Tuesday, June 7, 2022


Have you been keeping track of how many times the Giants and Dodgers lost on the same day? How often they lost games by one run on the same day? If you can rattle off this information at the drop of a hat, you are clearly a "glass half-empty" type, and need either a good dunking in the pool or a visit from El Kabong.

June 1962, as noted is a much crueler month for both Giants and Dodgers than they've experienced previously. And June 7, 1962 is only the sixth time that the two teams have lost on the same day--but as you can see, they'll be doing that a good bit more in June (and we've only shown you the first half of the month, which doesn't even cover the full extent of the Giants' "swoon").

June 7th is also only the second time in '62 where the two teams lost one-run games on the same day (but see above!).

The matchup at Wrigley Field certainly didn't look promising for the Chicago Cubs on June 7th: they sent Don Cardwell (1-6) to the mound against the Giants' Billy Pierce (8-0). Truth told, however, Pierce had not been pitching particularly well for the Giants: after posting a 1.07 ERA in April, he'd gone 5-0 with a 5.02 ERA ever since, coasting on the lusty run support provided to him (the Giants had scored an average of 8.6 runs in his last five starts).

Cardwell, who'd had his first winning season in 1961, started catastrophically for the Cubs (in keeping with their 4-16 stumble out of the gate) and was still not pitching all that well (a 5.45 ERA since May 1st). He'd recently had a couple of good games, however, so they was some hope that he was coming out of what had essentially been a season-long funk.

The Cubs broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs on that increasingly rare post-modern phenomenon: the long-sequence rally. #3 hitter Billy Williams kicked things off with a single; #8 hitter (and ex-Giant) AndrĂ© Rodgers completed it with a two-run single. 

Meanwhile Cardwell had stymied the Giants for five innings, allowing only one hit until San Francisco finally rallied for two in the sixth, with Harvey Kuenn's RBI triple the key blow. Willie Mays created a different kind of excitement after he drove in Kuenn with a single: he stole second and third off Cardwell, who managed to retire Orlando Cepeda on a ground out to end the Giants' threat.

Rodgers took it to his ex-mates again in the bottom of the sixth, hitting a long home run to make it 4-2 Cubs. Cardwell, who'd held the Giants scoreless in the seventh and eighth, was touched for a homer by Felipe Alou to open the ninth, but he retired the side in order to hand Pierce his first loss of year. Final score: Cubs 4, Giants 3.

AT Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, the starting pitcher matchup was particularly intriguing, a "battle of southpaws" (as they used to say): the Dodgers' Johnny Podres vs. the Pirates' Harvey Haddix. (We've linked to their pages at bb-ref so you can revisit their records, while you consider which of them had the better career.)

On this night, it was clearly a pitcher's duel, with both men holding the opposition to just four hits in eight innings. Unfortunately for Haddix, one of those four hits had been a two-run homer by Willie Davis, so the Dodgers took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Podres proceeded to allow singles to Dick Groat and Roberto Clemente, and was replaced on the mound by Larry Sherry, who would pitch with the platoon advantage against mercurial slugger Dick Stuart.

Sherry threw a fastball that Stuart swung and missed for Strike One. He followed with the same pitch--and Stuart hit it deep into the left-field bleachers for a game-winning three-run homer. (After the game, in the Dodgers' stunned clubhouse, Podres offered some mordant solace: "At least it was quick.") Final score: Pirates 3, Dodgers 2.