The Los Angeles Dodgers looked like the mighty Ebbets Field wrecking crew of the past as they won four games in the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th innings with some lusty hitting. It was newcomers, though, who recharged the Dodgers: Bonus Rookie Ron Fairly, who kept Carl Furillo on the bench so long; lanky Don Demeter, who quit uppercutting the ball and then whacked three homers in one game; and ex-Cardinal Wally Moon, with his Gashouse Gang hustle. The Milwaukee Braves' pitching turned sour against the Reds, of all teams. Warren Spahn lost two games within 24 hours, first as a starter, then as a reliever. The San Francisco Giants continued their erratic ways. ("What surprises me," said puzzled Manager Bill Rigney, "is how we can win our share and still play so lousy.") The Cincinnati Reds did a lot of hitting (24 extra base blows) but, with the exception of Brooks Lawrence, had bad pitching. The Chicago Cubs, who will rise or fall with their young pitchers, got fine performances from Bob Anderson, Glen Hobbie and Moe Drabowsky. Hobbie, who has learned to control his curve, was especially brilliant with a one-hitter. The Pittsburgh Pirates, more relaxed now, started moving up in the standings. They pulled two losing games out of the fire with big late-inning rallies and received complete-game victories from Harvey Haddix and Vern Law. Now if only Bob Friend would start winning. The Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals got some good pitching at times, but both teams were hurt by a lack of opportune run scoring ability.
Standings: LA 9-5. Mil 7-4, SF 9-6, Cin 7-6, Chi 7-7, Pitt 5-7, Phil 5-7, StL 4-11.
The Cleveland Indians steam rollered around the West (40 runs, 8 HRs in four games) and a runaway seemed in the making. Then defense and pitching let down against Chicago. The Indians lost three in a row and found out how quickly a team can come back to the pack. The Chicago White Sox' usually tight defense cracked a bit and the hitting was only so-so, yet the team kept on winning. The Baltimore Orioles enjoyed unaccustomed prosperity as they won four tight games in a row (each in their last turn at bat) and found first place only a game away. Knuckle bailer Hoyt Wilhelm, finding a new life in the American League, won two complete games during the week. The Kansas City Athletics also had an unusually good week as their pitching carried the team for a change (except for one incredibly bad game—10 walks in one inning, 20 runs in all). Bob Grim, the ex-Yankee reliever, won two—one a four-hitter. The New York Yankees looked pretty ordinary as they scored only 10 runs in 52 innings against the Senators and Orioles, losing four out of five in the process. ("We aren't hitting with men on base," growled Casey Stengel.) Boston Red Sox General Manager Bucky Harris found his team had different problems: "We'll have to trade for pitchers. Our hitters are hitting but the opposition is hitting better." The Washington Senators obtained unexpectedly good pitching from Russ Kemmerer and Bill Fischer. The shell-shocked Detroit Tigers, averaging four pitchers a game, gave up 56 runs, scored 17. "We're not panicky, but you have to be concerned when you can't get off the ground," stated GM Rick Ferrell.
Standings: Clev 10-4, Chi 9-5. Balt 9-5. KC 7-6, NY 6-7, Bost 6-7, Wash 6-8, Det 1-12.
Boxed statistics through Saturday, April 25