Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pitchers winning three games in a World Series.

Giant manager Bruce Bochy made the right decision in not panicking and starting Madison Bumgarner in last night's game four against Kansas City.  Bumgarner is a big strong 24 years old who has sometimes seemed invincible in the Major Baseball League (MBL) tournament in 2010, 2012 and 2014, especially in the finals.  The problem is that Bumgarner has never pitched a MBL game on fewer than four days rest.  The choice was not between Madison Bumgarner and 36 year old Ryan Vogelsong.  The choice was between Madison Bumgarner with less rest than he's ever had and a well rested Ryan Vogelsong.

It's amazing how many people still cling to the fantasy that a pitcher can start and win three games in the World Series: games one, four and seven.  Thirteen pitchers have won three games in a World Series, none more than once, three in the first two WS, only one since 1968.  Eight of the 13 occurred between 1903 and 1920.  Since 1920 only three started and won three games: Lew Brurdette 1957, Bob Gibson 1967 and Mickey Lolich 1968.  The only pitcher ever to start and win games 1, 4, 7 in a best of seven: Bob Gibson 1967. Stan Coveleski did it in a best of nine: 1920. These pitchers won a game in relief: Wood, Faber, Brecheen and Randy Johnson, the most recent three game winner (2001).

One of the key things that people overlook for a modern starter to win games 1, 4, 7 is that the pitcher will be going on short rest, not once, but twice: both games 4 and 7.  The chances of success are probably quite low.

Most wins by a pitcher in a single World Series (WS):


RankPlayerWIPSeries/Year
1.Deacon Phillippe344.01903 WS
Bill Dinneen335.01903 WS
Babe Adams327.01909 WS
Lew Burdette327.01957 WS
Jack Coombs327.01910 WS
Stan Coveleski327.01920 WS
Red Faber327.01917 WS
Bob Gibson327.01967 WS
Mickey Lolich327.01968 WS
Christy Mathewson327.01905 WS
Smoky Joe Wood322.01912 WS
Harry Brecheen320.01946 WS
Randy Johnson317.12001 WS

1903 World Series (5-3): Boston Americans (91-47) over Pittsburgh Pirates (91-49)

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Deacon Phillippe445320wwWLl
Bill Dinneen354310WlwW

Best of nine and went eight games over 13 days.  Deacon Phillippe threw 44 innings for Pittsburgh, started five games, won three, lost two.  For Boston Bill Dinneen threw 35 innings, started four, won three, lost one; Cy Young started three, relieved in one, 2-1; Tom Hughes started the other game, pitched two innings and lost.  Dinneen defeated Phillippe in the eighth and final game, which was played in Boston.  Phillippe pitched the most innings by far of any of the three game winners.  Dinneen was the only other with more than 27 innings, which was done by 8 of the 13.
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1905 World Series (4-1): New York Giants (105-48) over Philadelphia Athletics (92-56)


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Christy Mathewson273300wwW

1909 Library of Congress
via Wikimedia Commons
Mathewson's legendary three complete game shutouts in six days.  In 1912 Mathewson "Wood" be victimized by a three win pitcher.  Dummy Taylor (first name Luther) (16-9) was scheduled to pitch game three but it was rained out and Taylor never became the first deaf person to pitch in a World Series.  Matty was 24 in 1905: 31-9, 1.28 ERA, 338.66 innings, 8 shutouts, 3 saves in 6 relief appearances.
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1909 World Series (4-3): Pittsburgh Pirates (110-42) over Detroit Tigers (98-54)


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Babe Adams273300WWw
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1910 World Series (4-1): Philadelphia Athletics (102-48) over Chicago Cubs (104-50)


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Jack Coombs273300WwW
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1912 World Series (4-3-1): Boston Red Sox (105-47) over New York Giants (103-48)


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Smoky Joe Wood224311wwLWr

Wood pitched complete game victories on the road in New York in games one and four. Game two ended in an 11 inning 6-6 tie with Mathewson going all the way for the Giants in Boston.  Mathewson lost game five in Boston 2-1.  Wood started game seven in Boston but allowed six runs, all earned, in the first and was relieved; Wood was charged with the 11-4 loss.  But in game eight in Boston Wood relieved in the 8th of a 1-1 tie; Wood allowed a run in the 10th but Mathewson allowed two unearned runs in the bottom of the 10th.  Wood won, Mathewson lost.  Mathewson pitched three complete games of 11, 9, 9.66 innings: tie, loss, loss.
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1917 World Series (4-2): Chicago White Sox (100-54) over New York Giants (98-56)

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Red Faber273311WlWrw

Faber won game two in Chicago 7-2 but in New York Faber started game four, pitched seven innings and lost 5-0; 3 runs, including an inside the park homer to center by Benny Kauff, who later homered over the fence off Dave Danforth.

In Chicago in game five Faber entered a 5-5 tie in the 8th inning and retired all six batters he faced.  Previous White Sox pitchers: Reb Russell, Eddie Cicotte, Lefty Williams.  Cicotte and Williams were two of seven White Sox players who would take money to deliberately lose the 1919 WS against Cincinnati; some contributed to the three runs scored in the 8th to win this game: Fred McMullin, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Happy Felsch, Chick Gandil (out); plus, also batting was Buck Weaver who knew of the plot but did not report it and suffered the same lifetime ban as his seven teammates, the eight men out; Buck played shortstop in that game instead of the final 1919 conspirator Swede Risberg.

Back in New York Faber won game six 4-2.

