As if following a Rube Goldberg blueprint, BALTIMORE used scraps of good pitching, chunks of clutch hitting, a dab of luck and a dash of trickery to build the best record (5-2) of the week. Robin Roberts (seepage 60) and Milt Pap-pas pitched shutouts, and Rookie Wally Bunker won his fifth game without a loss. The winning run in Bunker's 2-1 victory scored on what seemed to be bad base running by Dick Brown. In fact, Brown planned it that way. He took a wide turn around second base as he advanced on a single by Bob Johnson, so wide that the Tigers cut off the throw from the outfield. While they tried to catch Brown off base, Jerry Adair ran home with the winning run. That was one of three one-run triumphs for the second-place Orioles, LOS ANGELES (2-6) also had three one-run games, all losses. There was little for Manager Bill Rigney to smile about, for his team hit just one homer and his pitchers were floundering. Only rookie Second Baseman Bobby Knoop, who specializes in going deep behind the bag, pivoting in mid-air and then throwing, cheered Rigney. One of the few bright spots for KANSAS CITY (2-4), which had just two home runs instead of its average of six, was the fielding of its rookie second baseman, Dick Green. Green gave much of the credit to a glove given him by Shortstop Wayne Causey, adding that "the least I can do is buy Causey a steak." First Baseman Dick Stuart of BOSTON (4-3), whose fielding is strictly hamburger, atoned for one costly error with a flurry of six homers and 13 RBIs. Last year's batting champion, Carl Yastrzemski, hit into a double play for the 13th time (one more than last year) and had a .243 BA for the year. Al Kaline of DETROIT (3-3), runner-up in hitting a year ago, slumped to .230. Superb relief pitching by Ed Rakow earned him and the Tigers two wins. WASHINGTON had a chance to win six of its seven games, but despite the slugging of Jim King, who hit for the cycle in a 3-2 loss, and Chuck Hinton (.462) the Senators won just three. For CLEVELAND (1-4) it was a black week. As the team bus bounced through New York after a second straight loss to the Yankees, Pitcher Dick Donovan tried to lighten the atmosphere. Eyeing the half-demolished Polo Grounds, Donovan said, "Boy, they must have had a helluva game there last night." For league-leading CHICAGO (4-2), happiness was a sudden dose of extra-base hits that included eight homers, three by Pete Ward. This offset some uncommonly bad fielding (10 errors). Poor fielding also hampered MINNESOTA (5-3), but tight pitching and Harmon Killebrew's clutch singles as well as home runs (three) enabled the Twins to win three one-run games. Good pitching by Steve Hamilton and Whitey Ford, plus three home runs by Clete Boyer, put NEW YORK (4-2) in third place.
Manager Gene Mauch of PHILADELPHIA (3-3) looked at the scoreboard and saw two things. He saw that the score was tied. He also saw a face, the face of Pirate Relief Pitcher ElRoy Face. Mauch did not accuse Face of stealing signs from the Pirate scoreboard, but he did play the game under protest, which is approximately the same thing. But spied on or not, the Phillies took the league lead, Art Mahaffey pitching a shutout and Cookie Rojas hitting .611. Joe Moeller picked up a pair of wins, one of them with relief help from Sandy Koufax, as LOS ANGELES won three of five games and moved up to seventh. Still inconsistent at the plate, the Dodgers scored two runs in 26 innings, then won 10-3. SAN FRANCISCO (2-4) was consistent, if not productive, scoring two runs in four straight games. The Giants won two of those games 2-1, but for the week they batted an anemic .176. CHICAGO (4-4) Manager Bob Kennedy was mad at his pitchers, so mad that he said he might even start Rookie Sterling Slaughter. He should have gotten mad sooner, for Slaughter, with help from Lindy McDaniel, shut out the Braves on one hit. Billy Williams batted .480 to boost his average for the season over .400, but even he could not help the day the NEW YORK METS (3-3) whipped the Cubs 19-1. That day Casey Stengel played his strategy to the hilt, inserting rookie John Stephenson in the outfield in the ninth for "defensive purposes." ST. LOUIS (2-4) got hitting from Dick Groat (.385) and Curt Flood (.440) and seven RBIs from Ken Boyer, but the rest of the club hit only .180. HOUSTON made up for what it lacked in hitting by coming through with fine pitching from three of the league's winningest pitchers. Bob Bruce (6-1) shut out the Mets, and Dick Farrell (7-1) and Ken Johnson (5-4) each beat the Braves 4-2. In all, MILWAUKEE (4-4) lost three 4-2 games. Out in center field in Milwaukee there is an Indian in a tepee who does a spirited dance whenever a Brave homers. Last week he was underworked. There were just four home runs in five home games, three by Joe Torre. Manager Bobby Bragan, though, felt like dancing when youngsters Denny Lemaster and Hank Fischer pitched shutouts. Joe Nuxhall of CINCINNATI (4-2) beat the Dodgers 1-0, the Reds' fourth win in a row. Then they stayed up all night playing a 17-inning 2-2 tie with the Dodgers, traveled to St. Louis and lost twice to the Cardinals. It looked as if the PITTSBURGH (4-3) pitching staff had finally settled down. Bob Veale shut out the Giants and Catcher Smoky Burgess said that Vern Law "is just as good as he ever was." Then Veale was hit hard by the Phillies, and the Dodgers slugged Law. And ElRoy Face was back in the bullpen instead of the scoreboard.
June 7, 1964
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
In 1958, when Mike White was 19, he played in an Arizona intrasquad game with the Cleveland Indians, his first game as a pro. Mike, a shortstop, was completing a double play when the runner slid into second and dropped him hard. As White lay in the dirt, his father Jo Jo, once an outfielder with Detroit but then a Cleveland scout, sprinted from the dugout to learn that his boy had suffered a complete unilateral dislocation of the left knee. The injury was so serious doctors doubted if he would ever walk again. But Mike did walk again, run again and, eventually, play baseball again. This year, after five seasons in the minors, Mike White made the majors with Houston, and soon he was in the starting lineup. After driving home six runs in a doubleheader, he was placed fourth in the Houston batting order, although at 5 feet 8 and 160 pounds he hardly looked like a cleanup hitter. But Mike kept hitting and last week, in his first game in Milwaukee, where his father is now coaching, Mike got four hits in a row to raise his batting average to .393. For the week he hit .391, accounted for eight of his team's 20 runs and played second base, third base, left field, center field and right field. His Houston teammates kid him now, saying that he can no longer ride home after the game in Nellie Fox's Chevy because "cleanup hitters ride in Cadillacs." Mike White just laughs. Cars can wait. He is happy enough to be able to run around the bases again.