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THE WEEK (Aug. 23-29)
Herm Weiskopf
September 06, 1982
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September 06, 1982

The Week (aug. 23-29)

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Players who have hit 30 or more home runs in a season with the poorest batting averages are:




1. Dave Kingman, Mets




2. Dave Kingman, Mets




3. Dave Kingman, Mets




4. Rocky Colavito, Clev




5. Gorman Thomas, Mil




6. Ron Cey, LA




7. Harmon Killebrew, Wash




8. Harmon Killebrew, Minn




9. Norm Cash, Det




10. Gorman Thomas, Mil




10. Ralph Kiner, Pitt




*through Aug. 29


"I've been waiting for this ball club to get mad," said Manager Joe Torre of the Braves (5-1). "When we lost the first-place lead [on Aug. 10], it was like somebody coming into your house and stealing your furniture and you not doing anything about it." That Atlanta finally got mad last week was evidenced by the scars of its opponents. The Phillies were beaten 4-3 when Chris Chambliss doubled across the decisive run in the ninth and then blackjacked when they lost 9-7 after staking Steve Carlton to a 4-0 first-inning lead. Atlanta's comeback was built around Jerry Royster's first homer of the season, Bob Horner's 25th and Dale Murphy's 31st. The Braves blew an 8-0 lead over the Mets but won 9-8 when Rafael Ramirez homered in the eighth. Another eighth-inning blast—a two-run shot by Claudell Washington—knocked off New York 4-3. Gene Garber's 25th save also helped Atlanta regain the lead in the West by the slimmest of margins—one percentage point.

While the Braves displayed renewed pugnacity, the Dodgers (4-2) won most of their games handily. In St. Louis, Bob Welch (15-9) was a 5-2 victor on a four-hitter, and Fernando Valenzuela (17-9) slammed his first major league home run while breezing 11-3. Back home, L.A. punched out Chicago 9-4 as Pedro Guerrero, who hit .550, walloped his 27th homer and stole his 15th and 16th bases. Jerry Reuss then defeated the Cubs 7-1. Such tidy pitching has been the hallmark of the Dodgers' 21-9 surge; the staff's ERA for those 30 games has been 2.76.

Lacking such classy pitching, San Francisco (1-5) fell eight games back. What hurt most during a 4-9 road trip was the team's 7.64 ERA. But the Giants did end a six-game skid by beating the Pirates 4-2 as Greg Minton established a club mark with his 23rd save of the season.

San Diego (2-5), beset by a flurry of worry, also sputtered. Both ace Starter Tim Lollar and Reliever Luis DeLeon came down with arm troubles. Pitcher Chris Welsh strained rib-cage muscles, Outfielder Tony Gwynn fractured his left wrist and Outfielder Alan Wiggins was suspended for a month by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for his July 21 arrest for cocaine possession.

Two shutouts by Joe Niekro and a pair of 5-4 victories over New York buoyed Houston's hopes of moving up. The Astros (4-3), who have won 13 of 20, toppled the Mets when Phil Garner doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth. And after being blanked for 31⅓ innings this season by Montreal's Charlie Lea, Houston finally got to him for two runs—and Niekro made them stand up for a 2-0 triumph. That improved Niekro's record to 13-9.

Even the last-place Reds (3-3) were encouraged. Ron Oester and Cesar Cedeño batted .526 and .364, respectively, and there were three noteworthy pitching performances. Mario Soto, who in his previous outing had been so rattled by the needling of Phillies Third Base Coach Dave Bristol that he was knocked out early, last week tuned out the taunts and turned off Philly 8-1. Best of all was the 1-0 defeat of Montreal behind the combined work of two pitchers named Shirley and Lesley—Bob, who went eight innings, and Brad, who finished up for him. Shirley's ERA for his last eight starts is 2.25. Lesley, a 6'6", 220-pound, 23-year-old rookie who's called The Animal, extended his scoreless-inning streak to 15. Lesley has quickly become a favorite among Cincinnati rooters because of his antics. While on the mound he pounds his glove, vigorously signals strikes and stomps around as if he intends to charge hitters like an angry bull.

ATL 72-57 LA 73-58 SD 67-64 SF 65-66 HOUS 61-69 CIN 50-80


In a week crammed with unexpected events, St. Louis lionized a third-string catcher, the Phillies got heavy hitting from a lightweight and the Pirates won with heads-down running from a pitcher. Now to explain. The player honored by the first-place Cardinals (3-3) was Glenn Brummer, who on Aug. 22 stole home on his own with two out in the 12th to beat San Francisco 5-4. Last week Brummer received a home plate signed by all the Cardinals, as well as a singing telegram. Three saves by Bruce Sutter gave him a total of 29 so far this season and left him with an 0.89 ERA since the All-Star break.

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