Friday, March 31, 2017

Day Of The Miracle "D"s : Saturday, August 16th, 1969


LA 5, MON 2 (10inns)  W-Sutton 14-7 L-Face 2-7

SD 6, NY 4  W-Sisk 5-12 L-Gentry 12-8  S-Reberger(12)  HR-Stahl(5) 

PHI 3, HOU 1  W-Fryman 7-12 L-Womack 4-3  HR-Briggs(9)

ATL 9, STL 2  W-Pappas 9-7 L-Briles 10-11  HR-H.Aaron(36) Pappas(2)  Cepeda 4 rbi.

CIN 10, PIT 7  W-Fisher 11-9 L-Moose 2-6  S-Granger(16)  HR-Rose(20)

SF 3, CHI 2  W-McCormick 11-4 L-Aguirre 4-3  HR-Bonds(19) Mays(9)  Mays 1-out walk-off HR.

All right. Who can tell me why God made "D" pitchers? Yes, Timmy? So that someone can get shelled and raise the batting averages? Yes, that's one reason. Any others? Sally? To fill out rosters with punching bags, for lack of anybody better? That's right! But there's one more reason you might not have thought of. What could that be, do you think? Well, God wants to show, through the occasional success of Miracle "D"s, that even rag-armed, no-talent buffoons can sometimes win games and help their teams! 

The Little Papoose went on the war path.
In Atlanta, answer-to-a-trivia-question Milt Pappas shut down the Cardinals and even hit a home run to down the east division leaders and notch his 9th win of the season. Milt was backed by the slugging bat of Orlando Cepeda, who belted a double and a triple and collected 4 rbi's. Cha Cha seems to really have it in for the team that traded him for the disappointing Joe Torre. "I hate them," he opined, sitting in the lotus position. 

Your basic glass-armed, no-chance junk baller.
The Reds' Fat Jack Fisher is his team's #2 winner, with 11, and showed the Pirates how it's done by getting hammered mercilessly but lasting long enough to win because the Reds hitters were even more merciless against the silly Bucco hurlers. Bob "Moose & Squirrel" Moose made his first start since early in the season, and got his head handed to him big time. Pete Rose finally hit his career high 20th homer after nearly a month of trying, and the Cincinnati fans went home happy. 

"It's raining base runners!"
In Philadelphia, the Astros stroked 10 hits and drew 6 walks, but just couldn't push across more than one run--on a sac fly by Curt "Clank" Blefary--against the absurd Woodie Fryman. The Spacemen were the only west team to lose on Saturday, and it was John Briggs who undid them with a late home run. "I'm going to bed and dream of a clean inning!" quoth winner Woodie. 

(singing) " out of the baaaaall game..."
Tommie Sisk, too lame to even make the dreadful Pittsburgh rotation, was shocked to find himself in the win column against the Mets at Shea. Tommie had already been lifted for a pinch hitter after falling woefully behind, but his teammates put together a crazy barrage of bloops, bleeders and buffoonery to take a lead and ultimately put Mr. Sisk in the win column. Like Fat Jack Fisher on the Reds, Tommie is the Padres' #2 winner, with 5, behind only Joe Niekro. 

If your relievers have passed their expiry date, discard them.
In less scintillating non"D" action, the Expos rallied on a pinch hit rbi single by Jose Herrera in the bottom of the 9th to tie the Dodgers at 2, but ancient wreck Roy Face was wheeled out to the mound and immediately surrendered three runs and took the loss. "I am not the answer," he confided as orderlies took him away to receive his medication. 

"Kill! Kill! Kill!" Why, Ernie. What's gotten into you?
Finally, Bobby Bonds' two doubles and a two-run shot were overshadowed by Willie Mays's one-out walk-off blast off of the superannuated Hank Aguirre. It hasn't been a good campaign by Willie's usual standards, but he has shown signs of life lately. One Giant not showing any signs of life is Jim "Couch me!" Davenport, who was destroyed by a sliding Ernie Banks, who said forget this nice-guy crap and slid into third with spikes flashing, slicing poor Mr. Davenport to ribbons. Banks was called out by third base ump I. C. Poorlee, for the third out of the inning, quashing a Cubs rally. But Ernie satisfied his bloodlust, and that's what matters most to "Mister Cub"! On a side note, the Giants went 1-6 during April in 1-run games, but have gone 22-8 in the close ones since May 1st. Pretty darn good, and it has kept them just a half game behind the hated Tinseltown nine.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Perry Outduels Hands : Friday, August 15th, 1969


LA 2, MON 0  W-Singer 16-8 L-Robertson 9-11  Singer 13 K's.

NY 7, SD 5  W-Koosman 13-9 L-J.Niekro 8-11  HR-Grote(6)GS 

HOU 14, PHI 2  W-LeMaster 13-12 L-J.Johnson 5-17  HR-Blefary(9)  Rader and Morgan 4 rbi each.

