As far as the Expos (3-0) are concerned, home is where the victories are. After dropping the last five games of a 1-6 road trip, it was back to Montreal, where Warren Cromartie called a players' meeting. "We need leadership, more discipline, more concentration," he said. Whatever it took, the Expos had plenty of it as they tore apart the Braves 12-1, 11-2 and 7-0, with Steve Rogers getting two hits and hurling the shutout. In those three outings Montreal batted .351 and improved its home record to 21-7. For the week Andre Dawson hit .600, had five RBIs and four doubles. Tim Raines batted .500, scored six runs, drove in five and swiped five bases.
Tug McGraw of the Phillies (3-0) had a thigh ol' time, which is to say he was able to repeatedly slap his right thigh with his gloved hand—a favorite move after he mows down batters. McGraw came on in relief against Houston to save a 4-3 victory for Dick Ruthven (8-3) and a 5-4 win for Steve Carlton (9-1).
When is a single a two-run homer? When the ball gets by an outfielder and rolls to the wall. George Hendrick of the Cardinals (2-1) was credited with such a hit—an inside-the-park homer—when his liner to right was charged by Pedro Guerrero, who failed to make a shoestring catch as L.A. lost 2-1.
June 21, 1981
"I know a couple people who can't wait to fry my posterior for this trade," said Cub General Manager Herman Franks after sending Pitcher Rick Reuschel to the Yankees for Pitcher Doug Bird, a player to be named later (probably promising minor league Infielder Pat Tabler) and an undisclosed amount of cash. "But I don't care. I can take the heat." There had been plenty of heat on all the Cubs (3-0) since the season began, but they took care of it last week by sweeping three games from the Giants.
The Mets (0-3) had more errors (seven) than runs (six). That gave the New Yorkers 72 miscues in 52 games.
Rain didn't dampen the spirits of the Pirates (0-2), who were bogged down by injuries and, therefore, rather pleased to have two games washed out.
PHIL 34-21 ST.L 30-20 MONT 30-25 PITT 25-23 NY 17-34 CHI 15-37
"Frank gives a player a lot of rope, but he holds on to the other end," said Padre Catcher Terry Kennedy of Manager Frank Howard. Kennedy might have been benched by some skippers after he threw out only nine of the first 54 base stealers who challenged him this season. But, given ample rope—and tips from Coach Clyde McCullough—Kennedy stayed behind the plate and lassoed seven of the nine most recent would-be thieves. There was convincing proof of Kennedy's improvement last week: He twice gunned down Pittsburgh's Omar Moreno. Gary Lucas picked up his ninth and 10th saves as the Padres (2-0), .500 since May 9, continued to improve.
Whack! George Foster of the Reds (3-0) stroked his fourth hit of the night as Cincinnati scored four times in the ninth for an 8-4 triumph and the start of a three-game sweep in New York. Zap! Foster crunched a 440-foot homer in support of Mario Soto, who fanned 12 Mets in beating them 2-0. Boom! Foster's three-run homer beat New York 5-2.
There were no lively sounds from Dodger bats, which produced nothing louder than a few doubles. Three two-baggers, however, came during a 4-1 win in St. Louis. That victory, a three-hitter by Jerry (Rolls) Reuss, helped keep Los Angeles (1-2) in first.
Houston, Atlanta and San Francisco were all 0-3. The Astros' pitchers went sour, giving up 10 runs in one loss and squandering a 4-0 lead in another. With theirs giving up 34 hits and 19 walks, the Braves were outscored 30-3. The Giants batted a paltry. 177.
LA 36-21 CIN 35-21 HOUS 28-29 ATL 25-29 SF 27-32 SD 23-33
Three Minnesota Twins (2-2) found what they were looking for in three different places: for Roger Erickson it was in the bullpen; for Fernando Arroyo it was in front of a mirror; for Ron Jackson it was in a hypnotist's office. Throwing the breaking pitch he had developed during an earlier stint in the bullpen, Erickson broke his four-game losing streak by defeating the Brewers 1-0. Jackson drove in the game's only run, and Reliever Doug Corbett put down the final four batters.
Arroyo indulged in a routine he had used in recent weeks, namely, standing in front of a mirror and talking to himself. "Tonight I said, 'You're great,' " Arroyo revealed. " 'You can do it.' " Arroyo did it against Milwaukee, winning 3-1. Jackson, who hadn't had a game-winning hit all season, got his second of the week when he slammed a two-run double. He gave much of the credit for his newfound clutch-hitting ability to sessions with Harvey Misel, a hypnotist.
