Mikey’s watching me all the time now. I know it. He’s jealous because he’s home all day every day just like me, but he doesn’t have an all-important mission like replaying a baseball season to keep him busy. I don’t even know what he does to pass the time. I’m going to have to keep my trailer door locked now because I don’t want him barging in here with that onion breath of his and ripping off my 4-D dice…
Game of the Day
NEW YORK—Catfish almost hurled a masterpiece for the Yanks’ home opener yesterday, and even though I’d rather have three wisdom teeth pulled than walk into the House That George Renovated, I gotta go where the grooviest action is.
So it’s Rudy May against Mike Torrez, and this game, a lot like yesterday’s, seems to be played in a 1968 time bubble because the pitching is downright brutal. The Birds tweet out a run in the 4th on a Bumbry walk, Maddox single (filling in for injured Kelly), and a ripped single by Singleton. May is also tough, getting out of a 3rd inning jam when Rivers leads with a double, and another the next inning when Munson triples with one out. The real problem for Baltimore is New York’s infield, which turns five double plays in the game, three started by Willie Randolph.
Now in the late 70s I loved the Yankees about as much as I loved the Manson Family, but I never had a problem with Randolph. Matter of fact I actually dug him. How can you not like a scrappy middle infielder who is always on base and never calls attention to himself? He was the opposite of Reggie-Reggie, a class act and the perfect foreshadowing for Jeter.
Bucky Dent’s another story, of course, and when he-who-must-never-be-named-again pops a homer into the left field seats leading off the 8th to tie the game, I just shake my head. Murray singles and DeCinces walks with two out in the 9th, but Torrez whiffs Lee May and we end up in extras.
With a man aboard and two outs, none other than Wonderful Willie smacks a HR 1-6 chance to deep left. Back goes Bumbry, back, back…I shake the atom bomb over my head, drop the “3” on the table, and this walkoff win goes to the Yanks before a delirious crowd that has no clue what a walkoff is.
BAL 000 100 000 0 – 1 6 0
NYY 000 000 010 2 – 3 10 1
W-Torrez L-May HRS: Dent, Randolph GWRBI-Randolph
INDIANS 8-10-1, at RED SOX 1-8-1
at RED SOX 7-12-0, INDIANS 6-14-1
Meanwhile, in the Eighteenth Circle of Hell, the first double-header of the year happens, and it’s nothing but endless torture for me. Boston takes a 1-0 lead into the 5th of Game One behind Mike Paxton, only to have Butch Hobson personally lose the game for them. Aside from the three whiffs and GIDP in his four plate “appearances”, Butchie throws away Dade’s DP grounder in the 5th for a 2-base error that leads to four Tribe runs and the beginning of cruise control for Don Hood. Still with just one lousy Sox homer in five games and it’s by Bob Montgomery!
W-Hood L-Paxton GWRBI-Norris
Spaceman Lee gets the ball for Game Two to take advantage of the weaker Cleveland lineup vs. lefties, and how does Old Bill do? A Buddy Bell homer in the 1st and TWO by Frank Duffy before three straight singles to open the 7th brings on Stanley. At least Boston finally gets some lumps in against Fitzmorris, including a Yaz 3-run bomb into the bullpen to turn the game around in the 3rd. Burleson, the only player on the team who’s been hitting (.440 in 25 ABs), collects two more and Soup Campbell survives another putrid relief outing, giving up two doubles and a single in the 9th before getting Kuiper on a sharp grounder for the miracle save.
W-Lee L-Fitzmorris SV-Campbell HRS: Bell, Duffy-2, Yaz GWRBI-Burleson
WHITE SOX 18-24-1, TWINS 9-14-1
Okay, enough of this crap. No team with the best Rod Carew can be this bad. Let’s examine the supernatural evidence…The Twins have 50 hits in their first five games, 47 of them singles…20 left on base in their last game in K.C., 17 today…Larry Hisle, with basically the exact same card as red-hot Bill Robinson’s of Pittsburgh, is 1-for-9 in the cleanup spot with men on base, including six whiffs and three GIDPs, and has yet to drive in a run…Ron Schueler, today’s dart board, has given up 12 hits and 10 runs in three and a third innings, including four homers…Team ERA is 8.31. The good news here is that they come back with four in the 7th and make a game out of it before Chicago scores five more in the 8th. The Chisox have certainly been nuclear, but we’ll see how they fare in Kansas City next week.
W-Wood L-Schueler SV-Hamilton
HRS: Lemon-2, Essian-2, Soderholm, Carew GWRBI-Lemon
ROYALS 12-16-1, at RANGERS 6-15-2 (10 innings)
Harrah rides Texas to a 5-3 lead with a homer and double and four knocked in, but the Royals chip away with single runs until McRae ties the game with a two-out 9th inning homer off Mike Marshall. Then K.C. bombs him and Lindblad for six more in the 10th, topped by Brett’s second tater of the game. Earlier highlights are Campaneris gunned down at the plate by Otis to end an inning and two key force outs at home, one by each team, to end big threats.
W-Littell L-Marshall HRS: Brett-2, McRae, Harrah GWRBI-Patek
PHILLIES 3-6-1, at EXPOS 2-13-0
Not a typo, and the weird line score shows how lucky Philly finally got. Brusstar and McGraw pitch five innings of 4-hit shutout relief following a stink job by Kaat, and Schmidt hits a sac fly in the 9th off Stanhouse to get the Phils into the win column.
W-Brusstar L-Stanhouse SV-McGraw HR-Hebner GWRBI-Schmidt
at PIRATES 7-12-0, REDS 6-12-1
Wall-to-wall thrills today, as Cincy comes back from a 6-2 deficit with three in the 8th and a Morgan homer in the 9th off Gossage to tie the game, setting up a pinch-hit Pops moon launch leading off the last of the 9th that’s probably still going.
W-Gossage L-Sarmiento HRS: Griffey, Morgan, Stennett, Stargell GWRBI-Stargell
at ASTROS 7-14-2, CARDS 6-14-2
Gee look, a one-run game! Underwood doesn’t exactly wow the Astros, putting 14 of the 23 guys he faces on base before his plug is pulled. Still, St. Louis battles back against Bannister, score two in the 7th to make it 6-5 but Ken Forsch gets out of a bases loaded jam to send it to the 9th—where Sambito whiffs Roger Freed to get out of a bases loaded jam and end the game. These two teams are separated by one wafer-thin mint.
W-Banister L-Underwood SV-Sambito GWRBI-Cabell
CUBS 9-16-0, at DODGERS 5-10-1
Gross and Mitterwald each with three hits as Rhoden has nothing and the Bucs are back alone in first. Dusty B. with a double and two wallops in a losing cause.
W-Renko L-Rhoden SV-Hernandez HRS: Gross, Garvey, Baker-2 GWRBI-Mitterwald
DR. GROSSINGER’S REPORT:
Mr. Gip’s anxiety level has undoubtedly increased in the last few days. He does a low-decibel “play-by-play” to himself with every fictional game, and it’s apparent the difficult doings of his Boston team are beginning to wear on his faculties. There is also evidence of acute rage with each Minnesota contest. To complicate the issue, the patient from Bed 14 (Spano, Michael, b. 6/13/74, Philadelphia) has been showing undue interest in Mr. Gip’s “replay.” I will e-mail a well-know colleague of mine at Johns Hopkins in the next few days for further advice.
Sheila H. Grossinger
Chief of Psychiatry
Squallpocket State Hospital
American League through Saturday, April 19
National League through Saturday, April 19