STL 5, ATL 1  W-Carlton 15-6 L-Reed 12-7  HR-McCarver(1)  

PIT 9, CIN 8  W-Hartenstein 5-3 L-Granger 6-5  S-Gibbon(10)

SF 1, CHI 0  W-Perry 16-5 L-Hands 15-8  Perry 2-hitter.

"Can't beat aces." --Stephen Stills "Black Queen"

One is the loneliest number, but Hal doesn't care!
Gaylord Perry and Bill Hands hooked up in a classic pitcher's duel at the Stick, and for the third time in a little over a month, it was Hal Lanier knocking in the only run in a 1-0 Giants victory.  In the second inning, McCovey walked, Burda made an out, Davenport hit into a fielder's choice, Dietz singled him to second, and Lanier blooped an rbi knock for all the support Mr. Perry was going to need. It had been nearly a month since Perry got into the win column, although he had only lost one over that span. Lots of no-decisions. As for Mr. Hands, who the Giants brilliantly traded--along with Randy Hundley--to the Cubs a few years ago for Lindy McDaniel and Don Landrum, he's dropped 5 of his last 8 decisions. McDaniel and Landrum were nowhere to be seen, but the Giants remain a half game back of the disgusting Dodgers in the west.

The camera clicked just as he saw the separatists coming for him.
Bill Singer, the worst AXZ money could buy in the first half, has somehow moved into a tie for the league lead in wins, this time stopping the Expos on zero runs with 13 punch outs. Jerry "Where are my kids???" Robertson returned and tossed 3 frames, then was killed by Quebec separatists and will return to the morgue for a few more games.  

"Pirates? I was expecting Indians!"
The Pirates jumped out to a 6-0 lead by demolishing George "Armstrong" Culver and sending him to the showers after just an inning and a third. However, the Reds came storming back, and by the end of the 8th inning, they had forged ahead 8-7. In came Wayne "It's MY world" Granger, who coughed up a pair of runs. Joe Gibbon then retired the Reds in order for a wild 9-8 Bucco victory. By the way, the Pirates announced before the game that they had dealt hurler Jim "Easter" Bunning to the Dodgers in exchange for a broken bicycle bell, two dimes and a marble. Jim went 8-8 for Pittsburgh. Bob Moose, an early season flame-out, will return to the rotation. The Bucs have dismissed 4 pitchers from their staff since opening day.  

Backstop Jerry Grote collected his first rbi's of the month when he clouted a grand slam homer to lead the Mets past the sad-sack Padres. The Pods are now 1-11 in August. "Pray harder!" screamed the owner, a very pious man.

Finally, Tim McCarver slammed a 3-run jack to power his team past the Braves. It was Tim's inaugural blast of the season. "I was waiting for the opportune moment," he opined.
"What's the use? They're going to trade us all to Philadelphia first chance they get anyway!"

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Reds Rise Up And Smite 'Spos : Wednesday & Thursday, August 13th & 14th, 1969


CIN 10, MON 3  W-Merritt 8-13 L-Jaster 7-10  HR-Tolan(10) May(23) Fairly(8)  Tolan 6 rbi.

ATL 8, PHI 2  W-P.Niekro 14-9 L-Wise 9-10  HR-Allen(25) Gonzales(5) Francona(5) Carty(19)

HOU 1, NY 0 (10inns)  W-Dierker 13-10 L-McGraw 3-10  Dierker 2-hitter, Martinez GW single.

STL 6, LA 2  W-Gibson 16-4 L-Moeller 11-7

CHI 4, SD 1 (15inns)  W-Aguirre 4-2 L-Kelley 4-3  S-Abernathy(1)  HR-Kelly(2)

SF 8, PIT 0  W-Marichal 14-9 L-Ellis 7-12  HR-Mays(8) McCovey(23) 


CIN 11, MON 4  W-Maloney 14-8 L-Stoneman 4-12  HR-Stewart(5)GS Laboy(17) 

ATL 3, PHI 2  W-Stone 8-8 L-Jackson 12-9  S-Upshaw(23)  HR-Cepeda(16) Aspromonte(2)ph

"Kid, forget about f*ckin' bunts and sh*t. Hit it out!"
The Reds, tired of floundering around and having sand kicked in their faces, exploded against the Expos, drubbing them 10-3 and 11-4. On Wednesday, Bobby Tolan collected six steaks and the next day Jimmy Stewart, filling in for a day for Pete Rose, cranked a grand slam to power the Ohioans. "Well Harvey, how'd ya like my home run, huh?" opined Mr. Stewart to his invisible six-foot rabbit. As for the Expos, with Jerry Robertson out, they are reduced to an all "D" rotation, with two Dw's, including Bill "One Toke Over The Line" Stoneman, who lasted just an inning and a third. Nevertheless, the 'Spos need only go 2-40 the rest of the way to exceed their actual win total of 52. (I always wondered why the '69 Expos weren't at least better than the Padres. In my replay, they are.)

