Dodgers know how this goes
The Dodgers’ current hitting woes have Vin Scully thinking back to other difficult times in team history.
On Sunday, a day after the Dodgers won, 1-0, despite being no-hit by the Angels’ Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo, Scully talked to The Times’ Mike DiGiovanna about a time when the team wasn’t giving Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale much support.
On June 4, 1964, in Philadelphia, Koufax pitched the third of his four no-hitters -- the fourth was a perfect game in 1965. Drysdale wasn’t at the game, and it was Scully who told him later at the team hotel that Koufax had pitched a no-hitter.
Scully said Drysdale’s response was: “How did we come out?”
In this case, the Dodgers won, 3-0.
Scully also recalled a classic line from Leo Durocher, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ manager in the 1940s. Scully, who joined the Dodgers in 1950, had heard that Durocher, during a particularly bad hitting slump, once said that “managing this team is like going to war with a broom.”
Mark Gardner of the Montreal Expos pitched nine no-hit innings against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 26, 1991, but lost in the 10th, 1-0, when Darryl Strawberry knocked in the lone run against Expos reliever Jeff Fassero. On June 14, 1965, Jim Maloney pitched 10 hitless innings for the Cincinnati Reds against the New York Mets, then lost, 1-0, when the Mets’ Johnny Lewis led off the 11th with a home run.
What else do Gardner and Maloney have in common?
Probably the most famous losing no-hit performance was turned in by Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Milwaukee Braves on May 26, 1959. Haddix took a perfect game into the 13th inning.
A fielding error by Don Hoak ended the perfect game. Then came a sacrifice, an intentional walk to Hank Aaron and a two-out home run by Joe Adcock.
The final score should have been 3-0, but in the confusion Aaron left the basepath and was passed by Adcock for the second out. Eventually National League President Warren Giles ruled Adcock’s homer a double, so only the first run counted and the final scored ended up 1-0.
Reader Jerry Clark heard this one from TBS baseball commentator Ron Darling, talking about the Reds’ Adam Dunn: “He’s so strong he blows bubbles with beef jerky.”
Gardner and Maloney are both from Fresno. Gardner pitched for current national champion Fresno State in 1984 and ’85.
Shaquille O’Neal is taking a lot of heat these days for his rap attack on Kobe Bryant, but it’s not something new for O’Neal to put his overly sensitive ego on display.
For instance, there was one time when he was on the radio with Joe McDonnell and Doug Krikorian during his days with the Lakers and a caller complimented O’Neal profusely, telling him how great he was. But the caller also suggested that O’Neal might be even greater if he worked on his free-throw shooting.
Instead of thanking the caller and admitting his free-throw shooting could use some work, O’Neal went ballistic, saying, “I’ll meet you at any playground, any time, any where, and beat your . . .”
Presumably, he was talking about beating the caller in a free-throw-shooting contest.
Two days after Gardner’s missed opportunity against the Dodgers, the Expos’ Dennis Martinez no-hit them. And the 10-inning, no-hit losing performance by Maloney against the Mets was not the only 10-inning, no-hit game he had in 1965, when he was 20-9. The other came against the Chicago Cubs, and Maloney won that game, 1-0.
So he was 1-1 in 10-inning no-hitters in one season. Now there’s a record that, guaranteed, will never be equaled.
That’s as safe as predicting the recent best-of-three College World Series championship series, featuring Fresno State and Georgia, would be won by the Bulldogs.