Getting superb performances from its Shake and Bake center-field combination, its Bionic Pitcher and a worried father-to-be, Philadelphia (5-1) was the only Eastern team with a winning record. Although Garry (Shake) Maddox had a sore shoulder and Bake Mc-Bride a gimpy knee, they combined for 11 hits in 25 at bats. Maddox drove in three runs as 38-year-old Jim Kaat beat Atlanta. Kaat, whose son Jim Jr. thinks his dad is "a bionic man," won his 253rd game and became the 25th man to pitch 4,000 major league innings. After Steve Carlton (19-8) struck out nine Braves in a 6-1 victory, McBride knocked in all the runs in a 3-0 triumph over the Reds. One of McBride's hits was his 13th homer. That victory went to Jim Lonborg, who tossed a five-hitter in between phone calls to his wife. She gave birth to a baby girl the next day. The win was the Phillies' 15th in a row at home, breaking a club record dating back to 1890. McBride had another homer and three more RBIs as Larry Christenson (13-6) stopped the Reds 9-3.
Ten stolen bases raised the Pirates' total to 200—tops in the majors—but otherwise there was little zip in the Pittsburgh (2-3) attack. Phil Garner's three hits and three steals, coupled with John Candelaria's four-hitter, brought about a 3-1 win over the Giants.
St. Louis and Chicago (both 1-5) struggled on the West Coast. The Cardinals broke a seven-game losing streak by trimming the Giants 6-4, but that still left them with a 3-14 road record against California teams. Bruce Sutter of the Cubs got his 26th save as he wrapped up Rick Reuschel's 19th win, a 4-1 verdict in Los Angeles.
September 11, 1977
Home runs by Gary Carter and Tony Perez, who hit .409, enabled Montreal (2-4) to knock off Cincinnati 7-2. Steve Rogers, who began the week with a 7-2 loss during which he walked seven Astros, ended it by beating Houston 5-1 on six hits and no bases on balls.
Three home runs and 10 RBIs by Steve Henderson accounted for much of the New York (2-4) offense. Henderson drove in three runs as Pat Zachry beat Atlanta 4-0.
PHIL 83-50 PITT 77-58 CHI 71-62 ST.L 72-63 MONT 61-73 NY 53-81
The Dodgers (5-1) reveled in statistical accomplishments as they pulled 10½ games ahead of the Reds. Five was Steve Garvey's number as he came through with that many runs, RBIs and hits (two of them homers) in an 11-0 blitzing of St. Louis. Don Sutton (13-8) pitched that shutout and then held off Pittsburgh 6-4. In the process, he passed Grover Cleveland Alexander and moved into 24th place on the alltime strikeout list with 2,199. Garvey also gave Sutton ample support in his second win, hitting his 29th homer and driving in his 99th and 100th runs. During the week, Garvey batted .480 and had 11 RBIs. More numbers: Reggie Smith hit his 25th and 26th homers, Ron Cey his 25th, and Tommy John and Rick Rhoden won their 16th games.
Not that the Reds (3-3) were without glittering statistics of their own. While defeating Montreal 6-0, Tom Seaver became the 11th pitcher to get 2,500 strikeouts. George Foster hammered his 43rd and 44th home runs, Johnny Bench his 29th, Joe Morgan his 21st.
Willie McCovey of San Francisco (3-2) drove in his 1,400th run in a 4-1 win over Chicago. Darrell Evans had four hits, including a three-run homer, during a 6-3 victory against the Pirates that gave the Giants a 10-2 record in their season series with the Bucs.
J.R. Richard of Houston (4-1), long noted for wildness, hurled his second straight game without a walk as he stopped Montreal 5-2. That was the final victory in an eight-game winning streak during which the Astros had their best-ever home stand (7-0).
George Hendrick of San Diego (5-1) did it all: he hit .542, had two game-winning hits and helped lock up a pair of victories with dazzling catches in center field. Dan Spillner got his sixth save and a win and Rollie Fingers had his 29th, 30th and 31st saves. Fingers also got his first hit since the 1973 World Series and pitched the final two innings of a 5-0 win over Chicago in which Randy Jones went the first seven innings.
Everybody in the West played at least .500 ball—except the Braves (2-5), whose most depressing defeat came when Reliever Steve Hargan walked four Phillies in the 14th inning and lost 3-2. Another reliever, Dave Campbell, saved two wins over the Mets.
LA 82-53 CIN 72-64 HOUS 65-70 SF 63-73 SD 61-76 ATL 49-86
The Royals (5-2) were not overpowering—they had an average of only .243—but they had enough pop to take a four-game lead. Paul Splittorff yielded only one hit (a pinch single by Charlie Moore with two out in the eighth) as he defeated Milwaukee 3-0. Doug Bird came out of the bullpen to wrap up three wins; since the All-Star break he has either won or saved 13 games. Hal McRae, who leads the majors in doubles with 45, had four.
