LA 17-3 CIN 9-10 HOUS 9-11 SF 8-11 ATL 8-12 SD 8-15
Montreal (1-3) had the stormiest week. First Shortstop Tim Foli, traded to San Francisco, left with a parting shot: "I just spent five years in Montreal under the worst conditions possible, and now they've got good conditions and I'm not going to get to play under them." Foli's replacement, former Giant Chris Speier, looked as if he could not play under any conditions, even though he had been outhitting his predecessor .176 to .175. Speier singled twice in his first game but cost a run in the 4-0 defeat by Los Angeles with a slow relay. Then he made two errors as the Expos again lost 6-4. "Let's put it this way," he said. "I didn't need a glove. One ball hit me in the chest and one in the cup."
Chicago (2-3) started the week optimistically. After a 7-1 defeat of the Reds, Reliever Bruce Sutter told Chicago reporters, "Write this down. We're going to win the pennant. We've got everything—speed, power hitters, good defense and good pitching." That day they had all those things, as Bobby Murcer and Jerry Morales backed Ray Burris' complete game with homers. But more typical of the Cubs' showing was the fourth straight poor performance by rookie starting Pitcher Mike Krukow, a 21-3 loser to the Cardinals. "It's like Noah's wife told him," Krukow lamented. "She said, 'Noah, honey, it's going to stop raining one of these days.' " In this game, at least, St. Louis (3-2) kept pouring it on, with a homer, six doubles and eight walks. It all added up to John Denny's fifth win without a loss. Other high-flying Cardinals were Ted Simmons, who hit .467 with 10 RBIs. and Reliever Al Hrabosky, who once figured he would not be around to get in on all the fun. Hrabosky had been sure he would be traded as a result of his differences with Manager Vern Rapp over hair regulations. No deal was made, and last week Hrabosky struck out six Braves in 2? innings.
New York (2-1) received the usual mixed blessings from Dave Kingman, who dropped a throw, setting up a 3-2 loss to Montreal, and had two three-run homers in a 9-2 win over San Diego. The Mets, who often seem more interested in having a good image than a good team, unexpectedly acquired Lenny Randle from Texas, where he had become persona non grata for slugging Manager Frank Lucchesi. In his first National League appearance, Randle's tumbling catch in left of a ball he had misjudged helped Tom Seaver run his record to 4-0.
Pittsburgh's new look was typified by its running (two steals a game) and pitching (shutouts by John Candelaria and Jim Rooker). The Pirates won three of four and moved into second. Philadelphia (3-2) stayed in the cellar, notwithstanding some heroic efforts. Despite injured ribs, Richie Hebner clouted a 410-foot triple to help beat the Giants. Even Manager Danny Ozark hit a 400-foot sacrifice fly in an exhibition game. Rookie Pitcher Randy Lerch was cheered like a homecoming GI when he won his third game, 6-4 over the Giants. In the stands were 100 relatives and friends from Rancho Cordova, Calif. "I swear most of them were crocked," said Lerch.
ST. L 12-7 PITT 10-7 MONT 8-8 NY 8-9 CHI 7-9 PHIL 7-9