Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cubs Down Dodgers, Get on Winning Track

Off to a stumbling start to the season, the Lovable Losers take their first series in a while, bouncing back from a Game 1 drubbing to win the next two from the pennant-contending Dodgers. The Cubs move to a still-miserable 10-16, while LA drops to 15-11. Ernie "Mr. Cub" Banks pounds two HRs in the series (2, 3), while Alfonso Phillips continues to place among the MLB RBI leaders with 25 on the season.

Game 1: LAD 14, CHIC 7
W: Grant (1-1)
L: Nye (1-4)

Neither LA starter Claude Osteen (GameScore 15) not Cubs hurler Rich Nye (21) have much to offer, but Jim "Mudcat" Grant and three other relievers bail out the Dodgers. LA first-bagger Wes Parker continues to rip for LA,  hitting for the cycle in this game.

Game 2: CHIC 7, LAD 3
W: J. Niekro (3-2)
L: Sutton (1-2)

Wes Parker hits for the cycle and is batting .347.
Don Sutton gives up the long ball to Banks and Ron Santo (4) and Joe Niekro does the rest with a nifty five-hitter under threatening weather conditions on the North Side.

Game 3: CHIC 6, LAD 3
W: Holtzman (2-1)
L: Singer (2-3)
S: Regan (2)

Three more Cubs' taters, including Phillip's fifth, doom Bill Singer and the Dodgers. 22-year-old Kenny Holtzman washes out the Dodger blue, while Phil Regan snuffs out a ninth-inning rally.

Reds Take 3 from Phillies; Reach .500

Game 1: Cin (Culver) vs Phi (Fryman)
George Culver pitched a strong game, allowing only 6 hits on 7 2/3 innings. The Reds were powered by Lee May and Vada Pinson, who each had 2 doubles in the game. The first 4 Reds batters in the game reached base, as Phil's starter Fryman struggled with his control. After yielding 2 runs in the first, Woodie settled down and held the Reds scoreless until May's second double chased him in the fifth. Bill Kelso picked up save 1 for the Reds as they won 3-0.

Game 2: Cin (Maloney) vs Phi (Wise)
The Phil's came out strong early, as they scored 4 in the second inning, getting 4 hits and 2 walks off Reds starter Jim Maloney. Cincinnati got back 2 in the bottom of the second, but trailed 6-2 going into the bottom of the sixth. The wheels came off for the Phillies then, as Cincinnati would score 7 in the inning. Reliever Gary Wagner came in with the Phils clinging to a 6-4 lead with 2 outs, but yielded 4 consecutive singles to Reds batters. Cincinnati went on to win 12-7, with Johnny Bench the offensive star on strength of 4 for 5, homer, and 3 RBI. Phillies starter Rick Wise hit a homer.

Game 3: Cin (Arrigo) vs Phi (Short)
Cincinnati OF Mack Jones hit a 3-run homer in the first as the Reds got to Short early. Phils made a game of it in the eight, as they closed the gap to 6-5 after a rain delay on the strength of a Dick Allen 3-run blast. Reds closer Ted Abernathy wasn't very effective, but pitched just well enough to close out the 6-5 Reds win. Red Lee May continued his torrid hitting, getting 2 hits for the third game in a row.

Game 4: Cin (Pappas) vs Phi (Jackson)
Phillies scored early and often on way to 11-2 victory to avoid the sweep. Starter Jackson scattered 9 hits while holding the Reds to only 1 run to pick up hit first win. Reds starter Milt Pappas was hammered for 6 runs in only 5 innings. When's that trade to the Braves?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Baltimore Gets Mauled by Tigers

Game 1: Detroit 7  Baltimore 1

Willie Horton hits his league leading 7th homer.
WP: Joe Sparma (2-3, 2.79 ERA)
S: John Hiller (1st)
LP: Dave Leonhard (0-3, 9.72 ERA)
MVP: Dick MacAuliffe

This game wasn't much of a contest as the Tigers smashed 5 home runs, to embarrass Baltimore pitching, in a 7-1 win.  Dick MacAuliffe(3), Willie Horton (7), Mickey Stanle(2), Al Kaline(2) and Bill Freehan (4) all hit solo shot homers for Detroit. The only bright spot for Baltimore was Dave Mays 2 for 3 at the plate to up his robust batting average to .114.

