In what has been an up-and-down first few months, the Dodgers followed a Monday loss in Houston with five straight wins. Finishing the week with a sweep at Wrigley Field put the Dodgers back in first place for the first time in two months.
Los Angeles ended the week a half-game up on the Cardinals, its first time atop the 10-team National League since opening the season 2-0. This is the Dodgers’ first time alone in first place this season.
Batter of the week
After missing 11 games with a toe injury, Maury Wills come out swinging, hitting .500 while stealing three bases and scoring six runs in five games. Wills had nine hits in a weekend series at Wrigley Field, including four hits Saturday and a three-run double Sunday that gave the Dodgers the lead for good.
Pitcher of the week
Don Drysdale struck out 22 and allowed only three runs in 16 innings last week. He struck out 13 on Monday in Houston but lost a 2-1 game thanks to a the first big league home run by 19-year-old Colt .45s first baseman Rusty Staub. Drysdale rebounded on Friday with a complete-game win in Cincinnati, allowing only an unearned run.
Week 9 results
32 runs scored (5.33 per game)
18 runs allowed (3.00 per game)
.741 pythagorean win percentage
Year to date
231 runs scored (4.13 per game)
202 runs allowed (3.61 per game)
.561 pythagorean win percentage (31-24)
The never-ending hot seat
Dodgers manager Walt Alston has been rumored to be on the hot seat this year, at which he expressed frustration earlier in the season. To start this week with the loss, the Dodgers’ fifth straight, the Dodgers fell to 27-23, four games out in the National League standings, in third place.
Red Smith in a syndicated column wrote that Alston is not properly appreciated. From the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York:
Perhaps there have been other managers who got as little credit for winning and as much blame for losing as Walter Alston does, but their names do not come to mind.
In his nine full seasons — now the longes unbroken term in the majors — Alston’s teams have won two World Series and three pennants and tied for a fourth. They were second three times and missed the first division only once. That single sickening plunge had a sequel that would have raised any other manager to a permanent place in history beside miracle man George Stallings, for the very next year Alston steered that seventh-place club through a pennant playoff to the championship of the universe.
The only permanent place for reserved for Walter is on the griddle.
- Monday, June 3: Colt .45s 2, Dodgers 1
- Tuesday, June 4: Dodgers 2, Colt .45s 1
- Wednesday, June 5: Dodgers 5, Colt .45s 1
- Friday, June 7: Dodgers 4, Cubs 1
- Saturday, June 8: Dodgers 9, Cubs 5
- Sunday, June 9: Dodgers 11, Cubs 8
1963 Week 9 batting
1963 Week 9 pitching
The week ahead
In a jam-packed weeklong homestand, the Dodgers run the Jim Hegan gauntlet* with eight games against the Giants, Colt .45s, and Cubs.
*There are no players from the second-year Colt .45s who also played for San Francisco and Chicago, so we limited this week’s gauntlet to the Giants and Cubs.