1972 - Timeline
by Bob Hulsey
Apr 01 - Players Association President Marvin Miller announces the beginning of a players strike effective immediately. It is the first organized labor strike in major league history that disrupts the regular season. Play does not resume until April 15th.
Apr 05 - Houston is supposed to be playing the traditional season opener this year in Cincinnati. The strike keeps the ballpark empty.
Apr 15 - Juan Marichal of the Giants is ready for the strike to be over. He tosses eight shutout innings in the delayed Opening Day to blank Houston, 5-0. Off the field, Houston acquires lefthander Jerry Reuss from the St. Louis Cardinals for pitchers Lance Clemons and Scipio Spinks.
Apr 16 - Dave Kingman of San Francisco hits for the cycle and drives in six to outslug the Astros, 10-6. Three-run homers by Bob Watson and Tommy Helms key the Houston response.
Apr 17 - Larry Dierker gets Houston's first win of the year, a 7-2 triumph over the Giants. Doug Rader leads the assault with a triple and a home run for four RBIs. Jim Wynn is 3-for-3. Jim Ray earns the save.
Apr 18 - After the infamous eight-player trade that sent Joe Morgan to Cincinnati, Houston wins the first head-to-head matchup with the Reds, 8-4. Tommy Helms, part of the deal, homers off Don Gullett to spark the attack.
Apr 19 - Astros tee off on ex-teammate Jack Billingham on their way to a 7-5 win over the Reds. Cesar Cedeno leads the way with three hits, including two doubles, while driving in a pair. Jerry Reuss wins in his first Astro start.
Apr 21 - Lee May and Jim Wynn go deep at Candlestick Park to stub the Giants, 7-3. Doug Rader drives in three. Cesar Cedeno gets three hits and steals a home run from Willie Mays with a catch in center.
Apr 22 - Dave Roberts hurls a seven-hit shutout for his first win as an Astro, blanking San Francisco, 6-0. Jim Wynn and Johnny Edwards provide the long ball.
Apr 23 - Astros stun the Giants with ten runs in the ninth for a 13-7 victory. Cesar Cedeno contributes two hits in the inning, part of five on the day. Lee May has a three-run blast in the uprising.
Apr 24 - Johnny Edwards takes Ferguson Jenkins deep to stop the Cubs, 3-2, in eleven innings . Lee May and Ron Santo trade two-run shots in the first before Edwards breaks the tie. Jim Ray takes the victory.
Apr 25 - Jim Wynn's sacrifice fly in the seventh chases home Jerry Reuss with the eventul winning run to nip Chicago, 5-4. Lee May adds a two-run homer. Fred Gladding relieves Reuss for the save.
Apr 26 - In a tenth-inning 4-4 tie, Cubs' skipper Pete Reiser, subbing for an ailing Leo Durocher, orders Lee May intentionally walked with two outs and the bases empty. May is flattered. On deck hitter Bob Watson is not. Watson makes them pay with a game-winning double and a 5-4 victory. Jim Wynn deserved the respect more, having driven in three runs with a triple and homer. It's Houston's ninth straight win.
Apr 28 - Reigning MVP Joe Torre has four hits and drives in three to lead St. Louis over the Astros, 7-2. Larry Dierker takes the loss. Jim Wynn has three hits for Houston.
Apr 29 - Starter Ken Forsch lasts until the 11th inning when his own error unravels his night's work. The Cardinals prevail, 4-2. Jim Wynn belts his fourth homer while Lee May chips in three hits.
Apr 30 - Houston blows out Bob Gibson early then holds on for a 7-6 victory over St. Louis. Don Wilson gets the win. The Astros pepper the Redbirds with six doubles. Houston finishes April at 10-4, a half-game behind Los Angeles for the division lead.
May 01 - A sacrifice fly by Tommy Helms proves to be the game-winner as the Astros outslug Pittsburgh, 9-8. Jim Wynn's grand slam and a three-run shot by Johnny Edwards build a 7-3 lead but the Pirates rally to tie. An RBI single by Bob Watson breaks the deadlock but Helms' insurance run is needed at the end.
May 03 - Rennie Stennett's two-run triple in the second decides a 3-2 Pittsburgh verdict over the Astros. Lee May and Norm Miller drive the runs in for Houston.