Urban Clarence "Red" Faber pitched his entire 20 year career with the Chicago White Sox: 254-213; top win totals: 25, 24, 23, 21.  He did not pitch in the 1919 WS; his last game in 1919 was a complete game 11-10 win on September 15.  The 1919 WS started Oct. 6.
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1920 World Series (5-2): Cleveland Indians (98-56) over Brooklyn Robins (93-61)


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Stan Coveleski273300wWW

Best of nine.  Runs allowed: 1, 1, 0.
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1946 World Series (4-3): St. Louis Cardinals (98-58) over Boston Red Sox (104-50)


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Harry Brecheen202301WWWr

Brecheen pitched only in St. Louis.  He pitched complete game victories in games two and six: 3-0, 4-1.  Then on one day's rest Brecheen relieved starter Murry Dickson in game seven.  Leading 3-1 in the 8th inning Dickson allowed a single and double and was relieved by Brecheen who allowed a two run double to Dom DiMaggio to blow the save before retiring the side with Ted Williams leaving DiMaggio on second.  In the bottom of the 8th Enos Slaughter scored on his famous mad dash from first on a double to center by Harry Walker.  With a 4-3 lead in the top of the 9th Brecheen allowed singles to the first two batters, Rudy York and Bobby Doerr, but then retired the next three to win the WS.
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1957 World Series (4-3): Milwaukee Braves (95-59) over New York Yankees (98-56)

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Lew Burdette273300wWw

Milwaukee's only championship.  Burdette won three complete games: 4-2, 1-0, 5-0.  In a battle of Hall of Fame southpaws Warren Spahn (1-1) lost game one at the Stadium to Whitey Ford (1-1) 3-1; Spahn lasted only five innings.  In game four in Milwaukee Spahn blew a 4-1 lead in the ninth when Elston Howard hit a three run homer with two outs and allowed the Yankees to take a 5-4 lead in the 10th but the Braves bailed him out with three runs, including a two run homer by Eddie Mathews for a rocky 7-5 win; Hank Aaron and Frank Torre had homers earlier.  Ford lost game five 1-0 to Burdette who stole the show.
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1967 World Series (4-3): St. Louis Cardinals (101-60) over Boston Red Sox (92-70)


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Bob Gibson273300wWw

The one and only: Gibson starts and wins games 1, 4, 7; 1 and 7 on the road in Boston.  Scores: 2-1, 6-0, 7-2.  Red Sox ace Jim Lonborg pitched complete game victories in games 2 and 5: 5-0, 3-1.  Boston had Lonborg start game 7 on 2 days rest: 6 innings, 10 hits, 7 runs, 6 ER, 2 HR (one by Gibson).
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1968 World Series (4-3): Detroit Tigers (103-59) over St. Louis Cardinals (97-65)

For the second consecutive year Bob Gibson started games 1, 4, 7.  In games 1 and 4 Gibson defeated 31 game winner Denny McLain 4-0, 10-1.  In 1968 Gibson had his famous regular season 1.12 ERA and seemed invincible heading into game 7.  Lefty Mickey Lolich had kept Detroit alive by winning games 2 and 5: 8-1, 5-3.  McLain pitched only a couple of innings in game 4 and partly redeemed himself by coming back and winning game 6: 13-1.

Like Lonborg in 1967 Lolich faced Gibson on 2 days rest in game 7.  However, this time Gibson faltered, partly hindered by a misjudgment by center fielder Curt Flood.  0-0 through 6, final: Tigers 4, Cardinals 1.  Gibson again pitched complete games in 1, 4, 7 but lost 7.  Lolich pitched three complete game victories in games 2, 5, 7.
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2001 World Series (4-3): Arizona Diamondbacks (92-70) over New York Yankees (95-65)


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Randy Johnson172301WWWr

Arizona had two dominant starters: Curt Schilling (22-6, 256 innings, 293 SO, 2.98 ERA) and 6'10" lefty Randy Johnson (21-6, 249 innings, 372 SO, 2.49 ERA).  Schilling started games 1, 4, 7: 9-1 complete game win, no decision, no decision.  In the first no decision Schilling left after 7 tied 1-1.  Yanks won game four 4-1 in 10 innings on dramatic home runs by Derek Jeter and Tino Martinez.

Johnson started games 2 and 6, defeating Yankee lefty Andy Pettitte in both: 4-0 complete game, 15-2.

Game 7:  
Sunday, November 4, 2001, Bank One Ballpark
Attendance: 49,589, Time of Game: 3:20
Curt Schilling v. Roger Clemens.

Clemens (20-3, 220 innings, 213 SO, 3.51 ERA) had started and won game 3 in New York 2-1: 7 innings, Mariano Rivera pitched 2 for the save.  Game 7 was only the second appearance for Clemens in the 2001 WS.  Clemens pitched 6.33: 7 hits, 1 run, 10 SO.  Mike Stanton got the final two outs in the 7th.  Schilling pitched 7.33: 6 hits, 2 runs, 9 SO, 1 HR.

Arizona scored a run in the 6th, the Yanks tied it the 7th and in the 8h Alfonso Soriano led off with a homer off Schilling: Yanks led 2-1.  Schilling then SO Scott Brosius but David Justice PH for Stanton and singled.  Miguel Batista replaced Schilling got Jeter to ground into a force play.  Johnson replaced Batista and got Chuck Knoblauch to fly out.

In the 8th Rivera went SO, SO, 1B, SO.  Top 9, Johnson retired all three Yanks, the last SO.

Johnson got his third win because the greatest relief pitcher of all time, Mariano Rivera, had the biggest blown save in history and then also lost the game while retiring only one batter and that on a sac bunt.  The winning hit by Luis Gonzalez was a bloop over the drawn in infield but Rivera had a complete meltdown, including a critical throwing error on a play that could have been a double play.  Rivera allowed two runs and the game ended with only one out and the bases loaded.  Final score: Diamondbacks 3, Yankees 2.
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