Is Don’s Record in Danger?

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(June 26, 1968) On June 4, 1968, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale set a major league record with his sixth consecutive shutout. Four days later, Drysdale finally allowed a run after more than a month of shutout pitching.

He set a major league record with 58 consecutive scoreless innings, breaking Walter Johnson’s record of 55.2 consecutive scoreless innings.

Johnson’s record had lasted 55 years. As of this date, it looked as though Drysdale’s new record may not last even a month …

In June of 1968, Bob Gibson pitched five consecutive shutouts, with a streak of 47 consecutive scoreless innings.

That’s because Bob Gibson today pitched his fifth consecutive shutout, as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0.

Gibson (9-5) allowed just four hits and struck out seven Pirate batters. He didn’t issue a walk. The shutout lowered his season earned run average to 1.14.

The Cardinals scored on Orlando Cepeda’s first-inning sacrifice fly and back-to-back doubles by Gibson and Lou Brock in the fourth inning. Ron Kline, pitching in relief of Pirates starter Al McBean (6-7), gave up a solo home run to Mike Shannon in the eighth inning.

Gibson’s shutout streak would come to an end five days later when he defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1. But he would pitch another shutout in his next outing, and two more before the end of July. Altogether in June and July, Gibson had one of the most remarkable two-month performances of any pitcher in baseball history: 12-0 in 12 starts (all complete games) with eight shutouts and a 0.50 ERA.

While Bob Gibson threatened Don Drysdale’s recent record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, Drysdale’s record lasted 20 years until it was bested (by one inning) by Orel Hershiser.

And Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings would survive the summer. In fact, it would last 20 years until another Dodger pitcher, Orel Hershiser, strung together 59 consecutive scoreless innings in 1988.

 

 

 

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Gates Goes Yard in First At-Bat

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(June 19, 1963) The Boston Red Sox today defeated the Detroit Tigers 9-2 behind the slugging bats of Frank Malzone and Carl Yastrzemski supporting the seven-hit pitching of Bob Heffner.

Gates Brown hit a pinch home run in his first major league at-bat, and hit 15 more in his career as one of the game’s most dangerous pinch hitters.

Despite the spanking, there was one bright spot for the Tigers, as the newest Tiger gave Detroit a glimpse of better things to come.

Yastrzemski was the hitting star of the game, collecting three hits – including two home runs – and driving in four runs on the day. Malzone got two hits and drove in two runs on his tenth home run of the season.

Tigers starter Don Mossi (4-4) lasted only four innings, giving up six hits and four runs, including Malzone’s round-tripper. Phil Regan and Mickey Lolich were the victims of Yastrzemski’s home runs.

Heffner (1-0) went the distance, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out six batters.

In the fifth inning, with the Tigers trailing 4-1, Detroit called on Gates Brown to lead off the inning, pinch-hitting for Mossi. It was Brown’s first major league at-bat, and he made the most of it, hitting a home run.

Brown would emerge as one of the most lethal pinch hitters in the American League during the 1960s. So it was appropriate that his first major league hit would be not only a pinch hit, but a pinch home run. He would hit 16 pinch home runs during a 13-year major league career – all with the Tigers.

 

 

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Cards Bamboozle Cubs

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(June 15, 1964) The most famous – and most productive – trade in St. Louis Cardinals history was made today when the Cardinals sent a pair of former 20-game winners, Ernie Broglio and Bobby Shantz, along with outfielder Doug Clemens, to the Chicago Cubs for three players: pitchers Jack Spring and Paul Toth, and an outfielder named Lou Brock.

Lou Brock was batting .251 with the Chicago Cubs when he was traded to the Cardinals in 1964. He batted .348 for the Cardinals over the rest of the season, and retired 15 years later after putting together a Hall of Fame career.

For the Cubs, the trade worked out this way: Broglio went 4-7 for the rest of that year and 7-19 for the Cubs over three years. Shantz went 0-1 for the Cubs before being purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies in August. Clemens hit .279 with 12 RBIs in 54 games with the Cubs. (He hit .221 for Cubs the next year.)

