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Six in a row for Drysdale

June 5, 2008 |  8:51 am

June 5, 1968

By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

1968_0605_sports This time, no ninth-inning escapes were needed for Don Drysdale to continue his remarkable season.

The Dodgers defeated the Pirates, 5-0, as Drysdale passed Carl Hubbell's record for scoreless innings en route to his sixth consecutive shutout.

Drysdale faced little of the drama he survived in his last start, when he hit the Giants' Dick Dietz with the bases loaded in the ninth inning only to see the umpire rule the batter didn't try to avoid the pitch.  Drysdale eventually got out of the inning without giving up a run.

Against the Pirates, he broke Hubbell's mark of 46 1/3 scoreless innings in the second when he struck out Bill Mazeroski. It was apparently all downhill from there, although stories in The Times credited second baseman Paul Popovich with making three outstanding plays to help protect the shutout.

Some of the Pirates praised Drysdale but at least one spoke openly about suggestions that he was using something extra on the baseball.

"He had the best sinker in baseball, no rotation, just like a knuckleball," Don Clendenon told The Times' Dwight Chapin. "He was great. His Vaseline ball worked real good. Was it a Vaseline ball? I don't think. I know it was.

"But more power to him. Great, tremendous. I hope he gets 200 innings in a row."

Former teammate Maury Wills started at third base for the Pirates that night. "Give him credit, he pitched a good game," Wills said. "There's no use trying to pick apart what he was throwing or what he was doing."