Bill Madlock of the Cubs and Jon Matlack of the Mets are sound-alikes who had a lot in common last week. After the National League won the All-Star Game 6-3 Madlock and Matlack were named co-winners of the MVP trophy. Madlock earned his share by snapping a 3-all deadlock in the ninth with a two-run single, making a winner of Matlack, who pitched two shutout innings. During post-All-Star contests, both were anything but MVPs. Madlock drove in just one run as Chicago (1-3) bumbled along. Matlack was victimized 4-3 by the Braves, who were outhit 15-6, but capitalized on four errors by the Mets (2-2). Tom Seaver persevered for his 14th victory, beating Atlanta 5-4.
Excellent relievers abound in this division, and once again they proved their worth. Montreal's Dale Murray, sidelined for a month by hepatitis, was back in form, giving up only six hits in 10‚Öî innings. When the Expos (2-2) ended the Reds' 10-game winning streak, it was Murray who saved the 3-0 decision with three scoreless innings after starter Steve Rogers left because of a blistered finger. And when Montreal shocked Cincinnati again 4-2 with the help of a two-run single in the eighth by Nate Colbert, it was Murray who kept the Reds at bay to gain the win.
Another reliever who excelled was Al Hrabosky of St. Louis (2-2). Hrabosky began the week just about the way he ended the previous one. On Saturday he tossed two innings of shutout ball to notch a 2-1 verdict over the Dodgers; on Sunday he threw one scoreless inning of relief to beat the Dodgers 2-1. Ted Simmons made Hrabosky a winner again four days later by doubling home the only run in a 1-0 game at San Francisco. Hrabosky worked two more runless innings in that contest, lowering his ERA to 1.65.
July 27, 1975
For Philadelphia (3-1) the bullpen strength was supplied by Tug McGraw and Tom Hilgendorf. McGraw won for the sixth time with the aid of Larry Bowa's aggressive base running. With the score 5-5 against the Astros in the bottom of the 11th, Bowa went from first to third on a sacrifice bunt, then scampered home when the throw to third was wild. Hilgendorf, a 33-year-old retreaded retread who had a 4.84 ERA last year for Cleveland, gave up just two hits in 3‚Öî innings as the Phillies overcame the Astros 7-4. That gave Hilgendorf a 1.65 ERA and 25‚Öì straight scoreless innings.
Both of Pittsburgh's wins in a 2-2 week were attributable to reliever Dave Giusti, the victor in one game and the saver in another. Six home runs also were vital as Dave Parker bopped his 16th and 17th and Willie Stargell his 18th.
PITT 57-34 PHIL 52-40 NY 45-43
ST. L 43-46 CHI 43-50 MONT 37-49
Atlanta raced to a 5-4 win over Montreal, San Diego ambled past Chicago 2-1 and Cincinnati grapevined its way around New York 5-3. Darrell Evans made the Braves (2-2) a winner, speeding from first to third on Mike Lum's single in the 14th and while the Expos tried to catch Lum going to second, scooting home with the deciding run. The Padres (3-1) got just one hit against the Cubs, but it did not figure in the scoring; they squeezed out two runs when Steve Stone issued five walks in the sixth. Pete Rose of the Reds (2-2), seeking advice on how to hit against rookie Rick Baldwin of the Mets, got some tips from Greg Luzinski and Larry Bowa of the Phillies. Thus forearmed, Rose cracked a two-run single off Baldwin in the seventh to knock in the go-ahead run.
Through 94 games the Dodgers (1-3) have scored 109 fewer runs than last year, but they managed to beat the Pirates 4-3 when Manny Mota's pinch double drove in two runs.
John Montefusco won twice for the Giants (3-1), who also knocked off the Cardinals 2-1 on a 10th-inning single by Chris Speier. Statistics from Houston (1-3) were negative: the Astros were shut out for the 11th time (1-0 by Larry Christenson of the Phillies) and lost their seventh extra-inning game in nine tries, 6-5 to Philadelphia.