May 05 - Larry Dierker spins a five-hit whitewash over Chicago, 3-0. Jim Wynn drives in all the runs with an RBI single in the first and a two-run homer in the fifth.
May 06 - Carmen Fanzone swats two homers and drives in four as the Cubs upend Houston, 6-4. Jim Hickman adds a two-run blast. Cesar Cedeno has three hits and swipes two bases for the Astros.
May 09 - Longtime Houston prospect Scipio Spinks finally shows off his talent - against his old teammates. Spinks tosses a complete game in a 2-1 St. Louis decision. Both Cardinal tallies score off Don Wilson in the first. Spinks makes that stand up on a six-hitter.
May 10 - Pencil-thin shortstop Roger Metzger belts his first major-league homer to spark a six-run eighth-inning rally that shocks the Cardinals, 10-7. The shot comes off Hall-Of-Famer Bob Gibson. Pinch-hitter Jimmy Stewart's two-run triple gives Houston the lead. Lee May caps a four-hit night with a ninth-inning blast. Houston leads the NL West by a game over Los Angeles.
May 11 - Four straight singles and an error by Jerry Reuss push across three Cardinal runs in the bottom of the ninth, stunning the Astros, 4-3. Reuss had entered the eighth with a three-hit shutout before the roof caves in.
May 12 - Lee May has a 4-for-4 night, including a double and a homer but the Astros blow another late lead to the Pirates, losing 4-2. Milt May's two-run single off Larry Dierker in the ninth completes the Pittsburgh rally.
May 13 - Ken Forsch fans eleven Pirates and scatters nine hits over eleven innings but the bullpen disintegrates in the 12th for Pittsburgh to escape with a 6-1 decision. Jim Wynn's solo shot is the lone Houston run.
May 14 - Astros put the shift on for Willie Stargell, leading 7-6 with two out and two on in the top of the ninth. It works as Stargell rolls out to shortstop Roger Metzger, who is behind second base, for the final out. Houston had built a 7-2 lead behind homers from Cesar Cedeno and Bob Watson.
May 15 - Dave Roberts tosses a complete game and delivers three hits himself in an 8-2 triumph over the Braves. Jimmy Stewart starts at first base and notches three hits. Bob Watson homers and scores three times.
May 16 - A triple by Bob Watson and a double by Rob Fenwick in the eighth topples Atlanta, 6-5. Houston has to overcome four hits from Dusty Baker and four RBIs from Orlando Cepeda.
May 17 - Houston completes a sweep of the Braves on Larry Dierker's four-hit shutout, 9-0. Doug Rader stars with three hits and four RBIs, including a three-run homer. Roger Metzger drives in a pair.
May 18 - An error by Bill Grabarkewicz leads to the game-winning run in a 4-3, 11-inning victory in Los Angeles. Reliever Jim Ray's record grows to 7-0. A three-run homer by Doug Rader off Don Sutton in the ninth sets up the heroics.
May 20 - Al Downing needs just an hour-and-a-half to spin a two-hit shutout of the Astros, 3-0. A first-inning homer by Bobby Valentine off Dave Roberts is all the Dodgers need.
May 21 - Doug Rader makes a spectacular stab of a liner by Jim Lefebrve then doubles up Wes Parker at third base to end a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers. Bob Watson's two-run shot provides the Astro runs.
May 22 - Larry Dierker stays hot with another four-hit shutout, a 7-0 whitewash in San Diego. A three-run blast by Bob Watson and a two-run shot by Lee May spearhead the offense. Dierker chips in two hits and an RBI.
May 23 - Tom Griffin matches Dierker with a 7-0, four-hit blanking of the Padres to start a doubleheader sweep. Griffin homers off Clay Kirby, as do Bob Watson and Doug Rader. Ken Forsch goes the distance in the 2-1 nightcap. Watson goes deep again while Tommy Helms caps a five-hit twinbill.
May 24 - Don Wilson fans eleven while scattering seven hits as Houston sweeps the four-game set in San Diego with a 4-2 victory. Lee May clubs a two-run shot and Doug Rader's sacrifice fly chases home the game-winner.
May 26 - Dave Roberts throws a complete game against the Dodgers, a 5-3 triumph, setting a team record with six consecutive complete games by the staff. Six different Astro hurlers take part. Roberts scatters five hits in this one which saw both managers ejected and Bob Watson robbed twice by the men in blue.
