I seem to remember passing out last night on the floor of some wicked gross apartment off South Street, but as I get to my feet I hear sloshing water and it seems like we’re in some kind of boathouse. I step out the door.
Try a Harvard rowing club, on the banks of Boston’s Charles River. Lucky for me, because as I was saying, I got business to take care of at Fenway.
“We still got one more at the Vet with the Astros today,” Mikey continues, spitting as he talks, “What the Christ!” I remind him that we seem to be appearing wherever the best game is going to be, and that I have no control over any of this.
The rest of the bunch is grumpy for other reasons, so we find a good breakfast in Kenmore Square to put our brains back in order. Crazy Amy is still whining about her “missing” Giants, but when Mikey threatens to take her shopping cash away, she gives in and agrees to root for the Reds and Indians for now. “My dad was a union guy who coughed himself to death when I was 12, so I guess I can relate to people in Ohio. And that sexy Bill Plummer and Ron Pruitt being the state’s backup catchers sure doesn’t hurt.”
The Rangers and Red Sox are playing their rubber game, and after we buy a few bleacher tickets from a guy on Brookline Avenue, I go looking for Jose Torres, the maintenance guy who found me living under the stands back in June that—
Wait a second. It’s only May, right? Even if I find him it’s still a month away from this abandonment thing happening! I guess I’ll have to come back on a later homestand, if we haven’t driven each other even more crazy by then. Sherman wants to see the Dodgers play badly, and Friendly Fred has plans for a Yankee Stadium visit. The good thing is that we’re just about certain to end up at a good game every day. I mean, when is there not one good baseball game on a given day?
Game of the Day
BOSTON—One thing I do a lot back in the trailer par—I mean, the hospital, is keep up with baseball articles, and this young guy out there for Texas, Bert Blyleven, is getting some kind of big push for the Hall of Fame up in the future present. He’s had nothing but rotten luck so far in ’77, though, with an 0-3 record in spite of a decent 3.60 ERA. He’s got his killer kurve going today, though, as he only gives up a Rice double through four innings.
And Toby Harrah is at it again, bashing two solo homers off Reggie Cleveland to give him ten for the year, tops in the bigs. It’s 4-zip Texans when Carbo gets ahold of one of them curves and drops it right in front of us in the bleachers to slice the lead in half.
But Bert bears down and the Boston offense dies all over again. The crowd around us may as well be at a wake, afraid of dropping another game behind the nuclear Royals. “Can’t beat no Dutchman today, bro,” says Friendly Fred for what must be the fifth time, and I’ve even stopped reacting. What the hell is so damn special about this game?
But I know something’s coming, and sure enough, Evans leads off the Boston 9th with a walk. Lynn does the same thing. Hobson drops down a bunt which Harrah can’t field in time and beats it out for a hit! Blyleven’s out of gas and Len Barker comes on, but Burleson rips a single to make it 4-3. Tommy Helms, who went to second when Scott batted for Doyle before, works another walk and we’re tied!
Roger Moret comes on to face Carbo. The fans give Roger a nice hand, remembering his work for the ’75 pennant winners, but seconds later they want blood. Carbo whiffs. Here’s Fisk, though, needing only a fly ball. Moret throws—
—and the ball squibs off Sundberg’s mitt, rolls behind him! Here comes Hobson with the game-winner and we’ve shut Fred up for the rest of the night!
Bert? Sorry, future Hall of Fame Dutchman, but you’re 0-4.
TEX 012 010 000 – 4 12 0
BOS 000 020 003 – 5 8 1
W-Cleveland L-Blyleven HRS: Harrah-2, Horton, Carbo
at YANKEES 8-12-1, WHITE SOX 5-10-0
Strange one. Figueroa gives up two quick Chicago runs. Barrios retires 12 of the first 13 Yanks, then Nettles doubles, Chambliss singles, Piniella doubles, Randolph singles, Stanley triples, White singles, and Munson doubles. Bye bye Barrios, hello lefty Dave Hamilton to face Reggie. Sayanora baseball. Figueroa gives up three more in the 8th but Sparky Lyle is not allowed anywhere near the mound and Ken Clay does the saving honors.
W-Figueroa L-Barrios SV-Clay HR: Jackson GWRBI-Stanley
TWINS 11-17-1, at ORIOLES 3-7-2
You are not seeing things.
W-Goltz L-Grimsley HR: Wynegar GWRBI-Hisle
ROYALS 7-12-0, at INDIANS 2-10-0
The three-game shellacking finally ends. Today’s extra-base hit count is KC-6, CLE-1. The first-place Royals now head to the Bronx for a big doubleheader before going on to Fenway, where I can’t imagine they’ll stop hitting.
W-Leonard (4-0!) L-Waits HRS: Mayberry, Spikes GWRBI-McRae
at PIRATES 7-10-1, CUBS 5-13-1
The Bucs finish off their sweep with the exciting Deadly Cobra Show. Down 5-1 to Burris in the 5th, Parker doubles home two to put Pittsburgh back in the game. Down 5-4 in the 7th, Parker greets lefty Hernandez with a game-winning 3-run ICBM missle. Next guest at Three Rivers? The Big Bad Dodgers.
W-Rooker L-Burris SV-Gossage HRS: Ott, Parker GWRBI-Parker
DODGERS 9-9-0, at EXPOS 1-8-1
That Reggie Smith guy adds to his legend by collecting a double, triple, walk, homer and single for his five at bats. I know it’s off Wayne Twitchell, but NOBODY can get this guy out. Sutton is one out away from his third shutout when Jose Morales pinch-hits a single.
W-Sutton L-Twitchell HR-R. Smith GWRBI-Baker
at PHILLIES 7-12-1, ASTROS 5-10-1
Another valiant try by Houston, who seems to be in every game, but Lonborg outpitches Niekro and survives two late Joe Ferguson bombs for the CG.
W-Lonborg L-Niekro HRS: Ferguson-2, Hebner GWRBI-Hebner
at REDS 5-6-0, CARDS 4-13-1
A two-run bottom of the 9th uprising gives the Reds a game they have no business winning. Concepcion turns two key DPs in the last two innings to kill St. Louis rallies and make said uprising possible.
W-Sarmiento L-Schultz HRS: Simmons, Reitz GWRBI-Griffey
UPCOMING WEEKEND MATCHUPS
with assorted doubleheaders
Dodgers at Pirates (The Early Showdown)
Astros at Reds
Cubs at Expos
Cards at Phillies
Twins at Red Sox
Royals at Yankees (Jazayerli vs. Sheehan Showdown)
Rangers at Orioles
White Sox at Indians
TEAM RUN DIFFERENTIALS
Kansas City 91-53 (+38)
Chicago 114-92 (+22)
Boston 112-95 (+17)
Texas 90-86 (+4)
Baltimore 57-64 (–7)
New York 72-84 (–12)
Minnesota 85-107 (–22)
Cleveland 77-116 (–39)
Los Angeles 126-66 (+60)*
Pittsburgh 109-90 (+19)
Houston 104-101 (+3)
St. Louis 94-96 (–2)
Philadelphia 105-108 (–3)
Cincinnati 82-89 (–7)
Montreal 69-87 (–18)
Chicago 75-115 (–40)
*Dodgers 0-4 in 1-run games
American League through Saturday, May 3
National League through Saturday, May 3