"What do we do now?" wondered Philadelphia Manager Danny Ozark after beginning the week with a 1-0 loss to Ray Burris of Chicago. What his Phillies did from there on was to win five of six. They swept three games from St. Louis, thanks largely to a flock of onetime Cardinals. Ex-Card Dick Allen hammered out two doubles and a homer as the Phillies took the opener 5-1. A pinch single by Bobby Tolan, also a former Cardinal, touched off an eight-run eighth the next day and led to a 9-4 verdict. And then Steve Carlton boosted his record against his old teammates to 14-4 by gaining his 19th victory, 7-3, with the aid of a homer by Tim McCarver, yet another ex-St. Louisan. Mike Schmidt socked his 37th homer in Saturday's 6-5 win over the Expos. And on Sunday the Phillies locked up first place as Jim Lonborg beat Montreal 4-1.
Pittsburgh (3-6) agonized while playing six straight one-run games, four of them losses. First the Pirates blew a 6-2 lead to the Mets (5-1) and lost 7-6 as Dave Kingman bopped his 36th and 37th homers and Skip Lockwood gained his 17th save. A day later, the Bucs lost 5-4 when Met newcomer Lee Mazzilli hit a two-run, two-out homer in the ninth. In Chicago (3-4), the Pirates lost 2-1 in 13 innings when Manny Trillo singled, and 4-3 when Joe Wallis singled in the ninth.
When not being haunted by former teammates, the Cardinals won three of five. They overcame the Expos 9-7 with a five-run ninth, and trounced the Pirates 10-6 and 3-0, taking the second game when Lynn McGlothen outdueled former Cardinal Jerry Reuss.
October 3, 1976
Woodie Fryman of Montreal (3-4) beat St. Louis 1-0, Dan Warthen zapped New York 4-0 and Don Stanhouse downed Philly 3-2.
PHIL 94-60 PITT 88-68 NY 83-71 CHI 71-85 ST. L 70-85 MONT 53-100
Add this one to the legend of Pete Rose. Batting against San Francisco righthander John Montefusco, the switch-hitting Rose had doubles his first two times up, the second coming on a misplayed pop fly to left field. When Rose stepped into the box for his next at bat. Giant Catcher Gary Alexander said, "That last one was a gift." To which Rose replied. "I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to hit a double to right field this time." Alexander didn't buy it, saying, "You can't pull The Count." Moments later Rose had his third hit—as promised, a double to right—as Cincinnati went on to win 5-2. By week's end Rose had 40 doubles, the most in the league. If he stays on top, he will lead the league in this category for the third straight year. There was, indeed, a spate of statistical accomplishments as the Reds (4-1) clinched their fifth title in seven years. Reliever Rawly Eastwick, who has a 1.34 ERA, 16 saves and a 5-2 record in his last 47 innings spanning 32 games, notched his 25th save. When Don Gullett won his 10th game, the Reds became the first club in the league ever to have seven pitchers with 10 or more victories in a single season. Tony Perez' 18th homer was the first in 10 games by the Reds, the major league leaders in that category. But Manager Sparky Anderson was intrigued by yet another statistic. "It's been 54 years since a National League team has won consecutive world championships," he said. "That's our goal."
"Finally. Finally. Finally." That was Don Sutton's reaction after becoming a 20-game winner for the first time in his 11 years with Los Angeles (5-1).
Randy Jones of San Diego (1-5), who had lost 10 of his past 13 decisions, held off Atlanta 6-4 for his 22nd win. A couple of other fine pitchers on dreary teams also improved their records by defeating Houston (4-2). Jim Barr of the Giants (1-5), backed up by Gary Matthews' three homers, shut out the Astros 10-0 for his 15th win. And Phil Niekro of Atlanta (2-3) earned his 16th triumph, 6-2.
