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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Could Chapman and Miller enter in 5th and battle all the way?

That's nuts you say. Indians manager Terry Francona and Cubs manager Joe Maddon would both have to remove their starting pitcher in the fifth inning AND bring in their best relief pitcher AND let that relief pitcher pitch AT LEAST through the ninth inning.

The Cleveland Indians lead the 2016 World Series (tournament finals) 3-2 and they have an ace in the hole:

Start and win games 1, 4, 7 in World Series: Coveleski, Gibson, ... Kluber? Friday, October 28, 2016

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.
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Corey Kluber is the Indians best starting pitcher and he has already started, pitched well and won games 1 and 4. The Cubs may be scrambling for a starter in a possible game seven. Francona may be emboldened to try to go all out to end it six games. Maddon may desperate enough to go all out to reach a game seven. Game 3:

Friday, October 28, 2016, 8:00 pm, Wrigley Field
Attendance: 41,703, Time of Game: 3:33
Indians 1, Cubs 0

Indians:
Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD Unk GSc IR IS WPA aLI RE24
Josh Tomlin 4.2 2 0 0 1 1 0 1.76 17 58 38 21 7 10 9 6 2 0 60 0.231 1.12 2.1
Andrew Miller, W (2-0) 1.1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 4 17 13 4 7 2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0.120 1.15 0.8
Bryan Shaw, H (4) 1.2 2 0 0 0 1 0 3.38 7 31 18 13 3 2 4 2 0 0 0 0 0.178 1.84 0.7
Cody Allen, S (6) 1.1 1 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 6 18 14 6 5 3 2 1 1 0 1 0 0.263 5.19 0.7
Team Totals 9 5 0 0 1 8 0 0.00 34 124 83 44 22 17 15 10 4 0 60 2 0 0.792 2.08 4.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/1/2016.

Cubs:
Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD Unk GSc IR IS WPA aLI RE24
Kyle Hendricks 4.1 6 0 0 2 6 0 1.31 20 85 51 24 9 18 7 4 4 0 55 0.082 1.38 0.9
Justin Grimm 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 9.00 1 6 3 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 0.194 3.35 1.6
Carl Edwards, L (0-1) 1.2 2 1 1 1 1 0 1.69 7 24 12 7 2 3 2 3 2 0 0 0 -0.097 1.89 -0.3
Mike Montgomery 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.92 2 8 6 3 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.048 0.90 0.5
Pedro Strop 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.60 2 9 5 1 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.028 0.56 0.3
Aroldis Chapman 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.61 3 17 10 3 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.036 0.49 0.5
Team Totals 9 8 1 1 3 10 0 1.00 35 149 87 41 19 27 13 8 6 0 55 4 0 0.291 1.40 3.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/1/2016.

Both Francona and Maddon pulled their starting pitcher in the FIFTH inning even though neither allowed a run and their pitch counts were 58 and 85.

Francona used Andrew Miller as his first relief pitcher. Maddon held out Chapman until the 9th.

But in game 5:

Sunday, October 30, 2016, 8:00 pm, Wrigley Field
Attendance: 41,711, Time of Game: 3:27
Cubs 3, Indians 2


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD Unk GSc IR IS WPA aLI RE24
Trevor Bauer, L (0-2) 4 6 3 3 0 7 1 5.54 18 74 49 25 8 16 4 7 5 0 45 -0.178 1.14 -1.1
Mike Clevinger 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 2.45 5 15 7 3 1 3 0 3 2 0 0 0 0.031 0.72 0.5
Bryan Shaw 1.1 0 0 0 0 3 0 2.89 4 17 12 5 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.064 0.64 0.7
Cody Allen 1.2 1 0 0 1 4 0 0.00 8 36 20 8 5 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.053 0.82 0.7
Team Totals 8 7 3 3 3 14 1 3.38 35 142 88 41 18 29 6 11 7 0 45 0 0 -0.030 0.93 0.9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/1/2016.

