The San Francisco Giants' good young hitters still haven't broken loose. As a result, some extraordinary pitching was wasted. Antonelli threw a four-hitter, and Sam Jones followed with a three-hitter. Both lost for lack of batting support (see page 14). Fast-baller Jack Sanford looked about ready to help the team. He won his first game in a month and a half when he came up with a new changeup. The Los Angeles Dodgers also had hitting problems. In six games they averaged only five hits. Three were won, though, on the solid pitching of Drysdale (both starting and relieving) and Craig. The Milwaukee Braves, desperate for a major league second baseman, picked up American League castoff Bobby Avila. He promptly won a game with a ninth-inning home run (to break a seven-game losing streak) and lost one with a crucial eighth-inning error. The Braves' troubles eased up considerably when Pizarro, Burdette and Spahn pitched consecutive shutouts. The Pittsburgh Pirates' inexplicable hitting slump stretched through its second straight week. Even postgame batting practice failed to help. The team averaged less than two runs a game, lost six in a row, nine out of 11. The Chicago Cubs kept getting good pitching from the unlikeliest people. Take Art Ceccarelli. Abandoned by the Orioles and Athletics after he could win only four games in three seasons, the 29-year-old left-hander turned up with the Cubs this spring. He was indolent and overweight. But he lost 26 pounds in the minors and was recalled recently. Last week he won his third and fourth straight games, both strong seven-hitters. He has yet to lose. Big Bob Anderson also won two complete games and the Cubs jumped into fourth place. The St. Louis Cardinals got fine work from Starter Ernie Broglio (he won two) and Reliever Lindy McDaniel (he won one, saved another). And that's all. The team suddenly couldn't score runs, and the rest of the pitchers gave up too many. The Cincinnati Reds bogged down again when their pitchers just couldn't hold on to late-inning leads. One bright spot was the play of tough old Willie Jones at third base. Willie has batted over .300 since the Reds rescued him from the Indians a few weeks ago and made him a regular. The Philadelphia Phillies looked as though they really meant it as they won four straight and 10 of their last 14. The pitching rotation of Roberts, Conley, Owens, Cardwell and Semproch is suddenly a tough one. The hitting too has improved. Richie Ashburn, celebrating the arrival of a boy in his family after four straight girls, had a pair of four-hit games, batted .480 for the week.
Standings: SF 55-43, LA 55-46, Mil 51-43, Chi 49-48, Pitt 49-49, StL 47-50, Cin 43-54, Phil. 40-56.
The Chicago White Sox scored only 16 runs, left 52 men on base. Yet they won five straight. Four were by one run (making 23 out of 28 one-run wins). Said Manager Lopez: "These ball games can really upset a guy. I wish they'd win some the easy way once in a while. If they get any closer, something's going to snap. Then they'll have to put Old Lopez in a strait-jacket." The Cleveland Indians got good hitting and pitching, also won five in a row and pushed ahead of the White Sox. Attendance zoomed past 800,000 (last year it was below 400,000, and the team threatened to leave town) much to the delight of GM Frank Lane. He collects a nickel-a-head bonus from here on in. The Baltimore Orioles didn't get their usual tight pitching. Since the hitting was even worse than usual the team dropped six in a row. Classy rookie Willie Tasby stopped hitting too (he's down to .260), and his fielding in center was sloppy. Only ancient Gene Woodling kept rolling along (he's up to .340). The New York Yankees may not be dead yet, but their breathing is getting mighty labored. In un-Yankeelike fashion, they made 12 errors, treated the opposition to 10 unearned runs. With Kubek and McDougald out Casey had little room to maneuver. Skowron returned to play one inning and broke his wrist. He'll be out the rest of the season. The champs are in serious trouble. The Detroit Tigers finally snapped out of it and won four straight, five out of six. There were runs aplenty (38) and lots of good pitching. The Kansas City Athletics ran their win streak to seven games (11 out of their last 13). Abruptly the A's, in last place just two weeks ago, were moving in on the first division. Handy utilityman Dick Williams took over at third base and hit four home runs in as many days. Bob Cerv was knocking runs in once again. Best of all, the pitching was solid. Castoffs Bud Daley, Ray Herbert, Ned Garver and Johnny Kucks all threw low-hit complete games. The Washington Senators did a complete turnabout. No one hit, no one pitched. It was just like the old days, only a year ago. The team gave up 57 runs in eight games and scored just 16. Needless to say, they lost all eight. The Boston Red Sox didn't win last week either. Their pitching wasn't too bad, for a change, but the team couldn't score runs. Manager Jurges established a curfew (the first time the team has been disciplined in years), but that didn't help matters. "No special reason," he explained. "Other teams have curfews. We should, too."
Standings: Clev 56-39, Chi 56-40, Balt 49-49, NY 48-49, Det 48-51, KC 46-49, Wash 43-54, Bost 40-55.
Boxed statistics through Saturday, July 25
AMAZING ATHLETICS moved fast on pitching of Ray Herbert and batting of Roger Maris. Herbert won two, Maris hit .474.