May 27 - Manny Mota has three hits, including the game-winner, in a 7-3 Dodger verdict over the Astros. Four runs in the eighth off Jerry Reuss and Jim Ray make the difference.
May 28 - An 11th-inning error by Bob Fenwick gives Los Angeles a 6-5 decision at the Astrodome. Six Houston doubles, two by Tommy Helms, are wasted. 48-year-old knuckleballing legend Hoyt Wilhelm tosses 3-2/3rds innings in relief of Tommy John in one of his last big league appearances.
May 30 - Johnny Bench belts two home runs to lead a 9-5 Cincinnati drubbing of Houston. Don Wilson takes the loss.
May 31 - A pair of six-run rallies blow the Reds past Houston, 12-4. George Foster swats a grand slam to highlight Cincinnati's day. Doug Rader answers with a three-run shot. The Astros conclude a 14-13 month for a 24-17 season record. They are 1-1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the standings.
Jun 01 - Cincinnati completes a sweep of their four-game series in Houston with a 10-3 blowout. Three Reds blast home runs. Cesar Cedeno and Doug Rader provide long balls for Houston which falls into a second-place tie with the Redlegs.
Jun 02 - After a disasterous homestand, Houston gets well in Canada with a 7-1 victory over the Expos. Lee May has a 4-for-5 night, including a home run. Cesar Cedeno and Bob Watson also go yard. Larry Dierker tosses a complete game to win his fifth of the year.
Jun 03 - Bill Stoneman tosses a ten-inning shutout, blanking Houston, 1-0. Stoneman is aided by a 2-5-3-5 triple play in the second inning on a tap by Tommy Helms. Ken Forsch matches goose eggs over nine frames but Montreal gets the win against Jim Ray in the tenth when Boots Day singles home ex-Astro Hector Torres.
Jun 04 - Don Wilson fires a two-hitter in a 5-0 whitewash of the Expos. It's scoreless until the eighth when Cesar Cedeno launches a solo shot against Carl Morton. Houston tacks on four insurance runs in the ninth.
Jun 06 - On "Turn It Around Night" in Philadelphia, Astros pitcher Dave Roberts swats a two-run homer for a 4-3 victory. The Phils, losers of 18 of their past 19 games, resort to such lunacy as holding the seventh-inning stretch in the third inning, introducing the starting lineups backwards and playing the national anthem after the game ended. The hex had a delayed effect as the Phillies beat Houston the next day.
Jun 08 - Larry Bowa and Tommy Hutton have three hits each to pace the Phillies over the Astros, 7-2. Larry Dierker takes the loss. Bob Watson has three hits, including a home run.
Jun 09 - Larry Howard blasts a two-run homer to lead Houston past the Mets, 4-2. Fred Gladding saves his sixth of the year in relief of Ken Forsch.
Jun 11 - Cesar Cedeno has a triple and a homer to a pace Houston in a 4-2 triumph at New York. Cesar also bags his 14th stolen base. Dave Roberts wins his fifth of the season.
Jun 12 - Jerry Reuss spins a six-hit complete game, silencing the Expos, 3-1. Tommy Helms drives in two of the runs. Lee May adds three hits.
Jun 13 - Mike Torrez shuts down the Astros on three hits as Montreal dumps Houston, 5-1. Jim Wynn has two Astro hits, including a solo homer.
Jun 14 - Bob Stinson caps a four-run uprising in the bottom of the ninth as Houston shocks the Expos, 5-4. A two-run single by Doug Rader is the key blow before he scores the game-winner. Lee May homers.
Jun 16 - Jim Wynn belts a solo shot off Dick Selma in the bottom of the eleventh to stun the Phillies, 1-0. Houston outlasts eventual Cy Young Award winner Steve Carlton, who blanked them on six hits for the first ten frames. Don Wilson and Tom Griffin team for the shutout.
Jun 17 - Houston pounds Philadelphia for 16 hits and bombs them, 10-5. Cesar Cedeno, Lee May and Doug Rader have three hits each. Rader and Jim Wynn go deep off Woodie Fryman. Six Phillies have multi-hit games but aren't able to inflict as much damage as the Astros' bats.
