Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cross-Divisional Play Ends : Wednesday & Thursday, September 3rd and 4th, 1969

Scores, September 3rd

PIT 5, ATL 1  W-Veale 16-9 L-P.Niekro 14-11  HR-Oliver(27) 

LA 2, NY 1  W-Bunning 11-9 L-Cardwell 6-7

SD 3, PHI 2  W-Reberger 6-11 L-Wise 10-13  HR-Wise(2) Stahl(10)  Murrell 2-out 2-run walk-off double.

MON 6, SF 4  W-Jaster 10-11 L-Marichal 16-11  S-Face(15)  HR-Staub(28)

Thus ends cross-divisional play for the season. The west ends up 20 games over .500 against the east.

Score, September 4th

LA 9, SD 2  W-Singer 20-8 L-Roberts 4-14  HR-Wills 2(6) Kosco(14)  Wills 6 rbi.

"Hi! I'm Maury Wills!"
On Wednesday, the Dodgers squeaked across a pair of runs against the newly-healed Don "Cardwell Banker" Cardwell, but the Mets could do nothing with superannuated Dodger hurler Jim Bunning until the 9th, when they plated one and had runners at the corners with nobody out. However, Jerry Grote hit a stupid grounder to the drawn-in infield and the runner from third was a dead duck at the plate. That's as close as the Mets would get. On Thursday at San Diego, Tinseltown chucker Bill "The Singer Throwing Machine" Singer became the league's first 20-game winner, downing the preposterous Padres 9-2. He was backed by a pair of homers off the unlikely bat of speedster Maury Wills. The blasts were Maury's first since rejoining the Dodgers, and both came right-handed, off Dave Roberts and Billy McCool. And so, the Tinseltown nine takes over first place in the west by one game.

He garnered his 10th win. No one knows how.
The Giants were feeling good about themselves, having jumped out to a 4-1 lead behind their ace, Juan Marichal. But lo and behold, the infant Expos battled back. Twice, Rusty Staub came up with a runner in scoring position and first base open, and twice Giants mastermind Clyde King ordered him walked. This led to Coco Laboy twice singling in a run to make it 4-3. The situation came up a third time later in the game, and a chastened King elected to pitch to Staub and paid the price when Le Grand Orange smacked that pea into outer space to give the 'Spos the lead. And Laboy? He flied out, naturally. It was the second time recently that Larry "Court" Jaster has outdueled the great Marichal, with Staub connecting in both contests.

Ivan Murrell connects for a walk-off two-bagger.
Rick Wise's own 2-run bomb seemed to stand him in good stead against the Pods, but the wheels came off in the bottom of the 9th when Ivan "The Terrible" Murrell swatted a 2-out, 2-run game-winning double to undo Mister Wise. Murrell then declared himself Czar Of All The Russias. Those wacky Pods! 

Braves fans implore their team to hang in there.
Finally, the Buccos completed their sweep of two at Atlanta, to extend their winning streak to 6. The Pirates are in 4th place, but just a half game behind 3rd place New York, and just 2 games in back of 2nd place Chicago, who they visit next. Pittsburgh has seemed to be about to make a move before, and they always fall flat again, so we shall see. Meanwhile, what's become of the Braves? They sat in first place at the end of July and seemed like the most consistently strong team in the west, but they have gone just 13-16 since then. Hank Aaron has cooled from his torrid pace of high summer, and no one else has stepped up to take up the slack except for Orlando Cepeda, who can't do it all by himself. Things seem nearly hopeless now for the Atlanta club, 7 games back with 3 teams ahead of them.

Legal stuff: "The Court Jester", pictured above, is by Tyler Robbins. 

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