ST. LOUIS–That nutty girl in the halter top I met at Royals Stadium has followed me clear across Missouri. I don’t mean like one of those stalkers—our own Crazy Amy comes to mind—but Krystal doesn’t seem to have a job or a guy or a family from what I can tell, and when she asked if she could go along with me to see my Cards play the suddenly first-place Phillies, what could I say? She did put me up for a few days in her cat-covered apartment.
So we boarded our Greyhound, Krystal paying for her own bus ticket and food. She only came into contact with me once when she nodded off somewhere near Boonville, and her head ended up on my left leg before I nudged it away. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Krystal, but she smells a little too much like incense and has only just started asking me weird personal questions I don’t feel like answering, like why and how do I root for four teams at the same time?
When we got to St. Louis she used a pay phone outside the ballpark to call some friends, and we were joined by Dee Dee and Rufus a half hour into the game. They were even more bizarre than Krystal, and Rufus was more into discussing the crimes of Richard Nixon than watching the game, so I stopped talking altogether before long, and it was a good thing. Game one of the doubleheader tugged me inside its drama like no game has all year.
Game of the Day
Where did these Phillies come from? Weren’t they in last place and under .500 for the first two months? Today Jim Kaat is mesmerizing us, giving up just three singles in the first eight innings while his teammates build a thin 2-0 lead on scattered hits and walks off John Denny.
But Buddy Schultz shuts them down through the 8th, Hrabosky through the 9th and then the Cards come up for the bottom half. With one out, Hernandez slices a single into left but Luzinski kicks it ten yards away for a 2-base error and Keith gets to third. Simmons rips a ball between Maddox and McBride for a triple, and it’s 2-1. Brock fans, but with Cruz at the plate. Kaat unleashes a wild pitch and we’re all tied up! Rufus almost notices this!
The Mad Hungarian stays on the hill into the 12th, when none other than Ted Sizemore golfs one over the fence to put Philly up 3-2. But my Redbirds have no quit. Reitz and Tyson single with one out, and Mike Anderson pinch-hits a walk. Tug McGraw, the only available arm in the Philly bullpen, finally relieves Kaat, and Templeton grounds one to Tom Hutton at first.
He boots it! We’re tied again! Mumphrey then lines one toward center but Bowa leaps and nabs it. Hernandez grounds out and we keep on playing.
For another three scoreless innings that is, with Clay Carroll tossing eggs. Then Bob Boone leads the 16th with a double. Carroll gets Sizemore on a fly to right but Boone takes third. Eastwick comes on to face Hutton, the earlier goat, and the St. Louis infield moves up. Krystal and Dee Dee have gone off in search of beer and Rufus has dozed off, but I can hardly breathe. Hutton picks out a fastball and smacks it into right for the go-ahead single. Simmons leads the bottom of the 16th with a single, but a Brock DP ball kills the rally and essentially the game.
I’m determined to stay for Game Two, but I”ll be darned if I want my “friends” getting in my hair. So I climb over sleeping Rufus, take a ramp to the upper deck and find a nice half-empty section with a few sunbathers and pigeons to watch the nightcap from. I knew my friendship with Krystal was over when I said “I wish I had a cell phone” and she asked how long I was in prison for. Some things aren’t meant to be.
PHL 100 001 000 001 000 1 – 4 17 4
STL 000 000 002 001 000 0 – 3 9 0
W-McGraw L-Carroll GWRBI-Hutton
at CARDS 5-7-0, PHILLIES 3-10-1
Much more like it. The Phils are stuck with Dan Warthen and Randy Lerch on the mound, while the Cards get a great seven and a third innings from Butch Metzger to earn the split.
W-Metzger L-Warthen SV-Schultz GWRBI-Hernandez
Other mostly double action:
PIRATES 4-6-0, at DODGERS 0-5-0
The Candy Man can again, throwing his fourth shutout of the year, tops in both leagues, probably after he learns he’s been elected to start the All-Star series for the National league. Three Pirate runs in the 1st off the now-mediocre Sutton decide things, as Pittsburgh ties their Pennsylvania neighbors for first.
at ASTROS 8-12-0, REDS 0-4-0
at ASTROS 8-15-0, REDS 0-6-0
No, you are not seeing double. J. R. Richard with the first game whitewash, Bo McLaughlin with the second. J.R. also chips in with a single, double, and homer, and Watson gets the GWRBI in both contests. Cincy should be very happy to get to Wrigley Field next.
at CUBS 5-10-2, EXPOS 1-6-2
EXPOS 9-16-4, at CUBS 7-10-4
Twelve errors in all for these behemoths, as Bonham pitches a doozy in the opener before the wretched Cubs pen blows a late 7-5 lead in the nightcap.
RED SOX 8-12-0, at TWINS 2-8-4
RED SOX 7-11-0, at TWINS 5-15-1
Boston keeps rolling on the road, Rick Wise missing many bats in the opener, before Lee, Willoughby and Campbell hang on to complete the sweep. Key moment in Game 2 happens in the 8th, when Bostock greets Campbell by rapping into a 3-6-3 bases loaded DP. Yaz leads the next inning with a demoralizing solo homer off Tom Johnson, and Minnesota drops to a ghastly 9-23 in their home stadium, almost as bad as Cleveland.
YANKEES 12-17-2, at ROYALS 4-12-0
YANKEES 14-20-1, at ROYALS 4-10-0
Gad freaking zooks. Believe it or else, Marty Pattin has a 3-1 lead on the Yanks going into the 8th in Game One, before New York scores ELEVEN runs the last two innings, then eight off Gura the first three innings of the next game. Mighty-mite shortstops Stanley and Dent chip in with a 3-run homer apiece in the onslaught.
INDIANS 10-15-1, at WHITE SOX 5-12-1
at WHITE SOX 6-11-1, INDIANS 0-5-0
Bibby with the CG for the Tribe, Jack Kucek with Chicago’s—and Kucek replaces Knapp in the White Sox rotation three seconds after the last pitch. Cleveland grounds into five more DPs on the afternoon to up their baseball-leading total to a whopping 117 in 69 games.
at RANGERS 4-10-1, ORIOLES 3-4-0
at RANGERS 4-15-1, ORIOLES 2-12-1
Game One is an absolute dazzler, as Palmer and Perry square off, Gaylord with a 2-0 edge until the 8th. Bumbry singles in one run, Murray doubles home two, but Hargrove ties it up with a solo shot soon after. Campaneris then wins it with a bottom of 9th runoff homer, his second of the game. In the nightcap, Scott McGregor just plain sucks.
American League through Sunday, June 22
National League through Sunday, June 22