Game 2: Detroit 7 Baltimore 6

WP: Dennis Ribrant (2-0, 2.35 ERA)
S: Jon Warden (1st)
LP: Moe Drabowsky (0-2, 6.52 ERA)
MVP: Norm Cash

Game 2 saw the woeful "O's" having the World Champs on the ropes.  Leading 6-5 going into the ninth, Baltimore fans had high hopes of stealing game 2 from Detroit.  And then entered Moe Drabowsky.  A single, hit batter and a double would see the first three Tigers reach base and eventually end up scoring 2 runs to take the game.  Detroit received fine performances from Bill Freehan (.239 avg) going 2 for 3 and game MVP Norm Cash (.269avg) going 2 for 5 with a double.

Game 3: Detroit 4 Baltimore 5, 12 innings

Dave McNally
WP: Pete Richart (1-2, 4.50 ERA)
LP: Dennis Ribrant (2-1, 2.89 ERA)
MVP: Eddie Watt

Baltimore came to brawl in game three, literally, as Dave McNally would plunk Willie Horton square in the shoulders sending Horton to first.  Horton, who had received some chin music by McNally earlier in the 2nd inning, would turn and charge the mound.  A brew ha ha would evolve resulting in only Horton being tossed from the game.  That type of action would ensue for the rest of the game as both teams slugged back and forth, going into extra frames, before it could be decided.  In the bottom of the 12th Dave Johnson was hit by a pitch, and trotted to first without incident.  Johnson would become the eventual winning run saving an opportunity of a Tiger sweep from happening.  Detroit finishes the series at 15-10 and Baltimore at 11-13.

Braves Split a Pair with Bucos

Game 1 at Atlanta,

Hank Aaron smacked a homerun off veteran Jim Bunning. Both teams fought hard to a 3-3 tie until the game was won in the home half of the ninth when hero of the day, Hammerin' Hank drilled a line drive single to left field to plate Marty Martinez.....Braves 4...Pirates 3.

Game 2 at Atlanta

Brave lefty hurler Dick Kelley had a fine performance as he was able to hold the hard swinging Pirates scoreless through 8 innings. Kelley became fatigued and need pen assistance from Claude Raymond. Raymond earned his first save which preserved Kelley's his first win of the season.  The only run scored when Francona grounded a single to left field as Felipe Alou raced around for the game's lone run.  Braves 1...Pirates 0.
Game 3 at Atlanta,

Steve Blass proved to be a tough egg to crack when he went the distance to remain perfect at 3-0 on the season.  Blass allowed three runs in the complete game victory.  Gene Alley crushed a 2-run homerun to lead the Pirates past the Braves.  Pirates 4....Braves 3.

 Game 4 at Atlanta,

Another strong pitching performance by both clubs. Donn Clendenon singled in Maury Wills, who lead off the inning with a bunt single. then swiped second base. Wills said it felt like old times back in Los Angeles when the Dodgers had to scrap and claw for runs.  Bob Moose(1-0) pitched eight innings of no run, four hit ball.  Brave starter, Ron Reed(1-2) got hung with the loss.  Pirates 1...Braves 0.

submitted by Joey Scigliano

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pirates Win Battle of Pennsylvania

May 3, 1968
Blass vs Wise
Pittsburgh 7 Philadelphia 1

Steve Blass gave up a run in the first and scattered 8 hits as he tossed a complete game in beating the Phillies 7-1.   Pittsburgh jumped to an early lead in the first on RBI singles by Manny Mota and Matty Alou.  The Pirates added single runs in the 5th and 6th innings before putting up a 3 spot in the 7th on another Alou single and a Bill Mazoroski single that plated 2 runners.  Meanwhile, Blass continued to pitch well. After allowing the only run he would give up on the day on a SF from Johnny Callison, Blass shut Philadelphia out over the next 8 innings to earn his 2nd victory of the season.

