1960 Revisited - June 2-9

Wednesday, June 30 2010 @ 06:07 pm UTC

Contributed by: Bobster

By Bobster
June 2-9, 1960

Friday, June 3, 1960---Vern Law (8-1) followed Bob Friendís shutout over the Reds with one of his own against the Phillies. Law scattered 8 hits and a walk as the Bucs topped Philadelphia 3-0. The Pirates (29-14) scored all their runs in the 3rd inning. Law reached on an error, Hoak walked, Groat sacrificed the runners ahead and Skinner was intentionally walked. Rocky Nelson drove in Law with the first run and Clementeís double scored Hoak and Skinner. Groat (.333) had a pair of hits for Pittsburgh. He was now 16 for 23 in his past 5 games. The shutout was Lawís second of the year, his 7th complete game, and lowered his ERA to 2.62. It was the Piratesí 6th win in a row, and they continued to lead the Giants by 2 games

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

Saturday, June 4, 1960---Another rainout for the Pirates. A win by the Giants narrowed the Bucsí hold on 1st place to 1Ĺ games. The Pirates and Phillies were already scheduled for a Sunday doubleheader the next day, so the rainout make-up would have to wait. Clemente was hitting .348. Skinner was hitting .339. Groat was at .333. Burgess was hitting .326. Cimoli was hitting .313. Smith was at .291. Nelson was hitting .286. On the other hand, Stuart was hitting .240. Hoak was hitting .231. Mazeroski was at .226. And Virdon was at .200.

Sunday, June 5, 1960---The Pirates ended their 6-game winning streak by dropping a doubleheader to last-place Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the Giants lost but narrowed the gap to 1 game behind Pittsburgh. The Phillies' Gene Conley (3-3) shut the Pirates out in the first game, 2-0, despite allowing 10 hits and 2 walks. The Bucs stranded 11 runners. Clemente had 3 hits and Hoak (.230) had 2 more. Bob Friend (6-3) allowed only 2 runs in 6 innings but took the loss. Face (2.83 ERA) pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief. The recent rainouts and off-days enabled Danny Murtaugh to get an extra start from Friend. Friend pitched on June 1. Then, following an off-day, Law pitched on June 3rd. Then after the June 4th rain-out, Friend pitched again, meaning that only one game had been played between Friendís last 2 starts.

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

The Phillies won Game 2, 4-1. Jim Owens (3-5) held the Pirates (29-16) scoreless until the 8th inning when Dick Stuart (.247) got his 3rd HR of the season with no one on. Stuartís HR broke a 22-inning scoreless streak by Pittsburgh. The Phillies had scored one run against Harvey Haddix through 6 innings and 3 more when Jim Umbricht took over in the 7th. Haddix (3-2) lowered his ERA to 3.78 but Umbrichtís ERA climbed to 6.33. Clemente (.360) had 2 hits for the Pirates.

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

Despite having 3 catchers on the roster, Burgess caught both ends of the doubleheader.

Monday, June 6, 1960---The Pirates (29-16) were off as they traveled to Chicago for a 3-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Vern Law was 8-1. Bob Friend (6-3) had a 2.16 ERA. Bill Mazeroski, despite batting 8th and carrying a .229 average was leading the team with 8 HRs and was tied for second in RBIs with 29. Officially, Roberto Clemente was leading the Bucs with a .360 average. But the highest average for any position player belonged to Dick Schofield (just 16 at bats, but a .438 average). Pitchers Fred Green (3-for-4 including 2 HRs for .750) and Jim Umbricht (2-for-5 for. 400) also had nice batting averages. Other team leaders on June 6th included Clemente (68 hits and 43 RBIs), Groat (13 doubles), Skinner, (5 triples) and Skinner/Virdon (4 stolen bases).

Tuesday, June 7, 1960---The Piratesí (29-17) woes continued as they dropped their 3rd straight and again struggled to score runs. In addition, the Pirates committed 4 errors. Dick Ellsworth (3-2) held the Bucs scoreless until the 8th inning and the Cubs roughed up Vern Law (8-2) for 5 runs in 1 2/3 innings as they went on to win 13-2. The Cubs broke the game wide open with 8 runs in 4 innings against reliever Bennie Daniels before Jim Umbricht shut the Cubs down over the final 2 innings. Danielís ERA climbed to 7.72 while Umbricht lowered his to 5.90. Paul Giel, who pitched a scoreless 1/3 inning, lowered his ERA to 6.11. The Pirates had 4 errors in the game. Trailing 10-0 in the fourth inning, Murtaugh gave a rest to two of his everyday players: Skinner was replaced by Joe Christopher in LF and Schofield replaced Groat as shortstop. The Pirates trailed 13-0 until Stuartís sac fly knocked in Christopher in the 8th after walks to Christopher and Schofield and a bunt hit by Clemente. Bill Virdonís pinch-hit single in the 9th drove in Gino Cimoli with the Bucsí only other run after Cimoli had singled and advanced to second on an error. Cimoli (.299) snapped a 1-for-11 mini-slump by getting 2 of the Piratesí 7 hits. Fortunately for the Pirates, the second-place Giants also lost.

