The Funky Zipline made an unscheduled stop underneath Peachy Calhoun’s house in Jewett Texas, because even with two huge games in K.C. and L.A. today, his Astro and Ranger affairs had the edge in thrills and bizarreness. Before Peachy takes it away, though, I have to warn you. Because he’s an actual resident of 1977, he isn’t subject to the same sad fate as the rest of us, and the Patriot Act Inc. evaporation system malfunctioned when Houston got eliminated. In other words, Peachy is now one half good ol’ Texas boy and one half English butler.
HOUSTON—I must say, this indoor pitch lends itself to some scintillating ball play. With Messers Twitchell and McLaughlin having at it, the Montrealers rush to the forefront with three tallies in the 3rd, on two single hits, a walk and one two-bag blow by Ellis Valentine. Dang it all!
Not that I give a coyote’s butt what happens to the ‘Stros anymore, but they’ve playing crazy good the last few weeks and still got an outside chance at hitting the .500 mark. Bo ain’t wowin’ them this time, though, and after singles by Garrett, Speier and Twitchell with two gone in the 6th, he’s yanked for Tom Dixon. Splendid.
The seldom-utilized Mr. Dixon responds rather well, embarrassing David Cash with a strikeout and making Dawson, Carter and Valentine redundant in the 7th. Meanwhile, as if the expulsion of their mound ruler had awoken them, Houston brings two runs of their own across right away and forces the Expos overseer to fetch William Atkinson from the pitching reserve. Yee-ha, we’re still in this thing!
Ken Forsch takes care of the French guys in the 8th and 9th, getting Valentine on a DP with the bases loaded that Enos Cabell starts. It’s a damn good omen, and even though Kerrigan gets the ball for the last of the 9th, I dare admit that I am not at all quivering with dread.
The reason? Edward Herrmann pinch-strikes a single. Joseph Ferguson does the same. Cesar Cedeno follows suit admirably. Robert Watson minds the gap by sending a loud two-sacker into it to knot the contest. And it’s Jose Cruuuuuz, with a laser single into center that almost takes Speier’s noggin’ off, and we win it with five straight hits off Kerrigan without making an out!
Hot bloody damn, is all I can say.
MTL 003 001 000 – 4 11 0
HOU 000 002 003 – 5 12 0
W-Forsch L-Kerrigan GWRBI-Cruuuuz
ARLINGTON—What can one possibly say about birds of prey? Orange and black are their feathers, demon red their eyes, determined to finish with honor in this championship campaign. And yet…and yet…Here are Messers Singleton and Murray, the former notorious for his game-deciding exploits, the latter a pale visage of his allegedly superlative self. The Rangers left-fielder makes a foolhardy play to begin things, batter Kelly reaching second base, and one out later Mr. Singleton launches Doyle Alexander’s first offering on a monstrous parabola, over 30,000 Texas hearts sinking, for the ball sails—
Okay, shut your Shepherd’s pie hole. Singleton hits three homers, knocking in five, and Murray also hits three homers, knocking in six. And I got nothing more to say about it except that when I get back on the train, I’m getting stupid drunk.
BAL 350 100 301 – 13 10 0
TEX 000 001 001 – 2 9 3
W-Flanagan L-Alexander HRS: Singleton-3, Murray-3 GWRBI-Singleton (16th!)
The Buzz Line
at CUBS 5-11-0, REDS 3-9-0
If you’re trying to win a pennant, having Tom Seaver and his 19-4 record blow one in Wrigley Field isn’t the best place to start. Cincy does tie it in the 9th off Krukow on a two-out Concepcion triple, but Greg Gross takes Manny Gopher Sarmiento out of the yard in the bottom half to move the Cubbies…are you ready…drum roll please…OUT OF LAST PLACE!
at CARDS 3-7-0, PIRATES 0-2-1
Bob Forsch is unhittable, Jerry Reuss unappetizing, Simmons homers, and St. Louis wins one they absolutely have to.
at DODGERS 3-6-1, PHILLIES 2-9-0
With all the second-place marbles on the line, Hooton narrowly outpitches Carlton in a mini-homerun derby. Smith’s 2-run smack in the 1st kicks it off, Luzinski’s 2-run snort in the 6th ties it, and Cey’s solo job in the 7th wins it. Hooton gets himself in trouble the last three innings but gets himself out of every jam because Lasorda has no intention of using Charlie Hough for another save unless his life is threatened.
YANKEES 3-7-1, at ROYALS 2-7-0
Guidry vs. Leonard in the first of two battle royales, and the bad omens are out in force for K.C. They take a 1-0 lead on an Otis 2nd inning triple, a 2-0 lead on a McRae moonshot in the 6th, but have three guys thrown out stealing and pay for it in the 8th when the Yanks cobble together three singles, a walk and a Reggie double off Mingori for a 3-2 lead. In the last of the 9th, Louisiana Lightning still in there, Mayberry singles. Wilson runs for him, gets grounded to third, but Wathan skies out to right to put New York just one game back in the loss column. Tomorrow it’s Gullett vs. Splittorff in the season series finale, with the Yanks now up 13-8. Buckle in!
at TWINS 8-15-0, RED SOX 6-12-1
Death toll from tonight’s Luis Tiant outing: 5+ innings, 14 hits, 8 runs, an early 4-1 lead washed away like chowder into a storm drain. Hisle with three singles and a homer, Carew with two singles and a triple. Meanwhile two Rice triples are wasted and Boston, now 4-7 in September and a hideous 8-21 since August 10, sinks into a 5th place abyss.
INDIANS 11-14-1, at WHITE SOX 7-9-1
Newly eliminated but still chugging, the Tribe scores eight times in the 1st off the formerly hot Barrios, Duane Kuiper goes 5-for-5 in some kind of fever dream, and Don Hood takes a 3-hitter into the 8th before his arm falls off and Jim Kern has to bail him out.
YULES TRULY: So I bid you adieu until Monday the 27th. I know that’s a long wait to find out what happens in the Yankees-Royals and Phillies-Dodgers finales, but just relax with my special cuppa Joe. Have a joltin’ Christmas, everyone!
American League through Friday, September 12
National League through Friday, September 12