Riding this joke of a bus every day isn’t the best thing for my tuchis, but I have to keep the kvetching down because we’re off to Three Rivers today for the rubber game between my Dodgers and Dr. Sheila’s adopted Pirates, and the last thing I need is her analyzing me for the whole damn game. What’s she trying to prove anyway, telling us she’s been a Bucs fan her whole life but “forgot about it”? You root for the team you grew up with, and anyone who can forget about that’s already got one foot in the shock treatment room.
Actually, the old girl’s been pretty nice about me driving off with the kid and not telling the truth about what happened to Hannah, but that’s what happens when you end up in an even bigger mess. I’m not the bragging type or anything, but my Dodger rotation’s got everyone else’s beat, meaning I got a good shot at beating this evaporation nonsense. If I don’t? Feh, I’m old and half-dead anyway.
Anyway, the Phillies have skunked two in a row to the Cards, so it’s time we got off our heinies and nabbed some of that ground back. You don’t win a pennant by sitting around like yesterday’s matzah balls.
Game of the Day
PITTSBURGH–We definitely got the edge in this one, with Douggie Rau throwing against Odell Jones. but this game wasn’t invented to do what it’s supposed to. Sure enough, doubles by Taveras, Robinson and Gonzalez and singles by Fregosi and Oliver put the Pirates up 3-0 and gets Dr. Sheila braying in my ear. Rau looks awful, giving up eight hits in the first three innings, but the Dodger pen has been worked a lot and Lasorda really doesn’t want to use it.
We get back in the swing of things in the 4th. Dusty bombs one with two outs, Garvey, Monday and Oates follow with singles, and it’s 3-2. Jones stinks up the place with two outs again in the 5th, as Smith singles, Cey walks, and Baker ties the game with another single. Forster comes on to get rid of Garvey, then throws a scoreless 6th.
With Stennett still out a few days, Taveras leads the Pirate 6th with his fourth straight hit, a hell of a double. Parker singles him in with two outs (again), they’re up 4-3, and I have to tell Dr. Sheila to wipe that smirk off her face.
Tekulve’s on for the 7th, but we wreck him with—you guessed right—two outs, as Smith singles, Cey and Baker double and it’s 5-4 Blue Boys. Make it 6-4, as Rau bats for himself and singles in Monday.
Dr. Sheila hides in the ladies room for the top of the 9th, then crawls back to her seat when Robinson leads the Buc 9th with a walk. Gonzalez singles him to second but Fregosi whiffs on a great curve. Here’s Al Oliver again, who I think they call Scoop but it’s hard to remember when I can barely remember my birthday. Scoop can’t hit lefties much, and Rau can be tough against—
He did it. Oliver did it. He ruined my day, my night, and my week. A friggin’ three-run homer on a 1-2 roll??(10% chance). A travesty of an outrage! You should die, Doug Rau! You get out of every stupid jam the entire game and do THIS to me in the last of the 9th?? Ach. Give me a glass of Bromo and let me sleep.
L.A. 000 210 210 – 6 12 1
PIT 003 001 003 – 7 17 0
W-Demery (!) L-Rau HRS: Baker, Oliver GWRBI-Oliver
The Buzz Line
at PHILLIES 3-8-0, CARDS 2-6-0
The Phils recover from their last three days, and snap the 7-game St. Louis win streak. With the score 2-1 Bob Forsch in the last of the 8th, the Fro Boys take over: Maddox hits a pinch double, McBride socks one over the wall.
ASTROS 3-5-3, at REDS 2-6-1
ASTROS 11-17-0, at REDS 3-8-0
The worst day of Cincy’s season, bar none. Houston makes three errors in Game One but the Reds can’t make a dent in Joe Niekro and lose on a Cedeno bloop single. In the nightcap, Floyd Bannister channels Koufax (or at least Johnny Podres) while the Astros lay waste to Soto, Hume, Fryman, Murray and some guy recruited from the parking lot. Bob Watson goes 7-for-9 in the two games with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs.
CUBS 11-14-0, at EXPOS 0-4-1
Pinch yourselves. Reuschel smokes the ‘Spos and every member of the Cub lineup drives in a run off Full Pack Stanhouse and his fellow lemmings.
at RED SOX 8-12-2, TWINS 4-10-0
It’s almost time to shuffle the Boston lineup, meaning toss the cards in the air, arrange them however they come down, and watch them go out and butcher whoever they’re playing anyway. That is how hot they are. Minnesota goes up 4-0 in the 5th on a 2-run Carew homer off Tiant, and are never heard from again. Pete Redfern gets tired in the bottom of the inning so lefty Butler comes on to face lefty Carbo with two aboard and two out. Except Boomer Scott pinch-hits, and hits one to New Hampshire for three runs. Closer Tom Johnson comes on for the 6th and gets his pants pulled over his head. Four doubles and a Fred Lynn homer later, Tiant has won another game he had no business winning.
at YANKEES 3-9-1, ROYALS 2-6-1
Torrez miraculously with a 3-hit shutout into the 8th, but per usual, the Yanks can’t hit Andy Hassler. A Poquette triple and Brett single off the useless Lyle in the 8th puts K.C. ahead, but Mystique and Aura and their half-sister Fortune show up in the 9th. Reggie singles. Littell relieves Hassler. Zeber pinch hits a single and error off Mayberry’s glove. Nettles walks. Munson singles in the gap and that’s all we wrote.
RANGERS 6-11-1, at ORIOLES 0-6-0
Gaylord the Great spits out his fourth shutout of the year and goes to 13-3, and the punchless Birds drop a season-worst eight games out of first.
WHITE SOX 11-15-1, at INDIANS 6-16-1
at INDIANS 9-12-0, WHITE SOX 4-12-2
Sound and fury and a lot of meaningless. Wood over Waits in the opener, Fitzmorris over Knapp in the finale, and about ten tons of people left on base. Hitting stars are Wayne Nordhagen (homer and two doubles in Game 1) and as usual, Andre Thornton (on base 7 out of 10 times in the doubleheader)
SPECIAL NOTE: Due to an off-day for everyone on the 21st, tune in Sunday from Rickwood Field in Birmingham, AL for the Funkyball Hall of Shame Game, featuring an exhibition battle between the first-year Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners!
American League through Sunday, July 20
National League through Sunday, July 20