"I was thinking about what Bavasi said the whole time I was pitching that day," Drysdale said later, "and you can imagine how it hit me when the Cubs got two runs off me in the second inning." Drysdale, concentrating furiously, his face contorted and upper lip contracted into a Bucky Beaver grimace, shut out the Cubs through the rest of his nine innings of service and the Dodgers won in the 14th, after Drysdale had departed. Despite this excellent performance, he was still 8 and 13, and an atmosphere of tension hung over the ball club. A day or so later Bavasi sent a short note from the executive suite down to Drysdale in the clubhouse, but Buzzie is no Chamberlain at Munich and all the note said was that he had been slightly misquoted. Not completely, just slightly. Drysdale did not reply. Instead, he took the mound against the Cardinals, his stomach still churning about the boss, and pitched his best game of the year. He did allow one run, knocked in by banjo-hitting Julian Javier, who was completely fooled by a slider, flung his bat at it and squeezed a quail between two fielders. ("That's a whole season's production for Javier against Drysdale," said a press-box habitu�. "A squib single and two foul tips.") For the rest, the game was a case of nolo contendere, one of those affairs that are short on dramatic interest for the simple reason that one team's pitcher is so totally domineering that the most unknowing fan can foresee the outcome.
Seated in his plush office the next day, tilting back in his chair, touching the fingertips of his right hand to the fingertips of his left, Emil Joseph Bavasi bore the look of a balding Mona Lisa. He was asked bluntly if he sometimes manufactured such tempests in an inkwell as the one with Drysdale. "You might say that," Buzzie said in the sly manner of W.C. Fields. "Yes, I have been known to do something like that once or twice in my life."
Pressed for a full statement of his guilt, Buzzie broke and told all. "I did it," he said. "I admit it. I had to do something. Donald is not an 8-and-13 pitcher. So I thought, 'Well, needle him a little bit.' So I'm a heel. Who'll remember I'm a heel if we win the pennant? I was just giving him the needle. Donald doesn't need the needle to be competitive—he's always competitive—but he needs it to make him concentrate on what he's doing. And it worked. It worked."
Is there a danger that such stratagems might backfire and cause lasting enmities? "Hell, no," said Buzzie. "I know Donald like a book. He knows I wasn't really mad at him. Where do you think he'd go if he wanted $10,000 tomorrow? And he'd get it, too. He needed a little needle and I gave it to him, that's all. Now he'll go out and help us win the pennant. You watch. And he has plenty of good years left, too."
Donald Scott Drysdale considered the matter with grave dignity in the privacy of his trophy-littered den in Hidden Hills. In his soft California-accented voice he said, "I'd be the first one to admit it, and I'd be a fool not to admit it, that this ball club's been real good to me and my family both, and I'd like to play for 'em as long as I can. They say when you can't do the job anymore, you can see it like a hand in front of your face. Well, I look back over this season, bad as it's been, and I can't see any hand in front of my face."
Was he still sore at Buzzie? Drysdale hesitated. He cracked his knuckles. He looked at the ceiling. He gave the impression that he was trying to be mad. "No," he finally confessed. "I just can't stay mad. It's not in my makeup. I don't carry grudges." The phony war was over.