When the Giants' flight left for Pittsburgh a few hours before the strike deadline, only one player was aboard—Rennie Stennett, who lives near the Steel City. The rest of the Giants (4-1) had stayed in San Francisco so they wouldn't have to pay their way home from Pittsburgh if the strike took place. They arrived later but could not avert a 5-4 loss, which ended their five-game victory string. Earlier, four steals had helped San Francisco beat St. Louis 6-5, and a series of diving and leaping catches and whiz-bang throws helped Ed Whitson defeat Chicago 2-0. Jack Clark's second straight four-hit, three-RBI game paced the Giants to a 15-inning 10-9 win in Pittsburgh.
Two ninth-inning errors by Shortstop Jerry Royster turned an apparent 1-0 win for the Braves (2-5) into a 2-1 loss to the Mets. Atlanta did get a 1-0 victory later, when Phil Niekro shut out Montreal.
San Diego's Randy Jones, bothered by an ear infection, went for his fourth shutout in a row but lost 4-3 to the Pirates. The game ended Jones' streaks of 30 scoreless innings, 37 innings without allowing an extra-base hit and 44 without issuing a walk. In their last 12 games, the Padres (4-2) have given up just 24 earned runs.
"Putting a new uniform on me is like putting a saddle on a mule," said Coach Don Leppert of the Astros' new roadwear. While sporting their new outfits—gray, with blue trim and a rainbow of colors down the sleeves—the Astros (3-3) played like mules, kicking away three balls while losing to the Mets 5-1. More encouraging was the four-hit, 10-strikeout effort by Nolan Ryan as he defeated the Phillies 3-0.
LA 25-14 CIN 22-17 HOUS 21-17 SD 21-19 SF 17-23 ATL 13-23
Mike Schmidt, who rarely gets excited, and Pete Rose, who is rarely calm, helped the Phillies (4-2) pull within two games of the Pirates. After hearing the no-strike news, Schmidt "celebrated" with "hot tea and Cheerios." That night he hit a three-run homer that made Steve Carlton (8-2) a 3-0 winner over the Astros. Carlton had earlier beaten the Reds 6-4 as the Phillies put together a three-run seventh in which four consecutive batters with two strikes on them all got hits. Rose, who squared matters at 4-4 with a single, then scored all the way from first on another single.
Late-inning rallies also helped the Pirates (3-3). In the first game of a doubleheader sweep of the Padres, Mike Easier slammed a pinch homer in the ninth and Bill Robinson added a run-scoring single for a 4-3 win. Later, a four-run sixth wiped out a 3-0 San Francisco lead and Pittsburgh went on to win 5-4 on Tim Foli's sacrifice fly in the 13th.
St. Louis (0-6) battled back in the late innings, but still lost 6-5 in San Francisco and 4-3 in Los Angeles. Throughout the rest of the week, the Cardinals battled each other. "There's a volcano coming that will outdo Mount St. Helens," Bernie Carbo said shortly before Manager Ken Boyer erupted. Upset by his team's sloppy play, Boyer imposed heavy fines for curfew violations, turned off television in the Busch Stadium clubhouse and turned down the locker-room stereos. But none of it helped. With their losing streak at nine games, the Cardinals replaced the Mets (page 24) in the basement.
Dennis Lamp lit up the Cubs with a 2-0 victory over the Dodgers. Otherwise, it was lights out for Chicago (1-4). With two of their top sluggers ailing—Dave Kingman had a sore shoulder and Barry Foote a bum knee—the homerless Cubs scored only eight runs.