Chicago pitchers couldn't steal a thing, while the Cub hitters' .225 average was the league's worst and the fielders handled the new cowhide balls like city folk trying to milk Elsie. Help clearly was needed. So the Cubs dipped into (he minors and brought up Bobby Adams, an infield instructor. Alas, they lost five straight.
In a week involving much interdivisional play, only one Eastern team was a winner. That was the Pirates, who hit seven homers while taking three of five.
The early-season surprise teams, Montreal and Philadelphia, faltered. Following a 9-5 romp over the Cardinals and an 8-4 defeat of the Giants, Jim Lyttle of the Expos said, "This club has a real killer instinct." For the rest of the week, though, it was the other clubs that were killers as the Expos lost three times.
Manager Danny Ozark seemed to have instilled some killer in his Phillies with a 45-minute tongue-lashing after a loss to the Padres. The players took the field the next day in a fighting mood, and fight they did—in a bench-clearing melee with the Padres—but win they did not for the fifth time in a row.
Before facing the Giants, Tom Seaver of the Mets searched his locker and asked, "Are you there, fastball? Where did you go?" Much had been said about the ineffectiveness of the pitch, especially when Seaver's ERA rose to 6.12 as he began the week by giving up 12 hits and six runs to the Pirates in five innings. But Seaver found his fastball in the San Francisco game, winning 6-0. Then it was Centerfielder Dave Schneck's turn to suffer. Twice Schneck fell down while chasing routine flies, turning one into a triple and the other into a four-base error.
MONT 9-5 ST. L 11-9 PHIL 9-10 CHI 6-9 NY 5-12 PITT 5-12
David Clyde of the Rangers promised, "We're gonna give the people of Dallas a division championship in 1974." Then Clyde, age 19, went out and had a bonny time, beating New York 6-1 in his first complete game in the majors. Ferguson Jenkins and Jim Bibby both defeated Boston to earn their fourth victories. It was all part of a 3-2 week that put the Rangers on top in the West, the first time the Washington-Texas team has been there this far into a season.
Oakland, 2-3, slipped to second, and there was a flash of wrath from Pitcher Vida Blue. After being taken out in the eighth inning with a 4-3 lead against the Angels and then watching two relievers get shelled, Blue vented his anger by pounding a bat against the clubhouse bat rack.
Chicago snapped back with a 4-1 week. Reliever Terry Forster struck out eight of 11 men he faced in a 7-2 win over the Brewers. The lustiest White Sox hitter was Brian Downing, who, in his 12 at bats, had seven hits (three of them homers) and 10 RBIs.