Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jeepers Creepers, It's Tied Again! : Saturday, September 27th, 1969


STL 4, MON 0  W-Carlton 22-7 L-Renko 2-10  S-Torrez(1)

NY 2, PHI 1  -Koosman 17-12 L-Wilson 1-12  HR-Allen(36)

CHI 8, PIT 4  W-Holtzman 13-8 L-Moose 4-9  HR-Santo(23) Pagan(6)

ATL 4, SD 0  W-P.Niekro 17-13 L-Santorini 6-24  

CIN 7, HOU 3  W-Maloney 21-10 L-LeMaster 15-16  S-Granger(19)  HR-Perez(25)

LA 3, SF 2  W-Sutton 20-10 L-McCormick 13-7  S-Brewer(16)  HR-McCovey(31)

5 days and 21 games to go.

Okay, this is officially the best pennant or division race I've ever had with APBA. Tied again with 4 games to go for both teams, they play each other again tomorrow. (My 1986 AL east division saw a tie between the Yankees and Tigers, but they didn't play head to head like this down the stretch.) 

He came up big.
Don Sutton took the mound for Los Angeles against the Giants at Dodger Stadium with the season on the line. Falling two games back with four left, and the Giants going home to face the laughingstock Padres would have been grim business. So what did Sutton do? He pitched no-hit ball for 6 innings as his teammates handed him a 3-0 lead. But with 2 out in the top of the 7th, Willie McCovey broke the spell with a wall-scraper that landed in the first row to make it 3-1.

"They say I'm just one step away from winning the Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes!"
With 2 out in the top of the 8th, Hal Lanier--who is always in the middle of the action, it seems--lofted a fly ball to left field that Andy Kosco lost in the afternoon sun. It dropped and Lanier landed at second base. Clyde King went to his bench with the pitcher's spot due up, and selected Jim Ray Hart to try to drive Lanier home.  Across the diamond, Dodger skipper Walter Alston was interrupted from a thrilling discussion of stool softeners and asked what he wanted to do. "Take a nap?" No, Walter. Stick with Sutton or make the call to the bullpen? Alston popped out of the dugout for the first time in months, and touched his right arm, summoning Pete Mikkelsen. 

He's got this.
Mikkelsen toed the slab, adjusted his glasses, and dealt to Hart, retiring him and preserving the 3-1 lead. Don McMahon, avoiding Alston at all costs due to Walter's constant inquiries about his sweepstakes entry, took the mound in the bottom of the 8th wearing a funny nose and mustache disguise. He set down the Dodgers, setting the stage for the 9th inning. Bobby Bonds, who has swatted many a late-inning extra base hit for San Francisco, did it again, ripping a lead-off double. Ron Hunt stood in and hit a liner to left. Defensive wizard Bill Russell, having replaced Kosco after his gaffe, broke back, then reversed course and came in, but could only watch helplessly as the ball clanked off his mitt for an error, scoring Bonds to make it 3-2. Don "The Little Mason Jar" Mason ran for Hunt and looked on in dismay as Ken Henderson made the first out. Alston, giddy with being needed, went to the bullpen again for portsider Jim Brewer to face Willie McCovey. Brewer retired Willie Mac and pinch hitter Tito Fuentes to seal the game for the Dodgers and knot things up again atop the west. The Giants managed only the homer and the double, for a 2-game total of just 3 hits in the series. Where's the beef?

In other--albeit meaningless--action, Steve Carlton went a ceremonial 5 innings, and little-used spare part Mike Torrez went 4, to shut out the Expos, who are failing in their quest not to lose 100 games. They have 98 setbacks with 3 games remaining. 
The Expos can use any help they can get!

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