Marty wants Ernest Borgnine to portray him in his upcoming (?) bio-flick.
Larry Dierker and Tom Seaver hooked up in a scoreless duel at the Astrodome that went into extras before Tug McGraw once again came on to blow the game, but at least he got one guy out this time. That lone out aside, the immortal Marty Martinez stroked a walk-off single that scored Joe Morgan from second base. Tom Seaver, for his part, now realizes that even tossing a shutout isn't good enough for a win. 

An interesting fossil.
The Braves dusted the last-place Phillies twice, taking the season series by a 10-2 count. Tito Francona, giving Orlando Cepeda a breather at first base, launched a round tripper, one of three for the Braves on Wednesday, and a refreshed Cha Cha unloaded one on Thursday. Cecil Upshaw, the victim of two blown saves against the Mets recently, managed to get the save this time, despite allowing a run. Reader William sat in the stands heckling him for it, though. 

Juan Marichal is totally cray-cray of late, winning 8 straight decisions and pitching near-perfect baseball. The Pirates could offer nothing against him as he garnered his 6th shutout of the season. 

He hopes that bitch Kimberly won't come to his sweet sixteen party, even though his mom made him invite her.
Bob Gibson, in possession of only a single victory as late as May 11th, has forged into the league lead in wins with 16! He stopped the Dodgers, though it cost the Redbirds the services of Mike Shannon, who went back to Ireland to drink heavily. Phil "Gag me with a spoon" Gagliano takes over the hot corner chores next game.  

Gomez can't keep his mind on the game.
Finally, Van Kelly (who?) jumped out of his hospital bed, threw away his crutches, and blasted a first inning home run for the Friars off of Fergie Jenkins for a 1-0 San Diego lead. It was all they would get. The Cubs tied it later on with doubles by Randy Hundley and Willie Smith. On and on the game went until lefty Dick Kelley--with a second "e"--came on to cough up 3 runs and take the dismal defeat. 14 innings of offensive futility left Pods skipper Gomez foaming at the mouth. "Do you like it, cara mia?" he inquired. After the 2nd inning, the pipsqueak Padres managed only 2 hits!  The Holy Men dropped 10 of 12 for the season against the baby bears, a one game improvement over actual. !!!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Kill The Ump ! : Tuesday, August 12th, 1969


MON 8, CIN 2  W-Wegener 9-9 L-Nolan 3-5  HR-May(22)ISP Staub(24)

PHI 5, ATL 0  W-Palmer 2-5 L-Jarvis 13-7  HR-Taylor(4) D.Johnson(15)

HOU 8, NY 7  W-Gladding 3-4 L-McGraw 3-9  HR-Agee(15) Wynn(17)  J.Alou walk-off sac fly.

LA 6, STL 2  W-Osteen 12-7 L-Taylor 6-8  HR-Davis(13)  

CHI 6, SD 1  W-Selma 8-12 L-Santorini 4-19  HR-Santo(19) Banks(10) Brown(12)

SF 9, PIT 6  W-Bolin 11-10 L-Veale 13-8  S-Linzy(17)  HR-McCovey(22) Hart(8) Bolin(3) 

As he so often seems to be, umpire "Hell" Enkeller found himself behind the plate and the middle of controversy on Tuesday afternoon. In front of fewer than 5500 frozen fans at Candlestick Park, the Giants jumped all over Bob "Hi, Bob!" Veale for 6 runs in two innings, and held a 7-0 lead after three. But Bob "Bolin For Dollars" Bolin was his usual self. That is to say he coughed up 4 runs to make it 7-4 after four and a half. In the top of the 5th, while the Buccos were plating 3 runs, Richie Hebner got run by Enkeller for questioning a strike call with the sacks jammed. "Oh my, how unfortunate," said the gravedigger Hebner, or something like that. Jerry May grabbed a war club and finished striking out for Hebner. 

He was ready to grab a glove and take the field.
The Pirates made it 7-5 in the 8th, but Roberto Clemente was called out on strikes and went insane, getting thumbed by the beleaguered Mr. Enkeller. "Please donate to my charitable causes," quoth Roberto, as he jumped up and down and threw his helmet into the stands. The Bucs were already banged up coming into the game, and with the exit of Hebner and Clemente, plus numerous pinch hitters having been used, hurler Steve Blass had to come in to patrol right field in the bottom of the 8th. He got to watch Willie McCovey's 2-run shot go into the seats. (Willie has just 22 HR's, way under his expected pace.) Leading 9-5, Frank Linzy toed the slab in the 9th and started things off by sneaking a called third strike past Willie Stargell, who slammed down his bat, got in Enkeller's face and screamed, "We are family!" before being thumbed and giving Enkeller the old family look as he slowly departed the field of battle. Still, the Buccos fought on, and plated a run to make it 9-6 and had the bases loaded with two out and former Giant Matty Alou at the plate. Matty had already collected 3 hits, including a pair of two-baggers, and your Most Serene Goddess was talking to his card, begging him not to tie the game, cos there were no more players to put in. Matty obliged by hitting a fly to center for the final out. I am pretty sure I have never had 3 players on the same team thrown out for arguing balls and strikes, ever. 

