In a week that started with a slumping In a week that started with a Los Angeles team bickering on the team bus, the Dodgers 60 years ago last week got back on track thanks in large part to the return of Sandy Koufax.
After missing two starts with a left shoulder injury, Koufax returned and won both of his starts last week. The Dodgers provided 19 total runs of support, but Koufax could have made do with three. On Saturday at Dodger Stadium, he blanked the Giants in pitching the second no-hitter of his career.
San Francisco came to town in first place, the second-best scoring offense in baseball, but dropped the opener 2-1 to Don Drysdale on Friday night in Los Angeles. That output looked gigantic compared to facing Koufax the next day.
Koufax retired the first 22 Giants he faced, but then walked catcher Ed Bailey with one out in the eighth inning, ending Koufax’s bid for the first perfect game in the National League since John Montgomery Ward on June 17, 1880.
“To pitch a perfect game would have been something really great,” Koufax said, per the Associated Press. “I’m sorry I had to walk those two guys. But it’s still my biggest thrill.”
Bailey was wiped out on a double play in the eighth, then Koufax walked pinch-hitter Willie McCovey with two outs in the ninth before Harvey Keunn grounded back to Koufax to finish off the no-hitter.
Koufax facing Keunn needing one out to complete a no-hitter. Hmm.
It was the 12th no-hitter in Dodgers franchise history, and the second since the Dodgers moved west. Koufax also no-hit the Mets in New York on June 30, 1962. His two no-hitters tied Brooklyn right-hander Carl Erskine for most in team history.
“Naturally, pitching a no-hitter against the Giants has to be my greatest thrill in baseball, but I don’t think it was the best game I’ve pitched,” Koufax said after the game, per George Lederer of the Long Beach Press Telegram. “I made some bad pitches that were fouled away. Several balls were hit hard, but right at someone. I was lucky.”
Koufax struck out four, though none after the sixth inning. On the season, Koufax has 42 strikeouts in 47 innings, only two off the National League strikeout lead despite missing nearly two weeks with the shoulder injury.
For his no-hitter, Koufax got a $500 bonus from Walter O’Malley, per the Associated Press, to go with his $35,000 salary.
Both Koufax no-hitters to date were at Dodger Stadium, though he did not pitch the first no-hitter in the new ballpark. That honor went to Angels left-hander Bo Belinsky, on May 5, 1962 against the Orioles.
The Dodgers finished off a sweep of the Giants on Sunday to complete a 5-2 week, to pull within two games of San Francisco in the NL standings.
Batter of the week
Wally Moon went nearly two weeks without starting, but made the most of his opportunity last week with four multi-hit games. The left fielder had 11 hits in 23 at-bats, including a home run and two doubles. He drove in seven runs, including at least one RBI in all six starts, and helped key a four-run rally in the eighth inning to finish off the sweep of the Giants on Sunday.
Moon got more playing time when Ron Fairly moved from left field to first base to cover for Moose Skowron, who pulled a leg muscle to exacerbate a slow start that saw the veteran slugger hitting just .256 with one home run and four RBI.
Honorable mention goes to Jim Gilliam, who hit .393 (11 for 28) with three doubles, a home run, four walks, and three stolen bases. The Dodgers No. 2 hitter scored nine run in seven games.
Pitcher of the week
In addition to his no-hitter, Sandy Koufax also allowed only one run in eight innings on Tuesday in St. Louis, the first game after the bus incident with manager Walt Alston. Koufax after his one-run, 17-inning week has a 1.15 ERA through six starts.
Week 5 results
49 runs scored (7.00 per game)
29 runs allowed (4.14 per game)
.723 pythagorean win percentage
Year to date
136 runs scored (4.25 per game)
124 runs allowed (3.88 per game)
.542 pythagorean win percentage (17-15)
May 8: Dick Scott was recalled from Triple-A Spokane for the first time, in his eighth season in the minors. The 30-year-old left-hander made his major league debut, pitching two scoreless innings to close out a win in St. Louis.
May 8: Under National League rules at the time, active rosters needed to be trimmed by two by this date. The call-up of Scott necessitated three cuts, with third baseman Ken McMullen plus pitchers Jack Smith and Ken Rowe optioned to Spokane.
- Monday, May 6: Pirates 7, Dodgers 4
- Tuesday, May 7: Dodgers 11, Cardinals 1
- Wednesday, May 8: Dodgers 11, Cardinals 5
- Thursday, May 9: Cardinals 10, Dodgers 7
- Friday, May 10: Dodgers 2, Giants 1
- Saturday, May 11: Dodgers 8, Giants 0
- Sunday, May 12: Dodgers 6, Giants 5
1963 Week 5 batting
1963 Week 5 pitching
The week ahead
The Dodgers homestand continues with the Wally Westlake gauntlet, hosting the Phillies and Pirates before a doubleheader with the Mets on Sunday.