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THE WEEK
Don Delliquanti
September 06, 1971
AL EAST
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September 06, 1971

The Week

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AL EAST

A pitcher with 16 wins—let alone a BALTIMORE pitcher with a 10-game streak—should feel no pain. Yet Dave McNally's left elbow continues to "hurt like the devil." As a result, he has altered his style. "I'm throwing a changeup and a changeup on the changeup. Every once in a while I hump up and throw a fast ball 50 miles an hour." Who timed it? John Briggs and Andy Kosco, Milwaukee home-run hitters. But McNally did some timing of his own, hitting a two-run homer in a 9-4 win. The Orioles will play one fewer game since League President Joe Cronin said a makeup contest with Kansas City will have no bearing on the division races. Ted Williams thinks Pete Broberg, the Dartmouth junior who cost WASHINGTON Owner Bob Short the back rent on RFK Stadium, and who has a 5-5 record, "would win 16 to 18 games if he were pitching for the Orioles." All Broberg needs, opponents have been saying, is a curve to complement his fastball. "It's just that he has no idea of where it is going." Sonny Siebert has a problem, too. "I think I've forgotten how to win," he said. The BOSTON righthander lost his fifth straight decision and seventh attempt for his 15th victory. He last won on July 21. He did not help himself when he was picked off second in the eighth inning against the Angels. The ensuing 1-0 loss was the third by a run in Siebert's streak. Billy Martin's campaign for the pennant may be ending, but he is just beginning to stump for Mickey Lolich. "Look at it this way," the DETROIT manager said. "If Lolich wins 26 or 27...." Overshadowed by Vida Blue, Lolich says, "I'm used to being number two." In CLEVELAND, Sam McDowell, who may not win half of the 30 games he predicted, is recovering from a sore shoulder. NEW YORK pitchers received 10 runs in five games, then equaled the week's output in Sunday's victory over KC.

BALT 81-47 DET 71-60 BOST 69-64 NY 66-67 WASH 55-77 CLEV 52-80

AL WEST

"He's a feisty Polish Texan," was KANSAS CITY Manager Bob Lemon's description of his shortstop, Freddie Patek. The shortest (5'4") and lightest (140 pounds) player in the majors, Patek happens to have the highest batting average (.288) among big league shortstops. He has scored 76 runs and leads the league in stolen bases with 46. He may be four inches shorter than some of the boys who played in the Little League World Series, but he has hit six homers. There's just one snag: Lemon got a letter last week which said in part, "He's Czech. His great-grandfather was from the Old Country and was 6'3" and one of the strongest men there." Fred's grandfather was 5'2" and predicted his grandson would be very strong. The letter was signed: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patek. Make that, "feisty Czech Texan." OAKLAND'S pitcher and resident sage, Chuck Dobson, philosophizes, "In golf, they say it isn't how, but how many. In baseball, it isn't how you pitch, it's when." He was referring to Vida Blue, who lost two straight 1-0 games, before defeating Washington 4-3 for his 23rd win. Dobson's 14-3 record and 3.73 ERA (Blue's ERA is 1.70) confirm his contention that the A's save their batting support for him. Ken Sanders, MILWAUKEE'S premier reliever, has recorded 22 of the team's 23 saves. Said General Manager Frank Lane as the Brewers went on the road: "Don't let the plane leave without Sanders." CALIFORNIA, which has played without a lot of people this year, almost went without Andy Messersmith, who had been bothered for more than a week by a sinus allergy and stomach cramps. But on an extremely humid night in Anaheim, Messersmith held the Red Sox to four hits through 7? innings and won his 14th when Lloyd Allen relieved. A CHICAGO losing streak extended to five games, all but killing a run at second place, and Manager Chuck Tanner was feuding with Earl Weaver, Frank Robinson, Dave Johnson and just about everyone else in Baltimore but Blaze Starr. The reason—naturally—was the gentle art of managing or, as each side charged, the lack of it. Jim Perry's 14th and 15th wins had MINNESOTA fans thinking of next year—and last.

OAK 86-47 KC 69-62 CHI 63-69 CAL 63-71 MINN 59-71 MIL 56-75

NL EAST

"Wow!" said PITTSBURGH'S Milt May. "Maybe," said Manager Danny Murtaugh, who wanted to rest Catcher Manny Sanguillen and had a hunch about May, who was to be married on Wednesday before going to Atlanta Stadium. "I got married," said May, "and I got three hits and batted in three runs." Nothing so romantic happened to teammate Roberto Clemente. He simply returned to the lineup and went 5 for 6 as the Pirates beat the Braves 13-6. CHICAGO'S surge suddenly became a slump, perhaps as the result of a clubhouse squabble. The language, according to Chicago reporters, was easily strong enough to overcome twice the team's seven-game deficit. One Cubbie, they said, had to be restrained by four others from physically confronting Manager Leo Durocher. By midweek Owner Philip Wrigley issued a statement. Durocher would remain as manager, he said, because "it is too late in the season to make any radical changes." Meanwhile, the Cub organist incorporated the theme from Love Story in his repertoire, and Milt Pappas won his fifth shutout and 16th game. ST. LOUIS, as much in the chase as Chicago, was having trouble with its bullpen. So the Cardinals looked to Bob Gibson again and came up winners. The big Hoot gave up three hits, struck out 13 and beat Cincinnati 4-0. Lou Brock stole three bases to raise his total to 49, and Joe Torre drove in his 112th run while maintaining his .360 average. When MONTREAL beat the Dodgers 12-6 for a club record of eight consecutive wins, The Montreal Gazette ran a red streamer across its usually conservative front page. "That's as many as I've ever won as a manager," said Gene Mauch, whose other streaks all were associated with losing. The Dodgers bounced from Canada to NEW YORK where Tom Seaver, then Tug McGraw in relief of Gary Gentry, kept the Mets hoping with a sweep of a doubleheader. Barry Lersch of PHILADELPHIA pitched before Hurricane Doria arrived. Too bad. He is now 4-12.

PITT 79-56 ST. L 73-60 CHI 70-61 NY 66-64 PHIL 57-74 MONT 55-74

NL WEST

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