He stole those glasses from "Hell" Enkeller.
At Atlanta, the Phils' Lulu Palmer astounded the universe by shutting out the Braves 5-0! The Quakers have now won 4 of 5, making George Myatt look like a freakin' genius. 

At Montreal, Lee May's inside the park homer couldn't save the sinking Reds, but it did give the Rhinelanders 3 of the 5 inside the parkers on the season. The five: Deron Johnson, Alex Johnson, Ted Savage, Dal Maxvill and Lee May. 

The Cubbies turned in a workman-like win over the Pods to move within 2 and a half games of the Cardinals, who have stopped hitting again and fell to the hated Dodgers. 

Kids mob Jesus after his winning sac fly.
Finally, the Mets staged a furious rally to take a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the 8th against Houston, with the storied Mr. McGraw on the mound to try to close it out, but he gave up a run in the 8th, and 3 in the bottom of the 9th to blow the save! Julio Gotay contributed a 2-run pinch double, and Jesus Alou lofted the winning sac fly to undo the Metropolitans, who have been playing some very crazy high-scoring see-saw games lately. Tom Seaver faces Larry Dierker tomorrow, and opines that he is "f*cking sick" of matching up with the other team's ace all the time.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Narrow Margin: Monday, August 11th, 1969


CIN 7, PHI 6  W-Carroll 5-4 L-Farrell 1-7  S-Granger(15)  HR-Callison(16) May(21)

NY 2, HOU 1  W-Gentry 12-7 L-Griffin 8-12  HR-Kranepool(8)  Griffin 12 K's.

LA 2, STL 1  W-Sutton 13-7 L-Briles 10-10  HR-Parker(7)  Sutton 2-hitter.

"Lead, shmead!" chortles Fry-boy.
The preposterous Phillies, having already taken 3 of the first 4 at Crosley over the weekend, handed lefty Woodie Fryman a hefty 6-1 lead going into the bottom of the 4th inning on Monday. Then Fry-boy started lobbing nothing fastballs and hanging curves up there, and pretty soon it was 6-6 and Fryman was gone. The big blows were a bases loaded triple by Bobby Tolan and Lee May's first homer since way back on July 5th. Enter Turk Farrell, who tossed three frames and surrendered just one run, but of course, he takes the loss and not the richly deserving Fryman.  

Curt Blefary stands on second base under the useless artificial light of the Astrodome.
At Houston, as the albino Astros become more and more bizarre the longer they don't see the sun, growing gills and evolving transparent bodies, the Mets nipped the Spacemen 2-1 behind Gary Gentry, despite Tom Griffin's third 12-strikeout performance of the season. A 9th inning homer by Ed Kranepool was the decider. Curt Blefary did make it interesting with a two-out roll of 66, but he settled in at second base where he died when Doug Rader made the final out. 

"Hey Mingo, watch me go deep!"
Finally, the extremely annoying Dodgers manufactured a run in the first inning as Wills walked, stole second when Willie "Call me Joan" Crawford didn't offer at an outside pitch on a hit and run, advanced to third when Crawford grounded out, and scored on a sac fly by Mota. The Cards tied it up later when Brock walked and then scored on a double by Shannon, but the Redbirds would only get one more hit--a single by Torre--the rest of the way, while Wes "Call me Fess" Parker boomed a long solo home run and that was enough to give the Dodgers the league's best record and a one game lead in the west. Wills is now 16-0 on the bases since returning to the Tinseltown nine. Your Impartial Goddess may have to start taking potshots at him--and the rest of the stupid Dodgers--with her elephant gun.
Don't worry, I would never shoot YOU, sweetie. Just Dodgers, k?

His Name Is Tommie, And He Became Aware This Year: Sunday, August 10th, 1969


NY 8, ATL 6  W-Ryan 2-1 L-Upshaw 5-6  S-McGraw(20)  HR-Agee(14)GS Tillman 2(12)  Agee 6 rbi, Tillman 4 rbi.

PHI 7, CIN 1  W-J.Johnson 5-16 L-Culver 8-7  HR-Briggs(8) Ryan(8)GS  Ryan 4 rbi.

MON 8, HOU 3  W-Renko 2-5 L-Wilson 9-11  HR-Herrera(6)

LA 4, CHI 1  W-Singer 15-8 L-Hands 15-7

PIT 10, SD 2  W-Blass 14-5 L-J.Niekro 8-10  HR-Stargell(16)  Stargell 4 rbi.

