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Monday, January 30 2023 @ 08:24 am UTC
1960 Revisited - August 22   
By Bobster

Monday, August 22, 1960---The Pirates were off as they traveled to Chicago to take on the Cubs. Groat led the Pirates with a .323 average. Stuart led in HRs with 16. Clemente led with 74 RBIs. Groat and Skinner each had 24 doubles. Skinner, Virdon and Hoak were tied for the team led with 6 triples. Skinner’s 10 SBs led the team.

The return of Clemente to the lineup following his chin injury in early August had resulted in a change in Danny Murtaugh’s center field situation. Prior to Clemente’s injury on August 5th, centerfield had largely been a L/R platoon with Virdon and Cimoli. Cimoli had been obtained in the off season to be the fourth outfielder. And Virdon had batted just .236 against LHP in 1959. But Virdon slumped early in the season and Cimoli got hot and forced a CF platoon. By the time of Clemente’s injury of August 5th, Virdon had started 55 games in center and Cimoli had started 46 there while also starting several games in RF. But while Clemente was missing 5 games with his chin injury, prompting Cimoli to play RF, Virdon went 7 for 21 (.333) to raise his seasonal average to .279. And when Clemente returned on August 12th, Cimoli was in an 0 for 12 tailspin. It became 0 for 16 when Cimoli filled in for Skinner in LF a day later. With Virdon hitting well and Cimoli slumping, Murtaugh handed the CF job to Virdon every day. Cimoli started only 8 more games in CF after Clemente returned to right on August 12th. In that same time span, Virdon started 38 games in CF. The 38/8 split beginning August 6th was far different from the 55/46 split prior to August 6th. Both Virdon and Cimoli had been starting centerfielders for the Cardinals before being traded to the Pirates. Cimoli had been acquired after the 1959 season. Virdon had been acquired during the 1956 season.

On the pitching staff, Law (18-5, 2.76 ERA), Friend (13-10, 2.96) and Mizell (8-3, 3.15) led the starting pitchers. In the bullpen, Face was 8-6 with 17 saves and a 3.05 ERA. Fred Green was 6-4 with 3 saves and a 3.49 ERA. And in his 3 appearances so far, Clem Labine had one save and a 1.23 ERA.

Pirate pitchers were helping themselves with the bat, as well. Green was hitting .375 with 2 HRs. Face was at .333. Umbricht had hit .333 before being optioned to AAA. Gibbon was at .250. Cheney was hitting .231. Haddix was at .224 and Law was hitting .200. The Pirates were hitting .274 as a team.

Meanwhile, the Yankees purchased former Pirate slugger Dale Long from SF to add power to their bench for their stretch drive toward the A.L. pennant.

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