Several players were into Pyramid Power, a fad among athletes that is based on John Wood-en's "Pyramid of Success." Dodger utility man Ted Sizemore built a makeshift pyramid in his locker, then went 4 for 4 as Los Angeles (3-3) nipped Atlanta 2-1. Relying on his arm and bat rather than gimmicks, Rick Rhoden (7-0) beat the Braves 5-2, setting up the go-ahead run in the seventh with his second hit of the game and 13th in 36 at bats (.361) this season.
With his average in the .230s, Johnny Bench of the Reds (3-3) was willing to try anything, so he hung an aluminum pyramid above his locker. Bench struck out four times in the first game of a doubleheader against Houston, before doubling in two runs to tie the score at 7-7 in the 11th inning. The Astros (4-2) won that game 10-8 on Cesar Cedeno's two-run homer in the 14th. Cedeno, who had seven hits during the twin bill, settled the nightcap with a two-run double in the eighth. That gave Joaquin Andujar, a former Cincy farmhand, a 3-2 victory, his fourth win of the year and third over the Reds. When Andujar stopped them the first time, Cincinnati Manager Sparky Anderson said, "Every dog has his day." After beating Cincy again, Andujar was dubbed Poochie by Astro fans. Following his latest triumph, one Red said, "He treats us like a fire hydrant."
"We're for real, and we know it," said John McNamara, the San Diego (4-2) skipper. McNamara's band got a win from Randy Jones (page 20) and two from Brent Strom to move within five games of first.
San Francisco (1-4) continued to slump, despite Manager Bill Rigney's new rules: no golf on game days, no beards, a two-hour curfew after road games. As soon as the new regulations were announced, the Giants made four errors in a 4-3 loss to the Astros.
Andy Messersmith of Atlanta (2-3) pitched his seventh straight complete game, stopping San Francisco 7-2 for his eighth victory of the season.
CIN 46-31 LA 42-36 SD 41-36 HOUS 36-41 ATL 35-41 SF 31-48
Chicago Owner P. K. Wrigley certainly knows that all bubbles must burst sometime. But that was small consolation last week as his Cubs (0-5) doubled his trouble, losing both big (13-3) and small (2-1) to New York and inflating their latest series of defeats to seven. Wrigley said his players were "looking like a bunch of clowns," though obviously not of the sort who make him laugh.
However, Manager Joe Frazier was all smiles as his Mets (5-0) upped their winning streak to eight. "If a better lefthander exists, I haven't seen him," said Frazier of Jon Matlack. The Cardinals saw Matlack but they could not hit him, losing 13-0 as he gained his 10th win and fourth shutout.