This is an article from the June 6, 1977 issue
"If I could hit other guys like I hit Tom Seaver, I wouldn't be figuring out what to do during the All-Star break," said Tommy Hutton of Philadelphia (3-2). In a 5-4 win over the Mets, Hutton singled, homered and drove in three runs against Seaver. That left him with the following career statistics against the Met ace: 16 hits in 37 at bats, three homers, 14 RBIs and a .432 batting average. If Hutton could hit other pitchers like that for a full season, he would have 48 homers and 224 RBIs. Consecutive game-saving catches gave the Phillies a 2-1 win in St. Louis. Centerfielder Garry Maddox made a shoe-top grab with the bases loaded in the ninth, and Second Baseman Ted Sizemore ended the threat with a leaping catch of a liner.
Chicago (3-2) stayed within half a game of first place Pittsburgh by defeating the Pirates 4-2, as Bill Bonham got his sixth win and Bruce Sutter his 12th save. Manny Trillo, who homered in that game, finished the week with a .357 average.
Dave Parker powered Pittsburgh (2-1) past Los Angeles 11-4 with a pair of homers as John Candelaria improved his record to 6-0. Jerry Reuss beat the Mets 5-2 for his first win. When not pitching. Reliever Rich (Goose) Gossage was in the bullpen keeping an eye on a feathered friend named Lucy Goose that was given to the Pirates.
An 11th-inning single by Mike Phillips and strong relief work by Jackson Todd gave New York (1-3) its only win, a 4-3 defeat of Cincinnati.
Steve Rogers ended 'an 11-game losing streak for Montreal (2-3) by beating San Diego 3-1. The Expos also defeated the Cubs 5-4, but it was not easy. Joe Kerrigan, the winning pitcher in relief, snuffed out a Chicago uprising in the 12th inning when he fielded a pop-up on an attempted sacrifice bunt by Gene Clines. Kerrigan managed to turn his effort into a double play, but in the process of making his diving catch spiked himself. Jose Morales drove in the winning run in the 13th inning with a pinch single.
Al Hrabosky's three-day suspension was lifted by Manager Vern Rapp of St. Louis (3-3), Rapp had penalized Hrabosky because he refused to have a meeting with Rapp. When they finally met, Rapp advised his reliever to use his slider more often, which Hrabosky promptly did as he saved an 8-5 win over the Phillies.
PITT 26-13 CHI 26-14 ST. L 25-17 PHIL 21-19 MONT 15-24 NY 15-25
Dazzling relief work by Gary Lavelle, Randy Moffitt and Charlie Williams helped San Francisco (5-0) leap from fifth place to second. Lavelle pitched seven innings without yielding an earned run, in the process chalking up his third win and doubling his total saves to six. He preserved a 2-0 victory for Jim Barr with two shutout innings against the Cardinals, who have scored only one run against him in 24‚Öì innings stretching over two seasons. Moffitt got his fourth save, and Williams his first two victories. Terry Whitfield's fourth hit of the night polished off Cincinnati 6-5. There was only one bit of bad news for the Giants: John Montefusco was placed on the 21-day disabled list because of an ankle injury.
"You ever see a batting-practice pitcher drop dead?" asked Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda. "Men drop dead shoveling snow, but not pitching batting practice. That's why I pitch batting practice." His Dodgers (3-2) treated Red hurlers as if they were batting practice pitchers, clobbering them for 17 hits in a 10-3 romp that stretched their lead to 13 games. Despite a sore Achilles tendon, Reggie Smith had three hits and crashed into the right-field fence to rob Pete Rose of a homer. Rick Rhoden's seventh victory and Tommy John's fifth were preserved by Charlie Hough, giving him 13 saves.
Unexpected slugging was provided by Enos Cabell and Art Howe of Houston (2-3). "Lifting weights all winter has given me extra power," said Cabell after surpassing his 1976 home-run output by hitting his third of the season. In the same game, Howe, who had had just one previous homer, slugged two as the Astros beat the Dodgers 7-6.
Power did not help Cincinnati. After defeating New York 8-1, the Reds lost four in a row—three by one run—despite walloping seven homers.