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

Wednesday, June 8, 1960---With the Pirates clinging to first place by one game, despite a 3-game losing streak in which they had managed more errors (5) than runs (3), Danny Murtaugh made several significant lineup decisions. First, Don Hoak (.220) was permanently moved to the seventh slot in the order. Hoak had been batting 5th against lefthanders and leading off against righthanders. But Hoak was always better suited as a run producer than a lead-off batter. And he had been very streaky so far during the season. In addition, Murtaugh re-instituted the Virdon-Cimoli platoon in CF. After the first week of May, Murtaugh had given the CF job to the hot-hitting Gino Cimoli. In the ensuing month, Cimoli had played well and was still out-hitting Virdon .299 to .213. But Virdonís valuable defense in CF could not be ignored. Virdon would now play CF and bat lead-off against righthanders with Skinner 3rd and Clemente 5th. Against lefthanders, Cimoli would replace Virdon in CF. But Cimoli would now be hitting 5th against lefthanders (where Hoak had previously batted) and Hoak would hit 7th (where Cimoli had been batting). Skinner would continue batting lead-off against lefthanders, as he had done all season, with Clemente 3rd.

The new lineup showed instant results as the Bucs snapped their losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Cubs. The Pirates (30-17) got a run in the 2nd on a single by Stuart, a Clemente force out, a single by Burgess and a wild pitch. Skinnerís 8th HR in the 3rd made it 2-0. Dick Stuart hit a 2-run shot, his 4th, in the 5th inning, and the Bucs added 1 more in the 6th when Mazeroski reached on an error, Virdon walked and Groat singled to make it a 5-0 game. Vinegar Bend Mizell, making his 2nd start as a Pirate, took a shutout into the 7th inning. But the Cubs rallied for 3 runs in the 7th before Green and Face ended the rally. Face entered the game with the score 5-3, the bases loaded and 1 out. He got Ernie Banks on a fly out to shallow right and Ed Bouchee on a ground ball to first base to end the inning. Face finished the game, pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Face had now been unscored upon in his last 16 1/3 innings to lower his ERA to 2.63, second-best on the team. Smoky Burgess (.337) had 3 hits and Stuart (.253) had 2. Virdon (.200) went 0-for-4 in his first game batting lead-off. Hoak (.220) went 0-for 4 in his first game batting seventh. Mizell, recently acquired from the Cardinals, improved his record to 2-3 overall, and 1-0 as a Pirate. The Giants kept pace with a 2-1 win over Cincinnati.

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

Thursday, June 9, 1960---Bob Friend got his 7th win as the Pirates (31-17) defeated the Cubs 11-3. The Pirates took a 2-game lead over second-place SF. The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the 1st but the Bucs came right back with 3 in the second, sparked by Hal Smithís 2-run double after Stuart singled and Clemente walked. Smith took third base on a sacrifice by Hoak and scored on Mazeroskiís sac fly. The Pirates added 2 more in the 4th when Stuart, Clemente and Smith all walked and Hoakís single plated a pair. Singles by Clemente, Smith and Hoak added another run 1 in the 6th to make it 6-1. Ernie Banksí 2-run HR against Friend in the 6th made it 6-3. The teams went into the 9th inning with the Bucs still ahead 6-3. But the Pirates put the game out of reach with a 5-run 9th inning outburst. Smith began the inning with a walk and was run for by Schofield. Hoak walked and Mazeroski bunted toward third base, where former Pirate Frank Thomas fielded the ball and threw wildly to first. Schofield scores while Hoak and Mazeroski advanced 2 bases. A walk to Nelson leaded the bases, and a run scored when Virdonís grounder to first base was booted. Skinnerís single scored a pair and sent Virdon to third. Then Virdon and Skinner executed a double steal, with Virdon scoring. The final was 11-3. Friend (7-3) went 7 innings, and Fred Green pitched 2 scoreless innings while picking up his third save. The Pirates scored their 11 runs on only 8 hits. But Cub pitchers walked 8 Pirate batters. Don Hoak (.227), now batting in the 7th spot, had 2 hits and 3 RBIs. Smith (.308) also had 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Bill Virdon (.186) went 0-for-5 in the lead-off spot but stole home for his 5th stolen base of the year. Bob Skinner was leading the Pirates in steals with 6.

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


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