Now that I'm the Reds' new manager,
And if this is to be my fate,
Please, Lord, just give me the runs left on,
And I'll give you the ones that cross the plate.
This bit of poetry is scrawled on a sign on Manager Dave Bristol's desk in the CINCINNATI (1-6) clubhouse. Bristol would like to have had his wish come true last week, for his Reds left 10 men on base in one game, 11 in another and lost both of them 4-3. Willie Mays of SAN FRANCISCO (4-1) also came up with a touch of eloquence. Said Willie after his 535th homer, which pushed him past Jimmy Foxx and made him the second greatest home run hitter of all time: "That one had a different sound from all the others. It kind of sang itself out of the park." By week's end Willie had hit six in his last nine games. Gaylord Perry pitched his third straight game without allowing an extra-base hit and became the first 20-game winner in the majors. Both ATLANTA (4-2) and PHILADELPHIA (4-3) got help where it was needed most—from the bullpen. Relievers Ted Abernathy, Clay Carroll and Phil Niekro bolstered the Braves, while Ray Culp and newcomer John Morris picked up wins, the first by Phillie relievers in more than two weeks. Leo Durocher finally came up with a move that helped CHICAGO (2-4). At least that's the way Leo felt after he smuggled the 9-year-old son of a wealthy Chicagoan onto the bench for luck and the Cubs won 4-3. When it came to luck, however, ST. LOUIS (2-4) players knew they were out of it. A black cat crossed in front of their bus on the way to Candlestick Park and, sure enough, the Cardinals lost to the Giants 3-1. It should have taken the Astros 50 minutes to fly to HOUSTON (4-3) from Dallas, where they had landed en route from San Francisco. Instead, it took more than four hours as, one after another, their flights were grounded because of throttle trouble, the absence of a pilot and, finally, overloading. Don Drysdale won his first game in nearly two weeks for LOS ANGELES (4-3). Bob Friend and Ralph Terry each pitched three innings of shutout ball in relief as NEW YORK (4-3) beat the Pirates twice. PITTSBURGH (3-3) blew a 7-1 lead one day, lost again the next when Third Baseman José Pagan made a record-tying three errors in one inning and four overall, and again the next when Bill Mazeroski made his first error in 51 games and Gene Alley his first in 18. All this befell the Black Maxers after a home-town paper ran a headline reading: PIRATES START LAST 'EASY' WEEK; METS, CUBS OFFER SOFT COMPETITION.
Standings-Pitt 72-50, SF 73-51, LA 69-53, Phil 67-57, StL 63-60, Cin 60-63, Atl 59-63, Hou 55-68, NY 55-69, Chi 41-80
August 28, 1966
Jim Kaat of the Twins, Mickey Lolich of the Tigers and Bob Locker of the White Sox won two games last week. So did Al Salerno, who is an umpire. Working at first base one day, Salerno overruled the home-plate umpire, pointing out that Andy Kosco of MINNESOTA (6-1) had not struck out, because his foul tip on a potential third strike had hit the dirt before going into the glove of CALIFORNIA (1-6) Catcher Bob Rodgers. Thus reprieved, Kosco singled to drive in the winning run. A few days later in NEW YORK (3-4) Salerno and his fellow umpires, whose luggage had been temporarily lost en route, had to borrow working gear from their Yankee Stadium hosts. There they were, natty and happy in gray ushers' slacks, peppermint-striped shirts and Yankee caps when, oops, there was Al Salerno again. This time he decided that KANSAS CITY (2-6) Pitcher Lew Krausse would have scored from first on a hit that became a ground-rule double when a fan touched it. Krausse's run was the only score in the Athletics' 1-0 victory, a fact that angered Yankee Manager Ralph Houk so much that he was tossed out of the game. Birdie Tebbetts resigned as CLEVELAND (4-3) manager but before he left, Leon Wagner provided him with one last hurrah by hitting his second game-winning homer in three days. Bill Skowron of CHICAGO (5-3) sought advice from Smoky Burgess on the art of pinch hitting, came away crammed with tips on positive thinking and promptly hit a two-run pinch homer. Not to be outdone, Burgess later hit a very positive two-run double, the 130th pinch hit of his career. A three-run homer by Frank Howard and a two-run homer by Ken Harrelson gave WASHINGTON (3-3) a pair of come-from-behind wins. Boog Powell of BALTIMORE (4-2) became the first American Leaguer to hit three homers in one game this season and had hit five for the week before being sidelined with a bruised hand. BOSTON (1-5) followed one of its best weeks of the season with one of its worst. DETROIT (5-1) pitchers gave up 10 homers, making it a not-so-grand total of 149 for the year, or 12 more than all of last season. But the Tigers themselves hit nine homers, five in a 9-4 win over the Orioles. Denny McLain, loser in seven of eight decisions since the All-Star Game, knew his control had been bad. He didn't know quite how bad, though, until he tried to throw his glove into the dugout and watched it sail into the stands.
Standings: Balt 80-43, Det 67-55, Clev 66-59, Minn 66-59, Chi 65-60, Cal 61-63, NY 56-69, Wash 56-72, KC 54-71, Bos 54-74
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
How careless can a guy get? St. Louis' 22-year-old rookie left-hander, Larry Jaster, tipped off all his pitches when he faced Los Angeles last week, yet emerged with a 4-0 victory—his fourth straight shutout over the Dodgers. In trying to explain his success against the world champions, Jaster says, "With the Dodgers not having a home run hitter, I'm not so careful with them. It's when I get careful that I have trouble." Pitching carefully against the rest of the teams in the league, Jaster has a 4-3 record, a 5.46 ERA and has given up 11 homers in 61‚Öì innings. All he has given the Dodgers in 36 innings has been 20 singles. Jaster's shutout spell actually dates back to last September. Called up from Tulsa in the Texas League, where he had an 11-13 record, Jaster faced the Dodgers in his major league debut, pitched one inning and, naturally, did not permit a run. He finished the season with three complete-game wins, beating the Houston Astros twice and the San Francisco Giants once. The modern record for consecutive shutouts by one pitcher against one team in a single season is five, set by Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Philadelphia Phillies against the Reds in 1916. Jaster will very likely be given an opportunity to equal that feat when the Dodgers go to St. Louis during the final week of the season. When that time comes, all that the Dodgers can hope for is that Jaster will be a little more careful about how he pitches to them.