Watching the Defectives

Seamus reporting in, because it is my job once in a while. But I got a fun one for you today. Being we’re down to the wire in the American League, even though no team except one really seems to be wanting this pennant, I thought I’d give us all a treat and rig up a special day of scoreboard watching. Most players and managers say they don’t start watching the out-of-town business until September, but I don’t buy that. It sure isn’t true for me. I’m watching the scoreboard from the first inning on Opening Day, a) because it’s fun and b) because it fills those boring gaps between innings.

So what I did was soup up the Funky Zipline by welding a special turbo time splitter into the engine, y’know, like in one of those Back to the Hogwarts movies? Christ, why be at one ball game when you can pull off three at once?

Anyway, before I get into the play-by-plays from Fenway, Comiskey and Metropolitan Stadium, let’s set the standings. The Royals magic number is four, up by two in the loss column over the Yanks and Rangers, with the Red Sox having to win and KC lose to stay alive.

Got it? Good. Now scroll down nice and slow. You can always skip to the final scores if you have no patience, but what’s the fun in that? In my baseball experience, suspense is everything.

at BOSTON (Gullett vs. Tiant; Evans, Doyle injured)

NYY 1st: Rivers whiffs…Randolph dribbles out…Munson dribbles out
BOS 1st: Burleson singles…Fisk grounds out…Scott singles..Rice sac fly…Hobson grounds out. 1-0 Red Sox
NYY 2nd: Jackson singles…Nettles HOMERS…Piniella HOMERS, Chambliss grounds out…White flies out…Stanley grounds out. 3-1 Yankees
BOS 2nd: Yastrzemski HOMERS…Montgomery walks…Lynn triples…Dillard sac fly…Burleson walks…Fisk walks…Scott singles…Rice sac fly…Hobson walks…Yaz flies out. 5-3 Red Sox
NYY 3rd: Rivers HOMERS…Randolph singles…Munson doubles, Randolph out at home (on %80 chance)…Jackson fans…Nettles flies out. 5-4 Red Sox
BOS 3rd: Montgomery walks…Lynn fans…Dillard fans…Burleson walks…Fisk doubles…Scott walks…Rice flies out. 7-4 Red Sox

at CHICAGO (Ellis vs. Barrios; Sundberg suspended)

TEX 1st: Wills flies out…Harrah flies out…Hargrove grounds out.
CHI 1st: Downing flies out…Lemon fans…Gamble walks…Zisk walks, Zisk grounds out.
TEX 2nd: Bevacqua fans…Washington doubles…May walks…Beniquez hits into DP.
CHI 2nd: Orta grounds out…Essian grounds out…Soderholm HOMERS…Bannister singles…Spencer grounds out. 1-0 White Sox
TEX 3rd: Campaneris grounds out…Fahey singles, Wills hits into DP
CHI 3rd: Downing fans…Lemon fans…Gamble lines out

at MINNESOTA (Colborn vs. Goltz; McRae suspended)

KC 1st: Poquette flies out…Cowens grounds out…Brett doubles…Wathan grounds out
MIN 1st: Bostock singles, goes to second on balk…Wynegar singles…Carew walks…Hisle flies out…Adams grounds out…Cubbage grounds out. 1-0 Twins
KC 2nd: Porter walks…Otis walks…Mayberry HOMERS…Patek singles…White sac bunt…Poquette singles…Cowens hits into DP. 4-1 Royals
MIN 2nd: Chiles flies out…Wilfong grounds out…Smalley fans
KC 3rd: Brett HOMERS…Wathan grounds out…Porter grounds out…Otis fans. 5-1 Royals
MIN 3rd: Bostock grounds out…Wynegar grounds out…Carew singles…Hisle singles…Adams flies out

