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BASEBALL'S WEEK
Les Woodcock
August 10, 1959
NATIONAL LEAGUE
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August 10, 1959

Baseball's Week

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STARS OF THE SEASON

American League

National League

THE BEST PITCHERS

Games won

Wynn, Chi 14-6

Face, Pitt 14-0

Complete games

Pascual, Wash 13

3 tied with 13

Hits per game

Score, Clev 6.32

Antonelli, SF 7.22

Walks per game

Lary, Det 1.64

Burdette, Mil 1.14

SOs per game

Score, Clev 8.09

Koufax, LA 9.89

Runs per game

Wilhelm, Balt 2.55

Antonelli, SF 2.95

THE BEST HITTERS

Percentage

Kuenn, Det .343

Aaron, Mil .364

Home runs

Killebrew, Wash 33
(1 per 11 AB)

Mathews, Mil 30
(1 per 12� AB)

Extra base hits

Allison, Wash 51

Aaron, Mil 68

Runs scored

Power, Clev 81

Pinson, Cin 84

THE BEST PERFORMANCE PER GAME

Most runs

Cleveland 4.81

Cincinnati 5.09

Fewest opp. runs

Chicago 4.04

San Francisco 3.83

Most hits

Kansas City 9.06

St. Louis 9.54

Fewest opp. hits

Cleveland 7.61

San Francisco 8.18

Most HRs

Washington 1.21

Milwaukee 1.16

Fewest opp. HRs

New York 0.85

Milwaukee 0.84

NATIONAL LEAGUE

The San Francisco Giants finally got the big hitting lift Manager Rigney had been hoping for ("It just takes one guy to light a fire. It might be anybody. If we could just get one guy hitting"). Willie McCovey, a big first baseman, was called up from the minors and pounded out eight hits in his first 13 at bats. The team's hitting attack perked up and the Giants won four straight. The Milwaukee Braves were back in high gear (10 out of 12) and looked once again like the team that won the last two National League pennants. Burdette and Spahn each won three in a row, and Bob Buhl threw a sparkling three-hit shutout. Henry Aaron banged out five home runs in four games. And best of all, Bobby Avila seems to have solved the old second base riddle. "He's picked up the whole club," said Warren Spahn. "Bobby's the steady influence, the holler guy we've needed." Del Crandall echoed, "That Avila gives us the experience at second we had in Red Schoendienst." The Los Angeles Dodgers stayed right in there with six wins in seven games and for one day were even in first place. Don Drysdale gets better and better as the season moves along. He won his fifth straight complete game. The Chicago Cubs' pitching, which had carried the team up into fourth place, mysteriously collapsed: in five games the staff gave up 53 hits and 33 runs. Since Ernie Banks was the team's only consistent hitter (10 for 22), the Cubs lost all five. The Pittsburgh Pirates' horrendous losing streak reached nine games before it finally ended. The weak hitting of Bob Skinner, Bill Virdon and Bill Mazeroski hurt the team badly. The Cincinnati Reds got fairly good pitching (three complete games), plenty of hitting (42 runs) and Shortstop Roy McMillan back (he had been out a month and a half with a broken hand). The team won six out of seven. The St. Louis Cardinals scored only 13 runs in seven games while giving up 45. Strangely enough, they won one of them. And that only because Rookie Bob Gibson, just recalled from the minors, powered his way to an eight-hit, 1-0 shutout. It was his first major league win. Stan Musial, puffing along with a .261 batting average, is going to play more often now. Said Stan, "I've been out of the lineup so much, I've forgotten the strike zone." The Philadelphia Phillies utilized timely home runs by Gene Freese to win two low-run games from the Giants. Quipped Freese, "I'm trying to make the Ed Sullivan Show."

Standings: SF 59-45, LA 60-47, Mil 57-45, Chi 50-53, Pitt 50-55, Cin 49-55, StL 49-56, Phil 42-60.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

The Chicago White Sox' extraordinary blend of strong pitching and tight defense (see page 47) continued to pay off and the Sox won six in a row and 11 out of 12. Six of the 11 wins were complete games, seven were won by one run. The Cleveland Indians slowed the pace down—they lost five out of nine games—as injuries hobbled the team. Shortstop Woody Held was out with a bad knee, and Herb Score had to be dropped from the starting rotation when he developed arm trouble. The Kansas City Athletics' incredible winning streak reached 11 games (longest in the league in five years) before the Yanks spoiled the fun. When the streak started, the A's were in the cellar. When it ended, they were in third place. One of the big factors in the Athletics' renaissance was the hitting and fielding of Russ Snyder, a 25-year-old castoff from the Yankee chain. Inserted in left field when Bob Cerv was injured, the speedy Snyder made himself a regular by batting .414. The Baltimore Orioles hung on a long time with good pitching and little else. When the pitching finally let down the last two weeks, the Orioles slipped slowly toward the second division. The Detroit Tigers settled into a frustrating win-one, lose-one routine. The team just can't seem to win the close ones; last week the Tigers lost their 20th game by one run. Injuries, too, have hurt Detroit. The double-play combination of Bridges and Boiling was out of action all last week and then Harvey Kuenn, the league's leading batter, was sidelined. The New York Yankees lost three out of five, fell 12 games behind, and just about ruined any chance they might have had to come back. The pitching was good, which was news, but the big hit never came. The Boston Red Sox threw in the towel and started to build for next year. Young Jim Mahoney was called up from the minors to replace Shortstop Don Buddin. Pumpsie Green took over at second and Pete Runnels was shifted to first. Said Owner Tom Yawkey, who called the shots, "We'll bring them up and we'll throw them out. If the players we have aren't doing the job, we'll get rid of them. We'll give everybody an opportunity. It's up to them to make good." The Washington Senators, their days of glory over, lost 16 games in a row and fell with a thud into last place. Manager Lavagetto juggled his lineup daily and used every pitcher on the staff. Nothing worked. Owner Cal Griffith rushed west to join the team and reported: "I am not the least bit panicked by our slump. I'm satisfied that the team has been hustling and doing the best it can. This club has too much talent. We'll bounce back."

Standings: Chi 62-40, Clev 60-44, Balt 53-53, KC 51-51, NY 50-52, Det 51-55, Bost 45-58, Wash 43-62.

Boxed statistics through Saturday, August 1

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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