When the CHICAGO White Sox (4-4) and the BOSTON Red Sox opened a series last week, a broadcaster jokingly asked Red Sox Manager Johnny Pesky if he had heard about the big fight in the Chicago clubhouse. "No," said Pesky, "what was it all about?" "They were fighting to see who would pitch against your club tonight and Johnny Buzhardt won," answered the radio man. White Sox pitchers had good reason to fight for a chance to go against Boston. The Red Sox, who had lost 12 of 13 games, were playing the kind of baseball opposing pitchers dream about—they were giving up lots of runs (42 last week) and they were scoring just a few (only 10 in the losses). Buzhardt found the combination worth fighting for as he four-hit Boston while his teammates scored 11 runs on 16 hits to hold on to second place. It was a particularly satisfying win for Buzhardt, who earlier in the week was the only pitcher to lose to Boston during its two-week slide from fifth to eighth. The league-leading BALTIMORE Orioles (5-2) also prospered against the Red Sox, easily sweeping a three-game series. Led by Brooks Robinson (four homers and 10 RBIs), rookie Sam Bowens (.400 with three HRs) and exceptional relief pitching by Harvey Haddix and Dick Hall, the Birds also won two of four from NEW YORK (4-4) and moved three games ahead in the pennant race. The Yankees received four strong complete-game victories from Al Downing (two wins), Jim Bouton and sinker-balling rookie Mel Stottlemyre, but got little relief from the bullpen, which failed to provide a stopper. Harmon Killebrew's 40th and 41st homers of the season and some surprising but effective bunting by the usually free-swinging Twins brought MINNESOTA five wins in seven games. The Twins' first winning week in more than a month could not pull them out of sixth place, however, as the DETROIT Tigers (4-3) won just enough to remain in fifth. The Tigers' pitching was stingy, allowing only seven runs in four wins, with rookie Denny McLain winning twice on a four-hitter and a three-hitter. WASHINGTON'S (5-1) Claude Osteen won twice and sluggers Jim King and Don Lock hit four timely home runs to give the Senators their best week of the year and lift them out of the cellar, 2½ games ahead of slumping KANSAS CITY (1-5). The A's pitching never allowed more than five runs, but their hitting (.222 team BA) could not produce more than three runs in any of the losses. The CLEVELAND Indians (2-4) won twice on shutouts, one a four-hitter by rookie Luis Tiant, who battled the Angels 0-0 until Max Alvis won the game with a three-run homer in the ninth. The LOS ANGELES Angels (2-4) suffered their first losing week in more than a month. The usually tight Angel pitching gave up 19 runs to the Senators in three losses, with only Dean Chance's two-hit shutout to cheer about.
When PITTSBURGH'S (4-2) Bob Friend lost to the Mets last week after beating them 12 straight times over three seasons and the fourth-place Pirates fell 7½ games out of first, it looked as if they were finally going to drop back to the second division. But Manager Danny Murtaugh was not ready to give up. "We Irish have a saying that you never have a funeral until there's a death," he said. "Don't bury the Pirates; they aren't dead yet." To prove Murtaugh right, the Pirates promptly took both feet out of the grave, won three of four and were very much alive in third place. Most responsible for the resurrection were Reliever Al McBean (two wins); Roberto Clemente, who hit .389 to raise his league-leading average to .350; and Jerry Lynch, who won two games with home runs. The Pirates took third when the CINCINNATI Reds (2-4, see page 54) stopped hitting (.223 team BA) and lost three in a row to the Dodgers and Colts. The NEW YORK Mets (1-5), who failed to defeat anyone but Friend, dropped 36½ games out of first and were mathematically eliminated from the pennant race two games earlier than last year. The front-running PHILADELPHIA Phillies bounced the Mets by taking four games from them and winning six of seven for the week. Phillie pitching was good, particularly John Boozer's two relief wins. The hitting was even tougher, producing more than six runs a game. The ST. LOUIS Cardinals' (4-2) improved young left-hander Ray Sadecki won twice and brought his record to 14-9 (matching his best previous season's performance) as the Cards jumped within a game of fourth place. A one-hitter by Bob Bolin and two victories for Billy O'Dell were not enough for the SAN FRANCISCO Giants (4-2) to keep pace with the Phils. The Giants lost twice to the Cards and dropped four games back. Old standbys Henry Aaron and Eddie Mathews got all five of the MILWAUKEE Braves' (3-2) home runs as the whole Brave team hit .268. But they could not outpitch or outslug the Giants, losing a one-hitter one day and dropping another game the next day despite a 12-hit attack. The LOS ANGELES Dodgers (2-4) scored even fewer runs than usual (only 17 all week) and the pitchers felt the pinch. Don Drysdale lost twice and Sandy Koufax had to depend on two unearned runs to insure his 18th victory. After losing 13 of 16 on a three-week road trip, the HOUSTON Colts (2-3) returned home to take two straight from the Reds on clutch relief pitching by Jim Owens and Hal Woodeshick. Ernie Broglio, who has righted himself since coming to the CHICAGO Cubs (2-5), won his fourth in a row with a three-hit 3-1 win over the Phils.
August 23, 1964
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Unlike many of his colleagues in major league front offices, the Philadelphia Phillies' General Manager John Quinn is no showman. He does not play the role of the riverboat gambler, or the wheeler-dealer, or the circus ringmaster. He does, nevertheless, do his job—building winning teams—exceptionally well. Eight years ago, when Quinn's young Milwaukee team was driving for a pennant, he brought in an aging second baseman to shore up his infield and add some experience to his club. That player, Red Sehoendienst, was a major cog in the Braves' pennants of 1957 and 1958. Two weeks ago Quinn provided a similar injection of talent and experience for his high-flying Phillies; he traded for veteran right-handed slugger Frank Thomas of the New York Mets to make up for the Phils' lack of right-handed power. The formula is working again. In nine games with Philadelphia, Thomas has hit .378, with 14 hits, including two homers, five doubles and 14 RBIs. Since Frank joined the Phillies, they have won eight of nine and their lead in the pennant race has jumped from 1½ to four games. Thomas has hit and driven in runs in all but two of these games. After 12 frustrating years, mostly in the second division, he is hitting as if there is a World Series check on each pitch. Even when the trade was just a rumor, Thomas said, "I know I can help the Phillies win the pennant." Frank was not the only one who knew it; this is John Quinn's kind of show.