Jun 18 - Jerry Reuss allows only a ninth-inning double to Larry Bowa in a 10-0, one-hit victory over Philadelphia . Cesar Cedeno paces the attack with four hits, including two doubles and a homer. Bob Watson collects three hits and drives in four.
Jun 19 - Larry Dierker hurls a one-hitter to blank the Mets, 3-0 . Duffy Dyer's third-inning single is the lone blemish on Dierker's night. Tommy Helms delivers four hits to lead the Houston offense. The day before, Jerry Reuss had tossed a one-hitter at the Phillies. The back-to-back one-hitters tie a major league mark and establish a club record.
Jun 20 - Roger Metzger's three hits and Lee May's two-run homer highlight a 7-4 triumph over New York, the Astros' sixth straight win. Bob Watson drives in a pair. Ken Forsch notches the win.
Jun 22 - Houston plates six runs in the third inning to blast the Reds, 9-5, at Riverfront Stadium and move into a tie with them for first place. Cesar Cedeno is 4-for-4 with a home run while Doug Rader adds a three-run shot.
Jun 23 - Ross Grimsley goes the distance and Johnny Bench blasts a three-run homer to lead Cincinnati over Houston, 7-1. Cesar Cedeno and Bob Watson get four of the five Astro hits on the night.
Jun 24 - A two-run double by Cesar Cedeno and a solo shot by Lee May give Houston a 4-1 victory over the Reds. Larry Dierker pitches another complete game to pick up his seventh win.
Jun 25 - Denis Menke spanks a tenth-inning double to give Cincinnati a 5-4 decision and a series split. The ex-Astro has three hits against his old teammates. Tommy Helms highlights Houston's day with a three-run homer.
Jun 26 - The first five Astro hits in San Diego are all homers - two solo shots by Doug Rader, two-run blasts by Jim Wynn and Cesar Cedeno and a round-tripper by Lee May . All that does is create a 7-7 tie. Wynn doubles home Cedeno in the seventh and Houston tallies six more times for a 14-7 victory. Cedeno has three hits and four RBIs. George Culver pitches 7-1/3rd innings of relief for the win.
Jun 27 - Dave Roberts spins a six-hit shutout to subdue the Padres, 6-0. Every Astro in the lineup has at least one hit, including Roberts who has two. Bob Watson leads the attack with three hits.
Jun 28 - Don Sutton fires a two-hitter and fans nine as the Dodgers blank Houston, 5-0. Harmless singles by Bob Watson and Tommy Helms are all the Astros can muster.
Jun 29 - A three-run ninth by the Astros stuns Los Angeles, 8-6. A two-run single by Bob Watson is the game-winner after two Dodger errors set up the rally. Cesar Cedeno and Tommy Helms had earlier gone deep. Tom Griffin saves it for Fred Gladding.
Jun 30 - Atlanta tallies three in the ninth to topple the Astros, 5-2. Earl Williams homers twice and doubles for the Braves. Solo shots by Bob Watson and Jim Wynn represent the Houston runs. They finish June with 41-28 mark (17-11 for the month), just a half-game behind the Reds in the West Division.
Jul 01 - Bob Watson goes 3-for-3 to lead Houston over the Braves, 4-2. Lee May cracks his 14th homer. Doug Rader plates two. Don Wilson goes the distance to even his record at 5-5.
Jul 02 - Two eighth-inning errors by left fielder Oscar Brown help the Astros snap a 4-4 tie and nip Atlanta, 5-4. Pitcher Dave Roberts belts a two-run shot to offset the blast of Hank Aaron. Tom Griffin gets the win in relief.
Jul 03 - A five-RBI night by Lee May is wasted when the Braves take a 12-9 slugfest at the Dome. Darrell Evans and Hank Aaron go deep for Atlanta. Roger Metzger and Cesar Cedeno join May with three hits apiece.
Jul 04 - Larry Dierker hurls another shutout, this time scattering eight hits in a 6-0 whitewash of Pittsburgh. Every batter in the Houston lineup gets a hit, including Dierker who gets two and drives in two runs.
Jul 06 - Long after Willie Stargell ties the game with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth, the bullpen finally cracks when Pittsburgh scores four more runs in the 17th inning to defeat Houston, 7-3. Jim Ray takes the loss. Pirate broadcaster Bob Prince wagered free food at Stargell's chicken restaurant if Willie would come through in the ninth and later picked up a tab of over $500 for his offer.