Tight pitching by Ken Kravec and Clay Carroll enabled Chicago (2-3) to cling to second place. Kravec beat Cleveland 3-1, and Carroll, reacquired from St. Louis, tossed 3‚Öì innings of scoreless relief to hold off Baltimore 6-3.
Revealing photographs were taken of Gay-lord Perry of Texas (2-3) while he mowed down Kansas City 8-2. The pictures showed Perry in the dugout between innings, apparently taking something from a tube and dabbing it behind his right ear. And they depicted Perry on the mound fingering the spot next to his ear. All Perry would say after his four-hitter was, "I had all my stuff." Texas Shortstop Bert Campaneris had his 2,000th hit in that game.
For the first time since 1970, attendance in Minnesota (2-4) exceeded one million. Twins fans savored a 7-6, 6-5 doubleheader sweep of Toronto in which Larry Hisle got seven hits and Tom Johnson his 15th win in relief.
Nolan Ryan (18-13) of the Angels (1-5) downed Cleveland 7-3 and went over the 300 mark in strikeouts for the fifth time in six seasons. Bobby Bonds' 32nd and 33rd homers could not avert a 12-9 loss in Detroit.
Oakland (3-3) moved half a game ahead of Seattle (2-3) in its battle for sixth place. Mitchell Page slugged four home runs, two as the A's overcame the Red Sox 8-7. Glenn Abbott of the Mariners held off the Blue Jays 4-3 for his 11th win. Abbott later said that his roommate, John Montague, "kept me awake all night telling me how many forkballs he was going to throw." After Montague pitched, Abbott said, "Do you know how many forkballs he threw? Not one." Forkball or not, Montague baffled the Blue Jays 6-2.
KC 79-54 CHI 74-57 TEX 74-59 MINN 75-61 CAL 62-69 OAK 52-80 SEA 54-83
Left-handed pitchers and sluggers helped New York (6-0) build a 4½-game lead. Rookie Ron Guidry hurled two shutouts, a 1-0 two-hitter against Texas and a 4-0 six-hitter in Minnesota. Sparky Lyle did not allow a run in 7‚Öî innings as he won three times in three days, thanks to dramatic home runs by lefty swingers. A three-run pinch homer in the eighth by Chris Chambliss overhauled the Royals 5-3 to start Lyle's streak. Mickey Rivers led off the 11th inning of the next game with a game-winning homer that toppled the Mariners 6-5. And Graig Nettles opened the bottom of the ninth the following night with a home run that finished off Seattle 5-4. For Nettles it was his second homer of the game, third of the week and 34th of the season.
Jim Rice of Boston (4-3) tied Nettles for the league lead as he homered four times. Three of Rice's drives came during an 8-7 loss to the A's, and his fourth as the Red Sox nipped the Rangers 2-1. Reggie Cleveland notched his first and second saves, Bill Campbell his 22nd and 23rd.
A grand-slam homer by Pat Kelly and four-hit pitching by Rudy May enabled Baltimore (4-2) to beat Nolan Ryan and the Angels 6-1. The next day Jim Palmer downed California 8-2, and then the Orioles completed a three-game sweep when Doug DeCinces homered in the eighth to defeat Frank Tanana 4-3.
Milt Wilcox of Detroit (5-1), who insists he built up his ailing arm by bowling, threw strikes from the mound rather than on the lanes last week. His 5-2 defeat of Milwaukee was his first complete game in the majors since 1974 and gave him a 6-0 record since his recall from the minors. Three homers by Aurelio Rodriguez, seven RBIs by Rusty Staub and Dave Rozema's 15th victory also helped lift the Tigers within three games of .500.
Duane Kuiper of Cleveland (4-3) ended the longest current homerless drought in either league when he cleared the fence for the first time in 1,382 at bats. (That left three full-time major leaguers without a homer this season: Dave Cash of Montreal, Rob Andrews of San Francisco and Mike Champion of San Diego.) Kuiper's homer, plus two by Andre Thornton and another by Bruce Bochte, propelled the Indians to a 9-2 romp over the White Sox. Rico Carty had two homers and five runs batted in as the Indians slugged their way past the Mariners 10-6.
Milwaukee (2-4) won big (10-1 over Chicago) and small (1-0 over Detroit). The latter victory was built around the pitching of Jerry Augustine and Eduardo Rodriguez and an RBI double by Ed Kirkpatrick.
The week was a bummer for Toronto (0-5). Dave Lemanczyk closed in on the modern mark for wild pitches in one season (21) by unleashing his 15th and 16th. Roy Howell, who hit .368 in August, struck out 10 times and ended a 13-game hitting streak by going hit-less in his last 13 times up.
NY 82-52 BOS 77-56 BALT 76-56 DET 65-68 CLEV 63-72 MIL 58-83 TOR 45-86
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
LOU BROCK: With two stolen bases in a game against San Diego, the St. Louis outfielder increased his total to 893, thereby tying and then surpassing Ty Cobb's 49-year-old major league record for steals in a career.