Wednesday, June 22, 2022


Frustrating losses for both the Dodgers and the Giants on June 22, 1962 (a Friday)...but there will be some light at the end of the tunnel for SF, as this game marks the end of their "June swoon."

We told you earlier that Jack Sanford was about to start a long skein of winning (16 in a row, and 18-1 for the rest of the year). Part of that was due to the fact that his ineffective start here (against the Milwaukee Braves, now approaching .500 after a sluggish start) didn't result in a loss because his teammates took back the lead and got him off the hook. 

The game also featured another baffling, "less than heroic" lengthy relief appearance from Stu Miller, who was pushed into a fifth inning of relief by Al Dark--and both of them would pay the price. Even those who are offput by the "squadron of relievers" approach that dominates the present-day game will find Dark's decision to be downright strange.

Then again, the Giants had rallied from a five-run deficit with a run in the third and took back the lead with a five-run rally in the fourth, sending ten men to the plate (one of them little Matty Alou, who batted for Sanford and delivered a key pinch hit). But who puts their top reliever in the game in the fifth inning? Well, Walt Alston, maybe--but the Dodgers had three relievers in '62 that they could plausibly consider to be their top man (Sherry, Roebuck, Perranoski). All this continues to point up how rickety and thin the Giants' bullpen really was in 1962. 

So then there's Stu, still in the game in the ninth, after giving back the lead to the Braves twice already. (The first time he gave it back was to the first batter he faced: Eddie Mathews. Home run, tie score.) The Giants got two back in the bottom of the inning to take the lead back 8-6; it took Stu two innings to give that lead up (Joe Adcock's two-out, two-run double in the top of the seventh). The Giants get the lead back again in the bottom of the inning, and no one scores in the eighth. Stu--as we said, still in the game despite already facing 17 batters in relief--faces four more, and it's not good.

Roy McMillan singles. Mack Jones fouls out, but Stu walks Eddie Mathews. Hank Aaron singles to left, tying the game, with Mathews taking third when Kuenn muffs a backhand pickup and has to chase after the ball. Dark finally brings in Bobby Bolin, but all he has his second-year man do is intentionally walk Gus Bell, loading the bases. He then waves in lefty starter Billy O'Dell, three days removed from a poor outing against the Houston Colts, to face lefty swinger Lee Maye

Perhaps Dark didn't have the numbers at hand, which would've told him that righty Bolin was much more effective (at least in '62) against lefty batters. That sentence should tell you what happened next: Maye slapped a single into right, scoring two more runs (all, by the way, charged to Miller). Willie Mays singled in the bottom of the ninth, but the rest of the Giants' batters were spent from those earlier rallies. Final score: Braves 11, Giants 9.

Bill Henry: one-hit wonder in '62...
DOWN in LA, more than 48,000 at Dodger Stadium saw another great pitching duel featuring Sandy Koufax. His opponent this time: the Cincinnati Reds' Bob Purkey, now 12-1 for the year. After seven innings, the game was scoreless, but Koufax weakened in the eighth and gave up two runs, starting with a double by Purkey (who would hurt himself legging out that hit and have to be removed from the game; as a result, he'd miss a start and have his only ineffective period during 1962 over the next four weeks). 

Ron Perranoski came up empty in the ninth, as the bottom of the Reds' batting order slapped singles off him (including reliever Bill Henry, left into hit with the team ahead by two runs--it was Henry's only hit and only RBI in '62). By the time the top of the ninth was over, it was 4-0 Reds...which was just enough to hold off a furious Dodger rally in the bottom of the ninth, which featured Duke Snider's first hit since June 5th, a pinch-hit double that cut the Reds' lead down to just one run. But Ted Wills induced a ground out from Wally Moon, and then struck out pinch-hitter Andy Carey. Final score: Reds 4, Dodgers 3.