STL 2, SF 0  W-Carlton 14-6 L-McCormick 10-4

If you want to follow him, you've got to play pinball.
Tommie, can you hear me? Usually not, he usually strikes out, but this time he bashed a grand slam and a crucial two-run single to lead the Mets to victory with 6 ribbies against the now second place Braves. The New York nine had built a 5-0 lead, which they promptly blew on a 3-run shot by Bob "Hi, Bob!" Tillman, giving the Braves a 6-5 lead. But for the second time in three games, Cecil Upshaw upchucked the save and the Mets blew by the teepee dwellers for the win. The season series between these two actual division champs ended 8-4 favor of the Mets, just as it actually did. The victory cost the Mets the services of Don "Cardwell Banker" Cardwell for three weeks, though, as Don sustained painful penalties for early withdrawal.

He hit it over the laundry.
At Crosley Field, the Reds' woes grew exponentially as the lowly Phillies took their third in a row from the Rhinelanders, allowing the Cincy nine just 5 runs total. In an explosion of power from all cast-off Boston Red Sox catchers, Mike Ryan took his cue from Bob Tillman and launched a grand slam. This game was actually scoreless through 6 between mound stalwarts Jerry Johnson (stop laughing!) and George "Jetson" Culver. The Reds broke through with a run in the 7th to take a 1-0 lead into the eighth, but the Quaker nine woke up and plated 7 in the final two frames to rout the Reds. The two teams play again tomorrow, to wrap up their season series.  

Chicks dig light-hitting shortstops. Okay, we don't, but this dizzy witch does!
Hard to believe, now, that the Ass-tros actually won 23 of 27 not very long ago. Since then, they've dropped 7 of 8, and they lost again to expansion Montreal on Sunday, victimized by a homer from former 'Stro Jose Herrera, of all people. The pitching has imploded. However, the Spacemen took cruel delight in seeing old friend John "Call me Justine" Bateman being run over by a riding lawn mower. He's mangled and will miss several games. Bobby "Wine Me Up" Wine is also lost, having gone off on a bender with Faron Young. He is expected to take 5 games to dry out.  

Laugh it up while you can, girls.
In a marquee match-up, Bill Singer outdueled Bill Hands (and yes, in the sun). The win put the Dodgers in first place by half a game over the chagrined Braves and by a game over the Giants. Tinseltown flyhawks "Joan" Crawford, "Bette" Davis and "Jane" Russell all smirked and made catty remarks at the expense of your Impartial Goddess, who hates the El Lay nine more and more as the wins pile up. "Don't make me crash your team plane," I remarked casually, and they gave each other a look and STFU-ed. 

"Who is it?"
Finally, Steve "Carlton Your Doorman" Carlton had two hits and scored both runs as he shut out the Giants 2-zip at Candlestick to salvage the final game of a three game set. The Cards split the season series with SF 6-6. They are now done with SD and SF, and travel to LA next, after which they are done flying out west. They're glad, because their little red wings get so tired. Ha, I've got a million of 'em. *rimshot*
Well....HE thinks I'm funny, so there!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Giants Acquire McMahon, Who McWins: Saturday, August 9th, 1969


NY 5, ATL 1  W-Koosman 12-9 L-Pappas 8-7  HR-Tillman(10)

PHI 4, CIN 2  W-Jackson 12-8 L-Maloney 13-8  HR-Allen(24)

MON 7, HOU 3  W-McGinn 7-3 L-LeMaster 12-12  HR-Bailey(9) Bateman(5) Rader(6)

CHI 3, LA 2 (12inns)  W-Nye 6-7 L-McBean 0-1  HR-Lefebvre(2)

PIT 6, SD 3  W-Hartenstein 4-3 L-Roberts 3-11  S-Dal Canton(8)  HR-Clemente(12) Colbert(9)

SF 2, STL 1 (11inns)  W-McMahon 1-0 L-Giusti 3-4  Davenport GW single.

A super McVeteran!
The Giants, desperate for someone better then Ron Herbel to help out Frank Linzy in the pen, acquired ancient Don McMahon from the Tigers and immediately tossed him into the fray. The gutty ex Brave, Colt .45, Indian, Red Sox, White Sox and Tiger instantly entered the win column as Jim "Couch me!" Davenport dinked a game-winning single in the 11th to down the visiting Cardinals and move the Giants into a virtual tie with the hated Dodgers, half a game back of the Braves, McMahon's original team.  Except for his unfortunate tendency to plug Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes, Don should be a valuable addition.

He absorbed the defeat.
Despite another blast from the suddenly unstoppable Mr. Lefebvre, the Cubs were able to nip the Tinseltown nine and defeat Al McBean(s and weenies) for his first decision all year. Super swing man Rich Nye (The Science Guy) was the beneficiary of the Cubs' good deeds. 

