Thirsty for Water, Starved for Runs

Damn Sherman Wayman. Dragging me and Dr. Sheila and Little Me out to some wretched off-road spot in the desert that’s practically in Blythe, California, just so he can show us where Hannah “disappeared and was never found” on their hiking trip in 1976. Yeah, right. Like why the hell would two old people from L.A. be wandering in the desert unless they were looking for a burning bush or something?

“Last place I saw her was right near that cave entrance, I think” he says, explaining how Hannah liked to collect precious rocks, and how her vanishing made him “all kinds of nervous and delusional” from then on. It’s scorching hot already out here and it can’t be later than nine in the morning, and our patience with him is evaporating. Sheila has her notebook out, crazily checking any background notes she still has on Sherman.

“Says here in a clipping that Hannah Wayman disappeared from a highway rest area near Indio. Sherman? What are we doing out here?”

Sherman has stopped. A touch of drool forms on his lower lip as he stares at the nearby cave entrance. “She loved those rocks. Sometimes it’s all she would talk about. Sometimes for days. Sometimes for weeks. Sometime for days…”

‘Hey, look at THIS funny rock!” says Little Me all of a sudden. He’s just inside the cave, holding up a long white object he’s yanked out of the dust. Sheila and me walk over. It has yellowed, been chewed on a bit by some wild animal. And there are others just like it at his feet.

“Get away from those!” yells Sheila, and Little Me scampers behind us. We kneel for a closer look, and the horror punches my gut like a hot fist.

“Oh my God…” I say, “They’re bones!” Only a year or so old, one of them still wears shreds of a lime-colored blouse and gold bracelet. We slowly rise, turn to look at Sherman.

He’s gone. Running back to our car with a crying, kicking Little Me under his arm.
I tear after him. He stops when I’m five yards away, spins and whips a good-sized rock straight into my forehead. I drop in the dirt, stunned. By the time Sheila has reached me, she’s in a panic.

“Where are the car keys??”

“In the car!!” She tries to pick up the chase, but Sherman stuffs Little Me in the back seat, screeches away before she can get there.

“She didn’t disappear at all,” she says, as I stagger up to the empty, blistering two-lane road. “He murdered her in and left her here! If that doesn’t explain his paranoid schizophrenia and frequent guilt-ridden outbursts, then nothing does!”

“Hell with that crap. How do we get out of here? He’s got the 5-year-old Me with him!”

She takes a seat on the road until her butt starts to burn, then stands and paces instead. “We have to go get Seamus Headley in Cleveland. He’s the one who sent us here, or at least those creeps he works for did…So maybe he has a plan how to reverse things. Chasing these patients around the country is a waste of time.”

An idea scratches my brain. “If we can get over to Phoenix—and we can hitch there pretty easy—we can hop a bus or train to Texas and maybe borrow a truck.”

She looked at me funny. “Borrow whose truck?”

Game of the Day

by Ed “Peachy” Calhoun
Jewett Babbler
Sports Reporter

HOUSTON—You’d think with the Cards out in L.A. and the Phils and Bucs kicking off their 4-game Battle of the Keystone State, I could serve myself a better pennant plate by holing up in Jewett with my beer and TV.

Cubs and Astros in the Dome?? Yup, baseball sometimes just whips a surprise masterpiece your way to keep you awake.

Sure doesn’t seem like one at first, just Bonham against J.R., and Richard whiffs the side in the top of the 1st on nine pitches. Cruz gets an Astro run home on a force, and we’e up 1-zip for a half inning until two Cub singles, a hit Trillo and sac fly by Mitterwald tie it up. Both throwers settle down from there, and it’s still 1-1 in the 7th when Roger Metzger, the mighty mite only playing short because Julio Gonzalez can’t field a ball, leads of with a line triple down the right field line. Richard gets him in all by his lonesome with a deep fly, and we’re up 2-1.

Make that 3-1 in the 8th on a Cruz bleacher blast/scoreboard exploder, but J.R. can’t close the deal in the 9th. Murcer and Buckner lead with singles, Mitterwalk singles in one, and with two outs against Ken Forsch, Gross dumps one into left to tie the game!

