August 10, 1958

As Mickey Cohen might have said, oy gevalt.

Here I was, a month and a half left in the season, saddled with a serial killer who wanted me to help the Giants lose, and an L.A. mob boss wanting me to help them win. Or at least kill some bookie stooge to get his 50 grand back.

One thing I knew i wasn’t doing was telling Liz about Mickey Cohen. She had enough drama on her dining table. We met today for a late breakfast at The Pantry, and had an intriguing time going over the most recent batch of published Peanut Killer notes. They had become even more cryptic and strange, the poetry was even worse, and readers were having a field day trying to make sense of them.

“There’s definitely a pattern,” she said, “Lots of stuff about loyalty and abandonment. But every time I think I’ve nailed it down, he throws one out about moonlight or crickets and I lose track again. He is one scatter-brained fellah.”

From the Pantry it was on to a relaxing afternoon at the Coliseum, watching the Giants pummel the now-last place Dodgers. The L.A. boys have used the second half of the season to unravel like a cheap watch, despite still being second in the league with 130 homers.

Later on, though: Beer and melt-in-my-mouth barbeque steaks at Billy Frack’s place in North hollywood. Liz’s brother was healed, rested, and ready to ride us.

“See, here’s what you love-cats are doing wrong. You forgot to hire Billy Frack to be your all-purpose assistant, bodyguard and Peanut Killer groin-smasher.”
“You left out gourmet barbequer. This steak is the tops.”
“And I’d cool it with the ‘love-cat’ stuff,” added Liz.
“Oh? Trouble in Shang-ri-la?”
“It’s never been Shang-ri-la, Billy. More like a fire escape in West Side Story.”
“You ain’t kiddin’, Maria” I said, pinching her behind.

He asked what we were doing next and it was still pretty much up in the air. Liz had a chance to get her place in the Los Feliz hills back, but wasn’t sure she wanted to live there alone and was starting to like the Hotel Figueroa. I was a pariah on the Giants now, but Brewster didn’t want me straying too far with the suspect constantly hovering around the team. So that pretty much made up my mind. After dinner and my fourth beer, I called Pence Murphy at his home in Daly City.

“Section 16, Murph. Can I have it back?”
“You mean it? Every young usher we got is about to head back to school. You are music to my ears, Snappy. Just do me a big favor.”
“What’s that?”
“Keep your murder sleuthing shenanigans away from my ballpark.”

I promised I would—like a good liar. Because even if I wanted to, it wasn’t up to me.


S.F. 102 000 400 – 7 9 1
L.A. 010 010 000 – 2 7 0
W-Miller L-WIlliams HRS: Spencer, Alou, Fairly GWRBI-Spencer
Stu Miller throws a beaut, and Felipe Alou greets southpaw reliever Fred Kipp with a pinch-hit three run homer in the 7th to put the game and series to bed.

MIL 220 000 011 – 6 12 2
PHI 112 001 000 – 5 9 1
W-Robinson L-Farrell HRS: Aaron, Adcock, Jones GWRBI-Adcock
No one’s been underachieving more on the Braves than Joe Adcock. But after going 0-for-4 today he wallops a Turk Farrell fastball into the upper tier in the top of the 9th to edge the relentless Phillies and keep Milwaukee’s two-game lead intact.

CIN 302 010 100 – 7 13 0
PIT 000 001 000 – 1 8 0
W-Lawrence L-Raydon HR: Lynch GWRBI-Lynch

CIN 002 000 000 – 2 6 1
PIT 010 000 000 – 1 6 0
W-Acker L-Blackburn GWRBI-Robinson
Criminy, are the Redlegs ever hot. Lynch goes nuts again, 5-for-10 on the day. Frank Robinson comes back from a short injury and promptly singles in the game-winning runs in the nightcap. While Brooks Lawrence and Tom Acker walk only one Pirate in 18 innings. Cincy’s team ERA has plain plummeted of late.

STL 000 001 000 – 1 4 1
CHI 010 130 00x – 5 8 0
W-Hobbie L-Brosnan HRS: Cunningham, Walls, Banks GWRBI-Walls

STL 100 000 015 – 7 11 1
CHI 000 000 100 – 1 8 0
W-McDaniel L-Briggs HRS: Boyer, B.G. Smith, Walls GWRBI-Moon
Splitsville at Wrigley. All Glen Hobbie in the opener, largely Lindy McDaniel in the second game, with help from Ken Boyer (three hits and a 3-run homer) and a big clutch single in the 8th by Wally Moon.

BOS 100 000 000 – 1 8 0
NYY 010 000 001 – 2 5 0
W-Turley L-Bowsfield GWRBI-Carey
Jensen returns to the Boston lineup, but Turley handcuffs everyone from new England. Andy Carey’s two-out single in the 9th off Kiely wins it after Ted Bowsfield walks the first two Yanks in the inning. Nice try, Sox, but your deficit is back down to ten and a half. Great series, and they have four more at the Fens next weekend.

BAL 000 004 405 – 13 20 2
WAS 014 300 010 – 9 11 0
W-Pappas L-Griggs HRS: Triandos-2, Lemon, Plews, Zauchin
Not the worst meltdown of the day (seen KC-CLE results), but probably the Senators’ worst of the year—and that’s saying something. Up 8-0 going to the 6th with Pascual on the mound and a sweep around the corner, the Birds score 13 times in the next four innings off four relievers. The fact that exhausted Dick Hyde is not one of them clearly a factor. Triandos on base five of six times with two huge late dingers.

CHX 000 100 000 – 1 7 0
DET 100 000 001 – 2 5 0
W-Bunning L-Donovan HRS: Wilson, Zernial GWRBI-Zernial
The Tigers hit two solo homers, one in the 9th by Zernial winning it, and the White Sox, as you’d expect, don’t. Another win for Bunning, who’s a chief reason Detroit is five games over .500.

K.C. 302 600 200 – 13 13 1
CLE 000 010 020 – 3 6 0
W-Urban L-Score HR: Harrell GWRBI-Smith

K.C. 110 100 021 01 – 7 16 1
CLE 220 101 000 00 – 6 12 0
W-Gorman L-Grant HRS: Tuttle, Maris-2, Chiti, Colavito, Harrell
I don’t know what Indians fans did to deserve this afternoon, but good lord…First Herb Score walks ten in three-plus innings, allowing 17 of the 27 he faces to reach base as the Tribe gets shellacked in the opener. Then new relief “ace” Mudcat Grant does what he did all year in the rotation: absolutely suck. Given a 6-3 lead, he allows a walk and Maris homer in the 8th, a Harry Chiti homer to tie the game in the 9th, and a second Maris homer to lose it in the 11th. Oh yeah, and Larry Doby gets injured for a week.

TEAM STATS REPORT: Here are your team hitting, team pitching, and assorted miscellany through Sunday’s games.

National League through Sunday, August 10

Milwaukee 61 49 .555
San Francisco 60 52 .536 2
Chicago 61 53 .535 2
Philadelphia 53 55 .491 7
St. Louis 52 57 .477 8.5
Cincinnati 53 59 .473 9
Pittsburgh 53 59 .473 9
Los Angeles 51 60 .459 10.5

American League through Sunday, August 10

New York 71 40 .640
Boston 60 50 .545 10.5
Baltimore 60 50 .545 10.5
Chicago 60 51 .541 11
Detroit 57 52 .523 12
Cleveland 57 56 .504 14
Kansas City 43 67 .391 27.5
Washington 35 77 .313 37