May 4, 1968
Sisk vs Short
Pittsburgh 5 Philadelphia 2

Game two proved to be a hard fought game for both teams as the starting pitchers, Tommie Sisk for the Pirates and Chris Short for the Phillies, locked into a pitching duel for the first 5 innings.  After sitting the potent Pirate bats down in the 6th, Philadelphia finally got to Sisk in the bottom of the inning when Tony Taylor doubled home the first run of the game and Cookie Rojas followed with a double of his own to give the Phils a 2-0 lead.  The lead didn't last long as Short tired in the 7th and gave up a one out single to Manny Mota followed by a rare Bill Mazeroski homerun down the left field line that just cleared the wall to tie the game at 2.  John Boozer came on in the 8th to try to keep the game tied but was unsuccessful as he gave up singles to Gene Alley and Roberto Clemente before Donn Clendenon put the game out of reach with a 3 run dinger.  Elroy Face came on to pitch the last 2 innings and earn his third save of the year.

May 5, 1968
Walker vs Jackson
Philadelphia 3 Pittsburgh 2

The Phillies turned to right hander Larry Jackson to try and salvage the get-away game of the series while Pittsburgh offered up southpaw, Luke Walker, to try and get the sweep.  Both pitchers looked sharp through three innings before the Pirates nicked Jackson for a run in the 4th with small ball.  Speedster Maury Wills lead off the inning with a bunt base hit and then immediately stole 2nd.  One out later, Roberto Clement singled him home and the Pirates were up 1-0.  The score remained like that until the 7th when the Pirates added an insurance run on a Donn Clendenon blast to left center field.  Elroy Face came on in the 8th to try and duplicate a 2 inning save like he had done the previous day but it was not to be.  After getting through the 8th unscathed Face had trouble in the 9th.  Dick Allen lead off the inning with a hard single to center and Bill White did the same one out later.  Allen moved to 3rd on a long out by Callison.  Down to their last out, Tony Gonzalez pinched hit for Mike Ryan and lined a single between third and short to score Allen and make it a 2-1 ballgame.  Gary Sutherland, who had pinched hit in the 8th and remained in the game at shortstop, singled to left field scoring White from second and tying the game at 2-2.  The game moved to the 10th and after Matty Alou reached base on an error he was sacrificed to second and stole 3rd.  With Alou on 3rd and only one out the Pirates had an excellent chance to retake the lead but Jerry May lined out to Sutherland at short and PH Willie Stargell flied to deep left center field for the third out.  LH'er Juan Pizzaro came on in the bottom of the 10th and quickly got the first two batters out before Dick Allen hit a walk off homerun.

Dodgers take 2 of 3 from Cincy

5/3/1968 - Dodger Stadium
Maloney vs Sutton
Dodgers 4, Reds 1

A 3 run shot by 3-Dog, Willie Davis in the bottom of the 3rd gave Don Sutton all the runs he would need.  Sutton (1-1, 0.51) typically doesn't get much in the way of run support.  His opposing number Jim Maloney (0-2, 3.97) fanned 9 in 5 innings, but was a victim of the long ball.  LA added a solo run in the 5th and Cincy finally got on the board in the top of the 9th with their lone run of the game.  Sutton went the distance and allowed just 4 hits, no walks and 1 run, while striking out 3.

Arrigo vs Singer
Reds 5, Dodgers 1 (13 inn)

Cincy victimized LA's 3rd pitcher on the day, Jack Billingham, for 4 runs in the top of the 13th to break a 1-1 tie and eventually win the game.  Tommy Helms doubled off the left field wall to lead off.  After Leo Cardenas grounded to third, pinch hitter Don Pavletich walked to put runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out.  "Charlie Hustle", Pete Rose laced a hard opposite field grounder through the hole to score Helms.  Alex Johnnson, Vada Pinson and Tony Perez followed with RBI knocks of their own to break the game open.  Mel Queen came on board to pitch an uneventful 9th.

Drysdale vs Pappas
Dodgers 3, Reds 1

The Dodgers got 7 superb innings out of Don Drysdale (1 unearned run), who was pitching on short rest.  Jim Brewer posted his 3rd save with 2 scoreless innings of relief.  LA would score all of their runs off of Milt Pappas in the bottom of the first when they scored 3 all with 2 out.  After Jim Fairey struck out and Zollio Versalles grounded out, Willie Davis worked out a 5 pitch walk.  3-Dog then stole second and scored easily when Alex Johnson booted Ron Fairly's seeing eye single.  Tom Haller knocked in the second run with a 2-2 single and Wes Parker followed suit with a full count bleeder that sliced between third and short.  Cincy scored their lone run in the top of the 5th when Whitfield scampered home on a Tommy Helms ground out.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Senators Take 2 from Struggling ChiSox

Will the White Sox win another game? That's what the pessimists are saying, as the struggling team just dropped its 11th game in a row to start the month of May. The White Sox had a veritable run explosion in Game 1 of the series, scoring 6 runs after only scoring 5 in the previous 6 games. Unfortunately normally stalwart hurler Wilbur Wood failed to hold the 1-run lead he inherited in the 7th, and the Senators scored a total of 8 runs to take Game 1. Washington 3B Ken McMullen went 2 for 5 with a pair of dingers to pace the Senators.

