This Week in 1960s Baseball
(July 27, 1961) The San Francisco Giants today defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0 behind the shutout pitching of Juan Marichal (7-7).
It was Marichal’s first shutout of the 1961 season, and his fifth complete game.
It had to be. The Giants had no one in the bullpen.
With no one in the bullpen to back him up. Juan Marichal pitched a five-hit shutout of the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning 2-0 and raising his season record to 7-7.
Prior to the first pitch, Giants manager Alvin Dark announced that “Marichal will go all the way,” and backed his prediction by keeping all of his relief corps in the dugout for the entire game. Dark later explained, “I’m sick and tired of watching pitchers bow their necks for four-five innings and then look around for Stu Miller to bail them out.”
The 23-year-old Marichal lived up to his manager’s expectations, scattering five hits while striking out eight batters and walking three. The Pirates’ best scoring opportunity was snuffed out in the seventh inning, thanks to Willie Mays’ miraculous catch of a Smoky Burgess deep fly ball.
The Giants scored their runs in the fifth and sixth innings on RBIs from Jose Pagan and Matty Alou.
The losing pitcher was Vinegar Bend Mizell (4-8).
Marichal would finish the 1961 season – his second in the major leagues – at 13-10 with a 3.89 ERA and nine complete games. He would pitch 244 complete games in his career with the Giants and 52 shutouts – number two all-time to Christy Mathewson among Giants pitchers.
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