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD Unk GSc IR IS WPA aLI RE24
Jon Lester, W (3-1) 6 4 2 2 0 5 1 1.93 21 90 61 32 9 20 5 11 5 0 61 0.098 0.97 0.9
Carl Edwards, H (3) 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.59 2 10 6 3 2 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 -0.037 2.34 -0.2
Aroldis Chapman, S (4) 2.2 1 0 0 0 4 0 2.08 10 42 26 14 5 7 3 2 0 0 1 0 0.409 2.52 1.6
Team Totals 9 6 2 2 0 9 1 2.00 33 142 93 49 16 28 8 15 6 0 61 1 0 0.470 1.56 2.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/1/2016.

Francona let his starter struggle through a three run fourth inning and Miller never pitched. Maddon stayed with his ace starter and his second relief pitcher was Chapman who entered in the 7th and finished.

OK, so we have some elements of the scenario right here in this series. Now a thrilling trip to yesteryear:

Sparky Lyle finished four 1977 playoff games in five days: 9 innings, 2 wins. Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sparky Lyle won the American League Cy Young award in 1977, pitching 137 innings, about twice what Mariano Rivera typically pitched...

1977 League Championship Series (3-2): New York Yankees (100-62) over Kansas City Royals (102-60)

(games)

4. 5.33.  Yanks up 5-4.  Yanks won 6-4 in Kansas City.
5. 1.33.  Yanks down 3-2.  Yanks won on 5-3 in Kansas City.

Lyle pitched 9.33 innings in five days and won games 4 and 5.

Yankee manager Billy Martin used and abused Lyle in a way that is unimaginable today.
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Remember, the semi-final (League Series) was best of five back then, not best of seven. Royals led the series 2-1; game four:

Saturday, October 8, 1977, 12:15PM, Royals Stadium
Attendance: 41,135, Time of Game: 3:08
Yankees 6, Royals 4

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF GSc IR IS WPA aLI RE24
Ed Figueroa 3.1 5 4 4 2 3 0 10.80 17 35 -0.125 0.95 -1.6
Dick Tidrow 0.1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3.86 3 1 1 -0.087 1.58 -0.8
Sparky Lyle, W (1-0) 5.1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1.13 17 2 0 0.570 1.57 3.0
Team Totals 9 8 4 4 3 4 0 4.00 37 35 3 1 0.358 1.29 0.7
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/1/2016.

The Yankees scored in each of the first four innings and led 5-2 going to the bottom of the 4th. But starter Ed Figueroa failed and was relieved by Dick Tidrow, then Sparky Lyle. That was in the fourth inning. The FOURTH inning. And Lyle finished the game, pitching 5.33.

Lyle came back the next day in the eighth and closed out the game and the series, pitching 1.33 innings. The Yankees went on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the 1977 World Series.

So, while it's unlikely to be as dramatic as it could be, it's likely that Aroldis Chapman and and Andrew Miller will battle and decide the winner of this series. And lest we forget:

Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller: Yankee relief aces in World Series but for Cubs and Indians. Monday, October 24, 2016

The Yankees tanked the 2016 season starting with the trading of Aroldis Chapman. Then Andrew Miller. Then DH Carlos Beltran, the Yankees best hitter. Of the eleven players received, pitcher Adam Warren was the only one with major league experience...

Warren and relief pitcher Ben Heller were the only ones who played for the Yankees in 2016. Yes, of course, all these minor league players are "prospects", a euphemism for gullible media people and fans.

Will any of them play significant amounts for the Yankees in 2017? In 2018? Will any be impact players, ever?

What if Yankee general manager Brian Cashman had kept the three Yankees he traded and added some talent for a stretch run? Maybe the Yankees would have qualified for the tournament. Maybe the Yankees would be playing the Cubs in the World Series...

Between the 2015 and 2016 seasons only one team did not sign any free agents: the Yankees. Cashman cannot repeat that before the 2017 season, especially given how week the team looks now.
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