Indian Manager Frank Robinson has a fresh idea. Cleveland (4-6) leads the majors in relief appearances, and Robinson thinks the Indians might lose that dubious honor if he began starting his relievers. "I wouldn't be averse to turning the whole thing around," he says. "Let the bullpen become the starters. But the fans wouldn't let me do it. They'd be calling for a white jacket for me. Otherwise I'd prefer to do something when things continue to go wrong, even if it is unorthodox." One thing that went right was Dennis Eckersley's 7-2 victory over Milwaukee in which he went the distance and struck out 12.
Although it was a little late to mean anything, fifth-place Boston (4-4) swept a doubleheader from New York, 4-2 and 6-4. The same day The Boston Globe editorialized that the Red Sox are "without pride." All of them, that is, except Ferguson Jenkins, who won twice and served champagne after beating the Indians for his 200th career victory.
NY 61-38 BALT 51-49 CLEV 49-50 DET 48-51 BOS 46-54 MIL 43-54
New York's hitters and fielders took the week off, leaving the pitchers to do all the work. As a result, the Mets lost five of seven games, allowing only 14 runs but scoring three fewer. "You can't expect our pitchers to strike everybody out," said Joe Torre. But it certainly would help.
Ed Kranepool, who admits he is not an outfielder, gave Montreal a hand in defeating Jerry Koosman 2-1 in the ninth by misplaying a possible out into a ground-rule double. Mickey Lolich also lost 2-1 when the Met infield turned a nice double play in the 10th inning of a 1-1 game with Pittsburgh—while the winning run was scoring from third. Jon Matlack's turn to lose 2-1 came when Bruce Boisclair helped the Phillies to their runs by letting a playable ball fall untouched in short center. But perhaps the most frustrating experience was Tom Seaver's. After shutting out the Pirates for 10 innings, he sat down for a pinch hitter, then watched Reliever Ken Sanders give up a game-winning homer to Richie Hebner in the 13th.
Pittsburgh (4-2) gained another overtime victory when Manny Sanguillen's bases-loaded single in the 13th beat the Expos 4-3.
Montreal (5-2) got revenge the next day 7-6, thanks to five Pirate errors. Reliever Dale Murray earned the victory with his fourth shutout appearance of the week. Earlier he had pitched flawlessly in the second game of Montreal's first doubleheader victory of the year, a 2-1 and 3-1 sweep of the Cubs.
Nevertheless, Chicago (4-4) was able to move within a game of St. Louis (1-4) by beating the Cardinals 7-6 and 6-2. To pick up his team's sagging fortunes. Cardinal President August A. Busch Jr. made a rare appearance in the locker room to meet with the players. The Cards said they were impressed—but they still lost three straight after their brush with Busch.
Ollie Brown's grand slam in a 13-7 win over Pittsburgh and Tim McCarver's run scoring single in a 3-2 victory against Chicago led Philadelphia to four wins in seven games. Dick Allen went on the disabled list with a bad shoulder after being AWOL for three days.