Thursday, June 22, 2017

Giants Stage Last-Gasp Rally, Take Over First : Sunday & Monday, September 28th & 29th, 1969

Scores, Sept. 28th

MON 3, STL 2  W-Jaster 11-14 L-Briles 13-14  S-Face(20)  HR-Browne(1) Laboy(20)

NY 4, PHI 1  W-Gentry 19-9 L-Wise 12-16  S-McGraw(25)  HR-Agee(18)

CHI 2, PIT 0  W-Hands 20-12 L-Blass 15-10  HR-Banks(16)

ATL 2, SD 0  W-Stone 13-10 L-Kirby 4-18

HOU 5, CIN 4  W-Wilson 11-15 L-Granger 12-6  S-Ray(2)  HR-May(33) Perez(26)

SF 4, LA 3  W-Perry 22-8 L-Mikkelsen 9-4  S-Linzy(20)  HR-McCovey(32) Wills(7) Sudakis(13)

No games Sept. 29th.  3 days and 15 games left. 

Dodger Stadium was filled with the glitterati!
Holy moley, could this division race be any better? The Giants and Dodgers each won one of the first two games at Dodger Stadium, and met on Sunday tied for the lead in the west. Giants skipper Clyde King, seeing that kid Ken Henderson seemed overmatched in the three spot, moved Willie McCovey there, with Jim Ray Hart batting clean-up. In an effort to goose the sluggish offense, Hart played third instead of Jim "Couch me!" Davenport. McCovey seemed to like his new spot, because he hit a home run off of Dodger lefty Claude Osteen in the top of the first to give the Giants a quick 1-0 lead. Gaylord Perry toed the slab for the Giants, and ran into trouble in the 2nd. Old Giant Tom Haller doubled and was still aboard with two out when Bill Sudakis stepped up. Sudakis has been on a late-season home run tear, but Claude Osteen, on deck, is a pretty good hitting pitcher. Clyde King elected to pitch to Sudakis, who launched his 7th homer since August 30th, giving the Tinseltown nine a 2-1 lead. 

Exactly how many Wheaties did he have???
In the top of the 3rd, the Giants came right back. Bonds walked and swiped second, stayed there as Ron Hunt made an out, and looked on as Willie McCovey was intentionally walked, bringing up Hart. Osteen delivered, and Hart slashed a double, scoring Bonds to tie it up at 2. BUT. Back came the Dodgers in the bottom of the inning, when red-hot Maury Wills poled a homer leading off, to put the Dodgers up again, 3-2. It was Wills' 3rd homer as a Dodger this year, and his career-high 7th on the season including his time with the Expos. (Maury hit the Expos' first-ever home run, way back in April.)

We don't need another hero. Oh wait, yes we do!
After that, the two starting hurlers settled down, Osteen shutting down the Giants on 3 hits through the 8th, and Perry doing the same to the Dodgers on only 2 hits. Osteen went to the hill in the 9th with that 3-2 lead, and quickly disposed of pinch hitters Tito Fuentes and Bobby Etheridge. Two outs, nobody on. Out ambled Walt Alston, signalling for the right-hander Pete Mikkelsen to face Bobby Bonds. However, in a series that has seen two sensational lead-off men square off, it was Bonds keeping the San Fran hopes alive by drawing a two-out walk. He then stole second, making him 2 out of 3 in steal attempts on the day, and putting him in scoring position for Ron Hunt. Clyde King scanned his bench, but stuck with his second sacker. Hunt rewarded him by slapping an rbi single to tie the game at 3! Up stepped McCovey. Jim Brewer was ready in the Dodger bullpen, but with the pitcher due up third in the bottom of the 9th, Alston stayed with Mikkelsen. Or maybe he just dozed off in front of Hollywood Squares. In any event, Mikkelsen pitched to McCovey, and Willie Mac popped one off the wall in right center, scoring Hunt with the lead run! Jim Ray Hart was retired, but the damage was done. 4-3 San Francisco. 

Can't we all just get along?
The good news for the Giants was that they had the lead. The bad news was, Perry was out of the game, having been pinch hit for by Etheridge. Enter Frank Linzy, horrible in April, great all summer long, and not so hot in September. Whattya know, he retired Haller, pinch hitter Andy Kosco, and the crazy-hot Sudakis in order for the win.  Now the Giants are up by one with 3 games left. The Dodgers stay home to host 3 with the Astros, while the Giants host sad-sack San Diego for 3. No team has looked more ready for the season to end than the Pods. All S.F. has to do is sweep the series and they win. For the Dodgers to catch up, they need some help from the Friars, while taking care of Houston themselves. We'll see! If the season ends in a tie, there will be a one game playoff on Friday at Candlestick Park, by virtue of the Giants winning the season series 10-8. help the Dodgers.


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