at BOSTON

NYY 4th: Piniella fans…Chambliss doubles…White flies out…Stanley flies out. 7-4 Red Sox
BOS 4th: Hobson grounds out…Yaz whiffs…Montgomery dribbles out
NYY 5th: Rivers grounds out…Randolph grounds out…Munson HOMERS…Jackson singles…Nettles doubles…Piniella doubles (Willoughby replaces Tiant)…Chambliss fans. Yankees 7, Red Sox 7
BOS 5th: Lynn grounds out…Dillard flies out…Burleson fans
NYY 6th: White walks…Stanley flies out…Rivers safe on Scott error…Randolph walks (B. Stanley replaces Willoughby)…Munson hits into 6-4-3 DP
BOS 6th: Fisk doubles…Scott fans…Rice triples…Hobson singles…Yaz doubles…Montgomery sac fly…Lynn HBP…Dillard pops out. 10-7 Red Sox

at CHICAGO

TEX 4th: Harrah fans…Hargrove walks…Bevacqua walks…Washington hits into DP. 1-0 White Sox
CHI 4th: Zisk fans…Orta singles…Essian grounds out…Soderholm walks…Bannister grounds out
TEX 5th: May singles…Beniquez sac bunt…Campaneris grounds out…Fahey grounds out
CHI 5th: Spencer triples…Downing singles…Lemon singles…Gamble doubles…Zisk whiffs…Orta triples (Devine replaces Ellis)…Essian grounds out…Soderholm HOMERS…Bannister flies out. 7-0 White Sox
TEX 6th: Wills doubles…Harrah doubles…Hargrove flies out…Bevacqua HOMERS…Washington singles…May whiffs…Beniquez singles…Campaneris singles…Fahey safe on Spencer error…Wills singles…Harrah grounds out. 7-6 White Sox
CHI 6th: Spencer grounds out…Downing flies out…Lemon walks…Gamble grounds out

at MINNESOTA

KC 4th: Mayberry singles…Patek fans…White singles…Poquette HOMERS (Serum replaces Goltz)…Cowens grounds out…Brett grounds out. 8-1 Royals
MIN 4th: Cubbage grounds out…Chiles grounds out…Wilfong singles…Smalley flies out
KC 5th: Watahn grounds out…Porter fouls out…Otis singles…Mayberry flies out
MIN 5th: Bostock singles…Wynegar walks…Carew walks…Hisle singles…Adams singles…Cubbage, Chiles and Wilfong all ground out. 8-5 Royals
KC 6th: Patek flies out…White walks…Poquette walks…Cowens grounds out (Butler replaces Serum)…Brett singles (T. Johnson replaces Butler)…Wathan pops out. 9-5 Royals
MIN 6th: Smalley, Bostock and Wynegar all ground out

at BOSTON

NYY 7th: Jackson flies out…Nettles lines out…Pinella singles…Chambliss pops out. 10-7 Red Sox
BOS 7th: Burleson grounds out…Fisk flies out…Scott singles…Rice singles…Hobson whiffs
NYY 8th: White grounds out…Stanley flies out…Rivers singles…Randolph singles…Munson singles (Campbell replaces B. Stanley)…Jackson lines out 10-8 Red Sox
BOS 8th: (Lyle replaces Gullett) Yaz, Montgomery, Lynn all ground out
NYY 9th: Nettles safe at second on Rice error…Piniella singles…Chambliss sac fly…Zeber bats for White and singles…Stanley ties game with single but gets hurt…Rivers dribbles out…Randolph pops out. Yankees 10, Red Sox 10
BOS 9th: Dent at short, Blair in left. Dillard flies out…Burleson singles…Fisk singles…Scott walks…Rice walks to win game.

at CHICAGO

TEX 7th: Hargrove walks…Bevacqua fans…Washington walks…May flies out…Beniquez grounds out. 7-6 White Sox
CHI 7th: Zisk singles…Orta singles…Essian hits into DP…Soderholm singles…Bannister doubles…Spencer singles…Downing singles (Marshall replaces Devine)…Lemon flies out. 10-6 White Sox
TEX 8th: Campaneris fans…Fahey grounds out…Wills singles…Harrah doubles (Hamilton replaces Barrios)…Hargrove whiffs
CHI 8th: Gamble doubles…Zisk doubles…Orta flies out…Essian doubles…Soderholm doubles (Umbarger replaces Marshall)…Bannister grounds out…Spencer doubles…Downing flies out. 14-6 White Sox
TEX 9th: Bevacqua, Washington and May all ground out.

