Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Astros Make it To .500 : Saturday, August 2nd, 1969

Scores, as my replay reaches the exact two-thirds point:

CHI 9, SD 5  W-Abernathy 4-7 L-Sisk 4-11  S-Regan(13)  HR-Santo(16)

HOU 10, MON 3  W-Griffin 8-10 L-Stoneman 4-11  HR-Miller(5)

NY 4, ATL 1  W-McAndrew 7-11 L-Pappas 8-6  HR-Gonzales(4) Shamsky(8)

CIN 12, PHI 8  W-A.Jackson 4-0 L-Raffo 1-3  HR-Stewart(4) Allen(20)  Reds 22 hits.

PIT 11, SF 2  W-Bunning 8-7 L-Sadecki 5-7  HR-Mazersoski(1) Oliver 2(23)  Oliver 5 rbi, Mazeroski 4 rbi.

LA 4, STL 2  W-Moeller 11-6 L-Washburn 7-12  S-Brewer(11)

So weird that a 5th place team is hogging all the headlines, but what the Astros have done in 5 weeks time is truly astounding. At the end of June, they were 31-49, 16.5 games out of first, and 15 games out of 4th. Then they promptly lost their first game of July. But since then they are 23-4, and are now 10 games out of 1st place and 5 games out of 4th. Fifth is still fifth, you may say, but they sure have been fun to play lately. Their most recent victim is expansion Montreal, whom they have drubbed 14-1 and 10-3 at Parc Jarry.  A doubleheader is scheduled for Sunday.

Right in his beer!
The Reds went into Philadelphia and smashed 22 hits against the Phillies, who had taken a 5-0 lead only to see hapless Jerry Johnson be unable to hold it. The Cincinnati crew are still not hitting homers--although reserve Jimmy Stewart did hit one Saturday, landing it right in Old Man Potter's beer cup--but they *are* finally hitting again, and scoring runs. Nonetheless, it is a real mystery why May, Perez, Bench et al are no longer finding the seats. 

"No...not the bicycle spokes! No! Please, AAAAAAAGGGHHHHH!!!"
Veteran second sacker Bill Mazeroski was reinserted into the Pirates line-up the past two games, and responded with 7-for-8, a double, a homer, 4 runs and 5 rbi. Kid keystoner Dave Cash may have to rot on the bench for a while. Jim "Easter" Bunning went the distance against the Giants, then rushed home to chase some neighborhood kids off his lawn. "It's not easy being a geezer," he opined.

He experienced occasional irregularity.
Finally, Phil Regan of the Cubs, who went the entire month of July without garnering a save, picked one up on Saturday against the preposterous Pods. "They were threatening!" he insisted, fighting down a guffaw.  
Friar Man threatens the universe.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Selma Blanks Old Pals: Friday, August 1st, 1969


CHI 5, SD 0  W-Selma 6-12 L-Santorini 4-17

HOU 14, MON 1  W-Wilson 9-9 L-Wegener 8-8  HR-Wynn(16) Morgan(8) Herrera(5)  Wynn 4 runs scored.

ATL 3, NY 1  W-Stone 7-8 L-Gentry 11-6

CIN 7, PHI 2  W-Carroll 3-4 L-Palmer 1-4  HR-D.Johnson(14)

PIT 7, SF 3  W-Gibbon 4-4 L-Herbel 3-2  Sanguillen 4 rbi.

STL 2, LA 1  W-Briles 9-9 L-Sutton 12-7 

Ask him about the crank calls he and Clay Kirby used to make. "Is your refrigerator running? Better go and catch it!" Haw!
Shaking his head and laughing at the wild memories, Dick Selma of the Cubs celebrated his 5-0 whitewash of the Padres by recalling all the crazy hi jinx he and his Pod pals got up to during the two and a half weeks he was a Padre. "It seemed like those times would go on forever!" quoth Dick. Asked if it was particularly sweet to beat San Diego he replied, "Heck yeah! They're wimpy and weak and it's fun to knock the stuffing out of them!" That Dick Selma, what a card! 

Do not mock the Hat O' Four Ribbies.
Manny Sanguillen donned the Hat O' Four Ribbies and led the Buccos to victory against the Giants. Ron "Herbal Essence" Herbel coughed up 4 runs in the 8th to make a winner of ex-Giant Joe Gibbon, who swung from the trees in jubilation. 

"Stop the game. These home runs are not home runs. I cite Rule 509, subsection 12."
The Mets, who were shutout the last two games of July by the Astros, managed only an early unearned run off of George Stone and the Braves, but Gary Gentry almost made it stand up. Unfortunately for him, he gave up 3 in the 8th and the Atlantans took the game against the horrid-hitting New Yorkers. Something happened in this game that has never happened before in any of my leagues. The silly-hot Hank Aaron rolled three home runs, but lost all three of them to reduction against the tough right hander Gentry. So, the Mets waste more stellar pitching, yadda yadda ho hum. Your Impartial Goddess is so done with rooting for them, as they have fallen back to 9 games behind the resurgent Cardinals. 

