1960 Revisited - May 12-26

Tuesday, June 29 2010 @ 03:36 pm UTC

Contributed by: Bobster

By Bobster

May 12-26, 1960

Thursday, May 12, 1960---An off-day finds the Pirates (15-9) trailing the Giants by 2 games. Roberto Clemente leads the NL with a .385 average. His 18 RBIs and 6 HRs is second only to the Giants’ Willie McCovey in both categories. Four games in Milwaukee are next on the schedule. In 1960, teams were allowed to carry 28 players on opening day, with the final reduction to 25 players coming 30 days later.

Outfielders Roman Mejias and Joe Christopher and pitcher George Witt were optioned on May 12, a month after opening day, to get down to 25 active players. Those three players had seen little action. Christopher was just 0 for 3 and Mejias only 0 for 1. Witt had started one game and relieved in 2 others. Mejias had been the Pirates’ fourth outfielder in 1959. Christopher had been up with the Bucs for about a month in 1959 and had not yet carved out a role for himself. Witt was still struggling with arm problems. The Pirates continued to carry four catchers (Burgess, Smith, Oldis and Kravitz) and now had only 4 outfielders (Skinner, Virdon, Cimoli and Clemente).

Friday, May 13, 1960---The Pirates (16-9) maintained the 2-game gap between themselves and SF with an 8-2 win over the Braves in Milwaukee. The Bucs threatened in the first when Groat doubled with one out, but the Pirates captain was doubled off second base when Skinner line out to left fielder Wes Covington. The Pirates failed to score in the third despite opening the inning with a walk, single, double and walk. Friend led off by walking and went to third on a single by Hoak, But when Groat missed on an attempted squeeze bunt, Friend was out at the plate. Groat then doubled Hoak to third, and Skinner was intentionally walked to load the bases. But Stuart struck out and Clemente grounded out to end the threat. The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the third and added a run in the fourth when Aaron cracked his 6th HR of the season. The Bucs threatened again in the fifth when Groat and Stuart singled and Smith walked but they left the bases loaded without scoring. Trailing 2-0 after six, the Pirates erupted for all 8 runs in the 7th inning. Dick Stuart finally got his first HR of the season, a 2-run shot following a Groat single. Clemente then walked and the Braves replaced starter Carl Willey (2-2) with Bob rush. Smith greeted rush with an RBI-double to take a 3-2 lead. Cimoli reached on an infield hit and Mazeroski clouted his 6th HR of the season, a 3-run shot to make it 6-2. After two were out, Hoak struck out but reached first on a passed ball. He advanced to third on a Groat double and both runners scored on a single by Skinner. The Pirates totaled 17 hits, with Dick Groat (.318) having a perfect 6-for-6 game. Stuart (.267), Smith (.313), Cimoli (.286) and Mazeroski (.231) each had 2 hits. Bob Friend (4-1) went the distance for the Pirates and retired the last 17 Braves hitters in a row. Bill Mazeroski was carried from the field in the 9th inning when he injured his right leg sliding into 2nd base. Mazeroski suffered a pulled ligament near the right calf.

Starting lineup:
Hoak 3B
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Stuart 1B
Clemente RF
Smith C
Cimoli CF
Mazeroski 2B
Friend P.

Saturday, May 14, 1960---The Pirates (17-9) won their 4th straight and closed to within one game of first place with an 11-inning 6-4 win over the Braves. The Pirates took a 3-0 lead in the second when Burgess singled, Cimoli doubled, Schofield (playing second base for the injured Mazeroski) walked, Law hit a 2-run single, Hoak singled and Schofield scored on a DP grounder by Groat. The Bucs made it 4-0 in the fifth when Skinner singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Burgess’ grounder to short was booted for an error. But Law surrendered solo HRs to Del Crandall, Wes Covington, Felix Mantilla and Joe Adcoch to tie the game 4-4. In the top of the 11th inning, Hoak doubled, went to third on a ground out, Skinner was intentionally walked and Stuart popped up. But Clemente stroked a 2-out, 2-run triple to give the Pirates a 6-4 lead and Elroy Face (2-3) pitched 2 scoreless innings to get the win. Burgess (.396) had 3 of the Pirates’ 14 hits and Hoak (.186), Groat (.319), Skinner (.319), Clemente (.377) and Cimoli (.298) had 2 hits apiece.

