LOS ANGELES—Me and Sheila played hooky from the Phillies-Dodgers game because we knew listening to Mikey and Sherman squawk at each other for nine innings would’ve been unbearable. Instead we hopped a real bus and got up to a part of the Sunset Strip still populated by hippie burnouts and had a late dinner at a fun little outdoor sandwich place called the Psych-o-Deli. Being on that damn Funkyland Express day and night hasn’t given us much alone time, and with the pennant races way more stressful than they were before, it’s important we get away once in a while.

Not that we’re alone now. There’s freaky guys with hair down to their waists and skanky girls in monster afros and go-go boots and Deep Purple playing on a stereo system and the couple right behind us is sharing a giant doobie with the smoke billowing over our corned beef and alfalfa sprout platters.

“If my Pirates and your Red Sox meet in the World Series,” Sheila asks, grabbing my hand, “how will we ever deal with it?” I tell her it’s too early to even talk about something like that, but as we keep eating and get more and more of a contact high from the Maui Wowee smoke, that all changes.

“Look, you would have Candelaria for three of the games, and the best I could throw against him would be Don Aase. BIll Robinson would absolutely tattoo Fenway Park. So if anyone needs to worry it’s me, but see I’m not, because if there’s real genuine love between us…and feelings…then even if I lose and evaporate we’ll still be together, man…in some cosmic ballpark somewhere…and you’ll still be a psychiatrist and I’ll still be your patient of love.”

She just nods with a dreamy smile, and the check comes and we decide we don’t need to pay it and just float out of there and up the street to Book Soup and then maybe up to the Whisky to catch a set of Blondie and maybe we’ll meet everyone back at Dodger Stadium later or maybe we just don’t want those people cramping our style, right?

The Buuzzzzz Line

PHILLIES 3-7-1, at DODGERS 1-3-1
L.A. is suffering, man. Certainly with the bats. Rau matches Lonborg on the hill for eight innings, but Michael Schmidt jacks one out with Davey Johnson aboard in the 9th and it’s another big Dodger bummer. Philly is now 10-4 against them.

PIRATES 6-12-1, at CARDS 5-10-1 (10 innings)
And hopping back into second place are the Bucs, who fall behind 3-1 in the 1st, go up 4-3 in the 2nd, fall behind again 5-4 in the 7th, tie the game in the 8th and win it in the 10th when Goose Gossage singles in his own winning run.

at CUBS 9-14-0, REDS 7-12-2
Cubs have sure been a little feisty lately. Three 3-run innings take care of shellshocked Cincy, as Broberg and Paul Reuschel pitch five great innings of relief after Ray Burris is kicked into the showers.

EXPOS 6-12-2, at ASTROS 5-9-0
Montreal wins its 40th a big Valentine triple, homers from Dawson (again) and Speier, and a shutdown relief 9th from McEnaney and Hal Dues. Bo McLaughlin will now be replacing the star-crossed Gene Pentz in the Houston rotation, ’cause they gotta do something.

YANKEES 6-7-0, at WHITE SOX 2-4-1
You know the Yanks are hot when Mike Torrez has a 3-hit shutout going into the 9th. Since their season-low mark of 10-16 on May 11th, New York has played .639 ball (46-26) and enjoys first place to themselves for the first time all year.

at RANGERS 9-10-0, RED SOX 7-12-1
And this occurs when Carl Yastrzemski (as usual) pops out to left for the final out in the 9th off Roger Moret. Earlier, it’s a back-and-forth slugfest against Tiant and Perry, Fisk homering twice, Carbo, Claudell Washington and Bevacqua once. Thans to Moret, though, Gaylord “wins” his 14th of the year.

INDIANS 6-11-0, at ROYALS 3-6-2
Nothing goes right for K.C. against a team they were 11-4 against, as they fail to get any clutch hits while the Tribe is sticking it to Marty Pattin with a rash of bleeders. Cleveland, lo and behold, has tied the White Sox for 6th place.

at TWINS 4-10-0, ORIOLES 3-8-0
Remedy for the luckless Twins? Bring on the hitless Birds. Dan Ford ropes a 3-run shot off Rudy May to break a 4th inning scoreless tie, and it holds up. Tom Johnson’s two-plus innings of great relief for Schueler snaps the 7-game swoon.

American League through Friday, July 25

New York 56 42 .571
Boston 55 42 .567 0.5
Kansas City 56 44 .560 1
Texas 53 46 .535 3.5
Baltimore 49 48 .505 6.5
Cleveland 42 56 .429 14
Chicago 42 56 .429 14
Minnesota 39 58 .402 16.5

National League through Friday, July 25

Philadelphia 58 40 .592
Pittsburgh 57 43 .570 2
Cincinnati 57 44 .564 2.5
Los Angeles 53 43 .552 4
St. Louis 51 45 .531 6
Houston 44 56 .440 15
Montreal 40 58 .408 18
Chicago 33 64 .340 24.5

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