Sixty years ago this week, the Dodgers won four out of seven games, but most importantly they took three out of four over the Giants to knock San Francisco into third place in the National League.
The Dodgers are still on top in the race for the pennant, now six games up on the Cardinals with 27 left to play.
Batter of the week
The Dodgers as a team hit four home runs this week, and Frank Howard hit three of them. His two-run home run Tuesday gave the Dodgers the lead in a win over the Reds, and his two-run shot off Billy Pierce on Thursday helped blow open a win over San Francisco.
On the season, Howard’s 24 home runs are tied with Giants first baseman Orlando Cepeda for fourth in the National League, behind a star-studded trio of Henry Aaron, Willie McCovey, and Willie Mays in the top three spots.
Pitcher of the week
Sandy Koufax on Thursday allowed one run for a third consecutive start, and unlike last week actually got run support when the Dodgers hung 11 runs on the Giants. That earned Koufax his 20th win of the season, the first pitcher in the majors to do so in 1963, and the first time he’s reached the milestone in his career.
“Sandy’s been wonderful all year and I was glad to see him finally become a 20-game winner,” manager Walt Alston told Al Wolf of the Los Angeles Times, “but the big thing — outside of beating the Giants — was to do it in the way we did, with a lot of hits for a change.”
Koufax is the sixth Dodger to win 20 games in a season over the last 20 years. Don Newcombe did so three times, including his Cy Young Award-winning season in 1956. Ralph Branca, Preacher Roe, and Carl Erskine did so once each, as did Don Drysdale, who won 25 games en route to winning last year’s Cy Young Award. Before Koufax, the last Dodgers left-hander with 20 wins was Roe, who was 22-3 in 1951 for Brooklyn.
“This is not so much a thrill as it is a satisfaction,” Koufax told the Associated Press. “You get a thrill out of a no-hitter because it happens all of a sudden. Winning 20 games is something you work on all season. When you get to 18, you’re only two away. It doesn’t jump out at you.”
Week 21 results
31 runs scored (4.43 per game)
23 runs allowed (3.29 per game)
.633 pythagorean win percentage
Year to date
540 runs scored (3.97 per game)
471 runs allowed (3.46 per game)
.562 pythagorean win percentage (76-59)
- Monday, Aug. 26: Reds 3, Dodgers 1
- Tuesday, Aug. 27: Dodgers 3, Reds 2
- Wednesday, Aug. 28: Reds 9, Dodgers 5
- Thursday, Aug. 29: Dodgers 11, Giants 1
- Friday, Aug. 30: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
- Saturday, Aug. 31: Giants 4, Dodgers 3 (12 innings)
- Sunday, Sept. 1: Dodgers 5, Giants 3
1963 Week 21 batting
1963 Week 21 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 | Ed Roebuck | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20