Tuesday, January 24, 2017

World Series: Did You Know?

Mickey Mantle and Tony Kubek were the only Yankees to get hits off both Don Drysdale in 1963. The Los Angeles Dodger had the arms. And the Yankees, were in their back pockets.

Kubek had fanned to start game one, and Mantle could do no better than walk by the end of it. Koufax was out there pitching at Yankee Stadium, and clearly getting the better of Whitey Ford. The Yankee batters, too.

Mantle fanned in the second for the fourth K in a row by Koufax. In the bottom of the eighth, it was Los Angeles 5, New York, 0. Phil Linz batted for Stan Williams, who'd pitched three relief innings, and struck out. Kubek got an infield single. Bobby Richardson fanned. Tom Tresh hit a two-run home run. That made it 5-2. Mantle walked. But that was Koufax's third and last one he'd issue. Joe Pepitone got the home team's sixth and final hit in the ninth, the Dodgers winners 5-2.

Johnny Podres won the second contest 4-1, and this thing headed out west. The home team sent Don Drysdale to the hill, and he was on a mission of great pitching skill. Tony Kubek started the game by grounding out. The Dodgers held the Yankees scoreless in that inning, while scoring one against Jim Bouton in the bottom of the frame. That was all Don needed.

Mantle bunted for a hit to start the top of the second. Joe Pepitone was hit. The Yankees later loaded the bases when Clete Boyer, who'd gotten a hit off Koufax in game one, was walked intentionally. Bouton couldn't get the job done. Drysdale fanned him.

Kubek reached on an error the next time up, but was now 0-2. Worse still, Drysdale picked him off. Working on a one-hitter in the top of the sixth, the first batter was Kubek. This time, he singled. Bobby Richardson bunted him to second. Tom Tresh grounded out. As the score was still 1-0, Los Angeles, the tying run was 90 feet away. And Mickey Mantle was the batter. Drysdale fanned him.

Clete Boyer and Yogi Berra were retired to start the eighth inning, but Kubek kept it going with his second hit of the game, a single. He was forced at second by Richardson.

Tresh fanned. Mantle grounded out to first, and Pepitone gave it a ride to right in the top of the ninth. The Dodgers had won, 1-0.

Koufax fanned Kubek to start the fourth game, and the Yankees were in trouble again. Tresh ended the 1-2-3 inning with a K. Mantle, Howard and Hector Lopez got it to the outfield in the second frame, but none of 'em dropped in.

Pepitone and Boyer fanned in the third. Richardson hit a double in the fourth for the visitor's first hit, but he was stranded. Frank Howard hit a solo home run off Whitey Ford for a 1-0 Dodger lead in the fifth. Kubek was having no luck. He grounded back to Koudax in the fourth and sixth.

Mantle tied it in the top of the seventh with a home run, only to watch the Dodger regain the lead in the bottom of the frame. Phil Linz, batting for Ford, singled with one out in the top of the eighth. Kubek was next, and looking to help tie the game. He hit into an inning-ending double play.

Los Angeles was retired 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, but still carried a 2-1 lead into the top of the ninth. Richardson singled. Tresh and Mantle sadly looked at strike three, pushing Koufax's total to eight for the game and 23 for the 1963 Fall Classic.

Elston Howard reached on an error. Two on, two out. The Yankees were battlin' to the end. But on Koufax's first pitch to Hector Lopez, a grounder to Maury Wills ended it. The Los Angeles Dodgers had the sweep.

It wasn't easy to get hits off Koufax or Drysdale in 1963. New York managed just six off Sandy in game one, and six more in game four (Although Ford allowed just two hits in the finale. Bouton himself gave up just four hits himself in his game three loss to Drysdale). Drysdale finished the third contest with a three-hitter, and a shutout. The Dodgers were simply a team you needed to avoid in the World Series with Koufax and Drysdale around!


Sports Reference LLC. Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information. http://www.baseball-reference.com/. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

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