Rick Honeycutt's 8-1 triumph over the Tigers moved the Rangers (2-2) into first place by one percentage point. Chairman of the Board Eddie Chiles was so elated that he went to the clubhouse before the next night's game and congratulated each player. By the time the evening had ended, though, Texas was back in second place, having lost to Detroit 5-0, while Oakland (2-1) swept a double-header from Baltimore.
Mike Squires batted .533, Ed Farmer and Lamarr Hoyt each earned his seventh save, and Richard Dotson pitched his fourth shutout to keep the White Sox (4-0) on the go.
For most of the season, Freddie Patek of the Angels (4-0) had done little more than run "two or three miles every day and take 20 to 30 wind sprints." Patek's preparedness paid off last week as he took over at second base for Bobby Grich, who was out with a broken hand. Three RBIs by Patek paved the way for a 7-2 defeat of the Red Sox.
The spikes belonged to Richie Zisk of the Mariners (2-2), but the scurrying feet were those of Julio Cruz, who had borrowed the shoes because his own had cracked. Thus shod, Cruz stole his 32nd base in a row, tying the league record set by Willie Wilson of Kansas City last year. Floyd Bannister yielded only two hits while beating Boston 2-0.
Jamie Quirk's three-run pinch double in the eighth put Kansas City (2-2) in front of Toronto 7-5 and on the way to a 10-5 triumph. Lee May poked his 2,000th career hit, and Hal McRae batted .571.
OAK 37-23 TEX 33-22 CHI 31-22 CAL 31-29 KC 20-30 SEA 21-36 MINN 17-39
It took him two years on the job, but Manager Sparky Anderson finally admitted that the lavish predictions he'd made for the Tigers when he took over in Detroit were based more on his own enthusiasm than on their talents. "There's no way in the world I'm going to change what they are," Anderson said. "I know that now. My biggest mistake was being too eager." While Anderson hit the brakes a bit, his players stepped on the gas, winning three of four games. In only his second start in three years, Aurelio Lopez was a 5-0 winner over Texas. Kevin Saucier went the final three innings in relief and got his seventh save. Then it was on to Minnesota, where a 4-2 triumph made Jack Morris the league's first nine-game winner and lifted Detroit to fifth place. Tom Brookens slugged a three-run homer the next day, helping to beat the Twins 7-2 as the Tigers won for the 10th time in their last 12 games and moved up to fourth.
A pair of wins in Kansas City enabled New York (2-2) to remain in first. The second came when the Yankees fought back from a 5-1 deficit for an 8-5 victory, their ninth in a row.
Mike Flanagan and Tim Stoddard of the Orioles (1-3) combined on a three-hitter that beat the A's 3-1. For Stoddard it was the first save in 24 days.
Pete Vuckovich ended a four-game Milwaukee (1-3) losing streak by beating Texas 6-3 for his eighth win in a row, tying the club mark for consecutive victories by a pitcher.
That wasn't a wooden Indian who failed to run out a grounder in the second inning, tossed his bat in the air after popping up in the fourth and stood at home plate and watched his pop fly land in the third baseman's glove in the sixth as Cleveland lost to California 4-3. No, that was Joe Charboneau of the Indians (0-3). Charboneau, bothered by a bad back, was hitting .208. Twenty-three days after being on top of the division, Cleveland fell to sixth.
Third Baseman Carney Lansford of the Red Sox (2-2) has also been hampered by nagging backaches. So, while in California to play the Angels, he visited a chiropractor. "I couldn't believe what my hips look like," said Lansford after seeing X rays that showed his left leg to be 1½ inches shorter than his right. "The imbalance is causing my back problems," added Lansford, who hadn't been able to play in the field since June 1.
Helping keep the Blue Jays (0-4) last was a 3-0 loss to the White Sox, the 11th time Toronto had been shut out this season.
NY 34-22 BALT 31-23 MIL 31-25 DET 31-26 BOS 30-26 CLEV 26-24 TOR 16-42
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
AMOS OTIS: The Kansas City outfielder hit .529, drove across six runs, scored three times, slammed four doubles and two triples, and stole a base. His two-run double in the eighth inning broke a tie and beat Toronto 7-4.