The Cardinals did what the Cardinals do: score two runs and ride their starting pitching. It was enough against the Dodgers. Meanwhile, the stupid-hot Astros demolished Gary Wegener and the Expos 14-1, adding a half a run to Wegener's already bloated e.r.a. The Spacemen are now just one game under .500. Can nothing stop them? As for Wegener, he now stars in a tv western called "Wegener Train" in which a group of D-w homesteaders move west in covered wagons and give up lots of runs to the Comanches. 
"Circle the infield, boys!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

July 31st, 1969 results and end of July stat board!

Scores for Thursday, July 31st

SF 3, CHI 1  W-McCormick 9-3 L-Hands 14-6  S-Linzy(14)  HR-Mays(6) Banks(8)

ATL 9, PHI 1  W-Jarvis 12-6 L-Fryman 6-11  HR-Tillman(8) Allen(19)

PIT 3, LA 0  W-Blass 13-4 L-Osteen 10-7  HR-Oliver(21)

MON 5, CIN 0  W-Renko 1-4  L-Culver 8-6  Renko 13 K's

The 10th time is the charm!
The Expos' Steve Renko finally got his first major league win on Thursday, and it only took him ten tries! Steve showed a little of why the 'Spos parted with (at the time) NL home run leader Donn Clendenon to get him, as he fanned 13 Reds in a complete game shutout. Clendenon, for his part, has been a bust in New York, hitting just 2 homers for the Mets since being acquired a month and a half ago. As for the Reds, they suffered through an astonishing 10-17 July in which they hit just 11 homers as a team. Unbelievable. 

For July, the best team was, of course, the Astros, at 21-5. The worst was the Padres, who turned in a putrid 6-20 performance. And now, stats!

NY 2.61 (league low 308 runs against.)
CHI 2.81
STL 2.84 (most complete games--52)
ATL 3.06
SF 3.30 (least K's--582)
LA 3.36 (most saves--26)  
PIT 3.51 (most K's--769)
HOU 3.52 (tie for least saves--12)
CIN 3.82 
MON 4.30 (least complete games--21)
PHI 4.42 (tie for least saves--12)
SD 4.97 (most runs against--593)

PIT .269 (most runs scored--510)
CIN .269 (least caught stealing--16)
LA .262
ATL .260 (most HR--102. least steals--27)
STL .253 (most doubles--163. least HR--41)
MON .251
SF .250
CHI .242 (least triples--15) 
HOU .238 (most triples--40. most steals--75. most caught stealing--32.)
PHI .226
NY .224 (least doubles--104)
SD .209 (least runs--314)

FIELDING (avg is innings pitched divided by errors)
STL 15.19 (least errors--65)
CHI 13.12
ATL 12.13 (most DP's turned--135)
CIN 11.62
LA 10.34
NY 10.00
PIT 9.44 (least DP's turned--66)
SF 9.34
MON 9.29
PHI 9.03
SD 8.70
HOU 8.14 (most errors--115)

ERA (103 ip min.)--Perry-sf 1.71, Gibson-stl 1.77, Hands-chi 1.93, Marichal-sf 2.04, P.Niekro-atl 2.04, Dierker-hou 2.08, Seaver-ny 2.15, Koosman-ny 2.22, Carlton-stl 2.24, LeMaster-hou 2.42 

SHO--Dierker-hou 5, Perry-sf 5

WINS--Perry-sf 15-5, Gibson-stl 14-3, Hands-chi 14-6, Blass-pit 13-4, Carlton-stl 13-6, Maloney-cin 13-6, Veale-pit 13-7, Singer-la 13-8

IP--Hands-chi 205.1, Carlton-stl 196.2, Dierker-hou 195

K's--Carlton-stl 162, Jenkins-chi 152, Singer-la 144, Veale-pit 144,  Hands-chi 143, Gibson-stl 136, Perry-sf 136   

Losses--J.Johnson-phi 4-16, Santorini-sd 4-16

CG--Marichal-sf 17, Carlton-stl 16, 5 tied with 15

Saves--Upshaw-atl 21, McGraw-ny 18, Granger-cin 14, Linzy-sf 14, Mikkelsen-la 13

Steals--Morgan-hou 37, Wills-la 34, Brock-stl 33, Bonds-sf 32

Avg (278 ab min.)--Rose-cin .367, Mota-la .364, Davis-la .347, McCovey-sf .342, H.Aaron-atl .333, Oliver-pit .333, Jones-ny .332, Hebner-pit .323, Bench-cin .322, Tolan-cin .312

