Thank goodness June is over. My dad used to tell me about the Giants and their infamous June swoon that seemed to happen every few years. Well, it’s been a few, but it happened again this year. Of course, Dad, being a Braves fan (as in Milwaukee Braves) almost took me to the most famous pitching duel in the history of baseball.
It was 51 years ago today that right-hander Juan Marichal, age 25, of the Giants and the Braves’ aging wonder at 42, left-hander Warren Spahn took the mound. Sixteen innings later they were still at it in a scoreless game.
Recently, Dodger fans have made a big deal about their pitcher, Clayton Kershaw pitching 28 scoreless innings in a row. Spahn would pitch 151 consecutive scoreless innings in 1963. Today’s pitchers get pulled when they get around 100 pitches.
On that chilly Tuesday night at Candlestick, Spahn would throw 201 pitches, Marichal 227. In the ninth inning Giants’ manager Alvin Dark came to the mound to tell Marichal the bullpen would be taking over. Marichal refused to give his manager the ball and pointed to the Braves dugout. “I’m not coming out of the game as long as that old man is pitching,” said Marichal...