The Bitches are Back

UNIONDALE, NY—Me and Friendly Fred just got out of an Elton John concert in that hockey arena where the Islanders play. Now Elton isn’t exactly Fred’s cup of funk, but I’ll tell ya, after yesterday afternoon’s Orioles-Yankees game, he would’ve been ready to see the Partridge Family.

See, we’ve really bonded in the last 48 hours since we split from the Funkyland Express. Just proves that if two people are in the same dire straits, even if one’s a Red Sox fan and the other pulls for the Yankees, they can find a way to get along. I just promise not to talk about David Oritz if he never brings up Bucky Dent and all’s just fine.

We hitched our way into the Apple early Thursday, had a late breakfast at his senile grandma’s in Harlem (who thought Fred had never even left), and made it to the Stadium for the matinee. Grimsley was facing Gullett, and has been the case all year after the Yanks enjoy a big blowout win, they can’t hit the side of a prison for the next three days. A Johnson walk and singles by Rivers and Piniella load their bases in the 2nd and get Fred all stoked, but Munson raps into a 6-2-3 DP, Blair dribbles out and so much for that.

Top of the 5th, this bench-warming nobody named Tom Shopay, who Weaver starts in left because he has some serious power against lefties and nothing else, rips one into the bleachers for a 1-zip Baltimore lead. Now Gullett can be pretty dicey against lefty hitters, and proves it again with meatball #2 to Shopay in the 7th for a 2-0 Baltimore lead.

Cliff Johnson finally does something useful with a bomb into the LF bullpen in the last of the 7th, but Gullett loses it again in the top of the 9th. Singleton walks, Mora walks, and here’s that man Shopay again.

“Put him on, Billy!!” yells Fred, eyes bulging out, popcorn flakes falling off his shirt, “I don’t care if it’s Tom Chump-face Shopay, PUT THE SUCKER ON!!” Billy doesn’t listen, but Sparky Lyle is unavailable anyway, so Gullett pitches to him. And Shopay puts it 450 feet into the upper deck.

It’s another classic Yankee disaster in a never-ending series of them. Nine whiffs for Gullett, only four hits allowed, but three of them are Tom Shopay home runs.

Which is why we took in the Elton John concert tonight on the Yankee off-day. The thing that shocked me, besides Elton’s outfit, was that Fred knew every lyric to “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” It seemed fitting.

BAL 000 010 103 – 5 4 0
NYY 000 000 101 – 2 7 0

W-Grimsley L-Gullett HRS: Shopay-3, C. Johnson, Rivers GWRBI-Shopay

The Lester Line (two days worth)

8/28
at WHITE SOX 8-11-1, TWINS 3-12-1
Minnesota blows a great chance to take over 6th, as they leave a metric ton of people on base, ground into two critical DPs and give Barrios his 7th win in his last 8 decisions. Goltz, as usual, has very little to offer.

at EXPOS 8-10-2, DODGERS 7-10-1 (10 innings)
This gets my vote for worst Dodger loss of the year. Doug Rau is given a 6-0 lead through three innings but can’t keep the damn ball in the park, as a solo Perez shot and 3-run Dawson job cut it to 6-4. Garman takes over and Perez launches another one to tie the game in the 6th. A Speier error puts L.A. back ahead but as soon as the recently-awful Hough comes on, Valentine ties it with a single. The Dodgers just can’t do a thing with Joe Kerrigan while Hough gives up a Perez triple and Cash single past a pulled-in infield for the Expo win.

ASTROS 5-10-1, at PHILLIES 4-12-0
Houston ambushes the Phils on their home turf in epic fashion: a 3-run J. R. RIchard homer off Tug McGraw with one out in the 9th to turn around a 4-2 deficit. He’s a better hitter than anyone left on the Astro bench, and gets his 17th win in the process.

CUBS 3-9-1, at PIRATES 2-6-0
Now that my Cubbies are eliminated (and typing this thing with one hand isn’t too easy), it’s about time for Chicago to play like champs. After blowing yesterday’s game, Sutter throws two scoreless frames for the save and makes Dave Roberts 3-0 in his brief rotation time. Murcer’s clutch single in the 6th off Reuss proves to be the winner.

CARDS 10-21-0, at REDS 6-11-0
Sweet start for Billingham: two innings, nine singles and five runs. It’s a shame because the Reds get plenty of hitting off Rasmussen and had actually taken a 4-2 lead in the 1st. St. Louis leapfrogs the Reds in the standings again.

8/29
DODGERS 7-8-1, at EXPOS 0-7-3
That’s more like it, Hooton’s first shutout of the year and Yeager with his second dinger in as many days. L.A. heads home now to take on the Cubs with the Pirates having to face Philly. Time for their big move.

at WHITE SOX 2-5-1, TWINS 1-6-0 (10 innings)
Another Twinkie nightmare. Stone, Hamilton and LaGrow give them nine walks on the day and not one of them score. Two singles, a walk and a Lemon sac fly in the 10th create the decider.

American League through Friday, August 29

Kansas City 73 58 .557
Texas 72 58 .554 0.5
Boston 68 59 .535 3
New York 68 61 .527 4
Baltimore 67 64 .511 6
Cleveland 58 72 .446 14.5
Minnesota 57 73 .438 15.5
Chicago 56 74 .431 16.5

National League through Friday, August 29

Pittsburgh 76 55 .580
Philadelphia 71 57 .555 3.5
Los Angeles 71 58 .550 4
St. Louis 70 60 .538 5.5
Cincinnati 69 60 .535 6
Houston 59 71 .454 17.5
Montreal 53 77 .408 24.5
Chicago 49 80 .380 27

1 Comment

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One response to “The Bitches are Back

  1. Wow! Shopay, of course, had just one home run in 1977. Against a lefty. He only had 10 plate appearances against lefties all year, and he hit his bomb in April against the Tigers’ Dave Roberts.

    Shopay had just three homers in his career, but he was more of a PR – defensive outfielder type that Weaver kept yo-yoing between Rochester and Baltimore. He hit two HRs in his first cuppa joe with the Yanks in 1967.

    There’s no reason that he couldn’t have hit 3 home runs in a game. Baseball’s like that – lucky rolls of the dice.

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