KC 78-50 OAK 69-59 MINN 62-67 TEX 58-70 CHI 56-73 CAL 55-74
As Philadelphia wondered how to keep Joe Morgan off the bases in the coming playoffs (page 20), all-but-eliminated Pittsburgh (4-2) looked to the past. "Our record is about the same as last year, when we were in first by 3� games," said Pitcher Bruce Kison. Then he reached back even further, using a change-up he learned from 1971 World Series hero Steve Blass, to stop San Diego 3-0 on five hits.
St. Louis (3-2) was planning for the future. Shortstop Garry Templeton, youngest player in the National League at 20, was being compared to Henry Aaron and Maury Wills for his hitting and base running; and another rookie, First Baseman Keith Hernandez, who went 8 for 20, has raised his average from .187 to .266 since July. "I wish it was next April already," he said.
Tom Seaver of New York (3-2) beat San Francisco 4-0 for his first win since July 8. Jon Matlack won twice and Dave Kingman, still tied for the big-league home-run lead despite missing 35 games, played for the first time since suffering torn ligaments in his left thumb on July 19. And, for a change, Pitcher Mickey Lolich left a game before the Mets could lose it for him. With the score 1-1 in the fourth, Lolich retired because he was hyperventilating. New York kicked away the game to the Giants 7-1.
Chicago managed a 3-3 week when Jerry Morales hit two homers and drove in seven runs in a pair of victories over Atlanta. Looking more and more like the 1962 Mets, Montreal (1-5) extended its latest losing streak to 12 before beating San Diego 7-4.
PHIL 83-44 PITT 70-57 NY 65-63 CHI 59-71 ST.L 55-68 MONT 42-80
On Aug. 27 the Dodgers won their 17th game of the month—equaling the most victories they have had in August since they moved West—by beating New York 5-2. Los Angeles (4-2) also got an early 16th win from Don Sutton, who has averaged 18 victories the past five years without ever winning 20. Steve Yeager had the game-winning hit, a two-run double off Jerry Koosman. The team's 10th win in its last 11 games may have taken the heat off Manager Walter Alston, who has had more than his share of detractors of late. Earlier in the week Alston referred to one of his critics, Alan Malamud of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, as "an overstuffed pig." Malamud had suggested firing Alston after this season.
Matters were scarcely more congenial in San Francisco (2-3). After he was yanked for giving up a two-run homer, Pitcher John Montefusco told the press that Manager Bill Rigney and his teammates were "losers" and that he wanted to be traded. "He's an emotional young man," replied Rigney, "but if he was ticked off for being pulled, I was ticked off when he gave up that homer." Montefusco later relented—at least in his criticism of his teammates—and Giant Owner Bob Lurie tried to smooth things over, suggesting the last-place Giants could still finish third. But when Montefusco continued to take heat from the fans, Lurie fined him $500.