KANSAS CITY–After watching my Cubs’ miracle win against Pittsburgh yesterday, Lester here found out they had today off so I decided to bus my way down to Missouri and take in a game with my Royals and the Indians, who just staged their own miracle here with Wayne Garland’s 5-0 shutout.
What I didn’t know was that it was Halter Top Night at Royals Stadium. Not officially, of course, but the temperature was close to 100 at game time and swampy humid, and local lasses were wearing them all around me. When I watch Kansas City I keep an extra detailed scorebook, because there are many smart, number-specific fans and writers watching them, and I like to consider myself one, and having pretty girls close by can disrupt my thoughts about their on-base slugging coefficient. So I bought two Royals hats before the game and bent both bills straight down to form blinders. Play ball!
Game of the Day
It’s Bibby against Andy Hassler, and K.C.’s fifth starter looks the best he has all year. Leadoff man Ron Pruitt gets on base three straight times off him with a single, double, and two-base Cowens error, but can’t score. Meanwhile, a typically perfect run is created by the Royals in the 3rd on a Patek walk, stolen base, and two-out single by Cowens.
In the 6th they do it again. This time McRae gets hit and leaves with a slight bruise. Willie Wilson runs for him, steals second immediately, and scores on a gap double by Porter. Bibby then boots a dribbler by Otis, and Laxton comes on to face Mayberry. Heise pinch-hits and grounds out, before Kern comes on to get Patek and White to stop any more damage.
A skinny, tanned halter lady to my left polishes off her third beer–or at least the third one I count—and curses our team for not scoring more. I remind her how a 2-0 Royals lead has been a blueprint for victory about 86% percent of the time, but she just tells me in so many words to roll up my scorebook and insert it somewhere. Fascinating.
In the 8th, Pruitt gets on yet again on an error by Brett, and a Bochte single gets Pruitt to third. Hassler isn’t tired at all, but Littell enters to force Buddy Bell to bat from his much weaker right side of the plate. Bell pops a fly deep enough to right to score the first Cleveland run, and they’re back in the game, but with two outs in the home 8th, a single, walk and Patek single bring in some golden insurance.
Littell has been a handsome deposit in the bank since the season began, but his net worth suddenly takes a dive in the 9th. Grubb and Dade open with singles, and after Thornton whiffs, Norris pinch-hits a walk. The infield stays back for Kuiper, but Littell heaves one past Porter, scoring one run and putting Indians on second and third. Good Lady Halter groans, but is unable to hide her face in her shirt. The infield plays in for Kuiper. Little Duane fouls a couple off, then rifles a single past the drawn-in Frank White and two score! That Man Pruitt doubles Kuiper to third. Bochte flies out but Bell dumps a single into left for the fourth shocking run of the inning.
A Cowens triple and Brett single off Kern make it 5-4, but Wathan whiffs, Porter skies out, and the second straight incredible Cleveland win here in two days happens before our eyes. Good Lady Halter is too angry and sad and drunk to get home safely, asks me for a lift and I’m forced to inform her I came by bus. She gets me to hitch with her out of the lot, which is extremely easy due to her fetching wardrobe, and a guy with a Dodge truck drops us at her apartment building outside of an area called Budd Park.
She puts me up on her couch, and apologizes over and over for having a messy apartment with nine cats crawling everywhere. “I’m kind of crazy, you know” she says, which makes me feel so much better as she passes out on top of an old pizza box.
CLE 000 000 014 – 5 10 2
K.C. 001 001 011 – 4 8 2
W-Kern L-Littell GWRBI-Kuiper
Other action (of the baseball variety):
at RANGERS 1-2-0, RED SOX 0-7-0
It must be Miracle Night. Fergie Jenkins is magnificent but Gaylord uses his famed spit and polish to eek out his 8th win. Yaz and Lynn both being out sure helps.
W-Perry L-Jenkins GWRBI-D. May
YANKEES 7-13-1, at WHITE SOX 1-7-0
Three wins in a row for Guidry, as Chicago scratches out a 1st inning run on a Randolph error and are never heard from again. Reggie even does something for a change with a 2-run shot in the 9th.
W-Guidry L-Wood HR: Jackson GWRBI-Randolph
ORIOLES 3-7-0, at TWINS 1-2-0
Palmer mows down the first 15 Twins, and two Rich Chiles singles are his only blemishes. Carew’s latest hit streak ends at six.
W-Palmer L-Goltz GWRBI-Murray
PHILLIES 7-13-0, at ASTROS 0-3-2
Yikes. Lonborg improves to 9-2, J. R. Richard is shellacked, and the Phunky Phillie Express keeps chugging, now with a game and a half lead.
W-Lonborg L-Richard HR: Luzinski GWRBI-Hutton
REDS 6-9-0, at CARDS 5-13-0
Bob Forsch retires the last 16 Reds of the game. Too bad ten out of the first twenty get on base and decide the contest. The sudden St. Louis slide reaches four.
W-Moskau L-Forsch SV-Sarmiento HRS: Foster, Freed GWRBI-Rose
at DODGERS 12-17-0, EXPOS 9-12-1
Another shaky start by Sutton, but his mates help him out by clubbing Brown, Schatzeder and Atkinson to death and pulling away with a 5-run 6th.
W-Sutton L-Brown SV-Sosa HRS: Unser, Carter, Cey, Oates GWRBI-Oates
Pirates play their finale at Wrigley tomorrow, and look for my All-Stars announcement.
American League through Wednesday, June 18
National League through Wednesday, June 18