brought Guidry's record to 21-2, his earned run average to 1.77 and his
strikeouts to 220; it also brought the New York staffs ERA to 2.07 over the
last 26 games. "They must be cheating," said Lynn. "Those aren't
the same Yankees we saw before. I think George Steinbrenner used his clone
money. I think those were Yankee clones out there from teams of the
are—I hope you understand how I use the word—nasty," said Jackson.
"This is a pro's game, and this team is loaded with professionals. Tough
"This is two
years in a row we've finished like this, so it must say something about the
team's character," Tidrow said. Before Lemon took over, the only times the
word "character" was used in the Yankee clubhouse it was invariably
followed by the word "assassination."
With the 7-0 loss
figured in, the Red Sox had lost eight out of 10. In those games they had
committed 24 errors good for 20 unearned runs. Twice popups to shallow right
had dropped, leading to two losses and 10 earned runs.
Tiant had been the
only starting pitcher to win. Evans, Scott, Hobson and Jack Brohamer, who most
of the time were the bottom four in the batting order, were 12 for 123—or .098.
"How can a team get 30-something games over .500 in July and then in
September see its pitching, hitting and fielding all fall apart at the same
time?" wondered Fisk.
bombarded in the first three games, all that the Red Sox could come up with in
their effort to prevent the Yankees from gaining a first-place tie on Sunday
was rookie lefthander Bobby Sprowl. In June, while the Sox were beating the
Yankees, Sprowl was pitching for the Bristol Red Sox against the West Haven
Clearly he was not
ready for their New York namesakes. He began by walking Rivers and Willie
Randolph, lasted only two-thirds of an inning and was charged with three runs.
The most damaging blow came after Sprowl gave way to reliever Bob Stanley, who
promptly yielded a single to Nettles that drove in two runners whom Sprowl had
allowed to reach base. The Yankees would build a 6-0 bulge before coasting to
an 18-hit, 7-4 victory. Suddenly New York not only had a psychological edge on
the Red Sox, but it also had pulled even with them in the standings.
easy to win a pennant," said Yastrzemski. "We've got three weeks to
play. We've got three games in Yankee Stadium next weekend. Anything can
happen." He stared into his locker. Anything already had.