It would have been nice to have dinner at Eddie Mathews’ favorite place tonight, but it never happened.

August 2, 1958

So the Giants banished me to the bullpen again after last night’s loss. Mike McCormick didn’t even want me to warm him up, but the guy’s been so unreliable he didn’t have a cleat to stand on.

Agent Brewster had tried calling me at the hotel, but I wasn’t answering the phone. If there was a break in the case or another murder, I’m sure I would’ve seen it in the Milwaukee Sentinel. Hadn’t heard from Liz, either, since our blow-up on Thursday, but wasn’t too surprised. Me suspecting her followed by her suspecting me was a sign of how silly and desperate we were all getting for a solution. Here I was thinking having both of us on the road would mess up the killer’s head, when it was suddenly the other way around.

Meanwhile, my half hour squat in front of McCormick gave him a full afternoon of Irish luck. All he allowed the first three innings were three scattered singles, while we were busy knocking Lew Burdette around. With two gone in the 1st, Wagner, Mays, and Cepeda all singled and Davenport lined a double down the line for a 2-0 lead. A run-scoring Spencer triple and boot by the usually spotless Frank Torre at first made it 4-0.

McCormick began putting more guys on but four double plays bailed him out, and by the time we racked up three more digits on Juan Pizarro in the 9th, a third of the once-chirpy Braves fans had headed home to their wigwams and we were tied for first with them once more. Everyone in the league had a doubleheader to play tomorrow, and if Antonelli was on his game, we could have a two-game lead before heading to Chicago.

Naturally this concerned me, and I had to fake my elation again in the locker room. Beers and roast goose at Karl Ratzsch’s were on the evening agenda. “I don’t drink,” said Willie Mays to me as we were about to head out, “so you can drink all four of mine.”

Suddenly…

“HEY! WHAT THE HELL??” yelled someone in the far corner of the locker room. It was our backup backup rookie outfielder Don Taussig. Don never plays, so likes to keep his uniform on as long as possible and is always the last to dress. He was standing there in front of his just-opened locker, mouth agape.

Someone had filled the thing top to bottom with peanuts, and they had spilled onto the clubhouse floor and covered his baseball shoes like blood out of a slaughtered pig.

Dinner at Karl Ratzsch’s would be delayed.

THE SKINNYS

S.F. 220 010 103 – 9 14 0
MIL 000 001 000 – 1 10 1
W-McCormick L-Burdette GWRBI-Cepeda

L.A. 010 010 000 – 2 3 2
CIN 010 011 10x – 4 8 1
W-Nuxhall L-Klippstein HRS: Zimmer, Bailey-2 GWRBI-Robinson
Lost in my constant criticism of the Cards’ Sad Sam Jones is the performance of Cincy’s Joe Nuxhall, which has actually been worse. Expected to be one of the best Red starters, he was 3-13 with a ten-game losing streak before issuing just three hits here to the Dodgers. Frank Robinson has an off day, merely going 2-for-4, knocking in the game-winner and robbing Charlie Neal of a home run.

CHI 200 001 001 – 4 9 1
PHI 100 000 000 – 1 5 1
W-Drabowsky L-Roberts SV-Henry HRS: Banks-2 GWRBI-Banks
Mr. Cub slams his 26th and 27th homers off Robin Roberts and Bill Henry bails out Drabowsky with two and a third innings of perfect relief.

STL 301 040 010 000 – 9 18 0
PIT 310 012 020 001 – 10 19 2
W-Face L-Paine HRS: Cunningham, Flood, Skinner, Porterfield, Thomas GWRBI-Clemente
Another day, another ghastly, frustrating Cards loss just as they were inching back to .500 again. This time Bob Mabe nearly coughs up an 8-4 lead, Chuck Stobbs successfully coughs up a 9-7 8th inning lead after a Flood homer, and Roy Face shuts them down in extras until Paine can walk two and give up a Clemente single in the 12th. The Bucs lose games like this all the time, so these teams are pretty much made for each other.

NYY 010 000 000 – 1 4 0
CHX 100 000 01x -2 9 0
W-Latman L-Larsen GWRBI-Phillips
The clutchiest player on the White Sox has been Bubba Phillips, and he collects four singles here off Larsen, the last one driving in the winner in the 8th, and Chicago wins a huge one vs. the Yanks. The Bubbanator now leads the club with ten game-deciding RBIs.

BOS 101 003 001 – 6 6 0
CLE 000 000 005 – 5 7 0
W-Monboquette L-Score SV-Wall HRS: Buddin, Harrell GWRBI-Buddin
Every Herb Score appearance is a surreal experience. In five and two-thirds, he walks 12 and strikes out 8 before Don Mossi takes over. The Tribe plates five in the 9th but Murray Wall gets Minoso on a force with two aboard to sweat out the ending.

BAL 000 000 000 – 0 3 0
DET 015 000 00x – 6 11 0
W-Lary L-Harshman HR: Harris GWRBI-Bolling
Frank Lary mystifies, bamboozles and generally obliterates the Baltimore hitters, while Jack Harshman is treated very harshly.

WAS 010 012 200 – 6 16 4
K.C. 400 021 21x – 10 17 1
W-Terry L-Pascual SV-Tomanek HRS: Ward, Cerv, Maris GWRBI-Cerv
Another sloppy thriller between baseball’s worst. Bob Cerv with three singles and a homer in five times up, while the usually great Dick Hyde turns a 7-6 game into a late laugher.

National League through Saturday, August 2

Milwaukee 55 46 .545
San Francisco 56 47 .544
Chicago 54 50 .519 2.5
Philadelphia 51 49 .510 3.5
St. Louis 48 51 .485 6
Los Angeles 49 53 .480 6.5
Pittsburgh 49 53 .480 6.5
Cincinnati 45 58 .437 11

American League through Saturday, August 2

New York 69 36 .657
Boston 57 45 .559 10.5
Baltimore 57 47 .548 11.5
Chicago 56 49 .533 13
Detroit 52 51 .505 15
Cleveland 53 52 .505 15
Kansas City 41 62 .398 27
Washington 31 74 .295 38
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