For the Cardinals, the trade worked out this way: Spring pitched in only two innings. Toth never made an appearance. Brock, however, led the Cardinals to the World Series, and followed up with a career that led to his eventual enshrinement in Cooperstown.

Lou Brock had a fabulous second half for the Cardinals in 1964. In 103 games, he hit .348 and scored 84 runs, with nine triples, 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. He was the offensive spark plug for a Cardinals team that won its first pennant since 1946.

In the World Series against the New York Yankees, Brock was instrumental in helping St. Louis take the championship, batting .300 with five RBIs and nine hits in seven games, including two doubles and a home run.

Ernie Broglio was 3-5 with a 3.50 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals when he was traded to the Cubs in 1964. He was 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for the Cubs over the rest of the season, and retired two years later after going 7-19 in three seasons with Chicago.

Brock finished his career with the Cardinals, retiring in 1979 with 3,023 hits and, at the time, the career record for stolen bases with 938. He broke Maury Wills’ single-season record for stolen bases with 118 in 1974 and was the most prolific base stealer during the 1960s, with 430.

 

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Kooz KO’s Cubs

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(June 4, 1968) New York Mets rookie southpaw Jerry Koosman today won his fourth consecutive game by shutting out the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field.

Koosman (9-2) scattered eight hits and struck out three Cubs batters en route to his third shutout of the season. (He would finish the 1968 season with seven shutouts.) The complete game performance lowered his earned run average on the young season to 1.43.

As a rookie pitcher for the New York Mets in 1968, Jerry Koosman ser a club record with 19 victories, breaking the record of 16 victories set the previous season by Tom Seaver (also as a rookie). Koosman’s mark would stand for only one season, as Seaver would win 25 games in 1969.

Koosman got all the run support he would need in the first inning. The Mets produced two runs on doubles by Ken Boswell, J.C. Martin and Jerry Grote. The Mets added another run in the fifth when Cleon Jones hits a solo home run off Cubs starter Ferguson Jenkins (5-6).

Jenkins would finish the season at 20-15, with 10 of those losses coming from shutouts. Jenkins would be 1-6 in June of 1968, with the Cubs scoring zero runs in four of those losses.

Koosman would finish the 1968 season with a 19-12 record and a 2.08 ERA. He was named to the All-Star team that season and finished second in the voting for Rookie of the Year to Cincinnati’s Johnny Bench.

 

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Whitey’s Last Loss for More than a Month

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(May 29, 1961) At Fenway Park in Boston, the Red Sox tonight defeated the New York Yankees 2-1 behind the five-hit pitching of left-hander Ike Delock (3-1).

Ike Delock pitched a five-hit complete game to beat the New York Yankees and Whitey Ford 2-1. Delock would finish the 1961 season at 6-9 with a 4.90 ERA.

Delock struck out seven Yankee batters and walked none in out-dueling Yankee Starter Whitey Ford (6-2). The loss snapped Ford’s personal six-game winning streak.

The Red Sox scored the game’s first run when Jackie Jensen led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run. It was Jensen’s fourth home run of the season.

Delock shut out the Yankees for the first six innings, allowing just two hits. With one out in the top of the seventh inning, Mickey Mantle launched a home run to the right field seats with the bases empty, tying the game. It was Mantle’s eleventh home run of the season.

Jensen walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning and moved to second on Frank Malzone’s ground out. Ford walked Jim Pagliaroni and then gave up a single to Vic Wertz. Yankee left fielder Bob Cerv snared the line drive on the first hop and fired the ball to Clete Boyer, who relayed the ball to second baseman Bobby Richardson to force Pagliaroni out at second.

However, the out at second allowed Jensen to score and put the Red Sox ahead 2-1. It would be the last run scored by either team.

Delock allowed lead-off singles in both the eighth and ninth innings. But a double play in the eighth and two strikeouts in the ninth kept the Yankees from scoring.

Delock would win two more games in June and then win only one more decision to finish the 1961 season at 6-9.

Whitey lost the last game he pitched in May of 1961 and wouldn’t lose again for two-and-a-half months. Ford won the 1961 Cy Young Award with a 25-4 season.

