrived in their new spots. Also, Jesus Alou rolled away the stone and left the bench to take the 2nd spot in the line-up while the demonstrably radio-active Gary Geiger took a seat. (Alou had been so putrid early that he had gotten benched.) But that doesn't explain the pitching staff shaving almost half a run off the team e.r.a.! I have to say, in all the seasons I have played, I have never seen any team play so poorly for so long and then start beating everyone's brains in. It's truly been amazing to see. 

He has 17 rbi in July, and he doesn't give a shit what you seamheads think about the rbi stat!
At Cincinnati (Please notice that I spelled that correctly! Whee!), The Expos nursed a 2-1 lead into the 9th. After Jim Maloney was pinch hit for, the Reds brought in good luck charm Pedro Ramos in the top of the 9th. He held the fort and in the bottom of the ninth against living dinosaur Roy Face, the Reds were down to their last out when Tony Perez got on. John Bench singled to put runners on the corners, and then he shocked everyone by taking off for second! 'Spos backstop Ron Brand fired down to the keystone sack, but Bench beat the throw! (He is now 8 of 9 in steals. Go, young John!) This turned out to be crucial when Tommy Helms stepped to the plate. Gene Mauch went out to the mound to confer with his superannuated hurler, but they decided to pitch to Helms rather than a certain pinch hitter for Darrel Chaney. Helms ripped a line drive to right center, scoring both runners for the walk-off win! 

Actual picture of your Impartial Goddess with actual Andy Kosco and actual Bill Sudakis in background.
At Pittsburgh, Willie Davis continued his quietly torrid (?!) July with three singles, a double, and 4 rbi to sink the Buccos' little pirate ship. However, your Impartial Goddess's fervent wish for mayhem to befall the Dodgers came true when Andy Kosco and Bill Sudakis collided in pursuit of a foul pop fly. Kosco is lost for a week, Sudakis for two. The foul pop fell untouched. Your Goddess would visit them in the hospital but is afraid she might snicker behind her hand.

Scamper, Dal, scamper!
Finally, Dal Maxvill hit the 4th inside the park homer of the season (joining Deron Johnson (!) Alex Johnson, and Ted Savage) and it was a 3-run affair, to propel the Redbirds to further glory. They, too, are done for July, and posted their best record, 17-11, since April. Are they back? I think they are.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pods & Pirates Go 18 Innings: Sunday & Monday, July 27th & 28th, 1969

Scores, July 27th

LA 4, CHI 2  W-Moeller 10-6 L-Selma 5-12  S-Mikkelsen(13)  HR-Santo(15)

CIN 6, NY 2  W-Fisher 9-9 L-McAndrew 6-11  S-Granger(13)  

SD 6, PIT 5 (18inns)  W-Kelley 4-2 L-Moose 2-5

STL 7, SF 3  W-Grant 7-6 L-Bolin 9-10  HR-Bonds(18) Brock(4)

MON 4, ATL 3  W-Wegener 8-7 L-Doyle 5-3  S-Face(12)  HR-Staub(23) H.Aaron 2(33)

HOU 3, PHI 2  W-Griffin 7-10 L-J.Johnson 4-16  S-Gladding(8)  HR-Allen(18) Rojas(3)

Score, July 28th

STL 10, SD 1  W-Washburn 7-11 L-Roberts 3-10  Torre 5 rbi.

The clearly crazed Dick Kelley.
After defeating the preposterous Padres in the first 3 of a 4 game set at Forbes Field, the Buccos threw their arms around the Friars and caroled, "We want you to stay forEVERrrrrr!" Well, they nearly did. As they had done the day before, the Holy Men got off to a quick lead, but of course, because they are the Padres, they let it slip away and trailed 5-4 going into the 8th. That's when Pittsburgh's ugly fielding kicked in, and the Pods tied the game on an unearned run off of Chuck Hartenstein. Who could have known then that the Padres would pull ten innings of scoreless relief out of their ears?! (Or someplace.) On and on the game went, with Frank "Double" Reberger tossing 2, Jack Baldschun doing the same, and lefty Dick Kelley contributing the last six. At last, in the top of the 18th inning, the mythical magical Jose Arcia ripped a three-bagger and came home on a sac fly by Chris Cannizzaro, the human spelling bee. In the bottom of the 18th, the Pirates put runners at the corners with two out, but Kelley whiffed Freddie Patek to finally end the festivities.  The Padres exhausted their bench, and the Pirates emptied their bullpen. It was the longest game of the season so far.

Someone got his autograph! No one knows why.
At St. Louis, the same two players who homered on Saturday--Bonds and Brock--homered again on Sunday. Both flyhawks are in the running for player of the month, along with Hank Aaron (June's winner) and Rusty Staub. But the interesting thing, besides the return to form of the Cardinals, was the S.F. catching situation. Until Dick Dietz got injured recently, they had made it all year with none of their 3 backstops ever getting so much as a split end. Then Dietz went down, followed by Bob "Hi, Bob!" Barton on Saturday. On Sunday, Jack Hiatt managed to get injured running the bases where there is no protection for the last catcher, (as there is on my Orsino board) and utility infielder Don Mason had to strap on the gear. All of this mayhem necessitated the call-up (and creation, by your multi-talented Goddess!) of 4th-string catcher John Harrell. In actuality, Harrell played in 2 games, going 3-for-6, all singles, and walking twice. And so his card is crazy-good for getting to first base with, even though I toned it down just a little. Harrell is so obscure that my 1969 Sporting News Baseball Register doesn't even have a photo of him, though it does list him. All they could think of to say about him was what junior college he attended. His moment has arrived! He will catch one game and then sit back down when Dietz returns on Wednesday. 

"Must...lose. MUST...lose...."
Jerry Johnson of the Phillies, whose main claim to fame is making me type "J.Johnson" and "D.Johnson" all the time, because you never know, Jerry might hit 20 homers and Deron might star as a starting pitcher! Or not. But anyway, he seemingly cast aside his losing ways for a while on Sunday, stopping the Astros on one hit through six innings. However, in the space of three batters in the 7th, the Spacemen plated 3 and won the game, hanging yet another loss on hapless old Jer'. Don't look now, but the Astros are just 4 games under .500 after going on a 19-4 run, and have crept to within 10 and a half games of the top. Miracle Astros, anyone?

Babe Ruth? Ty Cobb? Clint Hartung? NO, it's Ray "Hit Machine" Washburn!
And finally, the Cardinals, rounding back into April form when they went 19-4, stomped on the Padres on Monday, just to remind them that they stink. Nate Colbert's 2-out rbi single in the 9th ruined Washburn's bid for a shutout, but everyone was still rolling with laughter over Johnny Podres giving up 5 runs in the 8th after retiring the first two batters and facing Ray "the free strikeout" Washburn, who managed to single, igniting a seemingly endless rally.  The Redbirds have opened up a 3 and a half game lead again in the east. 

620 games down, 352 to go, 16 games left in July.