EIGHT straight wins for Chicago!

at MINNESOTA

KC 7th: Porter triples…Otis HOMERS…Mayberry singles…Patek fans…White walks…Poquette grounds out after wild pitch…Cowens safe on Cubbage error (Holly replaces T. Johnson)…Brett lines out. 12-5 Royals
MIN 7th: Carew singles…Hisle singles…Adams singles (Mingori replaces Colborn)…Kusick bats for Cubbage and fans…Ford bats for Chiles and singles…Borgmann bats for Wilfong and hits GRAND SLAM HOMER (Littell replaces Mingori)…Smalley walks…Bostock hits into DP. 12-10 Royals
KC 8th: Wathan singles…Porter HOMERS…Otis fans…Mayberry flies out…Patek doubles…White triples (D. Johnson replaces Holly)…Zdeb bats for Poquette and singles…Cowens walks…Brett whiffs. 16-10 Royals
MIN 8th: Wynegar and Carew whiff…Hisle grounds out
KC 9th: Gomez at second, Randall at third. Wathan doubles…Porter singles…Otis sac fly…Mayberry pops out…Patek safe on Smalley error…White singles…Zdeb grounds out. 18-10 Royals
MIN 9th: Adams singles…Randall grounds out…Ford flies out…

And back at Fenway, the whole team and half the fans out on the field watching the scoreboard, the fate of Boston’s season lies in the pinch hitting bat of Willie Norwood. Littell throws, and Norwood belts it to deep left…Zdeb to the track hauls it in and the misery is over. Sorry Buzz, wherever the hell you are.

Three teams left in the hunt now, and the KC magic number is down to two. Tomorrow’s games will feature Hunter vs. Aase, Perry vs. Stone, and Hassler vs. Thormodsgard.

The Seamus Spin (for what these are worth)

ORIOLES 7-10-1, at INDIANS 2-3-0
Flanagan continues to pitch Palmer off a cliff, hurling a brilliant 3-hitter for his sixth straight win.

REDS 7-11-1, at PHILLIES 2-6-2
Seaver vs. Carlton, and it’s no contest. Bench snaps a 1-1 tie and clears the bases with a triple in the 5th, while Luzinski and Schmidt provide useless solo homers.

CARDS 5-13-0, at CUBS 1-5-1
After spanking L.A.’s bottom, St. Louis stays hot at Wrigley, Urrea with the knockout performance and Mumphrey with yet another Cards triple, as they lead the majors with 93.

ASTROS 7-11-0, at DODGERS 0-8-1
Ah yes. The spankees arrive home and get paddled again, this time by Joe Niekro and the ferocious Astros. Sutton, back to his old form, can’t get out of the 4th inning. For a true Twilight Zone experience, check out this actual game from the last day of 1980.

American League through Tuesday, September 23

Kansas City 84 66 .560
New York 80 69 .537 3.5
Texas 80 69 .537 3.5
Boston 78 71 .523 5.5
Baltimore 78 73 .517 6.5
Chicago 70 80 .467 14
Cleveland 67 84 .443 17.5
Minnesota 63 88 .417 21.5

National League through Tuesday, September 23

x-Pittsburgh 88 63 .583
Cincinnati 82 67 .550 5
Los Angeles 83 68 .55- 5
Philadelphia 81 68 .544 6
St. Louis 80 70 .533 8
Houston 70 81 .464 18.5
Montreal 60 91 .397 28
Chicago 57 93 .380 30.5

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