Superb pitching—a one-hitter by Gary Peters, a 10-inning two-hitter by Jim O'Toole and three five-hitters—stretched the CHICAGO (6-0) winning streak to 10 games and boosted the White Sox into first place. Peters and Joe Horlen each won his fourth in a row. Horlen attributed his success to isometric exercises. "I don't know if they have isometrics for the brain," Manager Ed Stan-Icy said, "but I do know that Joe's biggest improvement has come in the brains department." Mickey Mantle of NEW YORK (2-4) walked around with his first baseman's mitt strapped to his shoulder. Explained Mantle: "I'm strictly leather now, a glove man. The way I'm hitting, I can't afford to lose that glove." But on Sunday Mickey hit the 500th homer of his career. Rick Monday of KANSAS CITY (5-1) had three homers in three games and praise for Manager Alvin Dark: "He taught me to hold my hands higher at the plate and to stop wrapping the bat around my head. Last year I even hit myself on the back of the helmet a couple of times." Rod Carew of MINNESOTA (3-3) had seven hits in a row and Dean Chance beat the A's with a one-hitter, but both Jim Grant and Jim Kaat lost for the fourth time. WASHINGTON (1-5) Manager Gil Hodges locked the clubhouse door after a 12-2 loss to the Indians, a game in which the Senators had a man picked off on a bases-loaded walk that forced in a run. That weird play came about when Fred Valentine, going with the 3-2 pitch, overran third base and was tagged out. Although his ERA was a respectable 3.02, George Brunet of CALIFORNIA (2-5) lost his sixth straight. Despite catching his finger in a mousetrap and cutting his foot on a piece of metal, Bill Freehan of DETROIT (4-2) slugged three homers. Three saves by Reliever Fred Gladding and a bit of luck helped the Tigers. They scored the winning run in one game when Red Sox Catcher Bob Tillman tried to throw out a runner and hit Pitcher John Wyatt on the head with the ball, BOSTON (3-4) regrouped, hit six home runs and took a doubleheader from the Tigers 8-5 and 13-9. Against the supposedly punchless White Sox, BALTIMORE (2-3) pitchers yielded six homers in two days and the Orioles fell into last place. Two epochal events occurred: Mike Epstein was ordered to report to the minor leagues, and Brooks Robinson, batting .217, was booed. The Orioles broke a six-game losing streak by crushing the Yankees 14-0. Said Outfielder Leon Wagner of CLEVELAND (4-2) Manager Joe Adcock: "We're out of the laboratory. Joe had a chance to test all his theories, and now we're going to play to win." Win they did, taking four games in a row and moving up from 10th place to a tie for fifth.
Standings: Chi 18-7, Det 17-9, KC 13-14, Bos 13-14, NY 12-13, Clev 12-13, Wash 12-15, Cal 13-17, Minn 11-15, Balt 11-15
May 21, 1967
"This club isn't hitting, so you figure you'd better pitch a shutout if you want to win," said Jack Fisher of NEW YORK (2-2). Fisher couldn't come up with any shutouts, but pitching some of the best ball of his career and getting the support of timely homers by Tommy Davis and Jerry Buchek, he won twice. Roger Maris' first homer for ST. LOUIS (3-2) and two clutch hits by Mike Shannon helped the Cardinals win three games. PHILADELPHIA (3-5) fans, poking fun at their team's aged relievers, hung out a banner that read: PHILLIES BULLPEN—MEDICARE CENTER OF PHILADELPHIA. But that night Dick Hall, 36, came out of the bullpen to save a 3-2 win over the Braves. Then the newest Phillie, 33-year-old Dick Farrell, who had just been acquired from the Astros, won two of the next four games in relief. Two other oldtimers, Ruben Gomez and Bob Buhl, were released. Adolfo Phillips, one of the key members of the CHICAGO (5-2) youth movement, stole home to beat the Giants 5-4, and the Cubs won their next game when Curt Simmons, 36, gave up just one run, and Ernie Banks, 37, homered. Don Sutton of LOS ANGELES (3-4) lost twice, making him 0-4, but Reliever Phil Regan earned his 15th straight win over two seasons when the Dodgers scored four times in the 10th to beat the Astros. Neither HOUSTON (1-6) Manager Grady Hatton nor ATLANTA (2-5) Manager Billy Hitchcock was happy. Said Hatton: "This team is playing stupid ball." Said Hitchcock: "We're lazy at crucial times." Joe Torre slugged four homers for the Braves, but his two passed balls led to a pair of defeats. Tony Cloninger's eye trouble, which was at one time feared to be serious, responded to treatment, and he is expected to be ready to pitch again shortly. Juan Marichal won twice, and Tom Haller hit five doubles, two homers and batted .522 for the week as SAN FRANCISCO (6-2) began winning. Willie Mays hit two home runs. Reliever Ted Abernathy picked up two more saves and Rookie Gary Nolan beat the Phillies 1-0 as CINCINNATI (5-2, page 65) maintained its league lead. The Reds' home attendance was up 50% over last year. After Bob Veale of PITTSBURGH (4-3) had beaten St. Louis for his fifth win without a loss, Lou Brock of the Cardinals said, "He was faster than Koufax."
Standings: Cin 21-10, Pitt 16-9, StL 15-11, Chi 15-11, SF 14-14, Atl 14-14, Phil 13-14, NY 10-15, LA 10-17, Hou 8-21
That's a tightly pitched ball game up there on the scoreboard (right), but it's just routine this season, and especially in the American League. The credit for it—or the blame—must go to the current crop of pitchers, who are turning the big, muscular, splendidly coordinated sluggers into so many patsies. The American League has had 42 low-hit games (no-hitters through four-hitters) thus far, which is 40% more than there were last year at this time. Steve Barber and Stu Miller of Baltimore combined to pitch a no-hitter (though, admittedly, it was not an artistic triumph, since Detroit won the game 2-1). Barber missed another no-hitter earlier with one out in the ninth inning, and young Bill Rohr of Boston had a no-hitter in his major league debut until two were out in the ninth. Last week Jim Palmer of the Orioles faced a minimum of 27 men as he beat the Yankees, and he came within one single of pitching a perfect game. In all, there have been six one-hitters (the major league record for one-hitters for the entire season is 13, set 57 years ago), and there have been 11 two-hitters, compared to only one at this time last year. After failing to match the alltime low batting average for the league (.239 in 1908) by one point in 1966, American Leaguers are currently hitting a collective .231. Home runs have dropped off almost 15%. National League batters have not been quite so inept, but their home-run production is down 21% and their .238 batting average is one point below the National League's worst mark (also .239, and also set in 1908). And Sandy Koufax isn't even around anymore.