In Game 2, Senators' Chuck Bertaina out dueled Sox Tommy John to win a close 2-1 affair. The Senators rode a 4 for 4 performance from RF Bowens to a 2-0 lead through 8. The White Sox got to reliever Darold Knowles in the 8th, as c Duane Josephson tripled and scored on a Buddy Bradford ground out. Dick Bosman came on in relief to yield a single to White Sox 2b Sandy Alomar Sr, who promptly stole 2nd. Bosman got Jerry McNertney to ground out, and reliever Dave Baldwin came on in the 9th to stymie Sox hitters and pick up his first save of the season.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pay your Dues

4/24/78 - Stadie Olympique'
Rasmussen (1-2) vs M.Ray (3-1)
Expos 6, Cardinals 3

Ellis Valentine singled home Andre Dawson in the bottom of the 6th to tie the game at 3-3.  Three consecutive singles by Cromartie, Cash and Dawson gave a shaky Rudy May a 4-3 lead.  Two insurance runs in the 8th, including a Tony Perez solo blast, helped the Expos double up the Cardinals 6-3.

Urrea (0-2) vs Dues (1-0)
Expos 4, Cardinals 0

Notched a save & shutout in series
Montreal pressed reliever Hal Dues into service to start and he rewarded his team with a complete game 4 hit shutout.  Cromartie, Cash and Speier each had 2 hit days.  The top of the Expo lineup each had an RBI.  Dues actually walked (4) more guys than he struck out (2).  Jerry Mumphrey had 3 of the Cards 4 hits.

Denny (1-1) vs Twitchell (0-4)
Cardinals 5, Expos 1

Wayne Twitchell cemented his role as "the weakest link in the rotation" by dropping his 4th straight decision.  St. Louis scratched out 3 runs in the top of the first off of Montreal's beleaguered starter.  The Cards scored on hits, walks, wild pitches and errors.  8 men came to bat in the first.  After Keith Hernandez led off the top of the 3rd with a walk, catcher Ted Simmons hit a 2 run shot to make it 5-0.  Montreal didn't score until the bottom of the 6th when Tony Perez singled home Dave Cash.  That would be the only run that John Denny would allow on the day as the Cards salvaged the series finale.

Singer Sews Shutout

4/30/68 - Dodger Stadium
Singer vs Washburn
Dodgers 1, Cardinals 0

Behind a Bill Singer 4 hitter the Dodgers reversed their fortunes of the previous day to post a 1-0 shutout victory of their own.  This one didn't stay scoreless until the 8th like yesterday's game.  The Dodgers broke the ice in the 3rd when Luis Alcaraz singled home Singer with 2 outs.  Singer came around to score from second having doubled with one out.  On the day he would double twice and have 2 of LA's 5 hits.  Singer was brilliant in the top of the 8th when the Cards led off with back to back Javier-Maxvill singles.  Singer struck out former Dodger Dick Schofield and got the ever so dangerous Lou Brock to line out to Wes Parker at first.  An error by Alcaraz at third on a sinking liner from Curt Flood loaded the bases, but Singer fanned Roger Maris for his 10th strikeout of the day to end the inning and St. Louis's only legitimate threat on the day.

