The Cardinals held a team meeting and promptly won three out of four. But St. Louis (4-3) is still punchless. The Cardinals have hit 31 home runs this season, their opponents 58.
PHIL 55-25 PITT 45-35 NY 46-41 ST.L 36-45 CHI 36-47 MONT 25-51
Larry Dierker of Houston (5-3) pitched the first no-hitter of the season when he beat Montreal 6-0. Dierker struck out eight of the light-hitting Expos, who entered the game with a team batting average of .234. "I went with my fastball," he said. "It was really sailing and I was too keyed-up to try anything else. I wanted to keep the ball in the upper part of the strike zone and make 'em pop it up. The one thing I didn't want was ground balls. Anything can happen when they hit into the dirt."
The Dodgers (4-3) held a players-only clubhouse session before a three-game series in Philadelphia, and it apparently paid off as they took all three from the Eastern Division-leading Phillies. But even that wasn't enough to catch Cincinnati, which won seven straight before suffering a rare Saturday defeat to Pittsburgh (over the last two years the Reds are 33-6 on Saturdays). When Fred Norman beat the Pirates 2-1, it upped his home record this season to 5-1 with a 1.16 ERA. Since joining Cincinnati in 1973 he is 29-7 at Riverfront Stadium. "It's roomy and I'm a fly ball pitcher," explains Norman.
San Diego won just twice in nine outings and both wins went to Randy Jones (16-3), who now has more victories in advance of an All-Star break than any National Leaguer ever. In contrast, the Padres have now lost 14 of their last 21 and are jeopardizing their hold on third place. "I'm very satisfied with [Manager John] McNamara and with the way the team has played," said Owner Ray Kroc at mid-week, "but I won't be happy with anything less than a third-place finish."
" Andy Messersmith is the best pitcher I have ever seen," said Atlanta (4-4) Manager Dave Bristol after Messersmith beat Pittsburgh 4-2 to make his record 9-6. "He has five pitches he can throw for strikes and he has the keenest mind I've ever seen when it comes to getting hitters out." Later in the week Messersmith served up two gopher balls to the Mets' Dave Kingman and lost 4-2. Of the eight homers Messersmith has allowed this season, five have been by Kingman.
The Giants (3-4) insist on playing bad baseball. They're not quite the old Mets, but they're comically close. For example: Pitcher John (The Count) Montefusco executed a rarely seen pickoff play, jumping off the rubber, faking a throw to third, then wheeling around to throw back to first, easily trapping St. Louis' swift Jerry Mumphrey. But Giants First Baseman Darrell Evans ran Mumphrey too far toward second, saw Mike Tyson dashing for home, threw high and allowed Tyson to score, Mumphrey taking second. That's the way it is when you're in last place.
CIN 53-32 LA 46-39 SD 43-43 HOUS 41-44 ATL 39-45 SF 34-52