Start and stop with Reggie Smith as the only guy who didn’t get up too early yesterday while the Red Sox were losing, 9-7, to the Tigers in one of those annual 11 a.m. Patriot’s Day games at Fenway Park.
The rest of the story would have to concern sifting through all the mistakes that were made while the Red Sox tried to come back after being behind, 8-0, with the great Mickey Lolich on the mound.
Reggie hit two homers, one right-handed the other lefthanded, the fourth time he has done it. Mickey Mantle did it 10 times in his career.
But the 29,006 saw the Red Sox with two men on in the last inning, Lolich long gone to the showers. Righthander Lerrin LaGrow was pitching for the Tigers and Danny Cater at bat – with Reggie in the on-deck circle.
Cater hit a grounder to shortstop Eddie Brinkman and Cater was nipped at first to end the game, amid a lot of squawking by the Red Sox, who thought first base umpire John Flaherty had blinkers on when the decision was made.
But the game had to end with a squabble with an umpire. It was like that all day in the long squawk session between the two teams.
The Tigers took a 4-0 lead in the first on four singles and an error by Reggie Smith. Smith bobbled a Norm Cash single allowing Dick McAuliffe to score from second. Singles by Gates Brown, Aurelio Rodriguez and Mickey Stanley scored the other runs before Eddie Brinkman flied out to end the inning.
A Cash double scoring Al Kaline and a three-run homer by Willie Horton added four more Detroit runs and then the Tigers were held scoreless until Tony Taylor lifted one over the left field fence in the eighth.
These are the mistakes that were sifted at games’ end:
• Why did manager Eddie Kasko leave Marty Pattin in the game for eight runs and 10 hits in three and two-thirds innings? Why did Eddie yank Carl Yastrzemski in the sixth? (Carl would have been up there in the ninth had he stared in the game.)
• Why did umpire Joe Brinkman ever make his first trip to Boston? The new umpire was yelled at by the Red Sox – and later by the Tigers. “I’ve never been here before,” said Brinkman, who was accused by Pattin as having said something objectionable to Marty.
• Why did manager Billy Martin of the Tigers yank Lolich in the seventh with an 8-3 lead? And why did he stay with LaGrow to the bitter end?
• What’s going on in the Red Sox outfield? If Tommy Harper had snatched a soft fly hit by Al Kaline in the fourth, Pattin would have escaped with no runs in the inning. But four came in after the leftfielder lost the ball in the sun.
• Why didn’t Kasko take out Cater for Ben Oglivie, his lefthanded designated hitter?
A million questions, and everyone was being blamed. Kasko even got heaved from the game in the third inning after Doug Griffin had been called out on strikes.
So Kakso “rested” Yastrzemski, who was 0-13, hardly ripping the ball, and let Cater play. Danny doubled once off Lolich, and had Smith come to the plate in the ninth, Martin was going to bring in a lefty, John Hiller.
With the eight runs, it looked like a Tigers breeze. But Rick homered in the fourth, Reggie got his first (righthanded) in the sixth with Cater aboard. Reggie got his second (lefthanded) in the eighth, and Carlton Fisk drilled one over everything in the ninth with a man on. And after two walks, Luis Aparicio flied out and Cater grounded out.