Starting lineup:
Hoak 3B
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Stuart 1B
Clemente RF
Burgess C
Cimoli CF
Schofield 2B
Law P.

Sunday, May 15, 1960---The Pirates concluded a 17-game road trip with a doubleheader against the Braves. The Pirates took Game 1, 6-4. The Bucs scored quickly against Warren Spahn (2-1) with 4 in the 1st inning. Skinner began the game with a lead-off HR (#6). Groat followed with a single and, one out later Stuart hit a 2-run HR (#2). Hoak then reached on an error and scored on Cimoli’s double to make it 4-0 in the first inning. Del Crandall homered in third for the Braves to make it 4-1. But Hoak homered (#2) for the Pirates in the seventh after a Clemente single to make it 6-1. Aaron homered in the seventh to make it 6-2. Aaron’s sac fly in the 8th made it 6-3 and Crandall homered again in the 9th to make it 6-4. Harvey Haddix (2-1) went 6 1/3 innings and got the win. Face, Green and Umbricht followed with Umbricht picking up his first save. The Pirates had 15 hits, including 2 each from Skinner, Groat, Clemente, Stuart, Hoak and Schofield.

Game 1 Starting lineup:
Skinner LF
Groat SS
Clemente RF
Stuart 1B
Hoak 3B
Burgess C
Cimoli CF
Schofield 2B
Haddix P.

The Bucs again took a first inning lead in game 2 on a double by Skinner and a single by Clemente against Braves starter Juan Pizarro. But the Braves struck right back with Aaron hitting a 3-run homer off Bennie Daniels (1-1) in the first inning to stake the Braves to a 3-1 lead. Daniels settled down to allow only one more run in 7 innings (with Paul Giel pitching a scoreless 8th despite 2 walks). The Pirates (18-10) managed 11 hits against Pizarro (2-1) and Don McMahon, but scored only twice while stranding 12. The final run came on a seventh inning single by Groat after Skinner had tripled. The Braves prevailed, 4-2 to split the doubleheader. Bob Skinner (.337) had 3 hits in the nightcap. Groat (.328) and Stuart (.267) had 2 hits each. Groat was now on a 12 for 21 tear. Schofield (.357) continued to play 2B for the injured Mazeroski. The doubleheader split put the Pirates 1˝ behind the Giants.

Game 2 Starting lineup:
Skinner LF
Groat SS
Clemente RF
Stuart 1B
Hoak 3B
Smith C
Cimoli CF
Schofield 2B
Daniels P.

Meanwhile in Cincinnati, the Reds were losing 10-1 in the 8th when reliever Reds Raul Sanchez hit 2 Phillies in a row, walked the next and then hit Phillies starter Gene Conley. Phillies manager Gene Mauch charged the mound and a 12-minute benches clearing brawl ensued. Future Hall of Famers Frank Robinson and Robin Roberts went at it. As did 5’11” Billy Martin and 6’8” Conley.

Monday, May 16, 1960---The Bucs (18-10) have the day off while they traveled back to Pittsburgh. The Bucs are hitting .279 as a team. Burgess leads the way with a .379 average, followed by Clemente (.374), Skinner (.337), Groat (.328), Smith (.302) and Cimoli (.291). Virdon (.233), Mazeroski (.231) and Hoak (.198) have been struggling. Clemente, Mazeroski and Skinner share the team lead with 6 HRs. Clemente’s 27 RBI’s leads the team with Mazeroski (25) a close second.

