Lights Out: Juan Marichal Begins His Hall of Fame Career with a One-Hit Masterpiece
When: July 19, 1960
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California
Game Time: 2:07
Granted: the Phillies-Giants game on July 19, 1960 would not have much impact on that season’s pennant race. The Philadelphia Phillies (34-51) started the game in seventh place, 17 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. The San Francisco Giants (42-40) were in fifth place, 7.5 games out of first. Neither team would finish the season any closer to first place.
Twenty-two-year-old Giants rookie Juan Marichal kicked off his Hall of Fame career with a one-hit shutout of the Philadelphia Phillies.
While not significant in the 1960 pennant race, the July 19 game between Philadelphia and San Francisco was significant in baseball history … as the dazzling debut of future Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.
Marichal started the game by striking out Phillies shortstop Ruben Amaro. He then retired Tony Taylor and Johnny Callison for a perfect first inning. He retired the Phillies in order again in the second inning, and the third. Marichal’s pitching stayed perfect through the sixth inning … 18 Phillies batters, 18 Phillies outs.
That perfect game evaporated in the seventh inning. After striking out Amaro, Marichal allowed his first base runner of the game as Taylor reached first on an error by Giants shortstop Eddie Bressoud. A wild pitch that advanced Taylor to second base was followed by a walk to first baseman Pancho Herrera. The runners were stranded as Joe Morgan flied out to Willie Mays in center field.
Meanwhile, the Giants had already given Marichal all the runs he would need. In the second inning, an RBI single by third baseman Jim Davenport scored Orlando Cepeda. Willie Kirkland’s single in the fifth inning drove in Mays with the game’s second and final run.
Marichal retired the first two batters in the eighth inning before allowing a single by pinch hitter Clay Dalrymple. Tony Gonzalez fouled out to end the inning with Dalrymple still at first. Then Marichal retired the Phillies in order in the ninth.
That’s how to start a baseball career: Retire the first 17 batters you face, and finish the game with a one-hit shutout, 12 strikeouts and only one walk. Phillies starter John Buzhardt deserved better in the loss, allowing only two runs over seven innings. But when you’re pitching against the man who would win more games in the 1960s than any other major league pitcher, you’d better bring Hall of Fame stuff.
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