August 15, 1958

Typical Giants. Get swept by the Cards, then pull one out against the much-better Cubs.

Typical Snappy. Showing up for work with ten things on his mind and none of them good. A morning talk with Liz helped a smidgen, at least until we got onto the murder subject. Seems that Peanut Man’s daily missives for publication have gotten less frequent. I told her maybe it was because he was busy chasing me up to Sacramento and stabbing muggers to death, but all that did was launch a zillion questions from her about what the hell I was talking about.

“Did you check yourself later, Snap? Was there blood on your clothes? Scratch marks on your face and hands?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That maybe you were…imagining Peanut Man being there. I’m not saying you did anything on purpose, but you do have this weird history of blacking out, right?”
“Liz, I saw and heard the bastard. He was talking to me while I lay on the ground.”
“Okay, okay! Don’t take this the wrong way, geez…”
“How else am I supposed to take it? Don’t you have a last place team to get meaningless quotes from today?”

I hung up on her for a change and headed for the park. It was Johnny Heap’s 16th birthday, and it cheered me up to rub the top of our ball boy and clubhouse helper’s head while he fetched batting practice balls before the game. Sometimes I think I would have been better off applying for Johnny’s job instead of the usher one, even though it probably would’ve required stepping into a time machine.

“Hey mac! I can’t see the field because some lady down there is wearing a big sun hat with feathers!”

So I went down to the third row to ask the lady to remove her hat.

“Not on your life!” she shrieked, “This was my Aunt Dolores’ hat, she was a big Seals fan, and I won’t take it off for Dwight David Eisenhower!”

I suppose I could have forced her. If Braggo and his goons were somewhere in the park to lend me a hand, that would be one thing, but I just didn’t have the energy. I ignored her and did my best to focus on the ball game, which was a rare Mike McCormick pitching gem for eight innings, when he crumbled in seconds and dished up a three-run shot to Bobby “Who Else” Thomson. Monzant and Giel finished off the win, and I went home to throw on normal clothes and head back up to the Double Play for some cold ones.

It was good to see Bob and Chumpo again, and offered to buy Bob a Hamm’s right away. I fished in the pocket of my coat I dragged myself back from Sacramento in, looking for change.

Felt something cold and metallic instead. Reached in deeper and slid out a long silver knife. Complete with dark red, two-day old bloodstains on the razor-sharp blade. Bob and Chumpo saw the thing and just stared at me.

“Um…guys? I can explain this.”
“You damn well better,” said Bob, sliding a few inches away from me.

Truth was, I couldn’t explain crap.

THE SKINNYS

CHI 000 000 003 – 3 6 1
S.F. 002 210 00x – 5 6 0
W-McCormick L-Drott SV-Giel HR: Thomson GWRBI-Mays

STL 000 040 000 – 4 7 1
L.A. 110 000 003 – 5 12 2
W-Roebuck L-Mabe HR: GWRBI-Pignatano

STL 011 100 101 – 5 12 1
L.A. 000 010 000 – 1 5 0
W-McDaniel L-Kipp HR: Boyer GWBI-Flood
Nothing like a late summer twi-night doubleheader at the Old Coliseum. And one the Cards would have swept if not for the counting ineptitude of one Bob Mabe, who takes a 4-2 lead into the 9th to save the pen and gives up a Neal double and singles by Snider and Gilliam before Chuck Stobbs enters and gives up singles to Furillo and pinch-hitter Pignatano to blow the game. Swingman Lindy McDaniel saves the day with another complete game gem in the nightcap.

PHI 100 000 010 – 2 9 0
MIL 100 002 00x – 3 6 0
W-Burdette L-Simmons SV-Robinson
Burdette nearly coughs this one up, but Humberto Robinson throws a great 9th and the Braves keep their 4-game lead on us and 2-gamer on the Cubs.

PIT 000 000 200 00 – 2 6 0
CIN 000 100 001 01 – 3 7 0
W-Kellner L-Gross HRS: Pinson-2 GWRBI-Temple
Rare pitching duel at Crosley, and a thriller, as Vada Pinson hits his second solo shot of the game off Kline in the 9th to tie it, and Johnny Temple triples up the left field hill to score Kellner with the 11th inning winner.

NYY 820 030 000 – 13 16 1
BOS 010 100 000 – 2 5 1
W-Ford L-Bowsfield HRS: Howard, Renna GWRBI-Berra
I’d heard that shortstop Don Buddin was famous for giving games away, and wow, did that ever happen here. Bases loaded and two gone in the 1st, only one run in, and Ted Bowsfield is close to escaping the inning. McDougald hits an easy grounder to Buddin, who kicks it off his own face. Six more unearned runs later, the game is gone. Not that Boston would’ve beaten Whitey Ford anyway (17-5 now), but geez louise.
Oh yeah, and Buddin also whiffed twice and hit into a DP to finish his day.

WAS 015 001 010 – 8 14 3
BAL 000 021 000 – 3 5 0
W-Clevenger L-Portocarrero HRS: Yost, Zauchin, Triandos GWRBI-Sievers
The Nats continue to surprise with occasional wins. Don’t know what’s gotten into Arnie P., but he’s gotten crushed two starts in a row at exactly the wrong time in the season.

CLE 010 002 300 – 6 11 1
CHX 001 002 010 – 4 7 1
W-Score L-Wynn HR: Wertz
Also continuing his hideousness is Early Wynn, who can’t beat a Doby and Colavito-less Indians team. Herb Score rebounds from an awful outing with only four walks and a complete game.

DET 000 000 000 – 0 2 0
K.C. 100 002 20x – 5 11 1
W-Urban L-Hoeft HR: Maris GWRBI-Cerv
Talk about an Urban shocker. Jack Urban hurls a walkless 2-hit shutout, and the Tigers drop their fourth in a row to the seventh place A’s. Go figure.

National League through Friday, August 15

Milwaukee 64 50 .561
Chicago 64 54 .542 2
San Francisco 61 55 .526 4
St. Louis 56 58 .491 8
Philadelphia 54 58 .482 8.5
Cincinnati 56 61 .479 9.5
Pittsburgh 54 61 .470 10.5
Los Angeles 52 64 .448 13

American League through Friday, August 15

New York 73 43 .629
Boston 64 51 .557 8.5
Baltimore 62 52 .544 10
Chicago 63 53 .543 10
Detroit 58 56 .509 14
Cleveland 60 58 .509 14
Kansas City 46 69 .400 26.5
Washington 36 80 .310 37
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