Jul 07 - Bob Gibson outduels Dave Roberts as St. Louis silences Houston, 3-1. Gibson tosses a four-hitter. The only Astro run is a solo shot by Jim Wynn.
Jul 09 - Houston blasts the Cardinals, 12-6, using a five-run eighth to put the game away. Both sides go deep three times. Doug Rader, Lee May and Johnny Edwards do the honors for the Astros. Cesar Cedeno has three hits and swipes his 25th base of the season.
Jul 11 - Chicago's Billy Williams goes 8-for-8 in a doubleheader split against the Astros. He sets a league mark with ten consecutive hits. Jim Wynn and Lee May go deep as Houston wins the opener, 6-5. The Cubs roar back in the nightcap, 9-5, as Williams goes 5-for-5 and Rick Monday socks two homers.
Jul 12 - Jim Wynn bangs two home runs and drives in four to pace a 10-6 triumph over the Cubs. Norm Miller and Lee May also homer. Chicago's Billy Williams is retired in his first time up, snapping his consecutive hitting streak, but stays hot with a double and a home run.
Jul 13 - A five-run ninth inning blows open a 2-2 tie as Houston bombs Chicago, 7-2. A three-run blast by Tommy Helms is followed by a two-run poke from Norm Miller. Jim Ray wins his ninth in relief.
Jul 16 - Houston loses a pair of 3-2 games as Pittsburgh sweeps the four-game series. The sweep plummets the Astros from 1-1/2 games behind Cincinnati to five games behind from which they would never recover. Fred Gladding loses the opener in the tenth when he plunks Bob Robertson with the bases full. Ex-Astro Dave Giusti saves the Bucs in the ninth inning of the nightcap after Lee May's two-run hit.
Jul 17 - Bob Gibson fans 13 Astros as the Cardinals edge Houston, 3-2. Another future Hall-of-Famer, Lou Brock, chips in with three hits and two stolen bases to pace the offense.
Jul 18 - A two-run inside-the-park homer by Cesar Cedeno highlights an 11-3 triumph over St. Louis . The young phenom raises his average to .351 with three hits. Jim Wynn drives in three while Jerry Reuss spins a four-hitter and adds two hits of his own.
Jul 19 - Rick Wise blanks the Astros, 6-0. Larry Dierker fails to finish five innings for the third straight start. A three-run shot by the Cardinals' Ted Simmons sends Dierker to the showers in this one.
Jul 21 - Chicago's Billy Williams is not finished feasting on Houston pitching. He goes 4-for-6 with six RBIs as the Cubs stomp the Astros, 11-3. Solo homers by Doug Rader, Jim Wynn and Cesar Cedeno provide Houston's runs.
Jul 22 - A three-run homer by Cesar Cedeno salts away a 7-2 triumph over Chicago. Don Wilson fans a dozen while going the distance for his sixth win.
Jul 23 - Jim Wynn singles home Bob Fenwick in the bottom of the ninth to edge the Cubs, 6-5, entering the All-Star Break. The next day, Leo Durocher steps down as Chicago's manager, citing poor health. He leaves with a 46-44 record in the National League East. Coach Whitey Lockman is named as his successor.
Jul 27 - Claude Osteen homers and outduels Bob Forsch for a 6-3 Dodger verdict over the Astros. Cesar Cedeno goes deep for one of Houston's runs.
Jul 28 - Tommy Helms drives in four but Los Angeles prevails, 6-5. A five-run seventh seals their fate with a three-run shot by Bill Buckner off Fred Gladding acting as the key blow.
Jul 29 - Lee May homers and drives in four to pace the Astros over the Dodgers, 7-2. Jerry Reuss and Tom Griffin combine on a six-hitter.
Jul 30 - Jimmy Stewart singles home Cesar Cedeno in the tenth to salvage a doubleheader split with the Padres. Houston survives two homers by ex-Astro Nate Colbert to nip San Diego, 4-3. San Diego's Dave Roberts is the hero with five RBIs in the 10-7, 14-inning opener. Houston's Dave Roberts is the hero of the nightcap, pitching a complete-game victory.
