NEW YORK — After the Yankees jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the third inning with ace Ron Guidry on the mound, things wouldn’t have looked good for most teams.
You know Ron Guidry. Since the start of the 1977 season, he came into today’s game with a 95-35 record and a downright silly 2.71 ERA. So it would be understandable if most teams would pack it in at that point.
But the Brewers aren’t most teams. They are Harvey’s Wallbangers. No lead is safe.
The Crew chipped away with a run on an RBI double by Don Money in the fourth, but that was just the opening act. In the fifth, the Brewers opened the flood gates on the Yankees ace and brought wrath he is not accustomed to experiencing.
The Brewers opened with consecutive singles by Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and Cecil Cooper to score the first run. After Ted Simmons grounded out, Gorman Thomas drew a walk to load the bases and Ben Oglivie singled home Yount and Simmons.
Four singles, three runs. That was all for Ron Guidry. But the Brewers weren’t done.
Don Money then singled home Gorman, and with runners at first and third Ed Romero dropped down a squeeze bunt that resulted in the sixth single of the inning that scored one more run. Charlie Moore then grounded out to drive in the sixth run of the inning to give the Brewers a 9-4 lead.
Wait, what happened to Harvey’s Wallbangers? Six singles including a squeeze bunt? Who are these guys?
Well, Cecil Cooper also hit two homers on the day, including a 420-foot shot to center in the sixth. Is that good enough?
There is no proper superlative to describe this offense right now. The Brewers have scored 45 runs on the five-game road trip against the Red Sox and Yankees, batting a ridiculous .337.
Mike Caldwell also deserves recognition for recovering from a slow start. He allowed four runs on five hits and three walks through the first three innings. From the fourth through seventh innings, he allowed no runs on five hits. Jerry Augustine then came on to pitch two innings of no-hit ball.
Ron Guidry stepped on the mound with an 8-2 record and 3.04 ERA today. The Brewers didn’t blink. After giving up eight runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, Guidry left with a 3.57 ERA.
“Did George call and send Guidry down yet?” Rollie Fingers joked, referring to the impatient Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner. It was funny, only because such a reaction wouldn’t have been out of character. Last year’s AL Rookie of the Year Award winner, Dave Righetti, was recently sent to the minors after starting the season 5-5 with a typically acceptable 4.23 ERA.
By the time this series is over, George may send his entire pitching staff to the minors.
Game Notes: Pete Vuckovich was ejected from the dugout after arguing balls and strikes … The Brewers are now 18-7 under Harvey Kuenn and remain three games back of the Boston Red Sox … Jim Gantner, recovering from an injured shoulder, has been hitting well in batting practice and may be used as a pinch hitter if he isn’t put on the DL … Charlie Moore has started every game in right field on the current road trip … A Brewers fan who said he was assaulted by a security worker at County Stadium two years ago filed a suit of $125,000 against the team.