Then the fun begins. Sutter takes the mound for the Cubs and goes seven relief innings. He ‘s knocked out of action for days now, but the Cubs manager could care less; he has got to win a game! Cruz triples his next time up in the 10th, but stays put on a Puhl infield single and ends up not scoring. The Cubs have people on all over the map against Forsch and then Sambito, but can’t score.

Finally, in the top of the 18th, singles from Trillo, Gross and DeJesus but the Cubbies up 4-3. Willie Hernandez has been in there for Chicago three innings now, and Enos Cabell blisters one into the left field seats to tie the game again and keep us going! They stopped selling beers two hours ago and half the Dome has gone home, but Old Peachy’s here for the duration.

Which finally happens three innings later. Sambito dribbles an infield hit toward Ontiveros at third, who throws it away. Ed Herrmann whiffs, but Cedeno rips a single up the middle to score the chugging Sambito and Houston wins two in a row the very, very hard way. It’s the longest game of the season.

CHC 010 000 002 000 000 001 000 – 4 17 3
HOU 100 000 110 000 000 001 001 – 5 14 0

W-Sambito L-Hernandez HR: Cruz GWRBI-Cedeno

Other Action:

at PIRATES 2-8-1 PHILLIES 1-4-0
Cobra and Candy Man to the rescue again. Parker breaks a 1-1 tie with a laser shot off Reed in the 5th, while Candelaria turns the Phillie bats into cold pasta. The PA teams are deadlocked again, and assorted people below them get well.

at REDS 5-8-1, EXPOS 1-8-1
The hottest team on earth is a game out of first. Foster with his daily tater and Bench with two more, giving them 58 combined. They even shut down the Expos with a lefty, Fred Norman.

at DODGERS 2-8-1, CARDS 1-2-3
Now 7-2 against St. Louis, the Dodgers wish they could play them every day. Sutton pitches his first gem in a while, but almost blows the game with his own 2-base error and scoring wild pitch that ties the game in the 6th. The Cards use their own hideous fielding to hand over the game in the last of the 9th. Mumphrey butchers Garvey’s single to center, and after a Yeager walk, Russell’s pop into right is dropped by Heity Cruz for the walkoff flub.

ORIOLES 6-16-0, at RED SOX 5-9-0 (11 innings)
Happy to get to an easy hitting park, the Birds go batty, coming back from a Yaz-fueled 5-0 deficit to score two in the 6th, one in the 7th and two in the 8th. A Bumbry double and Singleton single in extras off Willoughby put them ahead. Palmer tries to go all 11 innings but falls apart, leaving Dennis Martinez to turn in one of the gutsiest relief stints of the year. Bases filled with Bostons and only one out, Dennis fans Rice and Evans for the huge win.

INDIANS 6-13-0, at YANKEES 2-9-2
For the second day in a row, the Yanks waste a golden chance to pick up a game on Boston. This time they’re rendered impotent by Wayne Garland, Torrez is typically terrible, and errors by Dent and Chambliss give the Tribe two key runs.

TWINS 7-15-1, at ROYALS 4-10-0
Another big waste. Goltz finally pitches the kind of game he’s being virtually paid to, and the Twins win despite leaving 19—count ’em—19 runners on base, including the bases loaded five times. Andy Hassler tries his best to keep the dam from bursting, but his scotch tape just don’t cut it.

WHITE SOX 6-9-3, at RANGERS 2-4-1
Another solid start by Jack Kucek, blasts from Gamble, Zisk and the white-hot Jim Spencer, and Chicago inches a little ways back to the respectable neighborhood.

American League through Friday, June 27

Boston 42 29 .592
Kansas City 41 32 .562 2
New York 39 32 .549 3
Baltimore 38 33 .535 4
Texas 38 36 .514 5.5
Chicago 33 38 .465 9
Minnesota 31 40 .437 11
Cleveland 25 47 .347 17.5

National League through Friday, June 27

Pittsburgh 42 31 .575
Philadelphia 42 31 .575
Cincinnati 41 32 .562 1
St. Louis 40 33 .548 2
Los Angeles 38 33 .535 3
Houston 34 39 .466 8
Montreal 29 41 .414 11.5
Chicago 23 49 .319 18.5

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