And finally, John "Call me Justine" Bateman unloaded a round-tripper and drove in three for the Expos against his old team at the Astrodome. Current Houston backstop Johnny "Johnny Angel" Edwards gnashed his teeth with envy.
Giant rodent, or sitcom starlet?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tainted Love: Another Marichal No-Hitter! : Friday, August 8th, 1969


ATL 5, NY 0  W-P.Niekro 13-9 L-Seaver 10-10  HR-Carty(18) 

NY 7, ATL 5  W-Taylor 5-3 L-Upshaw 5-5  S-McGraw(19)  HR-Clendenon(19) Cepeda(15)

PHI 4, CIN 2  W-Wise 9-9 L-Merritt 7-13  HR-Taylor(3) Perez(18)

HOU 7, MON 3  W-Dierker 12-10 L-Jaster 7-9  HR-Laboy(16)

LA 7, CHI 5 (10inns)  W-Brewer 3-4 L-Regan 5-5  HR-Williams(12) Santo(18) Banks(9) Hundley(8) Davis(12) Miller(1)ph GW

SD 3, PIT 2 (10inns)  W-Kirby 3-13 L-Gibbon 4-6  HR-Brown(11)  Arcia walk-off single.

SF 2, STL 0  W-Marichal 13-9 L-Gibson 15-4  HR-McCovey(21)  Marichal no-hitter.

As the spirit of yet-unborn Armando Galarraga floated around Candlestick Park hoping the breaks would one day go his way (they wouldn't), Juan Marichal of the Giants tossed his second no hitter of the '69 campaign, 2-0 over the Cardinals. He also no-hit the Astros at the Stick exactly one month ago, to begin his current streak of winning seven straight decisions after starting the season 6-9, mostly due to lack of support.  He mowed down the Redbirds, allowing just a pair of walks to center fielder Curt Flood. (Look, reader Thomas! Cardinal walks!) But there was controversy in the top of the 6th inning, and as usual, umpire "Hell" Enkeller was in the middle of it. Pitcher Bob Gibson hit what appeared to be a base hit down the left field line, but Enkeller waved his arms furiously, signalling that the ball was foul. Gibson expressed numerous pleasantries toward Mr. Enkeller, detailing concern for his vision, his mental stability, and his lineage, but the call stood, and Gibson eventually struck out, giving Enkeller a long look as he strode back to the dugout. Later in the game, Willie Mays made a circus catch to preserve the gem.

(Okay, that's the official version. But it might be that your early morning Goddess rolled for the wrong man, Gibson, when it should have been number 8 hitter Dal Maxvill. It happens, and my rule is that if the inning has been completed, the plays stand, but if I catch it during an inning, as i did here, the at-bats are erased and re-rolled. As soon as Gibson rolled his 25-10 for a single, I looked at the sheet and realized what had happened. And so, Maxvill batted, as he should have, and flied out, Gibson fanned, and Brock was retired, preserving the no-no.) It was at least my 28th no-hitter ever (I didn't keep a record of no-hitters in my first--1979--replay, but know that I had at least one, and there have been 27 more since. The most notable was Whitlow Wyatt of the Brooklyn Dodgers throwing THREE in my 1941 NL replay. He got the Reds twice and the Cardinals for the third; the last two were consecutive starts in September. Anyway, the high-kicking Dominican, Mr. Marichal, has used up all the lucky karma that might have been yours some day, Armando!

The guy in the middle. Yes, really.
In other action, the Dodgers annoyed your Most Serene Goddess by coming back from a 5-2 deficit to beat the Cubs and draw to within a half game of the Braves. If the Dodgers win the pennant in this replay, your Impartial Goddess will burn their team packet in the back yard. They are my least favorite team out of the twelve. The Cubs blasted 4 homers, but Fergie Jenkins couldn't hold the lead. The Tinseltown nine plated single runs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th to tie it. Then little-used reserve utility fuck Johnny Miller stepped up and launched a two-run two-out game-winning pinch hit homer to win it for Los Angeles. Jeepers creepers, Johnny. Really? It was his first of the year. 

"Watch me smack a three-bagger!"
At Atlanta, the Braves had dispatched the Mets 5-0 in the opener, and were leading them by the same score in the nightcap after 6 innings. (In the opener, things got so out of hand that Phil Niekro stole second as Sonny Jackson stole home. Knucksie stood on second base laughing at the inept Metropolitans.) The Mets looked completely lifeless and doomed to be swept. But wait! Disappointing Donn Clendenon smacked a two-run shot, and that led to the New Yorkers scoring 7 runs in the final 3 frames to take the second game 7-5. The last 5 were scored off of Atlanta ace reliever Cecil Upshaw. Wow. The big blow was a pinch triple by...wait for it...Duffy Dyer. Hoo-wee.  