HR--H.Aaron-atl 35, Staub-mon 23, Oliver-pit 21, May-cin 20, McCovey-sf 20, Allen-phi 19, Rose-cin 19  

RBI--Staub-mon 86, H.Aaron-atl 84, May-cin 82,  McCovey-sf 82, Oliver-pit 81, Santo-chi 70, Torre-stl 68, Menke-hou 67

Runs--Rose-cin 92, Bonds-sf 84, Wynn-hou 84, Brock-stl 81, H.Aaron-atl 76, Oliver-pit 73, Wills-la 72

Doubles--Laboy-mon 29, Kessinger-chi 28, May-cin 26, H.Aaron-atl 25, Rader-hou 25

Triples--Davis-la 8, Rose-cin 8

Errors--Money-phi 27, Morgan-hou 25

Player of The Month: Hank Aaron, Braves
previous winners
April--Pete Rose, Reds
May--Willie McCovey, Giants
June--Hank Aaron, Braves   


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spacemen Conclude 21-5 Month: Wednesday, July 30th, 1969


CHI 4, SF 1  W-Holtzman 9-5 L-Perry 15-5  HR-Williams(10)

HOU 2, NY 0  W-LeMaster 12-10 L-Koosman 10-9  

ATL 3, PHI 1  W-Reed 11-6 L-Jackson 11-8  S-Upshaw(21)  HR-H.Aaron(35) Carty(17)

LA 8, PIT 3  W-Singer 13-8 L-Walker 3-6  HR-Oliver(20)  W.Davis 4 rbi.

STL 9, SD 1  W-Carlton 13-6 L-J.Niekro 8-9  HR-Javier(4) Maxvill(5)ISP  Javier 4 rbi.

CIN 3, MON 2  W-Ramos 5-1 L-Face 2-6  Helms 2-out 2-run walk-off single.

"Fear us!"
The Astros finished off their unbelievable July (they are idle on the 31st) with back-to-back shutout wins at New York behind Dierker and LeMaster. Behold their monthly logs: 9-15, 12-15, 10-19, 21-5. "Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds!" opined 'Stros skipper Harry Walker. I, er, I mean Harry completely revamped the Houston line-up at the start of July and boy has it paid off. Jim Wynn moved from clean-up to lead-off, and disappointing Joe Morgan moved down to 8th from 2nd or 3rd, and they both thrived in their new spots. Also, Jesus Alou rolled away the stone and left the bench to take the 2nd spot in the line-up while the demonstrably radio-active Gary Geiger took a seat. (Alou had been so putrid early that he had gotten benched.) But that doesn't explain the pitching staff shaving almost half a run off the team e.r.a.! I have to say, in all the seasons I have played, I have never seen any team play so poorly for so long and then start beating everyone's brains in. It's truly been amazing to see. 

He has 17 rbi in July, and he doesn't give a shit what you seamheads think about the rbi stat!
At Cincinnati (Please notice that I spelled that correctly! Whee!), The Expos nursed a 2-1 lead into the 9th. After Jim Maloney was pinch hit for, the Reds brought in good luck charm Pedro Ramos in the top of the 9th. He held the fort and in the bottom of the ninth against living dinosaur Roy Face, the Reds were down to their last out when Tony Perez got on. John Bench singled to put runners on the corners, and then he shocked everyone by taking off for second! 'Spos backstop Ron Brand fired down to the keystone sack, but Bench beat the throw! (He is now 8 of 9 in steals. Go, young John!) This turned out to be crucial when Tommy Helms stepped to the plate. Gene Mauch went out to the mound to confer with his superannuated hurler, but they decided to pitch to Helms rather than a certain pinch hitter for Darrel Chaney. Helms ripped a line drive to right center, scoring both runners for the walk-off win! 

Actual picture of your Impartial Goddess with actual Andy Kosco and actual Bill Sudakis in background.
At Pittsburgh, Willie Davis continued his quietly torrid (?!) July with three singles, a double, and 4 rbi to sink the Buccos' little pirate ship. However, your Impartial Goddess's fervent wish for mayhem to befall the Dodgers came true when Andy Kosco and Bill Sudakis collided in pursuit of a foul pop fly. Kosco is lost for a week, Sudakis for two. The foul pop fell untouched. Your Goddess would visit them in the hospital but is afraid she might snicker behind her hand.

Scamper, Dal, scamper!
Finally, Dal Maxvill hit the 4th inside the park homer of the season (joining Deron Johnson (!) Alex Johnson, and Ted Savage) and it was a 3-run affair, to propel the Redbirds to further glory. They, too, are done for July, and posted their best record, 17-11, since April. Are they back? I think they are.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Joe Torre Suddenly Explodes! : Tuesday, July 29th, 1969


SF 1, CHI 0  W-Marichal 11-9 L-Jenkins 12-7  Marichal 2-hitter. 

