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Dodgers Slaughter Giants, Who Exhibit Poor Defense

May 10, 1964 - The National League-leading Giants were so bad today that they almost obscured the fact that L.A.’s Don Drysdale was terrific.

The tall Dodger right-hander beat San Francisco, 9-1, in a laugher. But the 42,776 fans at Candlestick Park weren’t laughing nearly as much as the vast television audience in Southern California.

The Giants dropped balls, bobbled balls, and stared at bunts as though they had never seen them before. They gave the Dodgers one run by tossing the ball around the infield.

The Dodgers needed a win today, and Drysdale furnished it with a fine six-hitter. Ironically, although Giant manager Alvin Dark put four lefties into his lineup, all six Giant hits were by right-handed swingers.

Willie Mays smacked two doubles in four trips, stretching his hit streak to 17 games and maintaining his .481 batting average. Willie drove in the Giants’ only run, his 30th RBI of the season.

Jim Gilliam’s two-run triple in the third was enough to beat Jack Sanford. Gilliam scored a few minutes later on a wild pitch.

Johnny Roseboro smacked a homer off Sanford in the sixth, and big Frank Howard clobbered his 10th of the season in the eighth, a two-run shot off Gaylord Perry. The Dodgers scored five runs in the eighth and bunted the Giants silly.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve scored nine runs,” Dodger manager Walter Alston said afterward.

Asked if he thought the rampage heralded the end of a hit famine, Walt answered: “We’ll have to wait awhile and see what happens. I hope so. We have been losing games by one run. Our pitching is all right. We’re just missing the quota of runs we were getting last year. Excluding pitchers, Maury Wills has been our only consistent guy since the season started. I mean hitting, fielding, and running the bases. He’s been tremendous.”

Drysdale, on top of his six-hitter, started a three-run rally in the third with a ringing double against the centerfield fence that somehow eluded the grasp of sure-handed Willie Mays.

“Sanford just got the pitch a little fatter than he intended,” beamed Don.

Was this his best effort?

“I had one in L.A. a little stronger,” he replied.

What about Mays?

“After he got that first double, I was going to try a little experiment with him — a changeup low and outside,” said Don. “But I got it high and inside. Willie’s eyes got bigger than a silver dollar when he spotted the pitch coming up. I’m lucky it didn’t go over the fence.”

But he did get out Willie McCovey, his usual nemesis. Was he trying new and effective experiments on McCovey?

“No, I was just moving the ball around,” he said. “You can’t pitch to batters like him any one way. And no matter what you throw up, a good hitter, will get his hits. You can even throw up the resin bag, and he’ll hit it over the infield.”

Alston had the same reaction to McCovey.

“Like anyone else, when McCovey is hitting he’ll blast good or bad pitches,” said Walt. “When he’s not hitting, you can get him out on anything.”

Dodger coach Leo Durocher, manager of the Giants when Willie Mays first came to the majors in 1951, was asked if he saw anything different in Mays on his current hot streak.

“He looks just the same as the day he put on his first Giant uniform,” said Leo. “I thought he was great then, and nobody would listen to me. Sure, there are other great players — Mantle and Kaline, for example. But they don’t play like this kid.”

Alston inserted: “Kid? He just had his 33rd birthday.”

“Yeah,” countered Leo, “but he plays like a kid.”

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