"I won! Wait, no I didn't! Wait, yes I did!"
Finally, the Buccos rolled into San Diego missing Willie Stargell, Al Oliver, Jose Pagan, Carl Taylor and Ron Davis, and with Gene Alley restricted to pinch hitting chores. They did get Richie Hebner back though, and he even dug himself out of his own grave! This left the Corsairs with Jose Martinez playing left and kid bench-warmer Bob Robertson at first. Bob may be good next year, but this year not so much. So anyway, Clay Kirby and Dock Ellis hooked up in a scoreless duel until the bottom of the 8th, when Ollie Brown crushed a 2-run homer that seemd to salt it away for the Pods. But not so fast! The Buccos tied it up in the top of the ninth! Kirby labored on through the 10th in search of his first win since May, and was rewarded when Jose Arcia hit a 1-out game-winning safety to score Tommy Dean (also shown on John Miller's rookie card, above) with the deciding tally. It broke the Friars' six game losing streak. 

Some post-game music for Misters Marichal, Gibson, and Enkeller:

Friday, March 10, 2017

Cards Keep Winning, Pods Keep Losing: Thursday, August 7th, 1969

LA 2, PIT 0  W-Osteen 11-7 L-Bunning 8-8

STL 9, SD 2  W-Washburn 8-12 L-Sisk 4-12  HR-Brock(5)

Jim Lefebvre Continues To Be Ridiculous: Wednesday, August 6th, 1969

"To that Frenchy-sounding weird-eyed're being ridiculous!"
Dodger Stadium often sees the glitterati in the seats, and on Wednesday it was Sarah Silverman who not only attended, but would not take the garbage out.

ATL 9, MON 1  W-Jarvis 13-6 L-Wegener 8-9  HR-Laboy(15)

SF 8, PHI 4  W-Bolin 10-10 L-Palmer 1-5  HR-Mays(7) Taylor(2) Allen(23)

CIN 13, NY 1  W-Fisher 10-9 L-Gentry 11-7  HR-Bench(11)  Rose 5 hits, Perez 4 rbi.

CHI 10, HOU 3  W-Selma 7-12 L-Griffin 8-11  HR-Williams(11) Hundley(7)

LA 4, PIT 3  W-Mikkelsen 8-2 L-Gibbon 4-5  HR-Mazeroski(2) Alley(7)  Lefebvre 2-out walk-off single.

STL 4, SD 1  W-Briles 10-9 L-Santorini 4-18  S-Hoerner(12)     

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Jim Lefebvre Runs Amok! : Tuesday, August 5th, 1969


ATL 5, MON 4  W-R.Reed 12-6 L-Renko 1-5  S-Upshaw(22)  HR-Tillman(9) Laboy(14) Jones(13)

SF 10, PHI 7  W-McCormick 10-3 L-Fryman 6-12  S-Linzy(16)  HR-Allen(22)GS 

CIN 7, NY 6  W-Carroll 4-4 L-McGraw 3-8  HR-Shamsky 2(11) A.Johnson(11) Perez(17)  Shamsky 4 rbi, A.Johnson 2-run walk-off single.

CHI 14, HOU 4  W-Hands 15-6 L-Wilson 9-10  HR-Santo(17) Smith(8)  Santo 4 rbi.

LA 7, PIT 5  W-Singer 14-8 L-Blass 13-5  S-Mikkelsen(14)  HR-Oliver 2(25) Lefebvre(1)GS  Lefebvre 5 rbi, Oliver 4 rbi.

STL 5, SD 4 (10inns) W-Hoerner 8-6 L-Reberger 4-9  Carlton 11 's.

Weird-eyed alien, or fill-in third sacker?
Jim Lefebvre, who has spent the season up to now either rotting on the bench, or being an insta-out, suddenly exploded for a grand slam and 5 rbi to lead the Tinseltown nine past the Pirates 7-5. Jim was only in the line-up because Bill Sudakis got his head stuck in a commercial steam press. Just three seasons ago, in 1966, Lefebvre hit 24 home runs, but since then has been the laughing stock of the National League, pretty much. Tuesday's blast was his very first of the season, and like as not, his last. "Pipsqueak power!" he crowed in the clubhouse after the game, before having to be restrained by two schoolgirls and a midget.     

He can't remember his own name or the day of the week, but he knows enough to pencil in Allen to hit third.
San Francisco was cruising to an easy win over the Phillies when Rich Allen connected for a slam--his third of the year-- to bring the Quakers close. Oh, they lost anyway of course, keeping the Myatt era win-free.  

Art Shamsky continued his hate-fest against his old team by blasting a pair of two-run shots, and the Mets went into the bottom of the ninth with a one run lead and a fresh Tug McGraw on the hill. But Tugger failed to retire a batter at all and the Rhinelanders rallied for the walk off win. 

Finally, the Braves did manage to edge Montreal, but lost both Tony Gonzales and Hank Aaron for a few games when they smashed headlong into each other while trying to catch an interesting butterfly during a lull in play. Felipe Alou, Mike Lum, and Bob Lind rushed onto the field to take their place.  

