Houston Colts' (0-7) slugger Walt Bond, who had gone hitless for 16 at bats, told Pitcher Turk Farrell, who had failed in 10 attempts to win his 11th game, "Your slump doesn't show up as often as mine. Mine appears every day in the box score." Bond could have been speaking for all the Colt hitters. While the pitchers performed well in four games, the batters did miserably in all seven, and that certainly showed up in the box scores. With a team batting average of .175, the Colts lost all their games and were shut out three times. The NEW YORK Mets (3-4) gained all three of their victories over the Colts, one of them a brilliant two-hitter by Frank Lary. It was the first time that Casey's team had won two or more in a row from Houston since the two clubs joined the league in 1962. The MILWAUKEE Braves (6-1) demonstrated how far good hitting can go. While the sagging pitching staff allowed 5.6 runs a game, the batters hit .319 and averaged 8.3 runs a game. Manager Bobby Bragan was so happy with the results he received from the line-up he used last week that he promised to keep it intact after trying 67 different combinations in the first 100 games. The ST. LOUIS Cardinals (5-2) received strong hitting from Tim McCarver (.458), Bill White (.450) and Ken Boyer (.433) and excellent pitching from lefty Ray Sadecki (two wins, including a five-hitter), but two late-week losses prevented them from gaining ground on the leaders. With strong games from five pitchers, the PITTSBURGH Pirates also took five of seven. The Bucs should have won more, but they blew a game against the Giants when they committed six errors (three by usually unerring Bill Mazeroski). Sloppy defense also hurt the CHICAGO Cubs (1-5). And beyond that, the pitchers allowed an average of 9.4 runs in each of the losses. The CINCINNATI Reds (4-3) were more concerned with events off the field than on it: Manager Fred Hutchinson, suffering from cancer, stayed home from a road trip for hospital tests to check into back pains that had bothered him recently. The LOS ANGELES Dodgers (2-3) could beat only the Mets, and Sandy Koufax's consecutive win streak was snapped at 11 in a 5-2 defeat by the Giants when San Francisco scored four unearned runs in the ninth inning. As for SAN FRANCISCO, timely hitting by Willie McCovey (.364) and power hitting by rookie Jim Ray Hart (.346 and three homers) helped in a split of six games, but the Giants could win only one of three—Juan Marichal's 10-inning four-hitter—from the league-leading Phillies. By winning their series with the Giants, the PHILADELPHIA Phillies (4-3) moved 2½ games up in the pennant race (see page 10).
For the LOS ANGELES Angels' (4-3) Shortstop Jim Fregosi it had been dismal since the All-Star Game. A .317 hitter at the break, Fregosi's average had dropped 14 points by last Tuesday, and things were getting worse—he had just three hits in his last 20 tries. To break the dry spell, Fregosi jokingly gave his bat to the team doctor to inject some hits. It was just what the doctor ordered. After giving his bat the needle, the shortstop went out and hit for the circuit against the Yanks. The hits continued to drop, and by week's end he was back up to .315. With Fregosi's batting and three wins by Dean Chance, one a two-hitter over New York, the surprising Angels stayed solidly in fourth. The BALTIMORE Orioles also won four of seven but dropped out of first. While veteran pitchers Steve Barber and Robin Roberts lost, three youngsters, Wally Bunker, Dave Vineyard and Frank Bertaina, provided strong pitching to go along with the team's solid hitting, particularly by second-string Catcher Dick Brown (.533 with four homers). Good pitching helped the NEW YORK Yankees (5-2) move into first. With Whitey Ford injured, Ralph Terry, who has been suffering through an off year, moved into the starting rotation and won twice. Another slumping pitcher, WASHINGTON'S (4-2) Dave Stenhouse, came alive to set his team off on a four-game win streak with a three-hitter over the Orioles. The Senators continued their winning ways by parlaying strong pitching from Claude Osteen and Buster Narum and some bone-head base running and fielding by the CLEVELAND Indians (2-6). Manager Birdie Tebbetts was so disgusted at his team's play in one game that four of his players received fines for lapses on the field. The BOSTON Red Sox (4-2) got some unusually good pitching to run up a winning record but suffered a real jolt when rookie star Tony Conigliaro was knocked out for a month with a broken arm. The CHICAGO White Sox (5-2) hit well (.271, with nine home runs) for the third straight week and moved within one game of first. Juan Pizarro won his 14th game of the year with a four-hit, 14-strike-out shutout. Handicapped by a .206 team batting average, the DETROIT Tigers (3-5) used good pitching and clutch hitting to gain their three wins. Reliever Fred Gladding won two with scoreless late-inning pitching. The slumping MINNESOTA Twins (2-5) returned to their home park and began hitting homers again (10 in five games there), but it was not enough to win more than two of five from the Orioles and the Yankees. The KANSAS CITY Athletics won two games, both by one run, but lost five others when the hitters could not produce more than nine runs in all the games. Orlando Pena won one when he learned from a telecaster that he had been telegraphing his fork ball. Pena covered it up and gained a 2-1 victory, his first win since mid-June.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
One day last week at Chicago's White Sox Park the players were rewarded with books of Green Stamps for hitting home runs (10 books) or knocking in a run (five books), etc. In one game against the Twins, the Sox's star left-hander, Gary Peters, almost drove the Green Stamp people out of business. He picked up 16 books for striking out eight batters in the 11 innings he pitched, but he earned even more from his work at the plate. He went 3 for 5 and had three RBIs and a home run in a game the Sox won 5-4 in 13 innings. In all, he took home 45 books of stamps and raised his batting average to .284, second highest on the team. Peters' hitting ability is no fluke. He was originally signed as a first baseman, and last year he led the American League pitchers with a .259 average. Not bad for a rookie. This year he is hitting even better and already has three homers to equal his output of a year ago. One of the home runs was a pinch hit that won a game for the Sox two weeks ago in the 13th inning. On top of this, Peters also happens to be one of the very best pitchers around. Last year he was the Rookie of the Year and had the best ERA (2.33) in the league. This year he is already 12-5 and has a 2.49 ERA. Late last week, lest anyone forget that he is primarily a pitcher, Peters threw a three-hit shutout at the Detroit Tigers but went 0 for 4 at the plate. His average dropped down to .270—now only the third best mark on the weak-hitting White Sox.