Jul 31 - Houston edges San Diego, 3-2, on a gift run in the bottom of the ninth inning. It starts when Cesar Cedeno swings at a Steve Arlin pitch in the dirt for strike three. The catcher can't hang on and Cedeno is safe at first. Next, Cesar steals second and moves to third when the throw sails into center field. Two outs and two intentional walks later, Johnny Edwards takes ball four to bring Cedeno home. The Astros are 13-16 in July for a 54-44 season record. They now trail first-place Cincinnati by five games.
Aug 01 - Joe Morgan slams a two-run shot off George Culver to give Cincinnati a 3-1 decision at the Astrodome. Wayne Simpson goes the distance on seven hits, one a solo blast from Jim Wynn.
Aug 02 - Cesar Cedeno becomes the first Astro to hit for the cycle during a 10-1 whipping of the Reds . Cesar doubles in the first then smacks a two-run shot off Gary Nolan into the seats. Cedeno adds a run-scoring single in the fifth then triples off Pedro Borbon in the eighth to cap a four-RBI night. His average jumps to a league-leading .353.
Aug 04 - Lee May tags Juan Marichal for two solo homers while Johnny Edwards adds another during a 6-0 whitewash at San Francisco. Jerry Reuss and Fred Gladding share shutout honors with Gladding contributing a sacrifice fly for the game's final run as well as earning the save.
Aug 05 - Roger Metzger scores the winning run in the ninth as Houston shaves the Giants, 4-3. Cesar Cedeno drives him in. Cedeno also scores twice and steals two bases. Jim Ray wins his tenth.
Aug 06 - Astros split a pair in San Francisco, winning the opener, 7-3, before falling in the second game, 6-2. Johnny Edwards has three hits in the opener as Larry Dierker earns his tenth win. Three Giant home runs support Jim Willoughby in the nightcap.
Aug 08 - Eddie Mathews gets his first managerial win, 8-4, over Houston behind the pitching of Denny McLain. It's Harry Walker, however, that acts like a rookie manager, listing Johnny Edwards twice in the batting order and leaving out Jesus Alou.
Aug 09 - George Stone hurls a six hit shutout as Atlanta blanks Houston, 6-0. Hank Aaron drills a two-run shot in the first inning to supply all the cushion necessary.
Aug 10 - Johnny Edwards and Tommy Helms contribute three hits each as the Astros spank the Braves, 9-6. Tom Griffin wins in relief. Houston weathers a four-RBI night from Hawaiian-born Mike Lum.
Aug 11 - Larry Dierker tosses a complete game to slay the Giants, 6-3. A five-run second inning gives Houston their working lead. Jim Wynn homers.
Aug 12 - Don Wilson whiffs a dozen Giants as he pitches a 2-1 triumph. Jim Wynn blasts his 20th homer of the year. Steve Henderson has three of the seven hits Wilson allows.
Aug 14 - Houston recovers from a five-run deficit to topple San Francisco, 7-5. J.R. Richard, one of six Astro hurlers, picks up his first win of the season. Cesar Cedeno swipes two more bases to reach 43 on the season.
Aug 15 - Mike Jorgensen singles off Fred Gladding in the bottom of the tenth as Montreal edges Houston, 3-2. Tommy Helms doubles twice for the Astros and drives in one of their two tallies.
Aug 16 - Don Wilson spins a five-hitter to blank the Expos, 5-0. Bob Watson paces the offense with three hits. He and Johnny Edwards both deliver a pair of runs.
Aug 17 - Lee May belts four hits, a three-run blast among them, and drives in five to lead a 17-5 slaughter in Montreal. Cesar Cedeno homers and drives in four. The Expos take such a beating that Gene Mauch sends in former Astro shortstop Hector Torres to pitch the ninth. It is Torres' first pitching performance since the Mexican Little Leagues. He surrenders six straight hits before getting the last two outs.
Aug 18 - Jim Wynn's two-run double is the difference in a 4-3 victory in Philadelphia. Dave Roberts wins his tenth despite three solo home runs. Roberts also singles home a run to help himself.
Aug 19 - Wayne Twitchell, a former Houston draft pick, silences the Astros, 4-0, in a five-hit whitewash. The Phillies manage just six hits from Larry Dierker and Tom Griffin but they come at the right moments.
Aug 20 - Don Wilson fans 14 Phillies while shutting them down, 3-1. He scatters four hits for his tenth victory. Cesar Cedeno smashes a triple and a homer. Jesus Alou has two doubles. Losing pitcher Ken Reynolds falls to 0-11 on the year.
