- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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For the Pirates it was Babushka Power, for the Phillies it was raw power and for the Cardinals it was the power of persuasion as all three teams won four of six. Back home after a 2-12 road trip, the Pirates were spurred on by babushka-waving fans, and won four in a row. Jerry Reuss got them started by squelching the Giants 4-0. The Phillies tied the Pirates for first for one day, beating the Braves 6-3 behind Mike Schmidt's 27th and 28th homers. Trailing the Padres 5-1, the Phillies again muscled up for a 6-5 verdict as Schmidt and Richie Allen homered. Willie Davis was back in the Cardinal lineup after five days of persuasive discussion to straighten out alimony payments. He hit .529, Bake McBride .440 and John Denny beat Atlanta 8-1 and 7-2.
Chicago (3-3) came up with a distinctive Me and Paul brother pitching combination when Rick and Paul Reuschel whitewashed L.A. 7-0. Rookie Paul pitched the final 2? innings after Rick got a blistered finger. It was the first time brothers had ever teamed up for a shutout. Jose Cardenal tormented the Astros, getting four hits in an 11-7 win and then wrapping up a 6-5 scrap with a successful suicide squeeze in the 11th.
Montreal (4-4) made 12 errors to bring its total to 146 in 126 games. But the Expos were faultless in a 3-1 defeat of the Dodgers. Nate Colbert tied the score with a pinch homer in the ninth, Bob Bailey saved it when he reached into the left-field seats to turn a home run into an out in the 11th and Larry Parrish settled it with a two-run homer in the 12th.
PITT 71-56 PHIL 69-57 ST.L 68-59 NY 65-61 CHI 60-69 MONT 54-72
Saturday was a big day for Mike Sadek, a reserve catcher for the Giants (1-4). Before a game against the Mets he won a bubble gum-blowing contest with a 12�-inch sphere. "Your gum's got to be solid and strong, yet light and yielding," Sadek said. "You must get an even flow of air and get yourself psyched up while remaining cool under pressure. I practiced hard for two days. I was ready." Sadek was also ready in the last of the ninth, when he came up with the bases full and the score 1-1. Four pitches later he wangled a game-winning walk.
For Cincinnati (3-4), though, things got gummed up a bit. After taking two games and stretching their winning streak to nine the Reds managed just five runs in their next four games and lost them all. Dave Concepcion broke a bone in his right wrist and Johnny Bench was bothered by an arthritic shoulder. After going 0 for 20, Bench connected for a three-run homer as the Reds outslugged the Pirates 12-7. Also encouraging was the return of lefthander Don Gullett, who pitched for the first time since breaking his right thumb on June 16. Gullett was un-scored upon in five innings against St. Louis before developing a blister on his pitching hand, and was credited with a 3-2 win.
Burt Hooton, who was 0-2 with the Cubs early in the year, improved his record as a Dodger to 12-7 with two wins. Mike Marshall saved both decisions for him and had a third save as he tossed 9? innings of three-hit, runless relief before losing 5-2 to Montreal in his sixth appearance of the week.