Torrez outduels Sutton

4/29/68 - Dodger Stadium
Torrez vs Sutton
Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0

Classic pitcher's duel between Don Sutton and Mike Torrez that was scoreless until the top of the 9th when Sutton began to tire and the Dodger manager (yours truly) put his faith in his pitcher to get just 1 more out.  Over the course of baseball history managers have been burned with that type of thought process, and today was no different.  After newly inserted third baseman Bob Bailey booted a ball to put runners on 1st and 2nd, banjo hitting Dal Maxvill hit a flare to right to score Mike Shannon for the only run of the game.  LA blew a golden opportunity to score first in the 7th thanks to another questionable strategy by LA's manager.  After Torrez booted a Versalles bunt attempt and compounded his folly by throwing the ball into center, LA had a runner on 2nd with no out.  The Dodgers went to their bench and brought in pitcher Claude Osteen, and excellent bunter, to sacrifice the runner up 90 feet.  Instead Osteen bunted it right in front of the plate.  Tim McCarver pounced on it and threw to Maxvill, who was covering third on the rotation play.  Bailey came in the following inning to replace Alcaraz and the rest is history.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baltimore Gets Yanked at Memorial

Game 1: NY Yanks 5  Baltimore 4
Tom Pheobus (3-0, 1.19 ERA) helps Baltimore
avoid a Yankee sweep.
Roy White belted his 4th homer of the season to give the Yankees an early 2-0 lead in the 2rd.  But by the 3rd inning Baltimore had regained it’s composure to take a slim 3-2 advantage.  P Bruce Howard would then lose all control.  Hitting batters, walking batters and seeing batters cross the plate before being yanked by Oriole Manager Earl Weaver.  3 runs would cross the plate for New York, in the 4th, and that is all they would need edging the Orioles 5-4.  P Stan Bahnsen (1-1, 1.88 ERA) had a stellar performance keeping Baltimore in check most of the game.  Roy White earned game MVP honors going 2-4 with a homer.

Game 2: NY Yanks 5  Baltimore 2
Much of the same as in game 1 as Yankee pitching dominates Oriole hitting.  Mel Stottlemyre (3-1, 2.93 ERA) throws the second complete game in a row for the New York  pitching staff.  Home runs by Bill Robinson (2) and Tom Tresh (2)  provided the Yankee power and New York improves to 9-9.

Game 3: Baltimore 7 NY Yanks 1
Baltimore avoids being swept at home by putting together an offensive display not seen by an Oriole fan base in quite some time.  The O’s ripped out 14 hits enroute to a 7-1 trouncing of the evil Yankees.  Curt Blefary went 4 for 5 and even P Tom Pheobus chipped in going 2 for 2 on the day.  Pheobus improves to 3-0 on the season and boasts a 1.19 ERA.  Not much went right for New York as they drop to 9-10 on the season.  Baltimore is keeping their head above water at 9-9.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Extra Innings Anyone?

Paul "Motormouth" Blair hit a 378 ft. homer to
end game 3 in 11 innings.  The Reds Sox and
Orioles would split the series with all games
going into extra innings.
After playing 44 innings of baseball (in 4 games) the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox decided nothing.  Both teams punched their way through 4 games, all going into extra innings only to split the series 2-2.   Game 1 was a dagger for the Orioles as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first few innings.  Only to see the advantage bleed away to an eventual 7-6 loss in 11 innings.   Game 2 boasted a 12 inning struggle before the Orioles would even the series on a 2 out single by Larry Haney to drive in the run for 3-2 Oriole victory.  Then a grueling double header would see 21 innings of baseball (11 in game one and 10 in game 2) before both teams could part ways with a split.  Game 3 would only see 1 run in the 11 inning marathon; a 378 foot blast by Paul Blair to end it for Baltimore.  Game 4  saw Boston race out to 4-2 early lead before the "O"s would push it to extra frames.  Carl Yaztrezemski (.358 avg) went 3 for 4 and drove in the eventual winning run in the 10th.  The split saw the Orioles end the series with an 8-7 record and the Red Sox remained at .500 with a 7-7 frame.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cubs Snap Losing String, Take 3 of 4

After losing eight straight, the Cubbies finally roar and take three in a row from fellow NL cellar-dwellers Houston. But not before Houston's "Toy Cannon" fires a few rounds.

The Toy Cannon warms up en route to three dingers
Game 1: HOU 7, Cubs 5
W: Dierker (1-1)
L: Hands (0-1)
S: Coombs (1)

Jimmy Wynn, the diminutive Toy Cannon, is making a name with the Astros, striking for three homers (2,3,4,) and five ribbies in the win at Wrigley. The Cubs have plenty of chances to make their own firepower but leave 12 on base and can't quite catch up.

Game 2: Cubs 1, HOU 0
W: Nye (1-2)
L: Giusti (0-1)
S: Regan (1)

A great pitchers' duel, with 'Stros starter Dave Giusti striking out eight and only allowing five Cubs hits, as he had the palmball working. But the Cubs' Adolfo Phillips strikes for a solo homer in the eighth, his third, for the only score, to get out of manager Leo Durocher's doghouse.

