Nobody accepts defeat with less grace than the Yankees (3-4). After the 5-0 and 7-2 losses in Milwaukee, owner George Steinbrenner lashed out at just about anyone he could think of: American League President Lee MacPhail (for poor scheduling, which meant the Yankees had to play a night game against Boston and then fly to Milwaukee—arriving at 5 a.m.); Graig Nettles (for claiming "exhaustion" and not playing the second game of the doubleheader); and Reggie Jackson (for playing in both games but going 0 for 7).
Boston (3-3) continued to look superb even when losing. Rightfielder Dwight Evans made a perfect throw to cut down Jackson at the plate in the 11th inning of a 14-inning game ( New York eventually won it on Nettles' home run). Luis Tiant threw 132 herky-jerky pitches against Baltimore before an 11th inning single by Pat Kelly handed him his first defeat of the season, by a 3-2 score. Evans and Shortstop Rick Burleson kept alive another game in Baltimore with extraordinary plays before the Orioles again won in 11 innings, again 3-2. Baltimore (2-6) needed the solace of those victories after losing eight straight, including a 24-10 disaster to Toronto. Trailing 19-5 after five innings, Manager Earl Weaver used Outfielder Larry Harlow and Catcher Elrod Hendricks as relief pitchers. Harlow was bombed for five runs in two-thirds of an inning, but Hendricks' leisurely deliveries were so tantalizing that he gave up only one hit in 2? innings. "My only mistake was bringing in Harlow before Hendricks," quipped Weaver.
Detroit (3-5) pitchers hurled a three-hitter and a four-hitter on successive days, but Detroit's hitting and defense managed to lose both games to the Indians, 2-1 and 6-3. Cleveland (5-4) can count its lucky stars for the deal made earlier with Oakland for Gary Alexander. In a nine-game stretch with the Indians, Alexander blasted five home runs and drove in 17 runs.
Toronto had its best week ever (6-2) with heavy hitting from Rico Carty (12 hits, 13 RBIs), Roy Howell, John Mayberry and Otto Velez.
BOS 52-24 MIL 45-31 NY 43-33 BALT 42-35 DET 37-38 CLEV 35-40 TOR 27-48
Ordinarily, the groundout to the second baseman wouldn't have bothered Cincinnati's Pete Rose quite so much. Rose has been going good of late, after a season-long slump. His personal hitting streak had reached 17 games and his batting average was finally nearing familiar .300 territory. But last Friday evening in Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati the Reds (2-6) were about to lose a doubleheader to Los Angeles and fall behind L.A. into third place, and Rose was ticked.
"You got nothin'!" he reportedly screamed at Dodger rookie Pitcher Bob Welch as he ran back to the Reds dugout. When Rose took his position at third base at the start of the next inning, Dodger Rick Monday came to Welch's defense. "Hey, Pete," he yelled from the dugout, "don't get on the kid. He's just trying to make a living."
At which point the frustrated Rose charged toward the dugout and tried to take on Monday and the entire Dodger team. "I lost my cool," he admitted, after being restrained by Umpire Paul Pryor and Dodger Coach Preston Gomez. Monday's remark was insignificant; the real cause of Rose's anger was Cincinnati's losing streak, during which the Reds dropped six in a row, were shut out three times and hit nary a home run. "It's July, and we're swinging like it's still spring training," lamented Manager Sparky Anderson, who watched George Foster go 0 for 16.
The Dodgers (6-2) got six consecutive wins from their starting pitchers and some timely home runs from Ron Cey, Davey Lopes and Steve Garvey to pick up their 17th win in 22 games. Even so, Los Angeles gained only two games on the division-leading Giants during that stretch.