HOU 4, NY 0  W-Dierker 11-9 L-Seaver 9-9  HR-Dierker(1)  Dierker 1-hitter.

ATL 3, PHI 1 (10inns)  W-P.Niekro 12-8 L-Wise 7-9  HR-H.Aaron(34) Cepeda(14) Callison(15)

LA 3, PIT 2  W-Mikkelsen 7-2 L-Gibbon 3-4  S-Drysdale(1)

STL 5, SD 3  W-Gibson 14-3 L-Kirby 2-12  S-Hoerner(11)  HR-Torre(8)  Torre 4 rbi.

CIN 12, MON 4  W-A.Jackson 3-0 L-Jaster 6-8  S-Granger(14)

Crews rush to extinguish Joe Torre.
Fire engines roared onto the field At Busch Stadium on Tuesday to put out Joe Torre, who has suddenly exploded. Like the rest of the Cardinals, Joe had a nice April. But then in May, he sucked until near the end of the month, did the same thing in June, and again in July. The boo birds were really on him as he struggled to raise his July average to the Mendoza Line. But then, like saviors on horseback, the San Di-awful Padres arrived, and Torre knocked in 9 runs in two games!  Bob Gibson was the beneficiary on Tuesday, as Torre socked a three run blast in the 1st inning. Few gave the Pods a chance after that, and the resurgent Redbirds built a 5-0 lead going into the 9th. But for the second straight day, Jose Arcia and the Friars avoided being shut out, and this time even threatened to steal the win! With two out, pinch hitter Walt Hriniak singled. Ivan Murrell singled as well. Then Arcia knocked a triple to score them both. Ollie Brown drew a walk and suddenly the tying run was at the plate in the form of Nate Colbert, who had reached base 4 times already. Nate The Great bounced one to Mike Shannon at third, who swatted at it, kicked it, and finally broke down in tears as Arcia scored on the miscue to make it 5-3 with two on and Ed Spiezio due up. Red Schoendienst removed Gibson in favor of Joel Hoerner and is expected to recover from the beating the affable Gibby delivered within a week or two. Meanwhile, Hoerner fanned the silly Mr. Spiezio to end the game as the Cardinals gained on every team in their division.

But can he drive the team bus?
Larry Dierker does it all!  At Shea Stadium, he one-hit the Mets, allowing only a 6th inning single by Ken Boswell. It looked like Jimmy Wynn had a chance to grab that dying quail, but he couldn't quite make the play, and that ended up being the only safety for the New Yorkers, whose bats have gone slent again. But wait! There's more! Dierker added a two-run homer just for fun! Then he placed mints on everyone's pillows at the team hotel, and piloted a tug boat in New York harbor. Is there anything Larry can't do? By the way, the Spacemen are now on a 20-4 run, matching the Cardinals incredible season-opening tear. Who saw this coming when they were 31-50 and going no place?

More than a glove man!
Juan Marichal and the aforementioned Mister Dierker have been in some weird sort of lockstep for some time now; when one wins, so does the other. Marichal stopped the Cubs on just a pair of singles--by Kessinger and Hundley--and Hundley was so overcome with emotion that he will miss the next few games. Hal Lanier singled in Willie McCovey with the only tally.

"Hit THIS, you fuckers!"
The Dodgers are reminding me more and more of my 1979 World Champion Twins. They don't have a masher, but they have a whole group of guys who crank out singles, doubles, and triples with regularity. They don't often run up the score, but they always seem to score a few. They are the kings of the low-scoring one-run win. In other words, they are really becoming annoying again. Add to that, the entire team is in the full bloom of glowing health, and so your Impartial Goddess wishes accident and mayhem on all of them, as she smiles serenely. This time, they fell behind Pittsburgh 2-0, and lost Don Sutton in the second inning due to a blister (he won't miss any time). Alan Foster and Al McBean held the fort while the Dodgers chipped away. Then it was time for Jim Brewer, but *he* crumpled in a heap after being struck with a line drive. Like Sutton, he will "BRB" as they say in computer-land, but for this game that left only Pete Mikkelsen, who put down his golf clubs and rushed to the mound. With the score tied and a runner on base in the top of the 9th, and nobody left in the Dodger bullpen, Dodgers skipper Walter Alston opted to hit for Mikkelsen anyway, and of course, they got the run across for a 3-2 lead. But who to bring in to preserve the 1-run margin in the bottom of the 9th? Why, Don Drysdale, of course! It was his first relief appearance since 1965. It all came back to him as he retired the side in order for his first save in 4 years. Wait til they hear about it at the bank! Jane will faint dead away!
Jim Brewer leaves the mound under his own steam.