Game 3:  Cubs 5, HOU 1 (Game 1 of doubleheader)
W: Niekro (2-2)
L: Wilson (2-2)

An easy complete game win for the knuckling Niekro, aided by a double, triple and two RBIs from the great Ron Santo.

Game 4: Cubs 6, HOU 0 (Game 2 of doubleheader)
W: Holtzman (1-0)
L: Lemaster (0-2)

The Cubs sweep the doubleheader with another masterful start, this one a three-hit, 8.1-inning shutout from Ken Holtzman, as Santo hits another double (4) and drives in two more.  

Senators Capitalize - Take 3 From Cally

Frank Howard: (.288, 4 HRs) has the Senators near
the top at 8-5.

Apr 22 - WAS 7, CAL 6 - Washington wins in extras by scoring 4 in the 10th and 2 in the 12th. 

Apr 23 - WAS 8, CAL 4 - Senators score 3 in the 8th and 9th to pull away. Frank Howard doubles, homers and knocks in 3.

Apr 24 - WAS 3, CAL 0 - George Brunet throws 8 2/3 innings of no hit ball, but the Angels can't score.   Ron Hansen's 10th inning home run is the difference.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cubs Losing Streak Hits Seven Games

The Cubs pitching wilts again like wet ivy in this Wrigley-based series, punctuated by a duel between the Niekro brothers. Atlanta moves to 7-4 while the Cubs drop to 3-9 and have lost seven in a row.

Game 1: ATL 13, Cubs 5
W: P. Niekro (2-1)
L: J. Niekro (1-2)

Little bro' Joe was winning the battle of the Niekros, 5-3, going into the seventh. Then, Mrs. O'Leary's barn door opened to a barrage of Atlanta hits.  It didn't end until the Braves had scalped the Cubs for 18 hits and 13 runs, accented by two home runs by Hammerin' Hank Aaron (4, 5). Even Phil Niekro took the cue and hit his first homer, not off his sibling Joe but off Bill Stoneman in the ninth.

Game 2:  ATL 8, Cubs 4 (10 innings)
W: Britton (1-1)
L: Regan (0-1)

 Fergie Jenkins had 10 Ks but it wasn't enough.
In this game, the Cubs' supposed two best pitchers disappointed. Young 24-year-old ace Fergie Jenkins was masterful with 10 Ks and a shutout through seven. But he was tapped for four in the eighth to tie the game 4-4. Then, normally solid reliever Phil Regan, fresh off the DL to start the season, gave up four more in the 10th, after a two-out throwing error by Glenn Beckert opened the gates. Hank's little bro' Tommie Aaron hit a dramatic three-run shot to ice it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cally Splits With Bronx Bombers

California 1  New York 1
Mickey Mantle hits home in the 10th to win it for the Yanks.

Apr 17 - NYY 3, CAL 1 - Yanks win in 10 innings on Mickey Mantle's 2 run homer.

Apr 18 - CAL 8, NYY 3 - Angels beat up Monbouquette behind home runs by Jimmie Hall and Roger Repoz.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Baltimore Bounces Minnesota

Baltimore 7 Minnesota 1
Brooks Robinson went 3 for 4
with a two doubles and a triple.
It looked bleak early for the struggling O's after Twins Pitcher Dave Boswell smacked a 312 foot homer in the top half of the 3rd.  But the pitcher dinger must have only aroused the sleeping giant as Baltimore struck back with a vengeance in the bottom half of the inning, scoring 5 runs, including a 352 foot home run by Paul Blair.  The solo homer by the Twins was the only run they would muster all game as Tom Phoebus went the distance striking out 9 to garner his first victory of the season.  Brooks Robinson was a house on fire, going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and a triple.  Baltimore improves to 2-2 on the season and will travel to the West Coast to face Oakland in just 2 days.  Minnesota drops to 3-4.

