"I've seen my team rise to the occasion all year, and I've come to expect it of them," said Eddie Stanky of CHICAGO (4-4). This time the occasion was a four-game series against MINNESOTA (6-2), which had moved to within two and a half games of the Sox by winning eight in a row. In each of the first two games the White Sox were scoreless until the ninth. Each time they won. They took the first game 2-1 on a two-out, two-run error and the second 1-0 on a lead-off double by Dick Kenworthy, a sacrifice and a sacrifice fly. Such minimal offensive bursts would have been wasted, though, without superlative pitching by Gary Peters and Hoyt Wilhelm, who combined for a two-hitter in the opener, and by Tommy John, who pitched a three-hitter the next day. For John it was his second shutout of the week, his fifth of the year. But the Twins came back with some good pitching of their own by Jim Kaat and Dave Boswell to sweep a doubleheader with the White Sox 7-4 and 5-1 and move right back to where they had begun. With Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Gates Brown and Don Wert all injured, DETROIT (6-1) Manager Mayo Smith told his players, "Quit feeling sorry for yourselves and start fighting back." They did. Denny McLain and Earl Wilson each won their ninth and 10th games, and Lenny Green, brought up from Toledo, hit .393. CALIFORNIA (6-1) made its record 25 wins in 33 games as Don Mincher and Jimmie Hall won games with two-run homers. Reliever Moe Drabowsky of BALTIMORE (4-4) remained unbeatable as he won from the White Sox 1-0 in 14 innings. It was his sixth win this year, his 12th without a loss in two seasons. After beating the Senators with a four-hitter, Sam McDowell of CLEVELAND (2-5) said that perhaps part of his trouble in the past has been his hot-weather diet. "I found out tonight that you can't pitch on soda pop," McDowell said, BOSTON (2-5), NEW YORK (2-6) and KANSAS CITY (1-6) all tumbled. The Red Sox, who had lost 10 games by one run over a four week span, started losing by larger margins. Mickey Mantle hit his 512th homer to pass Mel Ott on the alltime list, and Al Downing stopped the Orioles 3-0. No one homered for the A's, but Jim Nash did blank WASHINGTON (4-3). Frank Howard hit five homers and took over the major league lead with a total of 24. He twice came so close to hitting a sign in K.C.—which offered $3,500 for such a prodigious achievement—that the A's said they would cover it up the next time he came to town.
Standings: Chi 47-33, Det 45-35, Minn 45-36, Cal 45-40, Bos 41-39, Cleve 40-42, Balt 39-43, NY 36-45, Wash 36-47, KC 35-49
July 16, 1967
Chicago (1-7) started the week explosively. The Cubs hit three homers in their first turn at bat, scored six times and beat the Braves 12-6 for their seventh win in a row, their 14th in 15 games. Las Vegas odds on a Chicago pennant, 250 to 1 in April, dwindled to 6 to 1. Then the Cubs really collapsed. Manager Leo Durocher tried to head off disaster by having a "confidential chat" with his players, but it was to no avail, as the team lost seven straight and went 57 innings without a homer. ST. LOUIS (4-3) also started fast and then faded. Unlike the Cubs, though, the Cardinals came back strong. They scored seven runs in their first inning of the week, then got just one run in the next 29. And for the second time in four days reliever Nelson Briles committed a wild pitch that cost the Cardinals a game. Just when a collapse seemed imminent, up stepped Julian Javier to drive in nine runs in three days. He set up one victory with a two-run homer and followed it by driving in the winning runs against the Phillies two nights in a row, first with a bases-loaded single, then with a three-run homer in the 12th. Gary Nolan and Jim Maloney kept CINCINNATI (3-4) going by beating the Cardinals 1-0 and 2-1. Tom Seaver of NEW YORK (4-2) brought his record to 8-5 by defeating both SAN FRANCISCO (4-2) and ATLANTA (4-3). The Mets beat the Giants a second time, 8-7, finally pinning a loss on Juan Marichal, who had won from them 19 times in a row. Mike McCormick's 2-1 win over the Mets the next day was his 10th victory and was the fourth time in four weeks he had halted a Giant skid. Jim Hart drove in 21 runs over a 10-game period, five of them to help Marichal beat LOS ANGELES (1-5) to give Don Drysdale his 10th loss. PITTSBURGH (4-2) General Manager Joe Brown was still not pleased with his club and coined a new word—errasticity—to sum up his feelings. Explained Brown: "It means we're too erratic." Willie Stargell hit a home run that landed on third base. In this case it was third base on the Little League field beyond the center-field fence, a drive of 542 feet. HOUSTON (4-3) built its longest win streak of the year by taking four straight from the Cubs. Larry Jackson of PHILADELPHIA (4-2) hustled to back up a play at the plate only to have the throw from the outfield take a weird hop and bloody his nose. Adversity seems to have mellowed Manager Gene Mauch, who even had a few words of faint praise for Philadelphia's vociferous fans. Said Mauch: "I've never heard them boo the National Anthem."
Standings: SIL 49-32, Chi 46-36, SF 45-38, Cin 46-39, Atl 42-39, Pitt 40-38, Phil 40-40, LA 34-47, Hou 33-50, NY 31-47
If ever there was a case of love at first sight it was the Braves' affair with Mack Jones. After he had hit .309 and .326 in Triple A, the Braves called up Jones in midseason of 1961 and all but swooned when he tied a National League record by getting four hits in his first game. Then Jones turned into a Steve Bilko. As a part-time Brave for three years he hit .231, .255 and .219, only to drop back into the International League each time and proceed to tear the place apart: .326, .320 and .308. Given a last chance by the Braves in 1965, he made good by hitting 31 homers and batting .262. Last year, despite missing five weeks because of a shoulder operation, Mack the Knife had 23 homers and a .264 average. This season, however, he slumped and until two weeks ago was hitting a scant .237. Then he was moved up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Hitting second he has batted .369. "I get more good pitches to swing at batting second, because with Aaron up next they don't want to walk me," Jones says. "But I've never thought of myself as a .300 hitter. I don't even want to hit .300." Really? "Sure. If I hit .300 one year, they'll expect me to hit .300 the next." If Jones sounds a bit like Billy Loes, the talented but eccentric Dodger pitcher of more than a decade ago who vowed he would never be a 20-game winner, it is not without reason. "Homers are the fastest way to recognition and good pay," Jones explains. "After '65 nobody said, 'There's the guy who hit .262.' They said, 'There's the guy who hit 31 homers.' " Last week Jones hit four homers in four games, including game-winners against the Cubs and Mets. It was his way of wooing the Braves, and they loved it.