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Art Shamsky Tortures Old Pals: Monday, August 4th, 1969


SF 3, PHI 2 (10inns)  W-Linzy 6-4 L-Wilson 1-9  S-Bryant(1)

NY 4, CIN 3  W-Koosman 11-9 L-Maloney 13-7  HR-Shamsky(9)

CHI 2, HOU 0  W-Holtzman 10-5 L-LeMaster 12-11

Brought back by a ouija board!
special Sylvia Plath edition
A couple of years ago, the Reds dealt flyhawk Art Shamsky to the lowly Mets in exchange for utility man Robert Johnson, whose contract requires him to be traded every year. Johnson also plays a mean version of "Crossroads Blues," but that has nothing to do with Monday's diamond doings. Upon sight of Crosley Field, Mr. Shamsky puffed up like the Incredible Hulk, smashed a monster tape-measure home run, and drove in 3 of the Mets' 4 tallies to make a winner of Jerry Koosman at the expense of Reds ace Jim Maloney.  The win came at a cost, however, as center fielder and offensive disappointment Tommie Agee tripped on a sprinkler head, suffered a compound fracture of his femur, cracked his skull, broke three ribs and put his eye out; he'll miss the next 3 games. 

"I think I've soiled myself, Rich!"
What we like to call The George Myatt Era commenced at Connie Mack Stadium on Monday with a loss to the Giants. After Bob Skinner had "guided" the team to a distant last place perch in the east, he was stuffed head-first into a waste basket and tossed onto a bus headed out of town. "Bye Bob!" Too bad the Giants spoiled the first game under Myatt, though, as Ron "Call me Anita" Bryant came on for his first save of the season, tumbler of orange juice in hand. 

Go team, go Julio, Go-tay!
And finally, the stunned Spacemen continued their post-.500 slide with their third straight loss, this time to the Cubs and Kenny "They Killed Kenny!" Holtzman. The Astros made three sloppy errors and banged into three double plays, looking more like palsied weaklings than the world beaters they so recently were. The immortal Julio Gotay, subbing for Doug Rader at third, had two of the Houston team's paltry four hits. If "Rooster" Rader had played, they might have had poultry be paltry and...oh, never mind!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Astros Remember They Suck: Sunday, August 3rd, 1969


CHI 3, SD 1  W-Jenkins 13-7 L-Kirby 2-13  HR-Smith(7)

MON 3, HOU 2  W-Jaster 7-8 L-Dierker 11-10  S-Face(13)  Jaster 10 K's.

MON 8, HOU 3  W-Robertson 9-10 L-Billingham 2-10

NY 1, ATL 0  W-Seaver 10-9 L-P.Niekro 12-9  HR-Jones(6)

PHI 6, CIN 3  W-Wise 8-9 L-Merritt 7-12  HR-A.Johnson(10) Allen(21)

SF 5, PIT 4 (11inns)  W-Marichal 12-9 L-Dal Canton 5-5  S-Linzy(15)  HR-Hart(7)

STL 15, LA 0  W-Gibson 15-3 L-Drysdale 2-9  S-Giusti(1)  HR-Torre(9) Javier 2(6)  Javier 4 runs, 4 rbi.

Actor Robert Redford with a hideous space alien at the Astros game.
The Astros, as noted previously on this blog, made a heroic 23-4 run to finally fight and claw and battle their way to .500, whereupon they immediately remembered that they are the Astros, and resumed sucking by dropping both ends of a doubleheader to the Expos. Larry Dierker nursed a 2-0 lead through most of the opener before Ron Fairly undid him with a clutch triple. The nightcap was less dramatic. "We suck," opined Houston first sacker Curt Blefary after the dual loss. "What's too painful to remember," he continued, warbling, "we simply choose to forget." Stoppit, Curt! You'll have everyone in tears. "The way we werrrrrre..." CURT! "Sorry."

"I wonder now. Who am I? Why am I here?"
The Reds got a homer from flyhawk Alex Johnson in a losing cause at Connie Mack Stadium on Sunday, but several other Rhinelanders haven't hit one in donkey's years. The last HR for a selection of players: Perez July 24th, Rose July 19th, May July 5th, Bench June 28th. Meanwhile, Quaker slugger Rich Allen has slowly but steadily moved up into the league leaders with 21 blasts.  This didn't stop Phillie management from shit-canning skipper Bob Skinner and replacing him with George Myatt, also known as George the Amazing Stupefied Geezer. Expect the Phils to charge to the flag under his tutelage.

At Shea Stadium, Tom Seaver did what Tom Seaver has to do to win, and shut out the Braves 1-0. A Cleon Jones homer made the difference. 

He's a cereal killer.
And finally, Julian Javier downed three entire boxes of Wheaties before taking the field and swatting 4 hits, including 2 dingers, scoring 4 runs and driving in 4 as the Redbirds destroyed the Dodgers 15-0.  "We don't need any freaks from la-la land coming here to the Midwest with their coke spoons and bling," offered Dave Giusti, who collected the garbage save as reader William seethed in his box seat.
Ask not for whom the garbage save truck rolls; it rolls for thee.