Sixty years ago this week, the 1963 Dodgers finished off a homestand with one game against the Phillies, then two games against the second-year Mets, followed by a road trip to Houston against the second-year Colt .45s.
In all, the Dodgers won four of six games, with strong pitching ruling the days.
Batter of the week
After a 6-for-30 slump by Tommy Davis in the previous week, Dodgers manager Walt Alston said to the Pasadena Independent, “This has been his longest slump with us, and he’s never looked worse in this spell.”
But Davis got back on the beam during this week with three multi-hit games, including a home run off Phillies right-hander Cal McLish on Monday. Davis hit .409 (9-for-22), including six hits in 12 at-bats during the weekend series in Houston.
Davis on the season is hitting .327, third in the National League in batting average, trailing Cardinals shortstop Dick Groat (.344) and Pirates right fielder Roberto Clemente (.334).
Pitcher of the week
Johnny Podres started only once last week, but ended the week on a high note, taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning on Sunday in Houston. The 30-year-old left-hander walked three and struck out three, and didn’t allow a hit until Colt .45s second baseman Johnny Temple singled through the right side to open the ninth inning.
Podres then hit Bob Aspromonte with a pitch, ending his night after eight-plus innings.
Catcher John Roseboro, who Podres told reporters he didn’t shake off once during the game, said he started to notice Podres starting to wane in the eighth inning. From the UPI game report:
“I always know when his fastball starts rising that he’s getting tired,” Roseboro said.
Podres was pulled in the ninth and immediately went to the dressing room, wilted from the Houston heat and humidity, to take six salt tablets and rest.
It’s been a great run from Podres, who is 7-1 with a 1.30 ERA in his last eight starts.
Week 17 results
19 runs scored (3.17 per game)
14 runs allowed (2.33 per game)
.636 pythagorean win percentage
Year to date
430 runs scored (3.91 per game)
378 runs allowed (3.44 per game)
.559 pythagorean win percentage (61-48)
Sandy Koufax could very well have been the pitcher of the week, as he won both of his starts, allowing two total runs in two complete games. That included shutting out the Astros on Houston on Saturday on three hits. Koufax has 10 shutouts in his 26 starts this season, which is already three more shutouts than any other Dodgers pitcher has ever thrown in one year. But Koufax is also the first major league pitcher with 10 shutouts since Bob Lemon did so for Cleveland in its World Series-winning 1948 season.
Roebuck sears after getting traded
The Dodgers on July 30 traded reliever Ed Roebuck to the Washington Senators for infielder Marv Breeding. The right-hander had a 2.73 ERA through the end of June, but hit a rough patch in July, allowing runs in four of his five appearances. This month Roebuck allowed 10 runs on 19 hits in just 7⅓ innings, and hadn’t pitched since throwing in both games of a doubleheader on July 21.
The 29-year-old Breeding hit .274/.299/.345 in 58 games for the Senators, starting 25 games at third base and 21 more at second base. He’ll likely backfill the infield depth role for departed veterans Daryl Spencer (released in May) and Don Zimmer (sold to Washington in June). Breeding started Saturday and Sunday at second base for the Dodgers.
Roebuck on his way out torched the team he played for since 1955, telling Wells Twombly of the Valley Times, “I think the Dodgers will win the pennant this year in spite of manager Walter Alston. It’s sort of sad to leave, but in another way it’s almost like getting out of prison — getting away from Alston.”
The Dodgers called up 23-year-old outfielder Al Ferrara on Tuesday after a strong season for Triple-A Spokane, hitting .321/.383/.548 with 19 home runs, 31 doubles, a Pacific-Coast-League-leading 89 RBI, and a PCL-best 242 total bases. Ferrara was cal appeared in two games this week, both as a pinch-hitter. He struck out against Tracy Stallard in his first major league at-bat on Tuesday, then grounded out against Turk Farrell on Friday in Houston.
- Monday, July 29: Dodgers 6, Phillies 2
- Tuesday, July 30: Mets 5, Dodgers 1
- Wednesday, July 31: Dodgers 5, Mets 3
- Friday, August 2: Astros 4, Dodgers 1
- Saturday, August 3: Dodgers 2, Astros 0
- Sunday, August 4: Dodgers 4, Astros 0
1963 Week 17 batting
1963 Week 17 pitching
Previous 1963 reviews: Snider to Mets | Nate Oliver | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | All-Star Game | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16
The week ahead
The Dodgers run the Turk Lown gauntlet, continuing the road trip against the Cubs and Reds.