MINNESOTA HIRES CLUBHOUSE EXORCIST
After dropping both ends of a Sunday doubleheader in ghoulish fashion (see the bowels of this post), Twins owner Calvin Griffith announced the team has acquired the services of Father Augustus Rallycappus, the famous spiritual sports consultant, to cast out an apparent demon possessing the bats, balls, and dice at ancient Metropolitan Stadium. Father Rallycappus was last used during a 1955 season replay to alter an 1-11 start by the Yankees, who went on to post the best record in either league and win the World Series against Brooklyn. “I may not be doing the best job,” admitted Twins skipper Gene Mauch, “but there are forces at work here even beyond my control freakishness.” At 0-7, Minnesota will put the priest to work immediately before they fall too far out of the race, rubbing a rag anointed with holy pine tar on Larry Hisle’s bat.
Games of the Day
PITTSBURGH—These two scary hitting squads, playing in nearly identical concrete and plastic soup bowls, have mixed it up four times for the National League pennant (once two years from now), and I don’t think they like each other. Game One proves it.
Candelaria might’ve thrown a shutout on Opening Day, but these aren’t the noodle-swinging Phils anymore. Geronimo pokes a homer off him to lead the 2nd, and pitcher Billingham doubles. Morgan then cranks one out for a 3-0 lead, and George Foster gets a fastball square in his back. Triggering Buzz Gip’s Trusty Brawl Chart, there goes Foster to the mound to throw punches at the Candy Man! George is heaved out of the game, and the incident gets the Buc bats booming.
With the expected help of a Robinson triple and Oliver double, they take the lead with four runs in the 4th. A Reds sac fly ties it back up but Garner singles in Stargell to chase Billingham and put Pittsburgh back up by one. The Reds are a bunch of hot mamas today, though: Ray Knight, taking over for Banished George, belts a homer in the 7th to tie it up again. Candelaria puts Reds on in almost every inning but keeps escaping jams, and after a Garner walk and Taveras bunt in the 10th off Sarmiento, he singles into right to give himself the win.
CIN 003 010 100 0 – 5 12 0
PIT 000 410 000 1 – 6 13 1
HRS: Geronimo, Morgan, Knight GWRBI-Candelaria
Now I know this is just some wacky tabletop game I’m playing, and the players are made out of thin cardboard, but there’s been some very supernaturally weird things going on since the season began and I’m not just talking about at Twins games. I’m talking about George Foster getting tossed from the first game, then destroying a Terry Forster pitch in the 1st inning of the nightcap for a mammoth home run. And after Robinson homers and Pops hits a grand slam off Soto to but the Bucs up 6-3, Foster hitting another 2-run homer to make it 6-5. And after Bench homers on the next pitch to tie the game and bring in Grant Jackson, Foster hits a THIRD home run in the top of the 7th for the game-winner. They’re alive, I tell you! Alive!!
CIN 200 013 100 – 7 12 0
PIT 015 000 000 – 6 7 1
HRS: Foster-3, Morgan, Bench, Robinson, Stargell GWRBI-Foster
at EXPOS 4-8-2, PHILLIES 3-5-0
To continue the bizarro theme, Steve Carlton loses again, this time because his “offense” can do next to nothing with the useless cadaver of Stan Bahnsen while Dawson, Parrish, and Carter are busy slamming bleacher shots off Lefty. Those Schmidt and Luzinski fellas? So far they’re a combined 6-for-41 (.146) with 16 whiffs. And Mikey’s staring at me again as I write this, so I gotta move on.
W-Bahnsen L-Carlton HRS: Dawson, Parrish, Carter, Maddox GWRBI-Dawson
at ASTROS 4-4-1, CARDS 3-12-1
How about a paranormal line score now? Forsch is mowing Houston down all day until Cabell clubs a 3-run shot in the 8th to put the ‘Stros ahead. A McBride single ties it up, but two walks, a Tyson error and pinch-hit sac fly from Crawford give the home team the weird win.
W-Sambito L-Forsch HR-Cabell, GWRBI-Crawford
CARDS 6-15-0, at ASTROS 4-11-2
In Game Two, it’s the fourth straight thriller between the midwest rivals as the Cards take a 6-1 lead behind Urrea and Dave Rader’s three hits, only to have Houston come back yet again. This time Schultz and Hrabosky hold down the fort to earn the big split.
W-Urrea L-Larson SV-Hrabosky GWRBI-Hernandez
CUBS 2-6-2, at DODGERS 1-6-0
Rick Reuschel is brilliant again, whiffing ten and knocking in both Cub runs to boot with a 7th inning double. L.A.’s a tad sluggish out of the gate.
W-Reuschel L-Hooton GWRBI-Reuschel
at RED SOX 7-12-1, ORIOLES 4-10-0
A wicked miracle in Boston, as Palmer takes a 4-1 lead to the 7th but coughs it up on a Yaz walk, Rice double, wild pitch and Montgomery sac fly. Carbo doubles to lead the Boston 9th and Tippy Martinez comes on to face Miller, who bunts Carbo over to third. Yaz walks, Rice freezes the runners with a grounder, and Montgomery does it again, smashing one into the net for the pre-walkoff walkoff.
W-Jenkins L-Palmer HRS: Garcia, Hobson, Montgomery GWRBI-Montgomery
at YANKEES 6-11-0, INDIANS 0-4-0
Guidry goes to 2-0 by basically putting a pillow over Cleveland’s face, Nettles launches a grand slam off homer-happy Eckersley, and this one’s barely a contest.
W-Guidry L-Eckersley HRS: Nettles, Piniella, Jackson GWRBI-Nettles
WHITE SOX 7-13-1, at TWINS 2-12-1
Okay, time for the gory details. Barrios and Goltz are scoreless through three. Ford doubles in Adams to give Twins a rare lead. Sox immediately go ahead on a triple-double-walk-single combo, then score five times in the next three innings. Typical, the dozen Minnesota hits produce just two runs.
W-Barrios L-Goltz HR-Orta GWRBI-Soderholm
WHITE SOX 6-13-0, at TWINS 3-12-0 (12 innings)
Root canal, defined. Sox take 3-0 lead behind Ken Brett. Twins battle back to score three in 9th, tie game with two-out clutch Borgmann single. Carew leaves winning run on third by grounding out. In the 11th, Twins load bases with two outs, Carew leaves everyone by striking out. Two Sox singles and triple off Tom Johnson in the next inning finish off the Twins yet again. In 56 combined at bats, Bostock and Hisle have yet to drive in a run.
W-Hamilton L-T. Johnson HR: Gamble GWRBI-Lemon
ROYALS 5-9-2, at RANGERS 3-5-0
Porter with a blast, Brett with a double and a blast, and Leonard is very tough again.
W-Leonard L-Blyleven HRS: Porter, Brett GWRBI-Brett
at RANGERS 4-8-0, ROYALS 3-10-2
This time K.C. takes 3-2 lead to 8th on another Brett smash, only to have Texas score the winners on an error and a balk to gain a 4-game split.
W-Moret L-Gura HRS: Porter, Brett, Harrah
NEXT SERIES MATCHUPS:
Expos at Pirates
Phillies at Reds
Cards at Dodgers
Cubs at Astros
Orioles at Red Sox (2 more)
Indians at Yankees (2 more)
White Sox at Royals
Twins at Rangers
American League through Sunday, April 20
National League through Sunday, April 20