Bert Blyleven pitched his 50th major league shutout last night in Cleveland. The curve-balling right-hander retired the final California 24 batters to complete a three-hitter, and George Vukovich made him and the Indians 2-0 winners over the Angels with a two-run, sixth-inning single.
Blyleven (6-6) struck out seven and walked none in his eighth complete game and fourth shutout this year and 201st career victory. Jim Slaton (4-5) lost, issuing his sixth and seventh walks before Vukovich singled up the middle with the bases full.
Before the game, Indians players voted, 26-0, to authorize the ballplayers union to call a strike.
"I'm the Cleveland Indians' 'player-to-be-traded later,' " said Blyleven. "I didn't get dealt last week like I thought I would, so I just take it day-to-day."
Said Angels Manager Gene Mauch, "Actually, he's a great pitcher, a gutty guy. Is he still available?"
"Like that fast ball I hit, I've been down and out lately," said Vukovich, whose locker is next to Blyleven's. "It's about time. Do you suppose Bert will give me the 20 bucks he owes me?"
Blyleven had his own query: "Are you sure this is my 50th career shutout? The Indians told me I had 48 prior to the game. They should make it 150 -- it would be easier to trade me."