Nightmare on Landsdowne Street

BOSTON—Friendly Fred was anything but. Not after the Bosox had ambushed his Yanks 8-4 in the first game yesterday. Not when his Yanks were 0-3 at Fenway and people on every corner outside the park were selling “NETTLES SUCKS” and CRY ME A RIVERS” and “CERTIFIED YANKEE HATER” T-shirts by the gross.

“Ain’t no way! I don’t care a good goddamn if Guidry’s on the mound. Hell, I don’t care if Whitey Red Ruffing Gomez Ford Downing is throwin,’ you Boston bitches got our number so far and I’m no fool. I got better scenes to make than sittin’ with you and all the white cats in those seats built for midgets watchin’ our butts get whacked by Rice and Fisk and Yasmeltski or whatever his name is. HELL no! I’m gonna find me a righteous record store somewhere to occupy for at least an hour, tnen mosey back up here for a cold, tasty one at the Cask ‘n Flagon till the game’s done, which is where you can find my relaxed, not-caring-one-bit ass.” he explained.

Game of the Day

Fred must be nuts or something, because the Yanks just swept K.C. on their Turf, have Guidry going after his first great outing in a while, and I don’t care who you’re rooting for, how can you pass up a game on a sunny Sunday with Reggie and Mickey and Graig and Thurman doing battle with Lynn and Rice and Pudge and Yaz and Dewey and Boomer on the same field?

Too bad Fred’s hiding out in Strawberries browsing funky vinyl because he misses His Man Mickey hooking Don Aase’s first pitch of the game around the Pesky Pole. Stanley walks, Munson singles, Reggie gets a run-scoring grounder and the Yanks are up 2-0. A Roy White single and Stanley double in the 2nd makes it 3-0. Thurman then rips another single, but this time Jackson whiffs and leaves two on. It ain’t a good omen.

Guidry meanwhile throws three scoreless innings to start his day but Scott booms one onto Landsdowne to lead off the home 4th. Aase, with a 5-0 record coming in, is shaky from the get-go, but one of the story lines in this one is the wasted base runners by New York. After leaving four aboard in the first two innings Zeber and Nettles reach to start the 3rd and stay there. Stanley singles with one out in the 4th but Munson and Reggie do nothing. Zeber walks to start the 5th but gets stuck in cement. Randolph singles to start the 6th, gets doubled up by Rivers before Stanley and Munson get left on when Reggie whiffs.

* * *

Between innings I go for a soda and bump into a maintenance guy with a mop.  He’s Latino, gives me a weird stare and I flash on a name tag pinned to his shirt pocket: Jose Torres.

Holy crap.  It’s the guy who’s going to find my 5-year butt next month living under the park!   Dr. Sheila showed me the article before we disappeared but I still can hardly believe it.  Anyway, I stand in front of him with my tongue all tied for a good fifteen seconds, he asks me if I need something and I say no and just hurry away.  Why freak someone out by telling them they’re going to meet a younger version of yourself?  There’s enough weirdness already going on with this game and I want to get back to it.

* * *

And it’s right where I left it. Zeber and Chambliss single with one out in the 7th and go nowhere after Bob Stanley comes on for Aase. Stanley and Munson single in the 8th with one out but Reggie finishes his 0-for-5 afternoon by flying out to deep center, before Zeber grounds out.

Guidry zaps the Sox 1-2-3 in the 7th and retires the first two in the 8th, but then Scott gets hit. Rice lines a single. Hobson skies one out to right, Reggie backpedals and the ball clanks off his glove for a two-base error and a 3-2 game. The infield comes in. Yaz rips one past Randolph’s dive for a 2-run single and the shocking Boston lead!

I’m stoked for my team, of course, but groaning inside for Friendly Fred, who we pray isn’t watching this travesty at the Cask ‘n Flagon. Soup Campbell comes on, gives the Yanks their first and only 1-2-3 inning of the game, and Boston moves into first by half a game.

The recent sweep in Kansas City brought New York in here flying, but this is their dumbest, most crushing loss of the season. They outhit Boston 13-9 but leave 16 people on base, half of them by Reggie, who personally hands over the game with his bonehead outfield play. From our standing room location we see Billy Martin in the dugout pacing and ranting, and we figure he’s probably going at it with Reggie after the last out but Amy is already pulling us down the exit ramp.

“We gotta find Fred!” she says, and she’s right. It takes us a good fifteen minutes to get around the park and squeeze our way into the saloon, but by that time Fred is nowhere. We wait almost an hour with loud, sweaty, drunken Sox fans and finally give Fred’s description to the bouncer at the door. He remembers seeing Fred exit the place after Reggie’s dropped fly and head down Landsdowne Street with some shady characters, and just like that we’re heading in the same direction.

We find him at a wire fence, watching cars whizz by below on the Mass Pike, swaying and his head bobbing to some tune only he can hear as he I nudge him from behind. “Fred?”

He turns, wearing star-shaped dark glasses with the price tag still on and an insane grin even for him. “We pulled it out, brother! Didja catch it?” The rest of look at each other.

“Pull what out?” asks Lester, “The Yankees lost. I can show you the score—”

“Oh no, we won!! My Man Roy tied the game in the 9th with a home run that tripped the light tower fantastic, and the ball bounced on the sidewalk right in front of me, and then it all came back around to Reggie, and this time he killed one for all of us, brothers, for all of us and it was beee-yoo-tifull…”

It’s pretty clear that Fred got too friendly with someone selling psychedelics, and now he might never shut up. On the plus side, though, if he continues to believe the Yankees won, maybe he won’t light anything on fire.

