The managers of the four pennant contenders all had troubles of one sort or another last week, but each had plenty to be thankful about. Cal Ermer (page 26) of MINNESOTA (6-4) ran onto the field with his lineup card before a game against the Indians, tripped and fell in a heap on top of home plate. Fortunately for Ermer, his Twins remained upright. Jim Merritt and Jim Kaat each won twice, Tony Oliva had nine hits in a row and Harmon Killebrew, who had only two homers in August, hit four last week. Oliva, whose batting average fell to an alltime low of .164 on May 17, brought himself up to .290. Killebrew's homers have been invaluable to the Twins, who have won each of the last nine games in which the big slugger has homered. Mayo Smith of DETROIT (7-3), who had briefly given up smoking, admitted that the tensions of recent days had driven him back to his old habit. Earl Wilson hit a game-winning homer and became the first pitcher in either league to win 20 games. Then Mickey Lolich won his fifth game in a row to move the Tigers into a tie for first place with the Twins and the next day Detroit came up with a seven-run rally in the ninth against the White Sox to stay there. Feeling that Carl Yastrzemski might be tiring, Dick Williams of BOSTON (5-3) said, "Carl Yastrzemski will rest tomorrow." Replied Yaz, "Carl Yastrzemski will play tomorrow." Yastrzemski played and hit two homers. Jim Lonborg pitched his first complete game in Fenway Park since mid-May, picked up his 19th win and then admitted, "I'm tired. I started the season weighing 215 and I'm down to 195." Eddie Stanky of CHICAGO (6-3), afraid that Pete Ward was going to slug Umpire Emmett Ashford after a controversial call, wrestled his third baseman to the ground. To help celebrate his 48th birthday, Stanky's players gave him a poodle named Go-Go and the one thing he had said he had always wanted but never had as a child: a bicycle. What Stanky wanted and needed even more was runs, and he got enough at week's end to beat the Tigers 6-0 (as Joe Horlen pitched a no-hitter) and 4-0. When Mayo Smith heard about Stanky's bicycle he said, "It's just peachy. I hope he shares and lets the other little boys on his block ride it, too." Second-division teams took turns throwing roadblocks in front of the top four clubs. Camilo Pascual of WASHINGTON (4-3) beat the Red Sox 5-2. That was the 12th win for Pascual, who in his next start suffered a broken leg. The Red Sox also lost to a former teammate, Bill Monbouquette of NEW YORK (2-6), who brought his ERA down to 2.25. Al Downing and Reliever Dooley Womack stopped the White Sox 3-2. Tom Phoebus and Pete Richert of BALTIMORE (3-7) collaborated to beat the Twins 5-3. Frank Robinson hit his 400th career homer, but Oriole attendance was down 300,000 from last year. CLEVELAND (4-5) beat the Twins 2-1 and 3-2, first on a 10th-inning single by Fred Whitfield, then on a two-run hit by Luis Tiant, who also pitched a seven-hitter. Dick Green and Ramon Webster of KANSAS CITY (3-7) each hit three homers, and one of Green's drives, good for three runs, defeated the Tigers 4-2. CALIFORNIA (5-4) threatened to move into the thick of the pennant fight with three wins in a row, but then ran out of runs.
Standings: Minn 82-62, Bos 82-63, Chi 80-63, Det 81-64, Cal 73-69, Wash 68-75, Clev 67-78, Balt 63-79, NY 63-81, KC 59-84
September 17, 1967
Bob Gibson of ST. LOUIS (4-4), pitching for the first time since he broke his leg on June 15, improved his career record against the Mets to 17-3, but Center Fielder Curt Flood still had trouble with his ailing shoulder and had to have his throws relayed back to the infield. Ray Sadecki and Gaylord Perry of SAN FRANCISCO (6-1) each pitched a three-hit shutout and each won twice. Perry extended his string of scoreless innings to 40 before CHICAGO (5-4) scored on him. The Cubs came up with 11 homers, three each by Ron Santo and Billy Williams, and Ernie Banks added a game-winner in the 11th inning against the Dodgers. Chris Short of PHILADELPHIA (6-3) has not allowed more than three runs in any of his past 17 starts, yet has won only four games. Gary Nolan of CINCINNATI (5-3) beat the Mets 2-1 and 2-0, making him 5-0 against them this season. Milt Pappas won his 15th game, but he needed the help of both the team trainer, who gave him a head massage to relieve his "tension headache," and Ted Abernathy, who earned his 23rd save. ATLANTA (4-6) outscored the opposition 23-5 in three games, then went into a hitting slump. Al McBean of PITTSBURGH (6-3) won his third game in as many weeks since becoming a starter. Maury Wills, after a three-day rest, went 16 for 28 and the Pirates took four of five games from the Cardinals. Ron Fairly of LOS AN-GELES (4-5) homered to beat the Astros one day, and Jim Wynn of HOUSTON (2-6) hit two home runs the next afternoon to defeat the Dodgers. Wynn thus became the first visiting player to hit five homers in a season in Chavez Ravine. Two days later Wynn again homered in L.A. for a 1-0 win. NEW YORK (1-8) went without a home run during the week but ended a six-game losing streak when Tom Seaver beat the Reds 5-4.
Standings: StL 89-55, SF 78-65, Cin 78-66, Chi 79-68, Phil 74-67, Atl 72-71, Pitt 72-72, LA 65-77, Hou 57-88, NY 54-89
Scheinblum, Bench, Rader, Rodriguez, Dal Canton and Schmelz—these are names to remember. They belong to players who have been infiltrating the major league scene en masse in recent days. The arrival of such newcomers is a traditional end-of-the-season ritual made possible by the expansion of big-league rosters from 25 players to 40 during the final month of play. Past experience indicates that a number of these youngsters will soon become regulars. Outfielder Richie Scheinblum of the Indians, Catcher John Bench of the Reds, as well as Pitchers Bruce Dal Canton of the Pirates and Al Schmelz of the Mets fit into the future plans of their parent clubs. And Doug Rader of the Astros and Aurelio Ituarte (Leo) Rodriguez of the Angels have already begun to establish themselves. Rader, 23 and tagged with the florid—and obvious—nickname of Red, has taken over as cleanup hitter, no small feat on a team with Jim Wynn and Rusty Staub. In his first 33 games, Rader, who plays first base and third, hit .336 and drove in 18 runs. Rodriguez (right), a mere lad of 19 from Sonora, Mexico, hit safely in nine of his first 10 games and fielded flawlessly at third base. He was signed by Angel Vice-President Marvin Milkes who, as a minor league executive, had the distinction of breaking in Ron Santo, Brooks Robinson and Zoilo Versalles. Says Milkes, "Leo is ahead of all of them al this stage." Dal Canton did not allow a run in 6‚Öî innings of relief last week and picked up a win against the Cardinals. Schmelz, though not as effective, did set a major league record in his very first game. He was the 25th in a long line of pitchers of sorts who have been employed by the Mets this season.