Spurting, too, was Bill Madlock of Chicago (3-4), last year's batting champion. Madlock hit a grand slam to finish off Atlanta 6-4, batted .478 for the week and brought his average up to .316.
Tom Seaver and Jon Matlack excelled on the mound and Dave Kingman produced in the clutch for New York (5-2). Seaver beat the Giants 4-1 and 3-2, Matlack topped the Dodgers 2-1 and Kingman unloaded his 23rd homer in the 14th to nip Los Angeles 1-0.
Hoping to shake his teammates out of their lethargy, Catcher Barry Foote of Montreal (2-4) shouted it was time the team scored some runs. Suiting deed to word, Foote then went out and bopped a two-run homer in Don Stanhouse's 3-0 win over San Diego. Stanhouse also defeated the Dodgers 2-1.
PHIL 42-18 PITT 35-25 NY 33-34 CHI 28-35 ST.L 28-35 MONT 21-35
At that nifty Reds-Phillies series, Cincinnati's Dave Concepcion and Bowa of the Phillies—two of the slickest shortstops in the league—were needling each other. After Concepcion mentioned that he held a substantial lead over his counterpart in the All-Star balloting, Bowa asked, "Is your first name Elmer?" Replied Concepcion, "Why you ask that?" Rejoined Bowa, "I thought it had to be Elmer. Every time I look at the box score it says 'E-Concepcion,' " a reference to the errors Concepcion has made—44 so far. Dave was not amused. In that 4-3 win in the second game of the summit series, he had three hits, stole a base, scored one run, drove in another and robbed Bowa of a single with a fine defensive play. "Elmer's glue," shouted Concepcion. "That's me." Like the Phillies, the Reds were 4-3 for the week, and they hit nine homers, including the 12th, 13th and 14th by George Foster.
Manny Mota of Los Angeles (3-3) played left field when the team needed outfield help. Though he is no gold glover, Mota made a sliding catch to help save a 4-1 win over the Mets and threw out the potential tying run at the plate as the Dodgers squirmed past the Expos 6-5. Los Angeles also got a boost when Tommy John pitched his first complete game since coming down with arm trouble in June, 1974, beating Montreal 6-3.
Just when the Phillie offense was beginning to look unstoppable—it had generated 50 runs in seven games—it was halted at least temporarily. Randy Jones of the Padres, who had handed the Phillies their only shutout of the season, silenced them again, 5-0, for his 12th win. Despite a subsequent 7-4 loss to St. Louis, Jones extended his string of innings without a walk to 61, seven short of Christy Mathewson's league record.
Fifth-place Atlanta (4-3) has hardly lived up to its clubhouse boast—"Through this door passes the finest team in baseball"—but there were signs of life. Andy Messersmith improved his record to 6-5 as he beat St. Louis 5-2 and Chicago 9-3. And Rowland Office lengthened his hitting streak to 24 games.
Although outhitting Pittsburgh 14-6, the Astros lost 6-3. Things were going so badly for Houston (0-4) that they even got rained out at the Astrodome when adjacent roads became so flooded that a game had to be postponed. San Francisco (1-6) ended its seven-game losing skid when Jim Barr beat New York 5-0.