Aug 21 - Jim Beauchamp, twice a reserve with Houston, drills two home runs to give the Mets a 4-2 decision. His two-run shot off Jim Ray in the ninth is the game-winner.
Aug 22 - Jim Beauchamp does it again in another 4-2 New York verdict. He homers off Jerry Reuss and drives in all four Met runs. In his three seasons as an Astro, Beauchamp had three home runs and twelve RBIs in 134 at bats. In a mere 48 hours against Houston, he belts three homers and drives in seven.
Aug 23 - Larry Dierker masters the Mets, 7-4 in a complete-game victory. Doug Rader and Tommy Helms chip in with two hits and two RBIs each. Jim Beauchamp pinch-hits against Dierker but Larry does the smart thing. He walks him.
Aug 25 - In second place and desperate to catch up with the blazing Cincinnati Reds, the Astros fire manager Harry Walker, naming 67-year-old Leo "The Lip" Durocher as his replacement. Walker has a 355-353 record in Houston. Durocher, who had earlier left the Cubs in mid-season, skippers a 16-15 finish to the season. In his last game as skipper, Walker watches reliever Mike Marshall double home the winning run for Montreal, 4-3.
Aug 26 - Coach Salty Parker manages as the Astros await Leo Durocher's arrival. Cesar Cedeno spanks a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth to shock the Expos, 6-5. Cedeno also belts his 20th homer. Roger Metzger adds three hits. Fred Gladding wins in relief.
Aug 27 - Leo Durocher's first game as an Astro is an 8-2 laugher over Montreal. Larry Dierker goes the distance for his 13th win. Doug Rader homers and drives in three. Jesus Alou chimes in with three hits.
Aug 29 - Lee May leads off the bottom of the ninth with a home run, stopping the Phillies, 2-1. Four of Houston's five hits are the extra-base kind, including a solo shot by Cesar cedeno for the other Astro run.
Aug 30 - Jerry Reuss outduels Steve Carlton in a 5-3 victory over Philadelphia. It's a rare loss for Carlton who would claim the N.L. Cy Young award, winning 27 games for a last-place team.
Aug 31 - Houston completes their sweep of the Phillies, 5-1, as rubber-armed Larry Dierker wins again with another complete game. For the month, the Astros are 18-10 (4-0 under Durocher), standing at 72-54 for the season, seven games back of Cincinnati.
Sep 01 - Dave Roberts twirls a six-hit shutout over New York, 8-0. It's Houston's sixth straight win. Lee May has two hits and two RBIs as Tom Seaver takes the loss.
Sep 02 - As the night before, Houston has an 8-0 lead over the Mets but they collapse, 11-8, in a nightmarish defeat. Ken Boswell's three-run shot off Don Wilson in the eighth starts the unravelling. Cleon Jones and Wayne Garrett also bring home three. Lee May's two-run homer back in the first is long forgotten by then.
Sep 03 - Bud Harrelson's ninth-inning single gives the Mets a 2-1 decision at the Astrodome. He atones for an error in the first that let Roger Metzger score Houston's only run.
Sep 04 - Houston falls at home in the ninth for the third straight game as Atlanta scores three to steal a 6-5 shocker. Doug Rader joins the 20-homer club with a two-run blast off Phil Niekro. He's the fourth Astro to reach that plateau this year. No previous Houston team had three players hit that many in one season.
Sep 05 - Felix Millan goes 5-for-5 to lead the Braves in a 5-3 sweeper at the Dome. After five straight wins to begin Leo Durocher's tenure, it's Houston's fourth consecutive loss.
Sep 07 - Don Wilson ties a club record by tossing 13 innings in a complete-game 5-1 victory in San Francisco. Bob Watson and Roger Metzger end it with home runs in the decisive frame. Metzger finishes with four hits and four RBIs. Imagine how scribes would howl at Leo Durocher these days for keeping Wilson out there for 193 pitches.
Sep 08 - Larry Dierker wins his 15th as Houston drops the Giants, 5-3. Five Astros have multi-hit games, led by Jim Wynn's three hits. Dave Roberts works the last two innings for the save.
