Early Nervous Time

I would have been just fine living in our old storm cellar out here in Iowa, but the Cards were opening a four-game series in Pittsburgh, and I needed to listen, so when Cal finished his two days of fixing the tractor I came up, made myself a giant roast beef sandwich and got Dad’s old Panasonic radio tuned in to KMOX St. Louis. Some days—matter of fact most of them—I don’t have a clue which of my teams to root for, but the second I hear old Jack Buck things get rather clear in a hurry.

Game of the Day

It’s been amazing how St. Louis has come on, 25-13 since the beginning of May, especially with mostly ineffective starting pitching outside of Forsch. Bob is going today against tough Jerry Reuss, but the Pirates come to play in the 1st when Stennett and Oliver lead with singles, Parker plates one run with a force, Stargell walks, Robinson and Ott single and it’s 3-0 in a jiffy.

McBride is off to Philadelphia, but he wouldn’t have been starting this one against lefty Reuss anyway , and Mr. Heity Cruz has been doing just fine, thank you. With one out in the 3rd, Hernandez singles. With one out later, Cruz, Scott and Reitz weed-whack nearly matching doubles down the line and the game is tied.

The Pittsburgh crowd is nervous; I can hear the tension right through the radio. And it all gets tighter and quieter two innings later, when Cruz triples, Scott singles, and we take a 4-3 lead. You don’t hear too many games where the 5-7 spots in a lineup do all the damage (9.7% of the time, maybe?), but that is exactly what happens here.

Meanwhile Forsch settles down wonderfully, and Reuss falls apart in the 7th. Simmons, Cruz and Scott single with one out. Tekulve and his one earned run allowed alls eason comes on to face Reitz, and little Ken bombs a 3-run homer on the first pitch to basically file the game away. The Bucs make their usual 9th inning noise, but they’re too far back and Forsch has zeroed in for the kill.

I shut off the radio, go out on the front porch and watch some distant thunderheads roll across the plains. St. Louis has moved into first by percentage points, which is pretty amazing…Except it shouldn’t make Cubs and Astros fans too happy.

No. Not happy at all.

Dumb stupid Cardinals, I HATE THEM.

—Lester

STL 003 010 402 – 10 17 0
PIT 300 000 002 – 5 10 0

W-Forsch L-Reuss HR: Reitz GWRBI-Scott

Other Light Action:

DODGERS 9-14-3, at PHILLIES 5-9-1
L.A. takes over third place again by burying Jim Kaat with eight runs in the first three innings. The Penguin knocks out two taters and John survives some lousy Dodger infield defense in the 5th to hand Philly four of their runs.

W-John L-Kaat SV-Sosa HRS: Smith, Cey-2 GWRBI-Smith

ROYALS 4-11-2, at ORIOLES 3-8-0 (10 innings)
Another one-run beauty between these two. Flanagan drops his fifth straight as K.C. pops out of an 0-2 hole and survives an error-filled 9th inning Baltimore comeback. Littell comes on to get Kelly to ground out with the winning runs on base.

W-Leonard L-Flanagan SV-Littell HR: Kelly GWRBI-Wathan

Upcoming AL matchups:

Rangers at Red Sox
White Sox at Yankees
Twins at Orioles
Royals at Indians

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Next week’s posts will appear on Monday and Friday only, as I will be attending the annual ECBA Convention, playing four days of Strat and wiffle ball at a hidden country estate in Maryland with eight other allegedly grown men. More about this at some point….

American League through Monday, June 9

Boston 34 20 .630
Kansas City 31 24 .564 3.5
New York 29 24 .547 4.5
Baltimore 29 25 .537 5
Texas 28 28 .500 7
Minnesota 25 29 .463 9
Chicago 21 32 .396 12.5
Cleveland 20 35 .364 14.5

National League through Monday, June 9

St. Louis 33 23 .589
Pittsburgh 34 24 .586
Los Angeles 30 25 .545 2.5
Philadelphia 29 26 .527 3.5
Cincinnati 28 28 .500 5.5
Houston 26 30 .464 7.5
Montreal 21 32 .396 11
Chicago 21 34 .382 12

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1 Comment

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One response to “Early Nervous Time

  1. If I had a Falstaff beer I’d crack it open right now.

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