Before the season began, Milwaukee Brewers Manager George Bamberger made his commitment to go with youth. He disposed of veterans such as catcher Ted Simmons and pitchers Rollie Fingers, Moose Haas and Ray Burris.
For the most part, Bamberger has been satisfied that he did the right thing. His young players, especially the pitchers, have helped the Brewers stay above the .500 level, after they had lost 90 games last season.
There was a moment Saturday at Boston when Bamberger had to have some doubts about the wisdom of putting so much trust in rookies.
It was the eighth inning; the Brewers were leading, 2-0; the Red Sox had the bases loaded with one out, and there was a 3-and-0 count on the batter--the major leagues' leading hitter, Wade Boggs. Opposing him was 24-year-old left-hander Dan Plesac, just a couple of months out of the Double-A Texas League.
Plesac threw three consecutive strikes to get the big out and went on to save the 2-0 victory for Tim Leary. It was Plesac's fifth save to go with four victories in relief.
"About 999 times out of a 1,000, you won't strike out Wade Boggs in that situation," Bamberger told United Press International. "This was the most entertaining game I've seen this season.
"Imagine, the bases loaded, the count 3-and-0 and the best hitter in baseball up there, and he got him on strikes. That kid has done a super job for us."
After throwing three fastballs to get the slumping Boggs, Plesac made Bill Buckner ground out.
"I was lucky in a situation that I don't like to be in," Plesac said. "When I came in, I got myself into trouble by messing around with Marty Barrett and walking him to fill the bases. Then, I went to 3-and-0 on Boggs. It was about as tough a situation as a pitcher can get himself into.
"However, it was the first time I ever faced him, and I thought, 'What the heck, it's the first time he's seen me, so I have the advantage.' " Boggs has been bothered by bruised ribs. He went 1 for 4 in this game and is 3 for 21 in his worst slump of the season.
"I figured with the count 3-and-0, I'd get a walk," Boggs said. "But I didn't, I struck out."
It was the second time Leary, with help from Plesac, had beaten the Red Sox in less than a week. Rob Deer's sacrifice fly in the second inning gave Leary (5-5) the run he needed. Jim Gantner singled in the other run in the seventh.
Using a sinking fastball, a slider and a changeup, Leary got 14 outs on ground balls. The Red Sox did not get a runner past second until Lyons walked in the sixth and was left on third. Leary gave up seven hits, two of them bunts.
New York 4, Baltimore 2--After hitting his 10th home run, a fly ball that struck the foul pole in left field to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning at Baltimore, Rickey Henderson dedicated the homer to Oriole Manager Earl Weaver.
Weaver had been quoted as saying that because of Henderson's crouch and the way he ducked at the plate, umpires were giving him too many pitches.
"I think he (Weaver) is trying to upset me," Henderson said, "because I do so well against the Orioles. I get hits off him, and he wanted to find some way to get me out."
Henderson was 2 for 4 in this game and is 5 for 9 in the series, helping the Yankees win three straight. In the three games, he has five walks and six runs. In the first inning, Henderson walked, then stole second and third--giving him 42 steals for the season--and scored on Dave Winfield's 12th home run.
The Yankee leadoff man and center fielder is hitting .359 against the Orioles in his career. In the last two seasons against Baltimore, he has hit .431 and stolen 22 bases in 24 attempts.
The win moved the Yankees within 3 1/2 games of Boston in the East.
Oakland 3, Texas 2--Eric Plunk gave up only 3 hits and struck out 10 in 7 innings at Oakland to win his first game in the majors as the A's ended a nine-game losing streak.
The A's had only three hits off Ed Correa. The first, an infield hit by Alfredo Griffin, drove in a run in the second inning.
Two walks, Carney Lansford's single and two wild pitches accounted for the other two runs in the sixth.
Toronto 6, Detroit 5--The magic that helped the Tigers in their phenomenal 1984 season has deserted reliever Willie Hernandez. After Jack Morris gave up an infield hit to Jesse Barfield to open the ninth inning at Toronto, Hernandez came in to protect a 5-3 lead.
Cliff Johnson hit Hernandez's second pitch off the left-field foul pole for his ninth home run to tie the score. Three pitches later, pinch-hitter Buck Martinez hit his first home run in more than a year to win it.
In the seventh, off Morris, Rick Leach hit a pinch two-run home run to cut the lead to two runs. The two pinch homers in one game tied a record held by several teams.
Minnesota 9, Cleveland 3--Tom Brunansky hit his 15th home run with a man on in the fifth at Cleveland to tie the game, and the Twins scored six more runs in the last two innings to end a three-game losing streak.
Mel Hall's two-base error on Gary Gaetti's fly ball opening the eighth led to three unearned runs.
Keith Atherton, 3-1 since joining the Twins May 20, pitched three scoreless innings to win it. He gave up two hits but struck out four.
Seattle 7, Chicago 3--The White Sox turned down a deal that would have sent Tom Seaver to the Yankees. They said the Yankees weren't offering enough for the veteran right-hander.
Maybe, the White Sox may want to reconsider. In this game at Seattle, the lowly Mariners pounded Seaver for nine hits in seven innings, and his record fell to 2-5. Ken Phelps hit a three-run home run to highlight a five-run fourth inning that broke the game open.
Mark Langston (6-5) shut out the White Sox for five innings but needed help in the sixth when Carlton Fisk hit a three-run home run. Mark Huisman went two innings, and Mike Young finished up for his third save.