The acme of Chicago's 3-4 week was the play of Pitcher Doug Capilla. As Pittsburgh Third Baseman Bill Madlock charged in, anticipating a sacrifice, Capilla faked a bunt and bounced the ball past Madlock to score Scot Thompson. That hit and Capilla's pitching—he allowed only two hits in seven innings—led to a 2-1 victory. The nadir was Dave Kingman's play. Kong was booed by Wrigley Field fans for failing to drive in runs and allowing two Cardinals to score when he dropped a fly ball in a 9-7 loss. For their part, the Cardinals (4-4) were uncharacteristically alert, especially Shortstop Garry Templeton, who raced into centerfield to snare a fly ball and start a double play. "He actually outran the ball," said Pittsburgh Manager Chuck Tanner. "That has to be one of the greatest fielding plays I've ever seen."
MONT 41-34 PHIL 40-35 PITT 41-37 NY 38-39 CHI 33-42 ST.L 34-45
Minnesota (5-2) led the division in wins and recorded some other eye-catching numbers as well. Ken Landreaux tied a major league record with three triples in one game, Rick So-field batted .520, and Manager Gene Mauch won his 1,500th game. But Mauch, an also-ran in each of his 20 seasons as a major league skipper, said, "It would have meant something if I'd won a pennant or two."
Some other notable numbers: Rod Carew's 18-game hitting streak was halted, but California (4-3) recorded its first winning week of the season. Buddy Bell (12 games) and Mickey Rivers (17) kept hitting streaks alive for Texas (3-4), while Chicago (2-5) went 21 innings without scoring. Rickey Henderson of Oakland (4-3) got his 55th walk, and Rick Langford shut out Chicago 5-0 to roll up his ninth straight complete game. The A's staff has 42. But the most critical statistic belonged to A's Pitcher Brian Kingman, who was to be married during the All-Star break. "I needed a shutout to be able to say 'I do' with feeling," said Kingman. He got one, beating Chicago 2-0.
There was depressing—and not so depressing—news for Kansas City (3-4). Disappointed when he was left off the All-Star team despite a .321 average, Catcher John Wathan took out his frustration on Minnesota and went 4 for 5 to spark a 4-3 win. The last time Wathan felt so blue—the night before this year's strike was supposed to begin—he got a home run and four RBIs. After the Royals lost 12-3 and 2-1 to the Twins, Manager Jim Frey closed the clubhouse door for 12 minutes and lectured his players. "I started out calm," he said, "but I didn't end that way." Dan Quisenberry's two wins and a save lifted Frey's spirits.
Seattle (3-4) players have long suspected that you can't see well in the Kingdome, and last week it was confirmed. In a study requested by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a physicist, Dr. Roger Freedman, backed up a statement made by Boston's Jerry Remy that "it's the worst park in the American League for lighting." Freedman pointed out that the level of light is low and the intensity uneven, and that players lose high flies against the background of the ceiling and lights. Kingdome facilities manager Ron Cline responded that the park meets the minimum league lighting standards, and Seattle Manager Darrell Johnson claimed that the home team has no advantage over the visitors, because the conditions are the same for all players. On the second point, Boston Catcher Carlton Fisk disagreed, saying, "In a three-game series in this park, you spend the first game trying to get adjusted. In the second game it gets a little better, but by the time you're used to it in the third game, you're all but gone." The lighting conditions didn't bother the Mariners' Tom Paciorek, who in four home games and three on the road batted .414.
KC 47-32 TEX 37-41 CHI 36-41 OAK 36-43 MINN 34-44 SEA 34-45 CAL 28-48
New York (6-1) arrived in Boston for a three-game series that the Red Sox (2-4) hoped would catapult them into the race. Instead the Yankees swept them 6-3, 3-2, 6-0 and left even the former Fenway faithful chanting, "So long, Boston, we're sad to see you go." In the ultimate humiliation Goose Gossage preserved Tommy John's 6-3 win by striking out five men in 2? innings and fanning Tony Perez on three pitches with the bases loaded to end the game. Later in the week Baltimore hitters got off to rousing starts twice, KOing starters Chuck Rainey and Mike Torrez on nine and 16 pitches, respectively. The sore-armed Rainey suffered further when he was unable to locate team physician Arthur Pappas, who was off on a Maine vacation. As the Red Sox dropped from third to fifth, Manager Don Zimmer said, "If I thought crying would help, I'd do it."