"No one thinks much about fielding on this club," said Pirate Third Baseman Richie Hebner. And why should they? The offensive-minded Bucs walloped four homers in their opener, an 8-4 trouncing of the Cubs. The next day, trailing the Mets 3-0 in the last of the ninth, the Pirates did more of what they do best. They finally got to Met starter Jerry Koosman, roughed up two of his relievers and scored four quick runs.
Referring to that 4-3 loss to the Pirates, Met Manager Yogi Berra moaned, "When you ain't got a bullpen, you ain't got nothing." Well, not quite. At least the Mets had Dave Kingman, Joe Torre and Tom Seaver. New York took its opener 2-1 from Philadelphia as Kingman homered, Torre drove in the winning run and Seaver pitched.
Lou Brock of the Cardinals was presented with a gift by Missouri Governor Kit Bond: license plates bearing No. 118 in honor of the record number of steals he had last season. "You might call this a license to steal," said Bond gamely. Although Brock stole just one base, the Cards won four of five.
Philadelphia beat New York 3-2 on an 11th inning pinch double by Tony Taylor for its solitary win. Montreal also won just once, taking its opener in St. Louis 8-4. But the young Expos, who hit .205 and made 10 errors, dropped their next four games. In a 2-1 loss to the Cubs the Expos gave up one run on a bases-full walk to Chicago Pitcher Ray Burris and the other on a two-base sacrifice fly on which Rightfielder Gary Carter made a fine catch and then fell down.
PITT 2-0 ST.L 4-1 CHI 2-1 NY 1-2 PHIL 1-3 MONT 1-4