Dodgers struggle to hold on to an easy win

Lost No-Hit bid in 6th

4/16/68 - Dodger Stadium
L.Jackson vs Kekich
Dodgers 6, Phillies 5

Up 5-0 and cruising with a shutout Mike Kekich lost it all in the top of the 8th when the Phils scored 5 runs to tie the game.  Kekich's meltdown helped erase Larry Jackson from the short side of the record books.  The game remained tied at 5-5 after 9 full innings of play and headed to extra innings.  Philly did nothing vs reliever Jim Brewer in the top of the 10th.  In the bottom of the inning Turk Farrell walked Willie Davis, who promptly stole second, then was bunted over to third by pinch hitter Paul Popovich.  Jim Lefebvre lifted a fly ball to left that Richie Allen caught on the run.  Davis easily tagged at third and galloped home with the winning run as Allen's throw sailed wide of the plate.

Casanova walk off homer

4/15/68 - D.C. Stadium
Ellis vs Pascual
Senators 4, Angels 3 (12 inn)

Pinch hit clout saves the day
A RBI double by Hinton was followed up by a comedy of errors, which in a matter of moments erased Washington's 3-0 lead and a stellar mound performance by Camillo Pascual.  Both lethargic offenses failed to score in the final 2 innings, so the game went to extras.  Neither team scored in the 10th or 11th.  California threatened to score in the top of the 12th when Paul Schaal worked out a walk and stole second.  Buck Rodgers and Bobby Knoop popped out in successive AB's to end the inning.  Washington tapped Paul Casanova to pinch hit for Bryan to lead off the bottom of the 12th.  Casanova hit a 2-2 hanging curve 344 feet for a game ending homer.

Dodgers and Bucs split a pair

3 stellar shutout innings in relief
4/14/68 - Dodger Stadium
Bunning vs Osteen
Pirates 1, Dodgers 0

Jim Bunning (6 IP) and Luke Walker (3 IP) combined to shutout the Dodgers in this 1-0 classic pitcher's duel.  Entering the 8th the game was still scoreless when Maury Wills led off the inning vs his former mates and worked out a walk.  Gene Alley bunted him over to second.  A wild pitch moved him 90 feet closer to scoring, which he did on a Willie Stargell sac fly to center.  That would be the only run of the game.

4/15/68 - Dodger Stadium
Veale vs Singer
Dodgers 8, Pirates 5

Both Veale and Singer forgot to get the memo that 1968 was supposed to be the year of the pitcher.  In their respective cases it was more like the "Year of the batting practice pitcher".  Both hurlers combined to allow 11 runs over the first 3 frames.  Veale called it a day with 2 outs in the 4th and Singer survived to finish 6.  With the score 6-5 LA the hometown team added two huge runs to their lead in the bottom of the 6th.  Reliever Tommie Sisk loaded the bases up.  Singer was lifted for a pinch hitter (Len Gabrielson), who hit a bullet to the best fielding second baseman in the league (Mazeroski), who turned a neat 4-6-3 DP.  On the play Ron Fairly scored to make it 7-5.  Willie Davis lined a single to make it 8-5, which is how it finished as the Bucs and Dodgers split a 2 game set.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Orioles and Angels Split Series

Frank Robinson helps Orioles to first win of
the season.
GAME 1:  California's 1B Chuck Hinton broke what was a true pitching dual by hammering a 385 ft homer, in the 8th, giving the Angels a 1 run lead that they would never relinquish.  A cherry on the top run in the ninth capped the game for Cally giving them a 2-0 win.  Jim McGlothin was superb.  Pitching 8 innings, giving up 6 hits and 6 strikeouts.

GAME 2: It looked bleak early for the "O's" as Angel 2B Rick Reichardt stole 2nd and then 3rd, eventually scoring, in the 4th.  But Baltimore responded behind a double from RB Frank Robinson scoring Paul Blair, and eventually scoring himself, in the bottom half of the inning to make it 2-1.  California would tie the game in the top of the 8th, but again it was a quick reply by Baltimore putting up 2 runs of their own and eventually clinching their first win of the season, 4-2.  Frank Robinson went went 3 for 4 with a double but was overlooked for game MVP honors which went surprisingly to P Bruce Howard who went 6 innings striking out 6.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Big D means strike 3

4/13/1968 - Dodger Stadium
Cardwell vs Drysdale
Dodgers 3, Mets 1

"Big D", Don Drysdale scattered 7 hits and fanned 11 Metsies en-route to a 3-1 victory.  Drysdale was also 2 for 3 with the stick.  New York continued to run wild on the bases vs Dodger catcher Tom Haller.  Ken Boswell stole 2 and the Glider stole 1.  Haller did have 2 hits and scored one of LA's 3 tallies.


