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Lakers Beat Celtics, Sutton Pitches a Gem for Dodgers, May 2, 1969

May 2, 2009 | 10:00 am


Don Sutton, March 17, 1967

Don Sutton's throwing style, as portrayed by Times artist Russ Arasmith.

May 2, 1969, Sports Don Sutton capped off two consecutive nights of extraordinary pitching in the cold of Candlestick Park.

Sutton one-hit the Giants, giving up only a shot off the left-field fence by Jim Davenport in the eighth inning. The previous night, the Giants' Juan Marichal pitched a two-hitter. Bill Singer had one of the two Dodger hits.

There was some controversy in Sutton's game. In the eighth, Willie McCovey hit a grounder to second that Ted Sizemore knocked down. His throw was late and the play was ruled an error. Then things got interesting. Here's Dan Hafner's account in The Times:

"McCovey glared at the press box when the call was flashed on the scoreboard, then after the inning, he telephoned to file a protest."  

Marichal's victory might have been wind-aided. Hafner wrote: "The winds, which often reach hurricane proportions, were in full swing. ... San Francisco fans make a production of attending night ballgames at this park, which largely due to the high winds, is almost worn out.

"Most of them bring heavy blankets and wear long underwear. Others carry thermos bottles filled with something stronger than coffee."

Marichal said he couldn't remember the weather so tough and revealed his secret to surviving the winds: "The only thing you can do is put hot stuff on your body."

::

Jerry West pulled a hamstring late in the Lakers' 117-104 victory over the Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the Forum. The victory gave the Lakers a 3-2 lead in the series, but West's injury and uncertain status gave the Lakers very little reason to celebrate.

West had another big offensive game with 39 points, 28 of which came in the second half. But he took himself out with 2:20 remaining. West had missed 21 games during the regular season with a pulled hamstring in his right leg. He hurt his left leg in Game 5.

Boston's John Havlicek said the Celtics weren't thinking about West's availability for Game 6 in Boston: "He's been hurt before in big games and he's always come back."

The Lakers weren't so sure. Here's how The Times' Jeff Prugh described Wilt Chamberlain's mood:

"And what if West is sidelined? Can the Lakers sustain their momentum without him? Chamberlain answered without any hesitation. 'I don't think so,' he said."

--Keith Thursby



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