- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Los Angeles (2-5) Manager Tom Lasorda was willing to try anything—including coaching at third—but still came under heavy fire. "He has lost control of the team," an unidentified player told two suburban L.A. reporters. When Burt Hooton forced home a run by walking New York Pitcher Dock Ellis, Lasorda lashed out. " Dock Ellis," he said, "couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat."
HOUS 54-39 CIN 47-45 SF 44-48 SD 43-52 ATL 39-51 LA 36-56
Despite Luis Tiant's 84-pitch, one-hit, 2-0 win over Oakland, the Yankees (2-4) were abysmal. They scored one run in each of three losing games and blew a 6-0 lead to California in another. Newly activated reliever Rich Gossage, who hadn't given up a homer in 42 previous appearances, served up three in that game.
The Red Sox (4-2) pitching staff also threw a 2-0 one-hitter at the A's. Steve Renko nohit Oakland for 8? innings before earning a victory with relief from Bill Campbell. For the week, Renko had two wins, Campbell two saves in 19 hours and Carlton Fisk and Butch Hobson two homers apiece.
Oriole behavior ranged from churlishness by Manager Earl Weaver, who departed only as far as a dugout bathroom after being ejected from a game, to resignation on the part of Pitcher Mike Flanagan, who lamented that his time-consuming 7-3 win over Oakland prevented him from hearing the encores at a nearby Bee Gees concert. Thanks to Flanagan (two wins), Don Stanhouse (two saves) and Eddie Murray (.435 hitting), the first-place Orioles (4-2) were more than stayin' alive.
Milwaukee's title hopes revived in a 6-1 week. Ben Oglivie set a club record with three homers in one game, but the highlight was Charlie Moore's base running in a 4-3, 17-in-ning win over Cleveland, with the Brewers trailing 3-2, Moore led off the 17th with a single. He tagged up and advanced to second on Dick Davis' long fly. The ball went in to Pitcher Victor Cruz who, feeling that Moore had left first base too soon after the tag-up, prepared to throw to first. Moore distracted him by dancing off second. Cruz inadvertently gestured toward him with the ball, nullifying, under the rules, any chance for an out ruling at first. Then Paul Molitor walked, Don Money doubled home Moore and Gorman Thomas hit a sacrifice fly to score Molitor. Pitcher Mike Caldwell (10-5), reacting to being left off the All-Star team, blurted, "[AL Manager] Bob Lemon showed poor judgment, and [AL President] Lee MacPhail stinks."
Detroit (4-5) and Toronto (2-4) took solace in winning performances by rookie pitchers. The Tigers' 20-year-old Dan Petry lost his first major league start to Milwaukee but later in the week beat the White Sox 3-1 on four hits. The Blue Jays' 22-year-old Dave Stieb threw two complete games, setting down the Brewers 7-1 and the Twins 4-2, the latter on national television. Despite a 4-3 week, Indian fever subsided. Rightfielder Bobby Bonds shocked everyone, especially his worshipful fans (a.k.a. Bonds' Brigade) when he asked to be traded at the end of the season. Bonds had unsuccessfully sought a $940,000 increase on the remaining four years of his five-year, $440,000-a-year contract.
BALT 58-31 BOS 55-32 MIL 53-38 NY 49-42 DET 44-45 CLEV 42-47 TOR 29-63