It was National Humor Week, but the LOS ANGELES Dodgers were not laughing when it began. They were in eighth place and hurting. Johnny Podres was not likely to pitch again this year, the victim of arm trouble. John Roseboro, a man of Joblike afflictions, was still plagued by bruises, bumps and calcium deposits. He was making such frequent use of the whirlpool bath that teammates called it the U.S.S. Roseboro. Then Tommy Davis came off the bench to bat .346, the aching Roseboro hit .600, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax threw shutouts and had two wins apiece, and the Dodgers (5-2), with something to laugh about at last, were tied for fifth, SAN FRANCISCO (3-4) Manager Alvin Dark used 21 players, including four pitchers in the first inning, during an excruciating battle of strategy which he finally won from the Phillies on a bases-loaded walk in the 10th. There were moments of joy for PHILADELPHIA (3-3), though. There was Richie Allen's homer, the team's first in 75 innings. There was also what may have been the shortest sacrifice fly of all time. That occurred when Met Catcher Jesse Gonder caught a pop-up halfway down the first-base line, then had to stand by helplessly as Bobby Wine of the Phils scored from third when no one covered home, NEW YORK (3-4), however, did some things right. The Mets hit eight home runs and made fewer errors than their opponents (seven to nine). Larry Bearnarth gave up just one run in a 10-inning relief job in which he set a club record by winning his fourth in a row. HOUSTON (4-4), too, played well. Claude Raymond won twice in relief, and Dick Farrell (9-1) had the best record in the league. Bob Aspromonte had a dozen hits and drove in eight runs. ST. LOUIS, last year's leader in scoring, had no such hot hitter. At one point the Cardinals, who hit .183, had scored only three runs in 52 innings. Ray Sadecki's 1-0 win and Glen Hobbie's two-hitter gave the team its only victories in seven games. Ed Bailey of MILWAUKEE (3-4) did not let his slump (.194 for the year) bother him. He won his third straight cow-milking contest, beating Gaylord Perry of the Giants handily. Joe Nuxhall of CINCINNATI also ran his winning streak to three. He beat the Cardinals and then stopped the Colts 3-0, his fourth shutout. Ten home runs and Deron Johnson's .538 hitting helped the Reds (5-2) move near the top of the league. A total of nine home runs by eight men enabled CHICAGO to win four of seven. Despite this slugging the Cubs could not climb above .500. Vernon Law won twice for PITTSBURGH (3-4), but the best pitching came from rookie Steve Blass, who shut out the Phillies.
It was the top of the ninth and NEW YORK trailed Boston 5-4. Then Phil Linz homered and New York scored another run in the 10th. Yankee lightning had apparently struck again. But Boston had some lightning, too, and the Yankees lost 7-6. Explaining the strange silence in the clubhouse after the defeat, Linz later said: "We knew we would have to bear down harder than ever if we were going to win this year." So the Yankees, then third in the standings, bore down harder, and the whole league began to ache. They beat the Red Sox twice, then tore into the first-place White Sox and crushed them five times in a row. Mickey Mantle, back in the lineup after a two-week layoff, hit .344, had seven RBIs and three homers. It was home runs by Tony Conigliaro and Dick Williams of BOSTON that won the 7-6 game. In all, the Red Sox (5-3) hit 15 homers (three in a row by Williams) and scored 50 runs. With Don Demeter (.409, four HRs, 11 RBIs) and Al Kaline (.519) finally hitting, DETROIT (4-3) had its best week in two months. Jim King of WASHINGTON (5-3) hit three home runs in succession in one game, added a fourth later in the week. Al Koch picked up his first win on a day when he was almost too sleepy to pitch. "I was tired before I even began pitching," Koch said. Camilo Pascual of MINNESOTA (3-4) felt much the same. "My head, it was sleepy, and my curve, it was lazy," he said. Then his teammates scored some runs for him, and Pascual said that suddenly "it is a beautiful day and a joy to pitch." Pascual had two such beautiful days and brought his record to 9-2. CHICAGO pitchers seldom had many runs to work with (the White Sox hit just four homers), and after winning the first four games they dropped the final six. Ken Mc-Bride of LOS ANGELES (4-3), sent to the bullpen after 10 straight losses as a starter, saved one game and won another. Jim Fregosi (.481, four HRs, 12 RBIs) took over the league lead in batting, and Bob Perry hit .444. When CLEVELAND (3-6) was not getting home runs from Bob Chance (three) or shutout pitching from Sam McDowell (four-hitter against the A's), it just could not win. Eddie Lopat was fired as manager of KANSAS CITY (3-5), and Mel McGaha replaced him. McGaha named Rocky Colavito as team captain and said: "I want our boys to say T want to try to do the same thing as Rocky.' " Unfortunately, too many of them did the same thing as Rocky last week, namely, bat .167. When the BALTIMORE Orioles arrived in Aberdeen, S. Dak. for an exhibition game they could not get out of their plane because no portable stairway was available. Shunning a rickety ladder, they jumped from the plane onto a baggage truck. Then they learned that there was no bus to take them to their hotel. After winning the game they found they could not leave town because of tornado warnings. On top of all that, the Orioles lost five of six games.
June 21, 1964
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The first decision Yogi Berra made last fall when he was named manager of the New York Yankees was to select his old crony and battery-mate Whitey Ford as pitching coach. It was a bold move and the baseball world wondered if Ford could handle both jobs—coaching and his own pitching career—in the manner to which the Yankees were accustomed. The verdict on Ford as a coach is still pending, but Ford the pitcher is, if anything, better than ever. Since losing a tough, extra-inning game on Opening Day to the Boston Red Sox, Ford has rattled off eight straight victories, including five shutouts. Last week he beat the Angels 9-3, giving them only seven hits, then shut out the White Sox, pretenders to the Yankee throne, 3-0 on four hits. In doing so, he lowered his earned-run average to 1.55, best in the league. In the past four games he has been especially tough, holding opponents to a. 167 batting average and only four runs. His control is as remarkable as ever (20 bases on balls and 78 strikeouts in 110 innings of pitching) and his curve balls come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and speeds. He has been accused of supplementing his pitches with something extra—saliva—but every ball he has thrown has turned up, on inspection, dry. Ford himself credits this year's success to his own coaching. "I seem to pay more attention to things now," he says. That may be, but to American League hitters, he is just the same as he has always been—too good.