Twisted Sister-Kissers

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA—We grabbed a normal bus from Pittsburgh to here, and now Dr. Sheila is off looking for another vehicle we can rent. She’s real upset about Seamus and the Funkyland bus disappearing, she’s upset that those cowards Buzz and Fred ran off to probably do nothing important, she’s upset she has to look out for Little Carlton every second—Heck, she’s just upset.

Meanwhile, while I stand in this roadhouse bar getting the scores of today’s eight double-headers from local Wheeling TV, five out of the eight being “sister-kissers”, I’m anything but upset. See, even though my eliminated Cubs eliminated one of my hands, another of my five teams still has a darn good shot at winning this thing…

Game of the Day

KANSAS CITY—Two pitchers hotter than flapjacks have at each other, Barrios and Leonard, but it’s the Royals who can’t keep the skillet warm. After singles by LaCock, Cowens and Brett in the 3rd they score on a wild pitch with Porter at the plate, then ground into DPs and strand runners all over the place the rest of the day.

Gamble homers for the 34th time leading off the 4th to tie things, but after a two-out single Leonard no-hits the Chisox for the next six and two-third innings. LaGrow relieves a tired Barrios in the 10th, but Poquette pops out with the bases juiced to end the threat. Two outs, top of the 11th, no one aboard, Chicago pecks Leonard to death. Orta walks, Downing, Spencer, Soderholm, Kessinger and Garr all single in a row, four runs are in, and K.C. looks doomed.

But LaGrow has had his share of 11th hour disasters. Mayberry leads with a walk and Patek homers. White hustles out a double. LaCock, Cowens and Brett string together singles to tie the game. McRae, a bust in all six of his at bats, pops out, but Wathan rips one past a drawn-in Orta and the miracle win is complete!

Doug Bird starts the nightcap, has only one inning in which he craps the bed, and it’s enough to sink the Royals and relegate them to a split. Luck stays on their shoulder, though, due to the horror film down in Arlington…

CHI 000 100 000 04 – 5 8 0
K.C. 001 000 000 05 – 6 16 0

W-Leonard L-LaGrow HRS: Gamble, Patek, GWRBI-Wathan

CHI 004 002 000 – 6 9 1
K.C. 010 010 011 – 4 8 0

W-Knapp L-Bird HRS: Spencer, McRae GWRBI-Garr

The Lester Line

TWINS 8-15-0, at RANGERS 6-7-0
TWINS 17-20-0, at RANGERS 6-8-0
Everything Minnesota rolls on Blyleven’s card is an out in Game 1. They obviously roll on their hitting cards 85% of the time. For the day, the top five spots in the Twins’ order rack up 23 of their 35 hits. Carew ends up with five of them, and has his average parked up at .400 again, but Hisle and Bostock have also been insane. The real shock here are rare complete games for Goltz and Dave Johnson as Texas falls a game and a half off the pace.

RED SOX 7-15-1, at YANKEES 5-10-3
at YANKEES 5-10-1, 4-7-0 (10 innings)
I won’t call this a meaningless twin-bill, but it’s sure less critical than it would have been a month ago. A Nettles homer and Piniella triple off Wise in the first game put the Yanks up 3-1 in the 4th, after which nothing goes right the rest of the game: the usual Catfish gopher balls, fielding nightmares, horrible bullpen work and rancid clutch hitting to lose another winnable one. The nightcap begins in even worse fashion, Tidrow falling behind 4-0 and New York unable to solve Spaceman Lee. Then two triples, two singles and a Reggie double tie the game in the 5th. Lee puts them back in a coma from there, but a Randolph triple and Rivers single in the 10th pull out split no. 2.

at ORIOLES 6-9-0, INDIANS 2-9-0
INDIANS 9-12-1, at ORIOLES 5-11-0
First it’s Flanagan being solid again, Kelly and May going yard off Bibby.  Then it’s DeCinces with a 1st inning grand slam off Fitzmorris in Game 2, and McGregor giving it all back. Dennis Martinez comes on with a 5-4 Birds lead but Andre Thornton destroys him, first with a pinch 2-run triple, then with a 3-run bomb in the 9th. Thornton is a beast, now with 34 homers and 103 RBIs.

at PIRATES 3-5-0, EXPOS 2-6-0
at PIRATES 14-14-1, EXPOS 2-9-0
Montreal has dropped seven of eight going in, and the end of the first game is their best shot to snap the slump. Parrish and Carter work Rooker for walks with one out, down 3-zip. Tekulve comes in to get Valentine on a fly but gives singles to Perez and Cash. Unser pinch-hits and Grant Jackson comes in. Unser singles and it’s 3-2. Goose comes in to face Wayne Garrett, who grounds to first for Gossage’s 20th save. Phew. The less said about Game 2 the better. Except for the fact that Scoop Oliver hits a grand slam, the Expos run through six pitchers and despite Montreal’s scary power against lefties, all they collect is 15 singles for the afternoon against two of them. By the way, Bill Robinson gets injured for seven games, but the way the Bucs been rolling, I can’t see it fazing them.

at REDS 2-7-1, PHILLIES 0-5-0
PHILLIES 8-15-1, at REDS 4-9-1
Seaver brilliant in the opener, Lerch, Garber and McGraw adequate in the nightcap. Cincy now has the Pirates coming in for two, so a sweep here would have helped them immensely.

at CARDS 11-15-0, CUBS 2-5-0
CUBS 7-14-2, at CARDS 6-11-0
And in the last of the sister-kissers. St. Louis turns around an imaginary 1-0 Krukow lead with 11 runs in their last three trips to the plate as Forsch wins, before Lamp and Hernandez nearly blow a 7-2 lead into the 7th. The Cards score three times with two gone and nobody on in the last of the 9th on singles and walks, Reitz grounding out with the bases loaded to end it.

DODGERS 7-12-0, at ASTROS 1-7-3
DODGERS 5-10-1, at ASTROS 3-12-0 (11 innings)
After two ghastly losses in the last week, L.A. hits the Dome and pulls off their biggest win of the season in the nightcap.  Down 3-2 in the top of the 9th to none other than Gene Pentz, Yeager hits a one-out triple to bring on Sambito. Joe gets Mota on a liner, but Grote nails a clutch two-out single to tie the game. Two innings later, a Cey walk, Burke single and Oates sac fly start a 2-run rally to win it, with Sosa and Garman throwing six innings of shutout relief. The Dodgers are suddenly just three games back in the loss column.


+128 Dodgers
+115 Pirates
+97 Reds
+96 Cards
–3 Astros
–5 Phillies
–160 Expos
–251 Cubs

+84 Yankees
+81 Rangers
+61 Royals
+11 Red Sox
+3 Twins
-6 Orioles
–103 Indians
–109 White Sox

American League through Monday, September 1

Kansas City 75 60 .556
Texas 73 61 .545 1.5
New York 71 62 .534 3
Boston 69 62 .527 4
Baltimore 68 67 .504 7
Cleveland 61 73 .455 13.5
Minnesota 60 74 .448 14.5
Chicago 58 76 .433 16.5

National League through Monday, September 1

Pittsburgh 79 56 .585
Los Angeles 74 59 .556 4
Philadelphia 73 59 .553 4.5
Cincinnati 73 61 .545 5.5
St. Louis 71 63 .529 7.5
Houston 61 73 .455 17.5
Montreal 53 82 .393 26
Chicago 51 82 .383 27

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