Don’t Be Cruel, Baseball Gods

PHILADELPHIA—They’re discovering Elvis’ body right around now, so I guess you could call me a trifle upset. Seamus did understand, a big leap for him, and zapped me up to an absolutely incredible game here at the Vet for some serious distraction.

Unfortunately, the game was as devastating as anything that happened down in Memphis. Seems like less than a month ago my Reds were hotter than a jalapeño and bashing everyone in sight. Now, even with most of their injured regulars back, the baseball dice gods are still kicking their butts for the sheer hell of it. If you ask me I’m getting punished for going AWOL, so don’t expect me to leave the damn bus again until I win the pennant or evaporate.

Game of the Day

Geronimo’s the only guy still out, meaning we put Knight in left and Foster in center, but with the crappy Christenson going for Mikey’s Phils, we still got a helluva shot. Right on schedule, Morgan and Rose walk to start, Griffey singles, Foster walks, Driessen hits a scoring grounder and we’re up 2-zip. Fred Norman then says “Match that!” and the Phillies do. Sizemore leads with a walk, Maddux triples, Johnson hits a sac fly and we’re tied 2-2.

With two outs, nobody on in the 5th, Morgan singles and steals, Rose doubles, Griffey walks, Foster singles, Bench is intentionally walked, Driessen walks, we got three runs and lead 5-2. Fred Norman then says, “Match that!” and the Phillies do again. Christenson singles, Sizemore and Maddox hit back-to-back smacks and we’re tied 5-5.

McBride homers in the 6th to put us behind but a rare Boone error, Foster double and Bench single put us back up 7-6.

Then it’s Sarmiento time, not for the faint of heart or stomach. He starts by giving Hutton a pinch walk. Gets out Schmidt and Luzinski but balks Hutton to second.Bowa dribbles one near the mound but Manny can’t make the play and it’s first and third. Boone lines a single over Concepcion and we’re tied 7-7.

From here, against Christenson, Garber and Brusstar, the Reds are 1-hit for the next NINE innings, while the Phillies blow chance after chance to put the game away. Finally, in the last of the 16th against the less cursed but equally erratic Pedro Borbon (pictured above, looking both cursed and erratic), Bowa singles with one out, steals second on Bench—their fourth rob of the game—and Boone rips another single for the winner.

With the win, Cincy would have closed to within two games of first, but when you blow a lead three times, don’t count on egg in your beer.

CIN 200 030 200 000 000 0 – 7  8  1
PHL 200 031 100 000 000 1 – 8 18 2

W-Brusstar L-Borbon HRS: Sizemore, Maddox, McBride GWRBI-Boone

The Buzz Line

at EXPOS 7-6-2, PIRATES 6-11-2
This is definitely Bizarro Ball Month. The 18-6 Candelaria is unable to beat the 3-14 Stanhouse, as Full Pack’s team does its lefty-killing routine with Carter, Valentine and Perez all going deep off the Candy Man. Kerrigan comes on in the 8th to nearly blow another save, but gets Pops on a deep fly with two outs and a man aboard in the 9th.

at CUBS 10-9-1, CARDS 7-16-2
And it also must be Bizarro Line Score Day. Biitner with another righteous tater, Hernandez and Sutter save it for Bonham, and Urrea gets beaten up in the latest Cardinal letdown.

ASTROS 9-12-0, at DODGERS 5-7-0
Meanwhile, the masterly underachieving Blue Crew are no-hit by Bo McLaughlin into the 6th while their ace Hooton is busy getting thrashed. L.A. does plate five in the 9th off Bo and Ken Forsch to make it interesting, but the Prince of Disappointment, one Steve Garvey, grounds out with the bases loaded to end it.

at RED SOX 12-15-1, YANKEES 5-8-2
On a day of top starters losing to horrendous ones, it happens three times in the A.L. Reggie Jax bombs a 2-run bleacher shot off Cleveland in the 7th to put the Yanks up 5-3. In comes the better defense, out goes Figueroa again to pitch the last of the 7th…and he’s never heard from again. Boston scores nine unanswered runs the last two innings to even the series at one apiece. Today’s back-to-back Boston homers are by Evans and Lynn, putting them on a pace for 236.

at TWINS 3-7-0, ROYALS 1-6-0
Leonard inexplicably loses here to Thormodsgard, but it’s Hal McRae wearing the goat horns. Hal celebrates Brett and his three hits returning to the lineup by grounding into double plays his first three times up to obliterate each rally. I’m beginning to wonder how this team ever began the year 16-4.

at WHITE SOX 7-10-3, RANGERS 5-10-2
And finally, we have the awful Wilbur Wood outpitching Bert Blyleven. Yet another untimely Campaneris error leads to a 3-run Soderholm shot in the 8th to put Chicago up 5-2. Texas rallies for three in the 9th to tie, only to have Bert serve up a Garr double and Lemon homer for the disastrous trot-off loss.

ORIOLES 11-19-0, at INDIANS 3-8-1
At least there’s an inkling of sanity by the Lake, as May goes the distance and the Birds continue to rip apart their enemies. They’ve won five straight, 10 of 13, and in those ten wins have averaged 6.8 runs and over 11 hits a game.

CONGRATS TO THE S.F. GIANTS AND FRIENDLY FRED

It was a very long time coming for the San Franciscans, but their stunning World Series win was well earned.  And kudos to our biggest Yankee fan Friendly Fred, who vowed “Frisco in five, and stay alive!” the day before the Series began in our preview post.

RUN DIFFERENTIALS!!

+106 Pirates
+99 Reds
+92 Dodgers
+55 Cards
+18 Phillies
–20 Astros
–91 Expos
–245 Cubs

+69 Rangers
+63 Yankees
+60 Red Sox
+48 Royals
–16 Orioles
–22 Twins
–89 Indians
–99 White Sox

American League through Saturday, August 16

Boston 66 51 .564
Kansas City 66 54 .550 1.5
Texas 64 55 .538 3
New York 63 55 .534 3.5
Baltimore 61 58 .513 6
Cleveland 53 67 .442 14.5
Chicago 52 66 .441 14.5
Minnesota 49 68 .419 17

National League through Saturday, August 16

Philadelphia 68 49 .581
Pittsburgh 68 51 .571 1
Los Angeles 65 52 .556 3
Cincinnati 65 54 .546 4
St. Louis 61 57 .517 7.5
Houston 52 68 .433 17.5
Montreal 50 67 .427 18
Chicago 43 74 .368 25

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