Sunday, April 30, 2017

Fists And Feathers Fly At Busch : Thursday, August 28th, 1969


CHI 5, CIN 2  W-Aguirre 6-3 L-Merritt 9-14  S-Regan(15)  HR-Hundley(9)

PIT 6, ATL 5 (10inns)  W-Dal Canton 6-6 L-Upshaw 5-7  HR-Stargell(21)  Sanguillen 2-out walk-off single.

STL 10, HOU 9 (13inns)  W-Torrez 2-0 L-Guinn 0-1  HR-Edwards(6) Torre(11)  Torre 4 rbi, Torrez 1-out walk-off single. STL 22 hits. 

LA 11, MON 3  W-Drysdale 3-9 L-Wegener 9-12  HR-Kosco(13)ph

SF 9, PHI 0  W-Bolin 14-10 L-Palmer 2-6  HR-McCovey(26)

"Take THAT, Vada!"
Nucking futs, that's what the game at St. Louis was on Thursday! Completely coo-coo.  The 'Stros, under the expert guidance of Harry Walker, struck for 2 in each of the first two frames, then added 1 in the third for a cushy 5-0 lead. But Tom Griffin wasn't sharp, and coughed up a 3-run bomb to Joe Torre in the bottom of the third, followed by an rbi double by the usually ice cold Vada Pinson to make it 5-4. Griffin thought, aw shucks, why not let them tie it, and gave up another in the 4th. Exit Mr. Griffin. However, the Astros weren't done punishing Chuck Taylor, and took a 6-5 lead in the 5th. Jim Ray, untouchalbe in the first half, not so much in the second half, gave up the tying run to Saint Looie in the last of the 6th when Julian Javier knocked in Torre, who had doubled. 6-6 the score stayed into the 11th inning, when Joe Morgan doubled in 2 off of seldom-seen rookie chucker Mike Torrez, and Jim Wynn knocked in Morgan for a 9-6 lead. Looking good for Harry & Co., right? Maybe not.

"Note my resemblance to a 1970s movie mobster!"
Wade Blasingame, usually a mop-up man with no decisions all year, had to come in, but all he needed to do was to record more outs than runs given up. Things started well enough, when he fanned Lou Brock. Spare part Phil Gagliano, subbing for the broken and bloodied Mike Shannon who stroked 3 hits and then sickened and died, notched a safety. Curt Flood made the second out. Almost home, Wade! But noOOooo. Joe Torre ripped his third x-base hit of the game, a double to score Gagliano, making it 9-7. Jerry DaVanon ran for the cement-footed Torre. Julian Javier promptly singled him in. 9-8! Vada Pinson singled, and then Dave Ricketts came up with a knock to tie it up at 9. Geez. The intimidating Dal Maxvill was walked by a terrified Blasingame, loading the bases for...Torrez? Yes, because there were no more subs at all in either the Cardinal bullpen or their bench. Blasingame managed to retire his mound opponent to preserve a tie, at least. Little-used geriatric Bill White came on to play first, and Torrez trudged back out to toe the slab once more.

He'll cut a bitch.
The Astros put two on with one out in the top of the 13th, when Torres walked--thus reducing the Houston bench to zero--and Marty Martinez singled. But Joe Morgan hit into an inning ending double play, and then analyzed the bejesus out of it. Still 9-9. Enter lefty Skip Guinn for the Spacemen. Skip has been batting practice all year, with an e.r.a. north of ten. All he cared about, though, was avenging the Chuck Taylor pitch that hit Doug "Rooster" Rader back in the 2nd inning, injuring his wattle and shelving him for the next 3 contests. So, Guinn aimed a blazer straight at Vada Pinson's dome. Boom! Down goes Vada. But then, up popped a bloodied and charging Vada, who landed blows about Skip Guinn's person until the wait...the benches...empty too...uh, the handful of idle starting pitchers ran out onto the field and a melee ensued. When order was restored, Pinson and Guinn were gone--Pinson ultimately suspended for 5 games--and hurler Jim Grant stood perched on first, running for the violent offender Pinson. Starter Jack Billingham came on for the Astros, and immediately surrendered a knock to Dave Ricketts, his 4th single of the game. Dal Maxvill was retired, bringing up Torrez again. Billingham smirked and delivered. Torrez smacked a single to win the game! Crazy, man, crazy. 

They say he killed a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy.
In other action, the Giants, behind a 5-hit shutout by Bob "Bolin For Dollars" Bolin, swept the entire season series from the Phillies, taking the game 9-0 and the series 12-0. However, the win came at a cost for the San Franciscans. Fan favorite Dick Dietz was hit by a back-swing and his head was knocked off. Concerned teammates put the head in a bag, loaded it into an ambulance with the rest of Dietz, and sent him off to the hospital to have it reattached. Dietzy will miss two weeks. Bob "Hi, Bob!" Barton stepped in and went 2 for 3, raising his season average to a nifty .348 in just under 50 ab's, despite a putrid card. "I can't help it if I'm lucky," quoth Barton, as Bob Dylan smiled benignly at his side. 
Violence never solves anything, but we like it anyway.

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