Friend (4-1) has a sparkling 1.58 ERA. And Law (5-1) has a 2.36 ERA. But the rest of the rotation is uncertain. Haddix is 2-1 despite a 5.04 ERA. Gibbon has started 2 games (and relieved in two others) and is 2-1, 4.09 overall. Daniels is 1-1 but has a 7.92 ERA and has given up 31 hits and 17 runs in 19 1/3 innings in his 4 starts. In the bullpen, Jim Umbricht and Paul Giel are both sporting ERAs in excess of 6.45. And Face (2-3, 4 saves) has an unimpressive 4.74 ERA.

[It may be interesting to note the different philosophy regarding the use of relievers in 1960. Although the term "closer" was not yet used, Face was the reliever who generally was called upon in a save situation. But he was also used liberally whenever the manager wanted his best reliever in the game in a tight situation. As of May 16th, 1960, Face had appeared 12 times. Of those appearances, he entered 4 times in the 7th, 5 times in the 8th, twice in the 9th and once in the 11th. In 7 of those 12 appearances, he pitched more than 1 inning, and pitched 3 innings on May 11th. Face had only 4 saves in the Pirates' first 18 victories. 9 of those first 18 wins were complete games by the starting pitchers.]

With their day off, the Pirates gained ˝ game when Cincinnati beat San Francisco, 9-2.

Tuesday, May 17, 1960---The Cubs struck for 3 in the top of the first against Bob Friend when Ernie Banks homered with 2 aboard. But the Pirates (19-10) came back with 4 in the 1st on a walk to Hoak, a double by Skinner, an error on a Stuart grounder, a force out by Clemente, who then stole second, a single by Smith and a double by Cimoli. In the 2nd, Friend walked and Hoak tripled to make it 5-3. After two were out in the third, Cimoli reached on an error, Mazeroski doubled, and Friend and Hoak singled to make it 8-3. In the fifth, Cimoli walked, Friend sacrificed and Hoak singled to make it 9-3. The Cubs made it 9-4 in the sixth but the Bucs came back with 2 in the bottom of the sixth on a single by Skinner, a double by Stuart, and a single by Smith. The cubs scored twice in the seventh. Friend (5-1) gave up 6 runs in 8 innings but got the benefit of an 11-6 victory. Hoak (.220) and Stuart (.282) each had 3 hits. Skinner (.339) and Smith (.310) had 2 hits apiece. Clemente (.358) went hitless, ending a 12-game hitting streak, but managed to steal 2 bases. After missing three games, Mazeroski (.232) returned to the lineup, getting a double in 4 at bats. The win enabled the Pirates to remain 1 game behind the Giants, who defeated Cincinnati, 9-3.

Starting lineup:
Hoak 3B
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Stuart 1B
Clemente RF
Smith C
Cimoli CF
Mazeroski 2B
Friend P.

Wednesday, May 18, 1960---Vern Law (6-1) pitched his 6th complete game of the season as the Pirates (20-10) defeated St. Louis, 4-2. The Pirates struck quickly when Hoak singled in the 1st inning and scored on Skinner’s triple. A ground out by Stuart scored Skinner, and the 2-0 lead lasted until Law’s double sparked another 2-run rally in the 7th. Hoak walked to follow Law’s double and the runners scored on a Groat single and a Skinner sac fly. The Cardinals got 2 in the 9th to spoil Law’s shutout bid. Hoak (.233) and Skinner (.348) each had 2 hits for Pittsburgh. The win, coupled with a loss by the Giants, moved the Pirates into a first place tie.

Starting lineup:
Hoak 3B
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Stuart 1B
Clemente RF
Smith C
Cimoli CF
Mazeroski 2B
Law P.