Andy Messersmith of Atlanta (3-3) pitched from a stretch position to reduce the pain in his aching back and picked up his first two wins in a month. And Buzz Capra got his first victory in nearly two years by tossing two innings of scoreless relief during a 6-5 triumph over the Padres.
San Diego (2-4) eased past Atlanta 4-3 and 6-5. Rollie Fingers earned his eighth save in the first win. In the second, Dave Winfield homered in the bottom of the 12th to tie the score at 5-all, and pinch hitter Jerry Turner wrapped things up with a bases-loaded single. Randy Jones was told he would be allowed to throw only a limited number of pitches—90 to 100 per game—until he strengthens his left bicep.
LA 33-11 SF 19-23 CIN 18-23 HOU 18-25 SD 19-28 ATL 16-29
The California Angels (3-1) climbed over .500 for the first time since opening week as Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana fired back-to-back three-hitters against Detroit. By fanning the side in the ninth inning of his 2-1 victory, Ryan (7-4) finished with 12 strikeouts and a league record for having struck out 10 or more batters in a game the most times (75). Tanana (8-1) was no less masterful, winning 4-0 as he fanned 11, lowered his ERA to 2.17 and hurled his second straight shutout and fourth of the season. Also gaining favor was Gilberto Garcia Flores, who became the regular centerfielder after being called up from the minors on May 7. As a teen-ager in Puerto Rico, Flores was a boxer who racked up nine wins in 15 bouts. At 16, after almost losing his life in an automobile crash, he switched to baseball. Since coming to the Angels, Flores, 24, has hit .341, and California has won 12 of 17 games.
In a 13-5, 9-4 doubleheader sweep in Boston, the first-place Minnesota Twins (3-1) had 35 hits—seven by Rod Carew, who now has a .378 average, and four by Larry Hisle, who drove in six runs. In the second game, Lyman Bostock tied a big league mark for centerfielders by making 12 putouts. A three-run pinch-hit home run by Craig Kusick in the sixth inning carried the Twins past the Angels 8-5.
Doyle Alexander of Texas (2-2) got his sixth win by trimming Toronto 7-4, and Gaylord Perry bamboozled New York 1-0. Yankee Manager Bill Martin was not about to shut up about Perry after the shutout, calling Perry "a cheater," because "he's got a beautiful spitter." Al Clark, the home-plate umpire, did not concur. "I must have checked the ball 18 times and I never felt any slippery stuff," he testified. With Claudell Washington out with an injured wrist and Ken Henderson sidelined with a hamstring pull. Outfielder Lew Beasley, 27, was summoned from the minors, where he had languished for 10 years. In his first game, Beasley singled twice and doubled.
Oakland (2-2) beat Toronto twice, 3-0 behind Rick Langford's six-hitter and 6-5 with Manny Sanguillen and Mitchell Page driving in 10th-inning runs. Owner Charlie Finley, who said he lost $600,000 last season and who projected a $1 million deficit this year because of declining attendance, announced that he was cutting in half the price of all tickets to Monday through Thursday games.
Dan Meyer had four hits as last-place Seattle (2-2) stopped Oakland 6-2. Later in the week, the Mariners defeated Detroit 2-1 behind the three-hit pitching of Glenn Abbott and Mike Kekich.
Chicago and Kansas City each lost three of four. Richie Zisk of the White Sox retained his league home-run lead by hitting Nos. 12 and 13. One of Zisk's blasts was only the sixth ever to clear the 17-foot-high wall and sail into Comiskey Park's centerfield seats, 445 feet from home plate. In his first starting assignment since his kneecap was shattered by a line drive a year ago, Wilbur Wood was bombed for six runs in one inning by the Tigers. But two of the least sought-after of free agents during the off-season—Pitcher Steve Stone and utilityman Royle Stillman—teamed up to give the White Sox a 4-3 victory over the Brewers. Stone pitched seven strong innings as he earned his fourth win in a row and Stillman doubled twice, drove in one run and scored another. With 26 of their first 38 games at home, the Royals had hoped for a quick start. They did not get it, losing 15 times at Royals Stadium.
