July 23, 1962: Lefty Jim O’Toole retires the first 22 batters he faces before settling for a one-hitter in a Reds 3-0 shut out over the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the sixth straight Reds win and kept them in fourth place, 9 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Through five innings, O’Toole and Pirate starter Bob Friend had battled to a 0-0 tie. O’Toole had not allowed a baserunner; Friend had scattered four hits; neither pitcher had walked a batter. The Reds had threatened to score in the bottom of the first as Eddie Kasko had left off the game with a double and Don Blasingame had sacrificed him to third base, but Friend struck out Vada Pinson and Jerry Lynch to end the threat. Kasko was the only player to reach third base for either team through the first five innings.
The Reds got on the board with three runs in the sixth. Pinson singled with one and then stole second base. Lynch singled to right, scoring Pinson with the first run of the game. Frank Robinson then reached on an infield single to third base, and Gordy Coleman followed with a single to right field, scoring Lynch with Robinson stopping at second base. The Pirates replaced Friend with Diomedes Olivo and Johnny Edwards greeted him with run scoring single with Coleman being thrown out at third base. Leo Cardenas singled to left, but O’Toole’s bunt popped out to the pitcher for the third and last out of the inning. Those were the last hits of the night for the Reds.
O’Toole sailed through the seventh inning and struck out Dick Stuart to open the Pirates’ eighth before Bob Skinner broke up his perfect game with a double to centerfield. He was left stranded at second base. The Pirates’ Bill Virdon did draw a walk from O’Toole in the ninth, the second and last Pirate baserunner in the game.
O’Toole went nine full innings, allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out six in the 3-0 effort. His pitching game score was a 90 for this game. The win improved his record to 9-11 and he finished the season with a 16-13 mark. The Reds sported two 20-game winners in 1962 with Bob Purkey going 23-5 with a 2.81 ERA in his best season and Joey Jay finishing the year 21-14 with a 3.76 ERA. Youngster Jim Maloney was the only other Reds pitcher to get more than 10 starts and he finished the year 9-7 with a 3.51 ERA.
After winning the National League championship in 1961, the Reds finished 1962 in third place, 3 1/2 games behind the league champion San Francisco Giants. The Giants had defeated the Dodgers two games to one in a 3-game playoff to determine the league champion as they had finished the season tied at 101-61. The Reds finished their season at 98-64.