MARINERS 3, RED SOX 0
Wednesday, August 23, 1978 at The Kingdome
Game 1657 – 1/20/21
For Seattle pitcher Dick Pole, it was a chance to prove to his former team that his current numbers—a 4-10 won-lost record and a 4.52 ERA—were a fluke, and that his starting performance from a few weeks earlier—a 5-1 complete game win over the Twins—was more indicative of what he could accomplish if given the chance.
The Red Sox, however had other ideas…and none of them were good, as Pole pitched a remarkable 3-0 shutout over the struggling Bosox, allowing just seven hits and striking out seven batters on his way to his fifth win. Not bad for a PB 2-5 pitcher whose last—and up to now, only—shutout came in 1975, when he played for his pennant-winning opponents.
“My parents will be watching on TV back home in Trout Creek, and a friend of mine made the trip out to see the game in-person, so I figured I’d better do well,” said Pole about tonight’s game. “Although, my friend has been a Red Sox fan since we were kids, so I’m not sure which side he’ll be pulling for.”
Pole (5-10) ran into several jams throughout the contest, most notably in the third, when Boston loaded the bases with two out. But Pole struck out Carlton Fisk on an 0-2 count to end the inning, and the Seattle defense took care of the rest, stifling scoring opportunities with Leon Roberts’ grab of a Jerry Remy drive deep to right in the fourth, Tom Paciorek’s cannon throw from left to nail Remy at the plate in the seventh, and a critical double play initiated by Pole in the eighth, where he snared a line shot off the bat of Fisk and quickly picked veteran Carl Yastrzemski off first.
The Mariners, meanwhile, bunched their three runs into the second inning, all off Sox starter Mike Torrez (8-11), who gave up a one-out walk to Bruce Bochte, a two-run home run to Danny Meyer (his first HR of the season), and an RBI double to Steve Braun to account for the night’s scoring. Excluding that one troublesome frame, Torrez pitched a masterful game as well, shutting down the M’s the rest of the way and allowing just one more hit, while retiring the final eleven batters he faced.
And if there’s no change to the Mariners starting rotation schedule, Pole will face the Red Sox again during his next start, this time at his former home, Fenway Park. When asked what sort of reception he was expecting from the fans there, Pole replied, “As long as they don’t remember me from the ’75 World Series, I should be okay.”
• The game was played at night at site AZ18 in Peoria, Arizona, on the living room table while I listened to Wild-Eyed Southern Boys by 38 Special on LP.
• This was the 145th game played at site AZ18, tying ESC7 for third place on the all-time games hosted list.
• This was the third game ever played on this date, and the first since 2013.
• Tonight’s match-up concluded a short two-game series between the two teams, which the Mariners swept; their season series is now tied at 4-4, with two games left to play.
• The loss extended Boston’s losing streak to seven games.
• During the actual 1978 season, Pole pitched his final major league game on July 18th, an extra-inning loss to the Blue Jays, where he gave up three runs in one inning of work. He spent the rest of the season with the San Jose Missions of the PCL before being released by the Mariners during spring training the following year.
• Seattle speedster Julio Cruz was unable to steal a base tonight, and remains four shy of Ty Cobb’s AL record of 96.
• With his first inning double, Boston’s Fred Lynn extended his hitting streak to ten games.
• Mariner first baseman Danny Meyer hit eight home runs during the actual ’78 season, so if he hopes to reach that total in the SP78 season, after hitting just his first tonight, he’d better start using some heavier bats.
• Sadly, Giants catcher Mike Sadek died on the same day I played this game, the 122nd player from my SP78 season to pass away since 1978.
• As you can see in the game board photo below, my friend Bob attended the proceedings, sitting in the center field general admission seats, in hopes of bringing some luck to the floundering Sox. I made him part of the recap above, as the friend of Dick Pole’s who flew to Seattle to attend the game at the Kingdome.