Ford wouldn’t lose another decision until the middle of August. He would win all eight of his starts in June, a record that has never been matched. He would go 5-0 in July and win his twentieth game in August before finally losing to the Chicago White Sox 2-1 on August 15.

The 1961 season would be the finest in Ford’s Hall of Fame career. The Yankee southpaw would finish the season at 25-4 with a 3.21 ERA, leading the major leagues in victories, starts (39), innings pitched (283) and winning percentage (.862). He would also take the Cy Young Award as baseball’s best pitcher.

 

 

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Two Yanks Named Joe

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(May 23, 1962) Joe Pepitone homered twice to become the second player in Yankee history to hit two home runs in the same inning. The Bronx Bombers score nine times in the eighth inning of a 13-7 rout of the Kansas City Athletics.

As a rookie in 1936, Joe Dimaggio became the first Yankee to hit two home runs in a single inning. The Yankee Clipper hit 29 home runs that season and led the American League with 15 triples.

Both Yankees accomplished the feat as rookies. The only other pin-striper was Joe DiMaggio, who did it as a rookie in 1936.

The Yankees entered the bottom of the eighth trailing the A’s 7-4. Pepitone led off the inning with a home run off A’s pitcher Dan Pfister, who was replaced by Diego Segui. Segui proceeded to walk Roger Maris and John Blanchard, and then Elston Howard singled to center field, scoring Maris.

Bob Grim replaced Segui as the A’s pitcher and walked pinch-hitter Yogi Berra to load the bases. Phil Linz singled in two more runs to put the Yankees ahead to stay at 8-7. A Bobby Richardson single and Tom Tresh sacrifice fly brought in two more Yankee runs. Then Pepitone hit a three-run shot off John Wyatt, Kansas City’s third pitcher that inning.

Rollie Sheldon pitched a scoreless ninth inning to wrap up the victory for the first-place Yankees. Winning pitcher for the Yankees was Tex Clevenger (1-0).

Joe Pepitone played only 63 games as a rookie in 1962, hitting seven home runs. Over the next seven seasons, Pepitone averaged 23 home runs and 75 RBIs as the Yankees’ everyday first baseman.

Pepitone’s home runs were his only hits for the game. As a part-time player, he would finish the 1962 season batting .239 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. Starting in 1963, Pepitone would be the Yankees’ regular first baseman for the next seven seasons.

Mick Mashes Miller for 500th Home Run

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(May 14, 1967) Mickey Mantle‘s 500th career home run today helped the New York Yankees defeat the Baltimore Orioles, 6-5.

Mickey Mantle’s 500th career home run proved to be the winning run as the New York Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 6-5.

The “Commerce Comet” was the sixth big leaguer to reach the 500-home run plateau.

The Yankees opened the game by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, chasing Orioles starter Steve Barber. Barber was replaced by Wally Bunker, who shut out the Yankees over the next 4.2 innings.

The score remained 3-0 until the top of the sixth inning, when the Orioles scored four runs on Mark Belanger’s solo home run and doubles by Boog Powell and Charlie Lau. Joe Pepitone’s two-run homer off Stu Miller put the Yankees back on top in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mantle’s history-making blast came off Miller in the seventh inning. It was his fourth home run of the season and gave the Yankees a 6-4 lead.

Dooley Womack (3-2), who relieved Yankee starter Mel Stottlemyre in the sixth inning, allowed one more Oriole run in the eighth inning, but shut out the Orioles the rest of the way to gain his third victory. Miller (0-4) was the loser.

The 35-year-old Mantle would finish the 1967 season with only 22 home runs and 55 RBIs. He would retire after the 1968 season with 536 career home runs.

Bo No-No’s O’s

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(May 5, 1962) In just his fourth big league start, Bo Belinsky today threw the first no-hitter in the history of the Los Angeles Angels and the first one ever tossed at Dodger Stadium, beating the Orioles, 2-0.

The 25-year-old southpaw was only the tenth major league rookie to ever accomplish the feat.

Bo Belinsky became the tenth rookie pitcher – and the first Angels hurler – to toss a no-hitter when he blanked the Baltimore Orioles 2-0 on May 5, 1962. Belinsky would finish his rookie campaign at 10-11 with a 3.56 ERA and three shutouts.