CIN 99-56 LA 88-67 HOUS 77-79 SF 71-86 SD 69-86 ATL 68-88
Although Kansas City (3-3) could not prove anything, it did cling to a five-game lead over Oakland (4-3). After Amos Otis had been hit in the head with a pitch and Hal McRae had been dusted off—both in the first inning of the opener of a three-game series against the A's in Kansas City—the Royals were convinced that the A's Stan Bahnsen was throwing beanballs. They could not prove it, just as they could not prove later in the game that the A's were stealing their catcher's signals: a pair of binoculars was found in Oakland's outfield bullpen. Still, the Royals came away with a measure of satisfaction, taking that contest 3-1 to widen their lead to seven games. With Vida Blue tossing a six-hitter and supported by three homers, Oakland came back to win the next night 11-1. Then, as the A's stole six bases and Mike Torrez pitched a five-hitter, Oakland won 8-1 to reduce the Royals' lead to five games. The next day Kansas City beat the Rangers 2-1, McRae driving in the winning run in the 14th inning and Larry Gura hurling five innings of shutout relief. Coupled with Oakland's 4-2 loss to Chicago, that pushed K.C. six games up. On Saturday, it was the A's turn to gain ground; they trimmed the White Sox 7-4 while the Royals lost 1-0 to Bert Blyleven of the Rangers (4-4). For Blyleven it was his sixth shutout and the sixth 1-0 game he has been involved in this season, three of which he has won.
Shutouts were also recorded by rookie Pete Redfern (3-0 over Chicago on three hits) and Dave Goltz (6-0 over California on two hits) of Minnesota (5-0). After the Minnesota Vikings installed extra seats in left field at Metropolitan Stadium, the Twins got permission from the AL to move the fence in. Dan Ford took advantage of the altered architecture by poking his 20th homer into the new porch in Goltz'victory.
Frank Tanana and Nolan Ryan of California (2-4) came through with three-hit wins over Texas. Ryan also picked up his 300th strikeout to become the first pitcher ever to do so in four seasons. Those who had been tied with Ryan were Tim Keefe in the 1880s. Amos Rusie in the 1890s and Sandy Koufax in the 1960s.
Wilbur Wood of Chicago (1-5), who was shelved for the season after his left kneecap was shattered on May 9, reinjured the leg while running near his home and underwent surgery.
KC 89-66 OAK 84-71 MINN 81-75 CAL 71-85 TEX 71-85 CHI 64-92
"I don't expect it to happen, but if it does, [Owner George] Steinbrenner will have us working in Mongolia," said Outfielder Lou Piniella of New York (3-6). "It ain't so funny," added Manager Billy Martin between laughs. This was the Yankees' way of trying to forget a losing streak that grew to six games after Catfish Hunter chalked up his 200th win by beating the Brewers 2-1. Catcher Thurman Munson helped save Hunter's victory by picking a runner off third who would have scored on a subsequent fly ball. In the midst of that slump were four losses to Baltimore (5-2), including an 11-8 extra-inning game in which the Yankees once held a 7-0 lead. Baltimore climbed to within 6½ games of first when Wayne Garland followed the sweep of the league-leaders with a 3-0 conquest of Boston for his 19th win. The Yankees stopped worrying about forced labor in Mongolia when Grant Jackson muzzled the Tigers 8-0 as Graig Nettles slugged his league-leading 30th homer, to enable New York to sew up first place. The reappearance in the starting lineup of injured MVP candidate Mickey Rivers seemed to have a salubrious effect on the Yankees. In the games Rivers has started, the Yanks are 84-48; in the games he hasn't, they are 10-13.
Third-place Cleveland (5-1) battled to keep Boston (6-1) at bay. The Indians got two wins from Pat Dobson (16-12) and shutouts from Jim Bibby and Dennis Eckersley. A dozen home runs were hit by the Red Sox, three by Jim Rice, who batted .485 during the week. While his team was rising to the occasion, Manager Don Zimmer was taking pratfalls. Zimmer, under heavy medication because of muscle spasms, decided to protest an umpire's call, but tripped over the dugout steps, fell, got up, continued out on the field, only to stumble on first base and flop on his face.
Manager Ralph Houk fared better, even if Detroit (2-5) was foundering. He can manage the Tigers for virtually as long as he wants under terms of his unique new contract, which also contains bonus clauses based on attendance and team performance. Dave Roberts blanked New York, and Mark Fidrych stopped Cleveland 5-3. Although only 8-7 since the All-Star break. The Bird remains a compelling attraction. So much so that he got a request (he complied with it) for a few of his frizzy locks, which Tiger wives planned to auction off for charity.
After losing 24 of 32 games, Milwaukee (2-6) Manager Alex Grammas said, "I'll say this. I know I like managing. If I can like this, I've got to like managing."
NY 94-61 BALT 86-69 CLEV 79-74 BOS 78-78 DET 69-85 MIL 65-90
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
LUIS TIANT: Boston's Man of a Million Moves allowed just five hits and struck out 19 while defeating Milwaukee 7-1 and Baltimore 1-0 to become a 20-game winner for the fourth time and up his record to 21-11.