Aug. 22, 1963 - Juan Marichal survived a grand slam by Joe Torre today and pitched his 19th victory of the season as the Giants gained an 8-6 decision over the Braves at Candlestick Park. Marichal was greatly assisted by a spectacular demonstration in versatility by Willie Mays. Willie’s contributions:
— A great diving catch that robbed Lee Maye of an extra base hit in the third. “I didn’t think he had a chance to make that catch,” Maye said afterward, shaking his head. “He’s the only one who could have made it.”
— A seventh-inning single that scored Willie McCovey with the winning run.
— Scoring an insurance run on a short passed ball.
— Breakup of what would have been an inning-ending double play in the third, enabling the Giants to go on to score four runs, capped by Felipe Alou’s first homer in a month. How did Willie do it? He pressured Roy McMillan on the relay, and haste made waste. “I just didn’t get rid of the ball in time,” growled McMillan afterward. “He couldn’t get the ball out of his glove,” chimed in Braves manager Bob Bragan. Giant manager Al Dark’s version was this: “McMillan knew Mays was coming at him fast, and that’s a little different than having someone else come at you. When Willie comes in, the shortstop tries to rush his throw and get out of the way. So, McMillan made a quicker grab for the ball and only got a piece of it.” As for Marichal, he wasn’t too proud of his pitching effort, noting: “I can pitch better than that. But I was happy to win. Coming from the hot weather to San Francisco, it seems like I have trouble the first time out.” Juan said Torre’s slam, the first of Joe’s career, came off a low outside fastball. “I had been pitching him tight,” said Marichal. “I thought I’d fool him with a fastball low outside. It was a good pitch — but not for him! It was the only one like that I threw to him, and you saw what happened.” The victory kept San Francisco 7½ games back of the Dodgers, so Dark was not doing handsprings. “If we can pare their lead to three games by September 10,” the Giant skipper said, “I think we have the advantage because of the schedule.” But Dark is counting heavily on winning five of the seven games the Giants and Dodgers still have to play. “I’ll settle for that,” he said. “That’s the way we can pick up three games on them.”