Thursday, May 19, 1960---The Bucs beat the Cardinals 8-3 as Joe Gibbon had his best game yet, going 71/3 while holding St.L. to 2 runs on 8 hits with 7 Ks. The Pirates gave Gibbon (3-1) more runs than he needed with 2 in the 2nd, 3 in the 3rd, 1 in the 5th and 2 more in the 6th. Hal Smith (.303) hit his 4th HR of the season in the second after Hoak singled. After 2 outs in the third, the Bucs erupted for 3 runs when Clemente and Stuart singled, Hoak reached on an error, and Smith and Cimoli singled. The Pirates made it 6-0 in the fifth on walks to Smith and Cimoli and an error. In the sixth, a Skinner single, Clemente double and Hoak single made it 8-0. Gibbon took a 4-hit shutout into the 7th inning before surrendering a run on 3 singles in the 7th and another run on 2 walks and a single in the 8th. Fred Green pitched the final 1 2/3 innings and got his first save. Roberto Clemente (.372) went 4 for 5. Smith, Skinner, Hoak and Cimoli each had 2 hits for the Bucs. It was the 11th consecutive start in CF for the hot-hitting Cimoli, who had raised his average from .208 to .328 during that span. However, the speedy, singles-hitting Cimoli remained in the 7th spot in the order while Skinner (.350) and Hoak (.241) continued to share the lead-off spot. The win put the Bucs (21-10) a half-game ahead of the Giants, who were rained out. Clemente picked up his 5th assist of the season in the second inning when he gunned down Ken Boyer trying to stretch a single into a double.

Starting lineup:
Skinner LF
Groat SS
Clemente RF
Stuart 1B
Hoak 3B
Smith C
Cimoli CF
Mazeroski 2B
Gibbon P.

Meanwhile, the Yankees traded veteran thirdbaseman Andy Carey to the Kansas Athletics for outfielder Bob Cerv. The solidly built Cerv had begun his career with the Yankees and was sold to KC in 1956. In 1958, Cerv hit .305 with 38 hours and 104 RBIs for the A’s, started the All-Star game in LF (over Ted Williams) and finished 4th in the MVP voting. The Yankees had Clete Boyer and Gil McDougald for third base, so Carey was expendable. Cerv, now 34, would share LF in NY with Hector Lopez and Yogi Berra (when Berra wasn’t catching). The Cerv/Carey deal was typical of trades between NY and KC throughout the 1950s when the A’s gave up their best players to the Yankees for players the Yankees no longer wanted. Often called the Yankees’ farm team, the A’s had supplied the Yankees with Cerv, Boyer, DeMaestri, Art Ditmar, Ryne Duren, Lopez, Duke Maas, Maris, Bobby Shantz and Ralph Terry. That was 10 of the 25 Yankees who would be on the Yankees 1960 World Series roster.

Friday, May 20, 1960---First place was on the line when the Giants came to Pittsburgh for a 3-game series. Both teams scored a run in the first inning, the Pirates’ run coming on singles by Hoak, Skinner and Stuart. The Pirates staked Harvey Haddix to a 3-1 lead with additional runs in the 4th and 7th. In the 4th, Clemente scored on a single, a ground out and an error. In the 7th, Groat scored on a single, a ground out and a single by Clemente. But the Giants closed to within 3-2 against Haddix in the 8th and tied it 3-3 against Face in the 9th. The 3-3 tie remained until the top of the 12th inning when the Giants took a 4-3 lead against Fred Green. But in the bottom of the 12th, a single by Hoak and a Groat double tied the score at 4-4, and Clemente’s single scored Groat to win the game 5-4. Green (3-1) pitched 3 innings, striking out 5, to get the win. Clemente (.378) had 3 hits. Hoak (.248) and Groat (.307) had 2 apiece. Bill Virdon made his first start since May 7th, but went 0 for 5. Virdon was in a 1 for 16 tailspin that had seen his average fall from .281 to .208. A crowd of 39,437 saw the Pirates (22-10) go 1˝ games up on the Giants.

Starting lineup:
Hoak 3B
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Stuart 1B
Clemente RF
Burgess C
Virdon CF
Mazeroski 2B
Haddix P.

