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Phillie play also inspired superlatives. "I saw it and I still don't believe it," said John Stearns of the Mets (3-3). He was referring to a homer Mike Schmidt hit to beat New York 2-1. "It was a low and away slider, and there are only two other players in the National League, Greg Luzinski and George Foster, who even have a chance to duplicate what Schmidt did. Nobody hits that kind of pitch that far."
Chicago's (2-4) Bobby Murcer was no less awe-inspiring, with eight consecutive hits. He has improved his hitting thanks to a late-season tip from old Yankee teammate Tony Kubek, who asked him why he had strayed from his Yankee stance. Murcer, who hadn't noticed, reverted to form.
The Cardinals (3-4) got the Cub jinx off their backs with two wins. Chicago had taken their previous 12 games. Utility man Mike Phillips figured in both wins, smacking a three-run homer to help win the first 6-2 and a go-ahead single in the following 4-1 victory. No less gratifying were two hits by prize rookie Terry Kennedy. Cub General Manager Bob Kennedy was especially delighted; he is Terry's father.
Montreal's (3-4) Ross Grimsley knew exactly why his 7?-inning perfect game was broken up. Grimsley's pregame ritual includes rubbing the nose of Utility Infielder Stan Papi. This time Grimsley forgot. Despite that disastrous oversight, he went on to beat the Cardinals 3-1.
PHIL 82-66 PITT 79-69 CHI 73-75 MONT 70-80 ST.L 64-86 NY 61-88
While California (3-4) and Kansas City (5-2) squared off for the divisional title (page 26), Texas (6-3) reviewed a lost season and looked to the future. Manager Billy Hunter should not be blamed, said Executive Vice-President Eddie Robinson, who again promised "substantial trades." One player who figures to stay is 34-year-old Ferguson Jenkins, who throttled California 1-0 and Oakland 8-1, running his record to 16-8. Jenkins beat the A's despite losing his precious glove. "Going to the mound without your gamer," he said, "is like Mario Andretti starting a race without his clutch."
The Oakland Tribune suggested that the Oakland Coliseum put up $3 million to help local businesses acquire the A's and keep them in town. For their part, the A's (2-7) did little to encourage buyers. Manager Jack McKeon, who normally yanks pitchers at the first sign of weakness, inspired locker-room grumbling by allowing rookie John Henry Johnson to absorb a nine-run pounding in six innings. McKeon had the good sense, though, to leave in Alan Wirth, who shut out the Rangers 1-0, and Pete Broberg, who four-hit Texas 2-1.
Chicago had one of its infrequent winning weeks (5-1) and avoided an embarrassment. Since 1900 no major league team has gone a full season without winning an extra-inning game. After eight such losses the White Sox finally won one, scoring five runs in the 10th inning to beat Seattle 8-3. Francisco Barrios ended the week by stopping Seattle 9-1.
Minnesota (4-1) got two sparkling performances from ace Pitcher Dave Goltz, who beat Milwaukee by 3-1 and 5-2 scores. Predictable enough. Less expected were the heroics of little-used Catcher Glenn Borgmann, who helped Goltz win one game with a two-run homer and the next day had two hits and two runs.