Little Me had never been on a plane, and certainly never out of New England, but it was too late: I was going all the way with this history-changing business. Of course I couldn’t exactly tell little Carlton that I was really him, and when he asked why we looked so much the same I just said I was his distant Uncle Buzz, knowing he wouldn’t be called that for another four years or so. He wouldn’t say a word about who left him at Fenway Park, so I took him back to Oklahoma City on another plane, only to find Dr. Sheila just about waiting with state police.
She did finally talk to Lester’s Mom, who wasn’t much help like I figured, but now there was a new project for her. The first second she looked at Little Me she just about melted. Carlton said he was a huge baseball fan and the next thing you knew all Sheila’s maternal stuff was pouring out and she was sitting in the back seat with him, a cold milk shake in his hand as we high-tailed it down to the Astrodome for the game with the Pirates. As usual, fine by me.
Game of the Day
HOUSTON–I can’t tell you how weird it was watching a game with myself, but then again, the Dome kind of makes you feel weird anyway. It’s Reuss vs. Lemongello and after a crappy road trip the Astros have never been so happy to get back home. Stennett pops a solo homer in the 3rd, but Houston comes back pronto on two walks, a Puhl single, Watson double and sac fly from Cliff Johnson, who’s about to go to the Yankees.
As usual, the Bucs battle back right away, getting an Oliver RBI single in the 5th and three more in the 6th to take the lead, with the help of the daily Julio Gonzalez error. Then Bill Robinson drops one in left, and a Cabell sac fly cuts Pittsburgh’s lead to 5-4. Now the Astros are a pathetic 1-8 with the Bucs, losing many heartbreaking games, but I just have a good feeling about this one.
Sheila has a different kind of feeling, because when she isn’t buying Little Me snacks and asking him every question she can think of and jotting his answers in her open program, she seems to be pulling for the Pirates for some reason.
Reuss is still in there for them when the bottom of the 9th starts, and the hardly-ever-used Art Gardner pinch-hits for Gonzalez and raps a single. Jose Cruz hits for McLaughlin and works a walk. In comes Kent Tekulve, with his gangly, bumblebee top and opium dealer glasses, still having given up only two runs all season. But here’s Cedeno lining a single, and Gardner’s scores the tying run! Puhl is next up, the Astrodomers on their feet screaming, and Little Me covering his ears, and Tekulve wriggles one to the plate—
—and it gets past Ed Ott! Cruz runs home with the win, and Houston has beaten the Bucs with a shocking ambush of their own.
DR. GROSSINGER’S REPORT:
Meeting and spending time with young Master Gip has opened a part of me I had not been aware of. I’ve often thought of bearing children some day, or at the least, treating them, so I would be foolish to not collect valuable research from this unusual opportunity. If I can learn who abandoned Mr. Gip and why before we find our way back to the present—and secure a proper upbringing for his 5-year-old self, perhaps stabilizing his later emotional future—then these grueling daily travels will have been well worth it.
Dr. Sheila H. Grossinger
Chief of Psychiatry
Squallpocket State Hospital
PGH 001 013 000 – 5 10 1
HOU 003 001 002 – 6 7 1
W-McLaughlin L-Reuss HR: Stennett
at CARDS 3-9-1, EXPOS 2-6-0
Suffering Don Stanhouse drops yet another close one, as Simmons homers and doubles and boosts St. Louis into another first-place tie.
W-Forsch L-Stanhouse HR: Simmons GWRBI-Simmons
PHILLIES 10-11-1, at CUBS 9-12-1
Phils go to 9-1 vs. the hapless ones, as a 1st inning grand slam by Buckner and 2nd inning three-run job by Biitner of Ron Reed still are not enough. Not when Ray Burris is starting. It takes six innings for Philly to tie up the game, thanks to two very rare Mike Schmidt homers from the leadoff spot, but it’s Bruce Sutter who comes into the tie in the 7th and gives up a single, double, triple and walk.
W-Reed L-Sutter SV-Garber HRS: Schmidt-2, Buckner, Biitner GWRBI-McCarver
at DODGERS 4-7-0, REDS 2-9-0
Back in the friendly Ravine for a twi-night twinbill (remember those?), Tommy John throws another gem, surviving solo shots from the Bomb Brothers, Foster and Bench.
W-John L-Billingham HRS: Foster, Bench, Baker GWRBI-Yeager
REDS 8-15-0, at DODGERS 1-5-0
With their mostly right-handed lineup, the Dodgers are dead meat against Mario Soto, and the Bomb Brothers blast off some more.
W-Soto L-Rhoden HRS: Foster-2 (21 & 22), Bench (24), Cey
at ROYALS 3-8-1, RED SOX 1-8-2
As expected, Boston’s power evaporates as soon as they get off the plane. Cleveland matches Leonard for six innings until Mayberry takes one over the wall with Otis aboard. K.C. is a half game out of first again.
W-Leonard L-Cleveland HR: Mayberry GWRBI-Mayberry
YANKEES 3-10-0, at TWINS 2-6-0
Plenty more untimely hitting from the Yanks, but just enough to eek out Gullett’s eighth win and top Dave Goltz.
W-Gullett L-Goltz HRS: Stanley, Piniella, Ford GWRBI-Piniella
at WHITE SOX 10-17-0, ORIOLES 1-6-0
What the hell? Alan Bannister with four hits and four RBIs? Jack Kucek with nearly four innings of shutout relief? What got into the White Sox? Maybe it’s Flanagan starting for the Birds, now loser of six straight decisions.
W-Knapp L-Flanagan HR: Bannister GWRBI-Bannister
INDIANS 9-21-0, at RANGERS 7-11-2
All Cleveland had to do was leave home. They flambé Doyle Alexander from the get-go, take a 7-1 lead into the 4th before the Ranger bats sort of wake up. The Tribe losing streak ends at nine.
W-Waits L-Alexander SV-Kern HR-Fosse, GWRBI-Thornton
American League through Saturday, June 14
National League through Saturday, June 14