Saturday, May 21, 1960---The Giants got back to within ˝ game of the Pirates (22-11) with a 3-1 win. Orlando Cepeda connected for a 2-run HR off Bob Friend (5-2) in the 2nd inning to take a 2-0 lead. In the fourth, Clemente reached on an infield hit when second baseman Don Blasingame threw wide of first after fielding Clemente’s grounder. Stuart followed by pulling a liner into the left field corner for a double. But Clemente was out at the plate on the relay from left fielder Cepeda to shortstop Bressoud to catcher Hobie Landrith. In the Giants’ 8th, Blasingame led off by lining one into center and hustling for a double as Cimoli’s throw into second was off line. Joey Amalfitano followed by chopping a high hopper over Hoak into left field to score Blasingame. But Skinner’s throw to Mazeroski cut down Amalfitano trying to stretch the hit into as double. But the Giants had a 3-0 lead. The Pirates spoiled the shutout bid in the 9th. Skinner led off with a long opposite field drive over the head of Cepeda for a double. Groat followed with a single up the middle to send Skinner to third. Bud Byerly relieved Johnny Antonelli (3-0). Clemente hit a long drive to center that Mays hauled in in front of the batting cage that was parked against the wall in deep center. Skinner scored on the sac fly. Stuart followed with a smash to third, but it was fielded by Amalfitano for a game ending 5-4-3 DP. The Pirates were held to 6 hits and half of them were doubles by Skinner (.341), Stuart (.266) and Hoak. After a slow start, Hoak had now hit successfully in 15 of his last 36 at-bats to raise his average to .250.

Starting lineup:
Skinner LF
Groat SS
Clemente RF
Stuart 1B
Hoak 3B
Smith C
Cimoli CF
Mazeroski 2B
Friend P.

Sunday, May 22, 1960---The Pirates (23-11) and Giants (21-12) weathered 2 rain delays and fought hard for the rubber-game of the series. Both starters, Jack Sanford and Vern Law, were gone by the 5th inning. SF got 2 in the 2nd and 2 more in the 4th to take a 4-0 lead. But the Pirates rebounded with 3 in their half of the 4th on a single by Skinner, a double by Stuart, and singles by Clemente and Virdon. They tied the game 4-4 in the 5th when Groat singled and scored on a Stuart triple. Mazeroski’s 7th HR in the 6th gave the Bucs a 5-4 lead. But the Giants struck for 3 more in the 7th against relievers Jim Umbricht and Fred Green to take a 7-5 lead. After Danny Kravitz batted for Green in the eighth, Face took over for the Pirates and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. With 1 on and 1 out in the bottom of the 9th, Bob Skinner’s 7th HR of the season tied the game at 7-7. Face pitched a 1-2-3 tenth. And a 1-2-3 eleventh. In the bottom of the 11th, Clemente doubled with one out and moved to third on a groundout by Bob Oldis. The Giants intentionally walked Cimoli and Mazeroski to get to Face. Hal Smith pinch hit for Face and singled home the winning run at 8-7. Elroy Face pitched (3-3) pitched 3 perfect innings earn the win. Face lowered his ERA to 3.91. The Pirates out-hit the Giants 17-9, with Skinner (.351) and Clemente (.382) getting 3 apiece. Groat (.307), Stuart (.269), Virdon (.231) and Mazeroski (.211) each had 2 hits. Clemente went 7 for 15 in the 3-game series.
Starting lineup: Hoak 3B, Groat SS, Skinner LF, Stuart 1B, Clemente RF, Burgess C, Virdon CF, Mazeroski 2B, Law P.

NOTE: Former Pirate reliever Paul Giel died on May 22, 2002 at the age of 69. He had returned to his alma mater and served 18 years as the University of Minnesota’s athletic director. www.gophersports.com

Monday, May 23, 1960---Bennie Daniels (1-2) pitched his best game of the season, but lost to Sandy Koufax (1-4) and the Dodgers, 1-0. It was the first win of the season for Koufax, and the only thing that stood between Koufax and a no-hitter was Daniels’ single in the 2nd inning. The hit was Daniels’ 3rd in 11 at-bats for the season (.273). Koufax was wild early, walking 6 through the first 3 innings. But he retired the last 19 Pirates in order, striking out 10. The Pirates (23-12) did not have a base runner after the 3rd inning. Daniels, who had entered the game with a 7.92 ERA, matched Koufax with goose eggs through 6 innings, but allowed the only run of the game in the 7th on doubles by Norm Larker and Tommy Davis. The effort lowered Daniels’ ERA to 6.15 after 5 starts. There were only a total of 5 hits in the game as Koufax gave up 1, Daniels gave up 4 hits and Face pitched 2 hitless innings in relief.

