"Here's our new theme song," yelled Pitcher Pete Falcone of St. Louis (1-5) as a tune blared forth from the clubhouse stereo. If nothing else, the song—which was about "endless torture"—was appropriate, the Cardinals having lost 11 in a row, their longest such streak since 1916. When the Cards took the field that night against the Expos, the P.A. announcer introduced the club's real theme song, We Can Do It, but someone mistakenly put on the wrong record, The Star-Spangled Banner. Nonetheless, the Redbirds' torture ended, John Denny handcuffing Montreal 2-0 on two hits and Ted Simmons (page 36) driving in both runs. When a player crosses the plate after homering, he usually gets a hand from a teammate, but when Simmons came home after a 360-foot drive against the Cubs, he got the thumb from Umpire Paul Runge. Simmons and Runge had been jawing all evening. And when Simmons tipped his helmet toward home as he circled the bases, Runge felt he was trying to show him up. The Cardinals traded Pitcher Eric Rasmussen to the Padres for Outfielder George Hendrick.
Clutch hits and strong pitching put Chicago (5-0) atop the East. Dave Roberts shut out the Cardinals 6-0, and Rick Reuschel got relief help from Bruce Sutter as he won twice. The Cubs bumped the Phillies out of first place with a 6-4 win in which Greg Gross tripled across two runs with two out in the ninth, and Manny Trillo hit his first homer of the season in the 10th. Winning that game was Sutter, who has not allowed Philadelphia any earned runs during 28? innings and 15 relief appearances dating back to 1976.
On the whole, the Phillies (1-4) were glad they did not play at home. They committed eight errors and needed three runs in the ninth to squirm past Atlanta 6-5.
Rudy May of Montreal (4-3) won twice, 4-1 in St. Louis and 15-1 in Pittsburgh. Mike Garman, who was recently acquired from the Dodgers, saved May's first victory with 2? innings of one-hit relief.
Shutout pitching by John Candelaria and Kent Tekulve, plus a grand slam by Rennie Stennett, enabled Pittsburgh (3-4) to beat Montreal 7-0. Candelaria and Tekulve then combined for a 2-1 win over the Expos.
The Mets (4-2) continued to alternate between tenacious and atrocious. They overcame a 5-0 deficit to defeat the Phillies 6-5 on Steve Henderson's double in the 11th and beat the Pirates 3-2 on Lenny Randle's single in the 11th. Then, in their 13th come-from-behind victory of the year, the Mets shook off a 7-3 Astro lead and prevailed 9-7. And while New York was surprising some opponents, it was also surprising itself. When Rightfielder Bruce Boisclair scooped up Stennett's soft single with the bases loaded in the 11th and the Mets ahead of the Pirates 5-4, it was expected that he would throw to the plate in hopes of nailing Frank Taveras, who had been on second. Boisclair threw the ball all right, but not home. Unaware that Taveras had held up until Stennett's hit fell safely, Boisclair stunned Shortstop Tim Foli by chucking the ball to him at second base as the decisive run scored.
CHI 23-17 PHIL 20-19 MONT 22-21 NY 21-24 PITT 19-23 ST.L 15-29
"When you see all those seats filled and hear the crowd cheering, it adds 10 mph to your fastball," said Bob Knepper of the first-place Giants (4-2) after smoking the Dodgers 6-1. On hand to cheer Knepper were 43,646 fans, the most ever for a Candlestick Park night game. They also applauded Willie McCovey, who had five RBIs for the night, giving him two standing ovations after he socked a three-run homer. Other Giants getting big hands were Ed Halicki, who defeated Houston 9-1; Bill Madlock, who capped a three-run ninth with a single that beat the Astros 3-2; and Jack Clark, who batted .478. Vic Harris was given a less enthusiastic reception when he hit for Pitcher John Montefusco in the sixth inning of a scoreless game against the Astros. When Harris, who was one for 33, came to the plate, he was booed by the crowd, which moments later reveled in his two-run single that led to a 2-0 win.