SI Vault
 
CLOSE TO A CLINCHER
Peter Gammons
September 21, 1987
The Giants won two from the Reds to all but sew up their first title in 16 years
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 21, 1987

Close To A Clincher

The Giants won two from the Reds to all but sew up their first title in 16 years

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2

The Reds' ills go beyond the injuries that have slowed outfielders Eric Davis, Kal Daniels and Parker, and the one that knocked second baseman Ron Oester out for the season in early July. "There are a lot of very young guys here," says third baseman Buddy Bell. That's a nice way of saying that a lot of people are acting immature. "It's been a real learning experience," says Rose, who has learned the hard way that not all players are as self-disciplined as he was. Rose is worn out from trying to coax excellence from the league's worst staff of starting pitchers. He has been second-guessed by some relievers, bad-mouthed by some players (notably outfielder Tracy Jones, over his lack of playing time) and has taken heat from the press. "I had no idea how much different——a manager's got to go through," says Rose. He also didn't anticipate owner Marge Schott's belt-tightening policies which, according to the departed Gullickson, have "undermined the entire organization."

Only a sweep of San Francisco last weekend could have gotten the Reds back into the race, and they got off on the right foot Friday with a 4-3 win. "Don't get your dawber down," Craig reminded the Giants. He said, "I've been telling the players that pennant races aren't pressure, they're the most fun there is in baseball. Some guys rise to the occasion—like Jack Morris, Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale. I think Reuschel's like that."

Reuschel may be 38 and resemble TV weatherman Willard Scott, but as of Sunday he was tied for the league lead in complete games (11), was second in ERA (2.75) and had won four of his last five starts. On Saturday he got all the runs he needed before taking the mound. In the top of the first, Aldrete looped an RBI single off the closest thing Rose has to an ace, Ted Power (10-11), and Clark hit his 29th homer for a 3-0 lead. Reuschel, whose build belies his athleticism, made a leaping stab of a one-hopper through the middle that probably prevented a run, hit a three-run double and breezed to a 7-1 win. The Giants won again on Sunday, 6-1, and returned to San Francisco with that six-game lead. It should be a happy 16th birthday for Clinch.

1 2