A team knows it is having a bad week when it loses five of six games and it has to "win" its sole victory three times to get credit for it. That's exactly what happened to New York. With two outs, nobody on and the Mets leading 5-0 in the ninth, Houston's Jeff Leonard flied out to center. But third base umpire Doug Harvey gave Leonard another swing, ruling that Met Shortstop Frank Taveras had called for time before the pitch. Given a second chance, Leonard singled, but that drew a protest from New York Manager Joe Torre. Torre argued that Leonard's at bat didn't count because the Mets didn't have nine players on the field. The missing man was First Baseman Ed Kranepool, who thought the game had ended on Leonard's fly ball and had retired to the clubhouse. When the umpires agreed with Torre, Houston manager Bill Virdon protested. He said it was the umpires' fault that the game had resumed with Kranepool absent, and that the Astros should not be punished for the umps' mistake. The umpires disagreed. In his third at bat Leonard again flied out to end the game for the second time.
Well, not really. National League President Chub Feeney, who had watched all this from the stands, upheld Virdon's protest and ordered the game resumed the following evening, with Leonard on first. The next batter, Jose Cruz, grounded out to end the game a third time. This time the result stuck. However, the Mets inserted second-game starter Kevin Kobel to pitch the final out, depriving Pete Falcone of a shutout.
Another one the Mets didn't let get away was Centerfielder Lee Mazzilli, who signed a four-year contract extension worth an estimated $2.5 million. The Mets also agreed to hear Mazzilli's advice on player deals. He thus may be the first big-leaguer to join the ranks of management while still a player.
Another unusual situation occurred during a game between St. Louis (5-1) and San Francisco. With his team leading 1-0, the Cards' Keith Hernandez doubled to open the sixth. One out later, Tony Scott grounded to Second Baseman Joe Strain, who threw to First Baseman Willie McCovey. Umpire Fred Brocklander called Scott out, but when Scott ran into McCovey's glove, the ball popped loose and Hernandez scored on McCovey's error. St. Louis went on to win 4-0. In their other victories, the Cardinals beat the Padres 6-3 on Silvio Martinez' complete game and 8-5 behind Hernandez' four hits, and the Dodgers 12-5 on Garry Templeton's four RBIs and 5-4 on Ken Reitz' sacrifice fly.
The durable Pirates (4-2) won two marathon games, defeating the Padres 4-3 in 19 innings and the Giants 6-5 in a rain-delayed game that took six hours. In the first victory, Tim Foli's game-winning single-atoned for the spotty performance of six Pirate pitchers, who yielded 14 walks. The week also featured Dave Parker's 1,000th major league base hit.
Bruce Sutter saved two games, including the 100th of his career, to give the Cubs a 3-3 week. They might have gone 4-2 had Ken Henderson not lost Mike Ivie's bases-loaded drive in the sun. The misplay gave the Giants a 5-2 victory. Thanks to Steve Carlton, the Phillies (2-4) avoided a winless week. Carlton beat the Astros 3-2 and 5-3, helping himself in the second game with two RBIs. In his last four starts, Carlton has pitched 36? innings and allowed just 18 hits and 10 earned runs. But in between his two victories, the Phillies lost three straight to the lowly Braves. "When I get frustrated, I chop wood," said owner Ruly Carpenter. "That's the one good thing that's happened this year. Fuel costs are up, but at least I've got plenty of wood."
Montreal's Bill Lee was warmed by success. He beat the Braves 5-1 and 2-0, yielding nine hits in 13? innings, to give the Expos a 3-2 week. Lee has a 3-0 record and an 0.96 ERA against Atlanta.
PITT 74-53 MONT 69-53 CHI 68-57 ST. L 67-59 PHIL 65-63 NY 51-73