Been a fair amount of time since I had reason to talk to you folks, but as long as I’m along for this crazy ride with the crazies, might as well fill y’all in on the two games in my home state, both which we managed to get to. Good old Seamus Headley, see, he got some special news yesterday from his employers up in the future time, that my Rangers are going to the World Series! Well if that ain’t a two-headed hen, ’cause I never thought I’d see that day.
Anyway, before we make a loony detour to Tennessee to see about some big Elvis “rescue” my new nutcake buddies think is in the works, our bus whooshed us to a day game at the Dome, and a night one in Arlington, so let’s go see how my two teams of boys made out…
Games of the Day
HOUSTON—It’s been a rough bunch of months for the Astros. J. R. and Niekro are the only starters able to win lately, and with our best lefty-masher Cliff Johnson off to them Yankees and Cedeno not amounting to a hill of peppercorns, we got a fight on our hands every time out.
Shaky Lemongello’s on the hill today, but lucky for us the worst Dodger pitcher Doug Rau has the other ball. After Garvey singles in the first run to put us behind we come right back with two leadoff walks, but Cabell hits into a double dipper. The next inning we get three singles to load the sacks, but Lemongello does the same dang thing.
Then the Big Lemon kicks away a Dusty Baker dribbler to start the 5th. Monday doubles him to third with one out, a balk brings in one run and a Lopes single another and we’re behind 3-0. Old Sherman’s sittin’ two seats away just about gigglin’, and all I wanna do is kick his senile bee-hind to the curb.
But the Astros get him back for me. Cruz walks to begin our 7th and Gonzalez doubles. Knuckleballin’ Hough relieves, but all he does is step in something dark and smelly. That would be a pinch Ferguson single, a Cedeno walk, a plunked Terry Puhl, a walk to Cabell, a sac fly to Watson and we got a 4-3 lead before an out’s even made.
Sambito comes on, gets Smith, Garvey and Cey without a burp in the 8th. Cedeno doubles in a piece of insurance and it’s 5-3 and all looks safe. But then the scary 9th begins, when Sambito has a knack for screwin’ the pooch. Yup, there he goes again. Baker singles, Yeager walks, Mota walks to load ’em with one out. Lopes doinks a single to make it 5-4. Glenn Burke bats for Russell, lines a 2-run single and poof, we’re behind again. Joe realizes what he just went and did and whiffs Smith and Garvey, but the pigs are out of the pen and we don’t even make a peep our last time up. I’m tellin ya, if I had a nickel for every close, late-inning disaster Houston had this season I could retire in Corpus Christi with a lifetime supply of Lone Stars and a 26-inch color TV.
L.A. 100 020 003 – 6 9 0
HOU 000 000 410 – 5 10 1
W-Hough L-Sambito SV-Sosa GWRBI-Burke
ARLINGTON—What a matchup we got in this one, Leonard against Blyleven, my Rangers fresh off an 11-0 pounding of the Twins and just three games out of first again. Arlington Stadium’s packed, and with my binocs I can even see a few folks on the Six Flags Over Texas roller coasters next door pausing on the hills to take in a pitch.
Except no one told us the Royals were here to sauce us up and put us on a spit, because that’s what they do. Four singles, a walk and a Hargrove error give ’em three runs in the 3rd. A two-out Harrah muff and Darrell Porter bleacher shot gives ’em two more in the the 5th. Two singles, a walk and double, again with two outs, this time in the 7th, plus four runs off reliever Steve Hargan in the 9th and our nightmare in the mirror is over. Recognize this score? Sometimes baseball just works in strange and punishin’ ways.
K.C. 003 020 204 – 11 15 0
TEX 000 000 000 – 0 6 2
W-Leonard L-Blyleven HR: Porter GWRBI-White
The Buzz Line
at EXPOS 4-8-1, PHILLIES 3-8-0
The Montreal Lefty-Maulers are at it again, hammering Carlton for Dawson, Carter and Perez solo homers, with Tony’s being the 8th inning tie-breaker, and the Expos are National League heroes for a day.
at PIRATES 6-11-1, REDS 3-7-0
Especially in the Steel City, where Ed Ott gets a rare start against lefty Capilla and socks a huge 3-run homer off him in the 6th to break a 1-1 tie. Cincy has tormented the Bucs all year, but with Armbrister, Plummer and Bob Bailey in the lineup against the now 18-6 Candy Man, they don’t stand a chance.
INDIANS 10-14-0, at ORIOLES 2-6-2
Tribe’s on a roll heading into Beantown. Bibby whiffs nine, and they explode a tight game with two in the 7th off Grimsley and six more in the 9th off Grimsley, Martinez, Drago and McGregor. Yikes.
at TWINS 12-22-1, WHITE SOX 5-9-1
Ken Kravec was 10-4 at one point; I don’t see how. Sixteen of the 24 Twins he faces in the first two and two-thirds innings reach base on him, as Minnesota scores three times in each of the first four innings. After a little slump, Carew even gets a couple hits to inch back up to .386.
Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Cards all idle.
ADDENDUMS: Tune in tomorrow for a special and righteous Funkyball World Series Preview, with honest opinions on the upcoming 2010 classic from my entire cast of crackpot experts.
Also, I’ll be co-hosting the next edition of “Tumbling Dice”, the Seamheads Strat-O-Matic Podcast, beginning Wednesday night at 9 p.m. eastern right here. Guest will be Matt Beagle, Strat-O-Matic expert for BaseballHQ.com, Ron Shandler’s award winning fantasy site and a participant in our upcoming Anniversary Replay League. For those who insist on watching Game 1 of the World Series at that time, you can hear the complete podcast as soon as Brian Wilson whiffs Josh Hamilton with the bases loaded in the 9th.
American League through Monday, August 11
National League through Monday, August 11