Starting lineup:
Skinner LF
Groat SS
Clemente RF
Stuart 1B
Hoak 3B
Smith C
Cimoli CF
Mazeroski 2B
Daniels P.

Tuesday, May 24, 1960---The Pirates (23-13) dropped their second straight to the Dodgers as Johnny Podres (3-4) defeated Joe Gibbon (3-2) by a score of 4-2. Podres pitched a complete game, yielding only 2 runs despite giving up 8 hits and 5 walks. The Bucs stranded 9 runners. Gibbon gave up a 2-run HR to Gil Hodges in the 2nd inning. The Bucs got 1 back in their half of the 2nd on a double by Smith and a Cimoli single. In the Dodger 4th, a sacrifice bunt attempt by Charlie Neal was fielded by Gibbon and thrown into right field, allowing Junior Gilliam to score and sending Neal to third, where he scored on Frank Howard’s sac fly. The Bucs got a run back in their half of the 5th when Skinner singled, Groat walked and Clemente doubled. Paul Giel and Fred Green combined to give the Bucs 4 scoreless innings of relief in the losing effort. Clemente (.375) and Mazeroski (.217) each had 2 hits for the Pirates.

Starting lineup:
Skinner LF
Groat SS
Clemente RF
Stuart 1B
Hoak 3B
Smith C
Cimoli CF
Mazeroski 2B
Gibbon P.

Wednesday, May 25, 1960---The Dodgers completed the 3-game sweep at Forbes Field with a 5-1 win over the Pirates (23-14). The sweep dropped the Pirates a game behind the Giants (23-12) in the standings. Bob Friend was scratched due to illness and Jim Umbricht started instead. Frank Howard tagged Umbricht (0-2) for a mammoth 574-foot solo-HR in the 2nd inning and, 2 batters later, John Roseboro added a 2-run shot. Pirate lefty Don Gross allowed a solo HR to Don Demeter in the 6th, and Paul Giel was touched for a run in the 8th as the Dodgers took a 5-0 lead. The Bucs finally got on the boards with firstbaseman Rocky Nelson’s HR in the 9th. This was only Nelson’s 3rd start of the season, but his first HR was just one fewer than Stuart, who had started the other 34 games at 1B. Don Drysdale (4-4) scattered 5 hits and struck out 7 to get the complete-game win. The Pirates had managed only 14 hits and 3 runs in the 3-game series.

Starting lineup:
Hoak 3B
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Nelson 1B
Clemente RF
Burgess C
Virdon CF
Mazeroski 2B
Umbricht P.

Thursday, May 26, 1960—The Pirates had an off-day before beginning a series with the Phillies at Forbes Field. Clemente led the Pirates with a .372 average and 35 RBIs. Mazeroski and Skinner shared the team HR lead with 7. The catching platoon of Burgess (.343) and Smith (.286) had been very productive with 7 HRs and 29 RBIs between them. However, Dick Stuart, coming off a strong 1959 season in which he had hit .297 with 27 HRs, still had only 2 HRs for the year, and Hoak (.227), Virdon (.218) and Mazeroski (.218) continued to struggle.

Friend and Law were a combined 11-3, but there were questions about the pitching staff. Haddix and Gibbon had been inconsistent and Daniels and Umbricht had struggled as starters. After a slow start, Face had picked it up and lowered his ERA to 3.62. Green, with a 3.20 ERA, was getting most of the left-handed work out of the bullpen, as Gibbon was the only other lefty in the pen.


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