Sep 09 - Claude Osteen posts a three-hit shutout as the Dodgers blank Houston, 4-0. A dropped throw to the plate by Larry Howard leads to three unearned runs in the first for hard-luck loser Jerry Reuss.
Sep 11 - Cesar Cedeno makes a tumbling catch with two outs and two on in the bottom of the ninth to preserve a 4-3 triumph in Los Angeles. Jim Wynn is the offensive star with a triple and a homer among his three hits.
Sep 13 - Johnny Edwards' sacrifice fly scores Doug Rader in the eighth to edge San Diego, 6-5. Tom Griffin strikes out ten in seven innings of relief to pick up his fifth win.
Sep 14 - Houston responds to a five-run Padre rally in the third with a six-run bottom half of the frame on their way to a 10-6 victory. Norm Miller goes deep. Steve Arlin loses his 20th. George Culver gets the win.
Sep 16 - Don Sutton gets the shutout in a 10-0 Los Angeles blowout of Houston. Willie Davis has four hits, including a three-run homer off losing pitcher Ken Forsch.
Sep 17 - Lee May and Cesar Cedeno drive in five runs apiece as Houston storms back to win a 15-11 slugfest over the Dodgers. A four-run seventh overcomes a 10-8 Los Angeles lead then May ices it with a three-run double. Fred Gladding calms the chaos for his 17th save.
Sep 19 - Don Wilson outlasts Atlanta, 5-3, for his 13th win. Doug Rader supports the cause with two hits, including his 21st homer.
Sep 20 - Atlanta plates 13 runs in one inning to bomb the Astros, 13-6. Felix Millan drives in five runs in the inning with a bases-loaded triple and a two-run single. Cesar Cedeno and Doug Rader homer in a five-run response, but it's not enough.
Sep 22 - Cincinnati edges the Astros, 4-3, on home runs by Pete Rose and Johnny Bench to clinch the N.L. West title. Jerry Reuss strikes out ten in a relief role as starter Larry Dierker lasts just 2/3rds of an inning.
Sep 23 - Don Wilson scatters four hits while Lee May gets just as many by himself. Houston tops the first-place Reds, 7-1. The Astros still stand in second place, 8-1/2 games behind Cincinnati.
Sep 26 - San Francisco musters just five hits but emerges with a 5-2 verdict over Houston. Bob Watson leads the Astros with three hits, including his 15th home run. Bobby Bonds goes yard for the Giants.
Sep 27 - Don Wilson fires a six-hit shutout to blank the Giants, 3-0. It's Wilson's 11th victory since the end of June. Houston breaks a club record with their 82nd win of the season.
Sep 29 - Cesar Cedeno has three hits to lead a 5-2 victory in San Diego. Bob Watson adds two hits and two RBIs.
Sep 30 - Jim Wynn's 12th-inning homer settles a 6-5 triumph over the Padres. Wynn is the hero twice as his two-run single in the ninth tied it, forcing extra innings. Houston ends a 12-12 September with an 84-66 record, 7-1/2 games behind the Reds.
Oct 01 - Two pitchers reverse trends as Steve Arlin outduels Don Wilson in a 3-1 San Diego decision. Bob Watson's homer is the lone Houston run.
Oct 03 - Gary Nolan and Ross Grimsley team up for a two-hitter as Cincinnati thumps the Astros, 6-1. Cesar Geronimo gets three hits and drives in two to outproduce his old teammates.
Oct 04 - Houston finishes an 84-69 season, their first in team history with a winning record, on a sour note. Cincinnati takes their final tune up for the playoffs at the expense of the Astros, 4-2. Houston also ends in second place for the first time, even if the Reds are ten games in front of them.
Nov 22 - Cesar Cedeno and Lee May are the first Astros to crack the top ten in N.L. Most Valuable Player voting. Cedeno finishes sixth and May finishes ninth. Cincinnati's Johnny Bench takes the prize.
Nov 27 - Pitcher Buddy Harris and outfielder Rich Chiles are traded to the Mets for outfielder Tommie Agee. While Chiles and Harris accomplish little in New York, Agee bats .235 in 83 games before getting dealt in mid-season.
Nov 28 - A pair of infielders, Ray Busse and Bob Fenwick are shipped to St. Louis for catcher Skip Jutze and infielder Milt Ramirez. Both Busse and Fenwick hit under .200 during spot duties with Houston.