Thursday, June 23, 2022


Perhaps it was Mercury retrograde or some other astral affliction that sent the Giants down that 4-12 rabbit hole during the middle of June--we'll need to conduct some historical research with an astrologer to "know" for sure. 

What we do know for sure is that the Giants got back on the winning side of things on Saturday, June 23, 1962, thanks to some solid pitching from Mike McCormick, in what would be his fourth and final start in the '62 season (out of fifteen in all) where his Game Score exceeded 50. In fact, it was easily his best start of the year, a complete game four-hitter in what was otherwise a lost season. (McCormick would be banished after the '62 campaign, returning four years later in time to post his finest season in 1967, back with the team that had made him a "bonus baby" in 1956.)

The numbers tell us that Mike had become susceptible to the gopher ball at Candlestick since the Giants' move there in 1960, and even this game was no exception: the only runs scored by the Milwaukee Braves on this sunny afternoon came via a two-run homer by Lee Maye (making a career out of hitting lefties--in this series at least), breaking a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth.

But mighty mite Matty Alou led off the bottom of that inning with a single, and was one of two baserunners to score on Jim Davenport's two-out single. In the seventh, Matty and his big brother Felipe were in the middle of another two-run rally (Matty singled and scored when Felipe followed with a single of his own). 

In the top of the ninth, left-on-left nemesis Lee Maye singled, but McCormick powered through Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, and Gus Bell to nail down the win. It was his last complete game with the Giants until 1967. Final score: Giants 4, Braves 2.

DOWN in LA, the Davis boys were on fire. Willie had four hits and scored four times, driven in each time by Tommy, who had four hits of his own and five RBI to boot.  The Dodgers slapped out nineteen hits and scored fourteen runs, all without the aid of a home run. (Tommy's five RBI on the day pushed his season total to 74 and opened up an 11-RBI lead over Willie Mays, his nearest challenger.)

Don Drysdale finally weakened in the ninth, with a two touchdown lead. Walt Alston left him in, and the Reds scored three before they were put out of their misery. Final score: Dodgers 14, Reds 3.