The Milwaukee Braves' formidable hitting attack wasn't enough to overcome the surprising letdown by Spahn and Burdette. Both were knocked out of the box twice last week as Burdette failed to finish his fourth straight game and Spahn his third. Most consistent pitcher on the staff the past month has been Bob Buhl, who won his fourth in a row. The San Francisco Giants were hurt by the lack of a strong relief man. Leading 9-4 in the eighth inning against the Pirates, the Giants eventually lost 12-9 in the 10th. "That was the worst game in my three and a half years of managing," muttered Bill Rigney. Two days later the Giants blew a 5-0 lead and lost again 12-9. Said Rigney: "Lightning, why do you strike me?" When rain saved the Giants from blowing another game, Rigney commented, "I finally found a surefire reliever." The Los Angeles Dodgers, whose hitting hasn't been especially strong, suddenly exploded for 36 hits, 20 runs on successive days. Duke Snider, Jim Gilliam and Carl Furillo banged the ball as they did in the good old days at Ebbets Field, and Johnny Podres won his fifth in a row. It didn't mean much, though, as the team immediately lost its next three games. The Chicago Cubs took advantage of the brisk outbound winds ranging up to 26 mph in Wrigley Field, hit seven home runs in four games. But their opponents hit seven, too, and the Cubs had to settle for a split. (In spring the wind blows toward home plate. When the temperature rises in June, the wind shifts, blows out from home because of the thermostatic effect of nearby Lake Michigan.) It was a wild week for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Their hitting was spectacular and their pitching and defense horrible in a four-game series with the Giants, which both teams would just as soon forget (the Pirates averaged eight runs a game but used 16 pitchers and made 10 errors). The Cincinnati Reds finally benched Frank Thomas after his batting average had dropped to a dismal .235 (one for last 20 ABs). But Thomas found some consolation when he saw Stan Musial serving a similar stretch on the bench in St. Louis. "Seeing you there makes me feel better," said Thomas to Musial. When Stan returned to the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup, batting sixth, he had a home run, a single and drove in four runs. Rookie Ernie Broglio, who had been hit hard all season (0-5, 7.30 ERA), went back to using a wind-up at Manager Solly Hemus' suggestion. He went nine innings and allowed only four hits, one run. "You can't tell me a wind-up doesn't help a pitcher," said Hemus. The Philadelphia Phillies got good pitching but scored only five runs in five games. As might be expected, they lost four of them and dropped back into the cellar.
Standings: Mil 34-24, SF 34-27, Pitt 32-29, Chi 31-29, LA 31-30, Cin 28-32, StL 25-33, Phil 23-34.
When the Cleveland Indians mounted a five-game winning streak it was the first time in three weeks that they had won more than one game in a row. In that sickening slump the team lost 13 of 17 games, fell from first to third. Prime force in revitalizing the Indians was Rocky Colavito, who hit four historic home runs (all in a row) in the first win of the streak, doubled home the winning run in the second and blasted a grand slammer in the third. The Chicago White Sox were encouraged by the complete-game wins of Early Wynn and Billy Pierce (only one starter had finished in the previous 18 games). It had also been feared that Pierce's fast ball had lost its zip, but his strong one-hitter dispelled that notion. The Baltimore Orioles actually tied for first place one glorious day last week. Five games later they were in fourth place, their lowest position in seven weeks. For the first time since spring training, the Detroit press and public started to talk again about a pennant for the Detroit Tigers. They had good reason to. The Tigers had won 17 of their last 22 games, 29 of 41, and had climbed steadily from 10½ games behind to just two since Manager Jimmy Dykes took over. Jim, waving a Perfecto Garcia, maintained there was no magic in it—just good pitching and long ball hitting. The New York Yankees' drive to the top slowed when they lost two games in a row for the first time in half a month. Worse yet, Bob Turley, who has had few good days this season, admitted that at times his arm felt dead. The injury-ridden Kansas City Athletics salvaged a game from the Yanks, after two tough losses, with the help of some fancy outfielding (see page 18) and the strong-hearted pitching of Ned Garver, who had not beaten the Yankees in four years. "We need a slugger and another winning right-hander," announced Boston Ked Sox GM Bucky Harris. "We think we are close to getting them." The Sox then obtained .225 slugger Herb Plews and 6.54 ERA righthander Dick Hyde in a trade with the Senators. (Hyde was later rejected when he reported with a sore shoulder.) The big trade over, Boston left the cellar to the Washington Senators, who lost four straight, seven of their last eight.
Standings: Chi 33-25, Clev 31-24, Det 31-27, Balt 30-28, NY 27-29, KC 26-28, Bost 25-32, Wash 24-34.
BULLPEN ACE Roy Face (left) won three games, upped record to 10-0. West Coast ace Johnny Antonelli won two, was 9-3.