NYY 210 000 000 – 3 13 1
BOS 000 100 03x – 4 9 1

W-Stanley L-Guidry SV-Campbell HRS: Rivers, Scott GWRBI-Yaz

Other Sunday Action

Game 1:
WHITE SOX 6-10-2, at ROYALS 4-10-1
K.C. has really lost their Thang. After Soderholm puts Chicago up 4-1 with a 3-run shot off Hassler, the Royals fight back as usual but even typical poor White Sox fielding can’t  help them even the score as Hamilton, Dal Canton and LaGrow combine to give Knapp the win.

W-Knapp L-Hassler SV-LaGrow HRS: Soderholm, Otis GWRBI-Soderholm

Game 2:
at ROYALS 6-11-2, WHITE SOX 5-13-0
A clean Chicago sweep is avoided, and K.C. stays a half game out. Down 3-0 they tie it with three in the 6th. Down 5-3 a Cowens triple and Brett single in the 8th tie it again. Two outs, bottom of the 9th, LaGrow hits White. Wilson runs for him and steals, Otis singles him to third and Cowens singles him home.

W-Littell L-LaGrow HR: Essian GWRBI-Cowens

Game 1:
at RANGERS 8-12-1, TWINS 6-14-1
Blyleven’s going, but Carew just yawns, gets two singles and a double off him and stretches The Streak to 38 games. And…the Twins lose when Toby Killebrew Harrah slams homer no. 15 to put Texas ahead the first time, then no. 16 to put them ahead for good in the 8th. Just so you know, the Tobe is on a pace for 60 homers and 160 RBIs.

W-Blyleven L-Serum HRS: Cubbage, Hisle, Wills, Harrah-2 GWRBI-Harrah

Game 2:
TWINS 14-17-0, at RANGERS 0-7-2
If Minnesota could have just taken thirteen of these runs and sprinkled them into seven other games…Carew walks his first four times up, gets robbed on a single by Wills in the 7th, then in his final chance, doubles into the gap in the 8th and The Streak is at 39 games!

W-D. Johnson L-Briles HR: Hisle GWRBI-Adams

INDIANS 2-6-1, at ORIOLES 1-4-1 (11 innings)
Singleton returns from a 3-day hurt and promptly goes out for another three, making it 73 combined injury games suffered by the Orioles, and the lack of offense here makes Flanagan an unnecessary loser. Duake Kuiper’s double in extras scores Spikes with the winner, the Kuipmeister’s second straight decider.

W-Hood L-Flanagan HR: Grubb GWRBI-Kuiper

CARDS 4-12-0, at CUBS 1-6-0
Forsch is dominant, Burris is a hit-filled burrito, and the Cards turn around a 1-0 Cubs lead with a 3-run 6th for their 11th win in a row. Someday they will leave Wrigley Field and face a team with pitching again, like tomorrow when Andujar sees them in the Astrodome. Their games with Houston have been thrilling and tight, the season series standing at 4-4, so we shall see.

W-Forsch L-Burris HR: Simmons GWBI-Brock

at PIRATES 2-9-0, EXPOS 1-8-0
Carter tags Reuss for a 1st inning homer before the Expos offense dies. Kerrigan relieves a tired Jackie Brown for the 9th, and the inevitable efficiency happens: Ott single, Garner single, Taveras bunt, Fregosi pinch walk, Stennett walk for the tie, Oliver single for the win.

W-Tekulve (1 ER in 23 IP of relief!) L-Kerrigan HR: Carter GWRBI-Oliver

Game 1:
PHILLIES 8-10-0, at REDS 6-10-3
Reed and the bullpen hold on, with the help of three rare Red errors.

W-Reed L-Capilla SV-Brusstar HR: Martin GWRBI-Schmidt

Game 2:
at REDS 9-11-0, PHILLIES 3-9-2
Soto has the mojo, while Lerch has nothing but his usual mucus. Two singles and a triple leading off the Reds’ 3rd finish him for the day, and Bench is at it again with two late taters as Cincy heads into first-place Pittsburgh.

W-Soto L-Lerch HRS: Luzinski, Bench-2 GWRBI-Foster

at ASTROS 10-9-0, DODGERS 1-4-1
Lost in all the exciting Cardinal play is the sudden tailspin of now fourth place Los Angeles, losers of all three in the Dome and five straight overall. Sutton is garbage, Watson continues his MVP drive with four hits and two more homers, and Joe Niekro throws an absolute beauty. Maybe the Dodgers will find themselves again in Wrigley Field; everyone else seems to.

W-Niekro L-Sutton HRS: Garvey, Watson-2, Cruz, Ferguson

American League through Sunday, May 25

Boston 24 15 .615
Kansas City 24 16 .600 0.5
Baltimore 22 18 .550 2.5
Texas 22 20 .524 3.5
New York 17 21 .447 6.5
Chicago 17 21 .447 6.5
Cleveland 17 23 .425 7.5
Minnesota 15 24 .385 9

National League through Sunday, May 25

Pittsburgh 26 16 .619
St. Louis 25 16 .610 0.5
Philadelphia 21 19 .525 4
Los Angeles 20 19 .513 4.5
Houston 21 21 .500 5
Cincinnati 19 20 .487 5.5
Montreal 16 23 .410 8.5
Chicago 13 27 .325 12

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