4/11/1968 - Dodger Stadium
Koosman vs Singer
Mets 4, Dodgers 1

Tommie Agee beat the Dodgers today with his legs.  New York's centerfielder stole 3 bases and scored 2 runs to help rookie Jerry Koosman to a 4-12 victory.  Kooz had a shutout until the 9th when the Dodgers finally scratched across a lone run.  Dodger hurler Bill Singer was the victim on 3 unearned runs thanks to an error by Bob Bailey in the 4th.  Bailey did however post 2 of the Dodgers 5 hits.  Singer fanned 8 in 8 innings.  Kooz fanned 6 in a complete game effort.

Dodgers outlast Phils in 10 innings 1-0

4/10/1968 - Dodger Stadium
Opening Day
Chris Short vs Claude Osteen
Dodgers 1, Phillies 0

Threw 9 2/3 shutout innings for no decision
While most of Tinseltown was preparing for the 40th Academy Awards tonight, the Dodgers of Los Angeles were preparing to open their season against the Phighin' Phils.  LA, coming off a disappointing trip to the second division in 1967 was hoping to rebound to their championship days from just a few years earlier.  More than ever the Dodgers need to rely on their pitching as their offense looks to be even more anemic than the year before.  With 1 out in the bottom of the 2nd Bill White tripled to dead center.  Larry Hisle was given an intentional pass to setup a DP opportunity.  LA would get that DP to end the inning, but not in the conventional way.  Don Money would lift a medium fly ball to right that was grabbed by a hard charging Ron Fairly.  White tagged up and headed home.  Fairly threw one in that catcher Tom Haller scooped up after 3 bounces and narrowly tagged White out to end the inning.  Neither team would pose a substantial threat as the game rambled along at a lightning fast pace.  LA looked to score in the bottom of the 8th when "3 Dog", Willie Davis, led off and worked out a walk and stole second, but Zoillo Versalles failed to execute a sacrifice bunt and Davis was nailed at third.  With neither team scoring in regulation the game headed to extra innings.  By this time most fans were already on the freeway.  You could hear the dulcet tones of Vin Scully on the remaining crowd's transistor radios.  Claude Osteen would get the first 2 outs in the 10th, but the soft tossing lefty was fast running out of steam and the Dodgers had no margin for error.  Phil Regan would come on board to get the final out.  Tom Haller led off the bottom of the 10th with an opposite field single.  Don Drysdale was called on to pinch hit.  Big D put down a perfect bunt and Haller was now standing on 2nd with 1 out.  Davis was given an intentional pass to setup the possible DP.  Versalles quickly fell behind 0-2.  Wagner's next pitch was supposed to be a curve in the dirt.  Instead it was a helicopter that hung in the strike zone which Versalles lined into center to score Haller and sent the remaining fans home happy.

White Sox Top Cleveland in Home Opener

The White Sox scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to eke out a win over the Indians at Comiskey Park. Cleveland drew first blood against White Sox starter Joe Horlen with a run in the 3rd, and it looked for a long time like that would be enough for Indians starter Sonny Siebert. It took until the 5th inning for the White Sox to get their first hit, and the Sox had only managed 4 hits as Siebert took the mound in the 9th nursing the 1-run lead. After sandwiching 2 outs around a Tommy McCraw single, Siebert appeared to tire. He yielded a walk to Pete Ward, a single to pinch hitter Don McNertney, and finally a walk off single to Duane Josephson.

In the first series of what is certain to be a yearlong rivalry for NL supremacy among two teams that despise each other, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs split a short two-gamer to open the 1968 season at Wrigley. The wind was blowing out in the first game. Neither Steve Carlton nor Rich Nye were effective for either team, and six home runs were blasted. Unfortunately, for the Cubs, five were by the Cardinals in an 11-5 route (two from vet Orlando Cepeda). But the Cubs turned it around in Game 2 behind a three-hit, complete game gem from young knuckleballer Joe Niekro, whose only blemish was a two-run homer from the Cards' Roger Maris. The Bearcats were recipients of a strong third inning, with two-run taters hit that inning from both Randy "The Rebel" Hundley and Adolfo Phillips off bludgeoned Cardinals starter Dick Hughes.