MINN 27-15 CHI 23-17 TEX 20-18 CAL 22-21 OAK 20-22 KC 19-22 SEA 17-30
After beating New York 4-3, Bill Lee of Boston (3-4) delivered a soliloquy: "Pitching keeps me sane. But why stay sane? The weather will change, and we'll be in a glacial age or maybe slip into a black hole, because we've polluted our planet beyond repair. Anything that has become overspecialized becomes extinct." Definitely not extinct were home runs at Fenway Park, where a major league record-tying 11 were slammed in one game. The last of those drives, the sixth of the game by the Red Sox, was a grand slam by George Scott that clinched a 14-10 win over the Brewers in the first game of a doubleheader. Scott later hit his 11th home run as Ferguson Jenkins defeated Kansas City 10-1. Jenkins credited Rightfielder Dwight Evans with giving him some valuable advice. After being told by Evans that he was not pushing off with his right foot, the one on which he had Achilles tendon surgery, Jenkins corrected the flaw and tossed the first complete game by a Red Sox pitcher in 16 days. Evans also contributed in other ways last week: he hit his eighth, ninth and 10th homers, and he stretched his consecutive-game hitting streak to 13.
In the second game of the doubleheader in Boston, Eduardo Rodriguez of Milwaukee (3-4) made his first start of the season and beat the Sox 6-0 on two hits. During the week, the Brewers hit 14 homers, five by Don Money, but lost three one-run games. The Brewers, though, did salvage another close game, defeating the Rangers 6-5. They did it by scoring a run in the bottom of the ninth inning on singles by Sal Bando and Cecil Cooper and a sacrifice fly by Steve Brye.
Nifty pitching buoyed Baltimore (5-2). Rudy May muffled New York 5-1 and Minnesota 6-0, Dennis Martinez tamed Kansas City 7-2 with a five-hitter, and Jim Palmer, who had not won in two weeks and had seen an orthopedic surgeon and chiropractor about his sore neck, held off Milwaukee 2-1. Eddie Murray's two-run single in the 6th inning helped finish off the Yankees 5-1 and was the third consecutive game in which the rookie designated hitter had delivered the winning run. "Losing Wayne Garland, Bobby Grich and Reggie Jackson might even be a blessing in disguise." Manager Earl Weaver said. "This team has the best crop of rookies I have ever seen."
Detroit (1-3) drubbed Chicago 14-3, but in three other games, including Mark Fidrych's first start (page 20), the Tigers scored only two runs. Just as Fidrych deserved a better fate, so did erstwhile reliever John Hiller, who made a rare start and lost to the Angels 2-1. Hiller gave up only five hits, two of them bloopers.
Toronto dropped all four of its games. Rookie lefthander Jerry Garvin lost 6-5 to the A's, despite picking two runners off base. Garvin has now nabbed nine, six shy of Bill Lee's single-season record.
"You can always tell if we won by the buzzing of hair dryers after the game," said John Lowenstein of Cleveland. "When we win, the guys think of how they look. When we lose, nobody cares much about personal grooming." Last week the hair dryers purred as the Indians helped Manager Frank Robinson cling precariously to his job by winning all four games. Jim Bibby beat Kansas City 7-1, Dennis Eckersley allowed just five hits in 12 innings while stopping Seattle 2-1, and Wayne Garland defeated Oakland 3-1 on four hits.
There was more growling than purring in New York. "Constructive volatilism" was what owner George Steinbrenner called the rumblings among his Yankees (4-3). Reggie Jackson refused to shake hands with his teammates after homering, and there were rumors that Mickey Rivers would be traded. Jackson later apologized to each Yankee for his behavior and for the unflattering remarks he had made about Thurman Munson during spring training. He also socked his seventh homer as New York overhauled Chicago 8-6. In that game Rivers had four hits and Munson drove in three runs. Catfish Hunter pitched just one inning in that contest, giving up five hits and five runs. But from then on Yankee relievers excelled, Dick Tidrow allowing only one run in seven innings as he won for the fourth time and Sparky Lyle pitching a scoreless ninth inning as he recorded his eighth save.
BALT 24-16 NY 24-19 BOS 22-19 MIL 23-23 CLEV 17-21 DET 17-23 TOR 17-26
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BARRY BONNELL: Atlanta's 23-year-old centerfielder, recently up from the minors, hit .609, collecting 14 hits in 23 at bats, and drove across the deciding run in the 11th inning as the Braves defeated the Padres by a 6-5 score.