Seldom have the underdogs had such a rollicking good week. Standing in the clubhouse in his thermal underwear after his NEW YORK METS (4-3) had knocked the Giants out of the league lead, Casey Stengel let out a loud whoop. "He played for Stanford and his girl was here, so you gotta give him the college yell," Stengel bellowed. The man he was referring to was Bill Wakefield, 22, who saved a 4-2 win against the Giants in San Francisco. In one )f the finest weeks in Met history, the club also helped shove the Braves out of the first division by whipping Warren Spahn 12-4. HOUSTON (5-3) had fun, too. The Colts greased the runway for the Giants' temporary skid out of first place, getting superb pitching by Dick Farrell, Ken Johnson, Bob Bruce and Hal Woodeshick to beat them three times. Then Farrell ended the Phillies' one-day stay in first place with a 4-3 win. Walt Bond, Al Spangler and Rusty Staub .400 BA) drove in 16 of the team's 21 runs. Jim Bunning led PHILADELPHIA (2-4) to its brief stay at the top. He beat the Cardinals 3-2, and then Dennis Bennett, using a new grip on his fast ball that Bunning had taught him, shut out the Colts. Beaten by the lowliest clubs, SAN FRANCISCO (2-5) went into the slump that annually follows its racehorse start. What crippled the Giants was their .207 batting. Even Willie Mays stopped hitting—after 20 straight games. What saved the Giants was a shutout by Juan Marichal and a 15th-inning home run by .218 hitter Jim Davenport that beat the Mets. Another slumping hitter, Julian Javier of ST. LOUIS (5-2), won a game with a homer. Javier was batting .213 when he hit a three-run homer to beat the Phillies 3-2. Stuffing himself with vitamins given him by his doctor-brother, Javier later hit a grand slam, batted .500 and drove in a dozen runs, one-third of the Cardinal total. With Frank Robinson batting .500 and with Joe Nuxhall winning twice, once in a shutout against the Phillies, CINCINNATI (4-1) moved into the first division. Consecutive shutouts by Don Drysdale (his second win of the week) and Phil Ortega enabled LOS ANGELES (4-2) to have its best week of the year. Although bogged down by 11 errors and so-so pitching, PITTSBURGH split six games. Willie Stargell's run-producing hits won two of them. MILWAUKEE Manager Bobby Bragan played a hunch, using rookie Rico Carty in place of the team's leading hitter, Lee Maye. It paid off, for Carty hit a two-run homer in a 2-0 win by Hank Fischer. Bragan's other hunches, including setting up a curfew, were futile. The Braves (2-5) lost their last four games, which is exactly what CHICAGO (2-5) did. Despite his troubles, Manager Bob Kennedy smiled when he went to the mound to remove Fred Norman, who had walked five of the eight Dodgers he had faced and had allowed four stolen bases. "Those fans," said Kennedy, "were yelling, 'How can you take him out? He's got a no-hitter going.'"
Like the Mets and Colts, the WASHINGTON SENATORS (4-3) beat two top teams. In their climb from the cellar to sixth place, the Senators pushed the White Sox from first to third and also prevented the Orioles from taking the lead. Supplying key hits were Don Zimmer (.355 and seven RBIs), Mike Brumley (.422) and Chuck Hinton (.407). Bennie Daniels won twice and Buster Narum, using a curve he learned from Robin Roberts, beat his former Oriole teammates with a four-hitter. BALTIMORE (6-2), however, was the winningest team in the majors. Milt Pappas and Dave McNally pitched shutouts and the Oriole staff held opponents to four runs and a .172 BA in six wins. Luis Aparicio stole five bases, giving him 14 and putting him two games ahead of Maury Wills' 1962 pace. CLEVELAND, humiliated by two straight losses to the Yankees, got eight homers in its next five games, won them all and regained the league lead. General Manager Gabe Paul predicted the Yankee dynasty was nearing an end, but cautiously avoided saying who would end it. NEW YORK Manager Yogi Berra had cause to worry. A birthday greeting from President Lyndon Johnson cheered Berra, but could not budge the Yankees (3-3). Among the losses were an 11-0 clobbering by the A's and a 7-2 defeat by the Tigers on Yogi's 39th birthday. It was Mickey Lolich of DETROIT (2-4) who beat the Yankees and saved another win against them. When Barry Latman shut out the A's 9-0 he became the second LOS ANGELES (2-6) pitcher to pitch a complete game this season. Manager Bill Rigney wondered if his starters were rushing to the clubhouse to use the special self-sudsing device attached to his shower. No chance. Angel pitchers were just as inept on the road. They allowed 23 runs in three losses in Baltimore. Cuban newspapers, which usually ban all mention of Cubans in the major leagues, announced proudly that Tony Oliva of Pinar Del Rio and MINNESOTA was still hitting .400. The Twins coupled fine pitching by Camilo Pascual and Jim Kaat with 13 homers to win four of six. KANSAS CITY had only two home runs in seven road games, four of them losses. Only shutouts by Orlando Pena and Diego Segui kept the A's out of the cellar. Johnny Pesky, the BOSTON (2-5) manager, moaned about a lack of "thump." Last week his Red Sox had nine homers, but the big hits were singles, three in the ninth to tie the Twins and one in the 10th by Pitcher Dick Radatz to win the game. CHICAGO had a mere nine extra-base hits but with John Buzhardt pitching a shutout and Juan Pizarro a four-hit, 5-1 win, the White Sox won three of six.
May 24, 1964
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
A year ago, when still in high school in San Bruno, Calif., Wally Bunker waited patiently for offers to sign with the Angels or Giants, the teams he most wanted to play for. Seventeen clubs made bids, but not the Angels or Giants. Disappointed, Bunker accepted a bonus from the Orioles for some $45,000. Because the Angels would not pay the price for the young right-hander last summer, they were forced to pay it last week. Bunker beat them 5-1 with a four-hitter, his second win of the week and third in 11 days. Five days earlier he had defeated the Tigers 7-1 and on May 5 he held the Senators to one hit. Explaining Bunker's success, teammate Harvey Haddix says, "His fast ball has a natural rise—the toughest pitch in the business." Although he does not yet know the names of some of the hitters he faces, Bunker has the best ERA (0.67) in the majors. At 6 feet 2 and 190 pounds, he has already been nicknamed Bo because he looks like Bo Belinsky of the Angels. Despite his sudden transition from high school to the major leagues, Bunker, who is only 19, has not shed his boyishness. Of the pointed black boots he sometimes wears, he says, "They're my Jose Greco shoes." Then, raising his hands and clicking his fingers, he cries, "Flamenco!" Bunker is not averse to spending money on colorful clothes, yet when he called his parents to tell them about his one-hitter he reversed the charges. Mr. and Mrs. Bunker, unlike the Angels, were only too glad to pay up.