For Belinsky (4-0), this was the first shutout and second complete game of his major league career. He faced a total of 34 batters, striking out nine and walking four. The shutout lowered Belinsky’s ERA to 1.53.

The Angels scored one run in each of the first two innings. With one out in the bottom of the first inning, second baseman Billy Moran bunted his way onto first base and moved to third base on Leon Wagner’s double. With Steve Bilko at the plate, Orioles starter Steve Barber uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Moran to score. Then Barber struck out Bilko and Felix Torres to end the inning.

The next inning, the Angels scored on a walk, a double, and a fielder’s choice. Barber (3-1) took the loss, allowing two runs on six hits over six innings of work.

Belinsky would win his first five decisions before losing, and was 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA by the end of May. The rest of the season didn’t turn out as well. From June on, Belinsky went 4-10 with a 4.16 ERA.

For the 1962 season, Belinsky would finish at 10-11 with a 3.56 ERA. He issued 122 bases on balls, the most in the majors.

 

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Self-Reliance

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(May 1, 1962) The Minnesota Twins today defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 behind the pitching and hitting of right-hander Camilo Pascual.

Camilo Pascual’s pitching and hitting sparked the Minnesota Twins to an 8-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Pascual pitched his third complete game of the young season (he would finish the 1962 season with a league-best 18 complete games) and hit a two-run homer.

Pascual (4-1) pitched his third consecutive complete game, scattering nine hits. He struck out three Orioles batters and walked one. Pascual also hit a two-run home run in the second inning off Orioles starter Chuck Estrada (1-3).

Twins catcher Earl Battey also drove in two runs with an RBI double in the second inning and a sacrifice fly in the seventh. The Twins also got RBIs from Zoilo Versalles, Don Mincher, Rich Rollins and Bill Tuttle.

Orioles first baseman Jim Gentile had two hits and two RBIs, including his fifth home run of the season. Catcher Gus Triandos drove in Baltimore’s first run with a second inning RBI single.

Pascual would turn his outstanding start into an outstanding season. Pascual would finish the 1962 season at 20-11 with a 3.32 ERA. His 206 strikeouts would make him the American league leader for the second consecutive season. He also led the league with 18 complete games and five shutouts.

The 1962 season would also be Pascual’s best with a bat. He hit .268 with two home runs and 19 runs batted in.

 

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Dodgers Wallop Cubs 10-2; Koufax Whiffs 18

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(April 24, 1962) Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax today tied a major league record by striking out 18 batters in a nine-inning game.

The Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 10-2 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

When Sandy Koufax struck out 18 Chicago Cubs in 1962, it marked the second time in his career that he had achieved that feat, and only the third time in the major leagues since 1901. Eighteen or more strikeouts in a nine-inning game have been reached or exceeded 19 times since (most recently by Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals, who fanned 20 in 2016).

In his complete game victory, Koufax allowed two runs on six hits and walked four batters. The victory raised his season record to 3-1.

The losing pitcher for the Cubs was starter Don Cardwell (0-4).

The hitting stars for the Dodgers were outfielders Duke Snider and Tommy Davis. Snider drove in three runs on a triple and a home run. Davis drove in four runs with a single off Cardwell in the second inning and a three-run homer in the fifth. Andy Carey also homered for the Dodgers, hitting a solo shot off Cardwell in the fourth inning.

Chicago’s runs were scored on a fourth-inning single by Lou Brock and a bases-empty home run in the bottom of the ninth by left fielder Billy Williams.

Bob Feller was the first pitcher in the Twentieth Century to strike out 18 batters in a nine-inning game. He set that record on October 2, 1938, but lost the game 4-1 to the Detroit Tigers.

In posting 18 strikeouts in a single game, Koufax — for the second time — tied the record set in 1938 when Cleveland Indians right-hander Bob Feller fanned 18 Detroit Tigers. Koufax first struck out 18 batters in a game on August 31, 1959 when he beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2.

Koufax would finish the 1962 season at 14-7. That season he would be limited to only 28 appearances due to arm problems. But Koufax pitched enough innings to claim the National League ERA title … the first of five consecutive ERA crowns he would win.

 

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