Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pinson Walk-Off Hero: Friday, July 25th, 1969


LA 4, CHI 3 (11inns)  W-Mikkelsen 6-2 L-Regan 5-4  HR-Kosco(11) Santo(14)

CIN 2, NY 1  W-Maloney 13-6 L-Koosman 10-8  HR-Kranepool(7)

PIT 5, SD 4  W-Dal Canton 4-4 L-J.Niekro 8-8  S-Gibbon(9)  HR-Colbert(8)

STL 4, SF 3 (10inns)  W-Hoerner 7-6 L-Linzy 5-3  HR-Hiatt(3)  Pinson 1-out GW single.

MON 8, ATL 1  W-Robertson 8-10 L-Reed 10-6  HR-Jones(11) Carty(16) 

PHI 5, HOU 3  W-Jackson 11-7 L-LeMaster 11-10  HR-Hisle(7)

Occasionally useful and doubles as a card table!
With the retirement of Roger Maris following the 1968 season, the Cardinals found themselves in need of a right fielder, and so coughed up Wayne Granger and Bobby Tolan to the Reds in exchange for grizzled veteran Vada Pinson. Way back on April 10th, when Vada smacked a pair of 3-run bombs in a game against Pittsburgh, the deal looked great, but Pinson has done little since, even spending time on the DL with a wrist injury. But on Friday, he felt like a kid again, wearing a hat with a propeller on it, short pants, and a big smile as he smacked a walk-off single in the 10th inning against the visiting Giants. Jack Hiatt, given the nod behind the plate by Giants skipper Clyde King, responded with 3 hits, including a two-out game-tying safety in the top of the ninth. But it was all for nought, as Joel Hoerner interrupted eating his Christmas pie long enough to toss one inning and scavenge the victory, putting the Redbirds once again alone on the top perch in the east. 

"You better stay away from him; he'll rip your lungs out, Jim!"
Having squeaked out a 3-2 win against Tom Seaver on Thursday, the Reds managed to put together a 2-0 advantage over the Mets on Friday. Jim Maloney, hopeful of getting his first whitewash of the season, retired the first two Mets in the 9th, but Ed Kranepool ruined everything with a solo bomb. However, Jim got Rod Gaspar for the third out and the Reds count themselves lucky to have beaten the Mets' one-two punch on consecutive days. 

It's another long drive!
The Pirates were cruising with a 3-1 lead over absurd San Diego, when the silly Gary Ross came on from the Pods' bullpen and promptly coughed up two runs to make it 5-1. Easy win, right? Not the way Joe "Loofa-Face" Gibbon has been serving up taters lately. He gave up a two-run bomb to Nate Colbert with nobody out in the ninth, but then held on, despite a John Sipin triple, to get the save 5-4 for 2 innings of sloppy work. Reader William rushed onto the field to express his disdain for the save rules, before he was removed by security. 

Bill Sudakis, celebrated in song by Miss Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.
Ron Santo got the Bleacher Bums all excited with a 2-run, game-tying blast in the bottom of the 8th at Wrigley, erasing the advantage the Dodgers had established in the 1st inning with a homer by Andy "The Human Bulk Store" Kosco. It was all for nothing, however, as Bill Sudakis ripped an rbi double off of Phil Regan in the 11th, scoring one run and trying for a second, only to see the runner gunned down at the plate. Nevertheless, it was enough, as former Dodger Paul Popovich blew his chance for revenge in the bottom of the 11th, and made the final out instead. "We regret nothing" opined the Dodger brass, lighting up victory cigars. 

Finally, Mack Jones, a native of Atlanta and a long time Brave, punished his former team by smoking one into the stands against them. It was all part of a Canadian onslaught on the southern city as the Expos prevailed, 8-1. The only Braves run came on a 2nd-inning homer by, of all people, yesterday's Fail Champ, Rico Carty. Rico now has 16 homers, but just 39 rbi. He also added a double as Phil Niekro quietly seethed in the dugout, remembering Rico's ineptitude yesterday. Meanwhile, today's starter, Ron Reed, just didn't have it, and is considering a career in the NBA.
He leads the Pistons in earned run average!


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