CIN 62-31 LA 50-44 SF 43-48
SD 43-50 ATL 40-51 HOUS 33-62
Elrod Hendricks of Baltimore (4-1) underwent tests for a possible ulcer, but his robust slugging may have left opposing pitchers with stomach disorders of their own. Hendricks, who was not permitted to eat for two days because of the examinations, feasted on the Twins. He settled 6-3 and 9-6 victories with a three-run homer in the 12th inning of the first encounter and a grand slam in the next. Lastly, Hendricks drove in two runs in a 5-1 conquest of the A's. Also dispensing his share of indigestion was Lee May, who blasted four home runs.
Since dropping into a tie for first two weeks earlier, Boston has won 11 of 12 and zipped to a 6½-game lead over Milwaukee. Last week the Red Sox (4-0) ran their winning streak to 10 games, during which they scored 82 runs. In holding off Texas 7-5, Boston got four RBIs from Fred Lynn and five hits from Carl Yastrzemski. When the Sox throttled the Royals 8-3 and 9-3, they got four RBIs from Cecil Cooper in the first contest and had five batters get two hits apiece in the second. Rick Wise won his 11th and 12th games, tossing a shutout against Texas, which was hardly necessary as the Sox piled up their usual eight runs.
When asked about the bead necklace he wears, George Scott of Milwaukee answered: "These are second basemen's teeth." But last week the Brewers (1-3) played as if they had ropes around their necks that were keeping them from scoring. In all, they produced five runs. But the two they got for Jim Slaton were sufficient as he blanked California.
The Yankees (1-3) had the distinction of being the home team in Minnesota, where they concluded a game suspended in New York the week before with the score 6-6 after 14 innings. RBI singles by Graig Nettles and Lou Piniella in the bottom of the 16th gave the Yankees an 8-7 triumph.
Detroit (3-2) outscrambled Cleveland (1-4) for fifth place. Lerrin LaGrow of the Tigers beat the White Sox 9-1, and John Hiller recorded his 12th and 13th saves. Cleveland had to be content with tying a league mark for consecutive wins at an opponent's park, taking its 13th in a row over three seasons in California 8-7.
BOS 53-37 MIL 47-44 NY 46-44
BALT 45-44 DET 41-49 CLEV 40-50
Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and Oakland's Sal Bando had close shaves. With Charlie Finley of the A's leading a movement to unseat Kuhn, it seemed major league owners would vote against renewing his contract. Then came the showdown, and Kuhn narrowly mustered enough support to be voted in for another seven-year term. Bando shaved off the mustache he had worn for four years, a desperation move he hoped would somehow lift him out of a season-long slump that had mired his batting average barely above .200. In the next three games Bando went 1 for 10 and tried to keep a stiff—and clean-shaven—upper lip. Nonetheless, Oakland (3-2) got two wins from Ken Holtzman (Nos. 11 and 12) and opened a 10-game chasm between itself and Kansas City.
Everything seemed to be out of date in Kansas City. The pitching was abominable (30 earned runs in four games, all losses), the fielding was shoddy (seven errors) and the offense was sporadic.
Superlative pitching kept Chicago (4-1) on the go. Wilbur Wood, an early season dud with 13 defeats, blanked Milwaukee 5-0 and Detroit 4-0 on a total of five singles to raise his record to 8-13. Also coming through with a shutout was Jim Kaat, who muffled the Tigers 4-0 for his 14th win. And reliever Rich Gossage allowed just two hits in 3‚Öì innings, picking up his 14th save in a 4-2 decision over the Brewers.
Ferguson Jenkins and Gaylord Perry of Texas (2-2) frustrated New York batters. In successive 7-2 and 1-0 victories they held the Yankees to just seven hits.
Nolan Ryan, Ed Figueroa and Frank Tanana of the Angels (3-2) all pitched well enough to win. Two of them did; Ryan did not, losing 2-0 to Milwaukee for his seventh loss in a row. Figueroa's four-hitter stymied the Brewers 6-1, and Tanana started a doubleheader sweep of the Indians with an 8-0 verdict in which he struck out eight and took the league lead—151 in 134‚Öì innings.
Minnesota (1-3) plopped into the cellar, its only win coming when Jim Hughes staggered past New York 2-1 despite nine walks. The Twins might not have won that game had it not been for an odd ruling that deprived Thurman Munson of an RBI and a hit—the pine tar on his bat extended beyond the allowable 18 inches above the handle.
OAK 57-34 KC 47-44 CHI 43-46
TEX 43-50 CAL 43-52 MINN 40-51