The Dodgers as a group did object. They had so far survived the loss of Tommy Davis, their only run producer, but it is Wills who makes the team go. It was up to Koufax to deliver the formal protest, and he did. His first pitch to Willie Mays in the second inning was high over Mays' head, all the way to the screen. "Yes, it was the token gesture," Koufax said. "But it was a lousy pitch. I meant it to come a lot closer." The gauntlet had been dropped—and accepted. Any little thing could mean war. Perhaps Roseboro didn't mean to nick Marichal's ear, but that did it.
The Dodgers had kind words only for Mays, who was first in peace as he had been first in the legalized combat for the Giants. (When the dust cleared, and Koufax, shaky even before the brawl, walked two men in a row, Mays poled the first pitch to him out of the park for enough runs to win the game. Willie had hit a home run in each of the four games, winning two and keeping the Giants close enough so that they could have, and should have, won the other two.) It was Mays who restrained Roseboro following the first confrontation, then again when Roseboro returned to the scuffle after Trainer Bill Buhler had wiped the blood off. Mays arrested Roseboro's charge and then cupped the enemy's head in his hands and surveyed his wounds with a look of deep anguish on his expressive face. It appeared from a distance that Willie Mays had tears in his eyes.
"He may have," said Willie Davis of the Dodgers, who was there. "He was saying things like it never should have happened, that nobody should hit anybody with a bat. I couldn't say I saw tears, but the way his eyes looked he might have been crying."
" Mays did a helluva job," said Moon.
"He was the only one of them who showed any sense," said Alston.
It is supposed to be as inevitable on the West Coast as it was supposed to be years ago on the East that "something" must happen in a Giant-Dodger series. But nothing exciting except some very exciting baseball had transpired until Marichal fired at Wills's hat.
On Saturday, the day before the big blow, the score was tied 4-4 in the 11th with a Dodger on third base and two out. The man on third was a pinch runner for Jim Lefebvre, a .235 hitter who had batted cleanup because, as Alston said, "he's swinging the bat as well as anyone we have." The cleanup hitter had gotten to first on a single and to second on a sacrifice bunt, and his pinch runner made it to third on a dribbler to the shortstop. It had been a typical Dodger onslaught.
The man at bat was Wes Parker, the Dodgers' first baseman, who owned a .236 average at the moment. He tried to bunt the first pitch but fouled it off. Bunting with two out with the winning run on third base is the sort of sneaky thing you come to expect from the Dodgers, who creep on little cat feet like the fog, but, of course, San Francisco was prepared. The pitcher, Frank Linzy, a sinker-ball specialist, kept the ball up instead so as to keep Parker from having an easy shot at a bunt, and Parker hit the next pitch over the right-field fence. The small-arms Dodgers had beaten the Giants again with the big bomb.
A home run by a kid with a .236 batting average was the kind of thing that had been happening to San Francisco Manager Herman Franks all through the Dodger series, even before the battle on Sunday. His troops had beaten the Dodgers handily on Friday, 5-1, and had contained the Dodgers' guerrilla attack through 14 frustrating innings on Thursday and 10 on Saturday and yet had been beaten on both Thursday and Saturday by the home run the Dodgers aren't supposed to have. Parker's homer was the Dodgers' 64th of the year; at that point the Giants' Willie Mays and Willie McCovey had 66 between them.
Managing a major league team does not notably improve a man's personality. After the defeat on Saturday someone helpfully pointed out to Franks that the Cincinnati Reds had won and were now "only one game behind you guys."