World Series Game 7

It comes down to one game for all the marbles tonight. Mother Nature is cooperating with a second night of almost summer-like weather in November, so it figures to be a showcase evening that will see one long world championship drought ended … and another extended.

More after the jump.

The Cubs last World Series title was 108 years ago, so there aren’t any players from that year’s series who are still alive, and only one (Ed Mierkowicz of the Tigers) still living who played in the World Series in the Cubs’ last appearance in 1945. Of players who appeared in the Fall Classic when the Indians last won in 1948, only Cleveland’s Eddie Robinson and the Braves’ Clint Conatser are still with us.

This is the Cubs’ second World Series game 7 and second in a row, after losing to the Tigers in their last Fall Classic appearance in 1945. It’s also the Indians’ second game 7 and second in a row, following a loss to the Marlins in 1997. That 1997 game is one of 3 seventh games to go into extra innings, following those in 1924 (Senators) and 1991 (Twins) that were also won by the home team.

Tonight will be the 38th time the World Series has gone to the limit. The home team has won 18 of the previous 37 games. The margin of victory has been a single run in 13 of the previous 37 games, and three runs or less in 27 of 37 seventh games. When the home team wins, the game is usually close, with a winning margin of three runs or less in 16 of 18 games. When the road team wins, the winning margin has been four runs or more in 8 of 19 games. The winning team in game 7 has allowed one run or none on 14 occasions, 10 of those games won by the road team. The winning team has allowed more than four runs only 4 times, all of those games won by the home team.

Teams that homer in game 7 have won 19 of 30 games. When homering twice, teams have won game 7 on 7 of 10 occasions. Both teams have homered in a game 7 only 6 times, most recently by the Mets and Red Sox in 1986. The most home runs for both teams in game 7 has been 5, both times in Yankee losses, in 1960 and 1964. But, the Yankees also have the most home runs by one team in a game 7, with four round-trippers in dispatching the Dodgers in 1956. The most runs scored by one team in a game 7 is 11, on two occasions, by the Cardinals in 1934 and the Royals in 1985. The most scored by both teams is 19, by the Pirates and Yankees in 1960. The Pirates’ Bill Mazeroski in 1960 has the only walk-off game 7 home run, but four other players have walk-off game 7 hits: Earl McNeely of the Senators in 1924; Gene Larkin of the Twins in 1991; Edgar Renteria of the Marlins in 1997; and Luis Gonzalez of the D-Backs in 2001.

Yogi Berra in 1956 is the only player to homer twice in a game 7. Berra’s 4 RBI in that game are also a game 7 record, one he matched himself in 1960. Bill Skowron also had 4 RBI in the 1956 game and again in 1958, as did Paul Richards of the Tigers in 1945. Five players have scored three runs in a game 7: Berra in 1956; Ken Boyer in 1964; Pepper Martin in 1934; and a pair of Pirates in 1925,  Max Carey and Eddie Moore. Four players (George Brett in 1985, Willie Stargell in 1979, Ripper Collins in 1934 and Carey in 1925) have recorded 4 hits in a game 7, with Stargell and Carey also sharing the game 7 record of three extra-base hits, and Stargell holding the total base record of 9. The highest WPA in a game 7 is Hal Smith‘s 0.636 in 1960, all coming from a single PA, his eighth inning two out 3-run homer that put the Bucs ahead by two.

The most game 7 appearances is 8 by Mickey Mantle, who shares with Yogi Berra the record of four game 7 appearances for the winning team. Mantle’s other four game 7 appearances for the losing team are also a record, tied with Elston Howard. Three players have appeared in a game 7 for three different teams: Lonnie Smith for the Cardinals, Royals and Braves; Andy Pafko for the Cubs, Dodgers and Braves; and David Justice for the Braves, Indians and Yankees. Among players appearing in a game 7 for more than one team, Justice, Lonnie Smith, Roger MarisGene TenaceMatt WilliamsDick TracewskiEnos SlaughterMerv Rettenmund, Mike Stanton and Matty Alou did so for teams in both leagues.

The losing team has been shut out in a game 7 on 9 occasions, all of them complete games by the opposing pitcher, the most recent being Jack Morris‘s victory for the Twins over the Braves in 1991, the only extra-inning shutout in game 7 history. Of 16 complete game wins in a game 7, only three have come since divisional play began in 1969: by Morris in 1991; a shutout by Bret Saberhagen in 1985; and Steve Blass‘s 2-1 win over the Orioles in 1971. The most runs allowed in a game 7 complete game win are 5 by Bob Gibson in 1964. Only three pitchers have a complete game loss in game 7, by Walter Johnson in 1925, Bobo Newsom in 1940 and Bob Gibson in 1968. The highest game score in a game 7 is 88 by Sandy Koufax in shutting out the Twins in 1965, and the highest game score for a losing team’s starter is 72 by Mike Cuellar of the Orioles in 1971. The lowest game 7 game score is 26 by Walter Johnson in 1925, allowing 9 runs on 15 hits over 8 innings of work. The lowest game 7 game score for a winning team’s starter is 28, also in 1925, by the Pirates’ Vic Aldridge.

The most strikeouts in a game 7 are 10 by Roger Clemens in 2001, Bob Gibson in 1967, Sandy Koufax in 1965 and Hal Newhouser in 1945. Three pitchers have a CG win in game 7 with only one K: Babe Adams in 1909; Paul Derringer in 1940; and Johnny Kucks in 1956. Bill Donovan of the Tigers has the most walks in a game 7 with 6 in only 3 IP in 1909. Three pitchers walked nobody in a game 7 CG win, all shutouts by Dizzy Dean in 1934, Ralph Terry in 1962 and Bret Saberhagen in 1985. The longest winning relief appearance to finish a game 7 is 6.2 IP by Bob Turley in 1958; the shortest is 0.1 IP by Darold Knowles in 1973 and Bill Hallahan in 1931. The highest WPA by a game 7 pitcher is 0.845 by Jack Morris of the Twins in his 10-inning complete game shutout in 1991.

Bob Gibson is the only pitcher with a decision in 3 seventh games, and the only pitcher with two game 7 wins. Three other pitchers with two game 7 decisions have each posted a 1-1 record, by Ralph Terry, Walter Johnson and Lew Burdette. Gibson, Burdette and Don Larsen are the only pitchers to make game 7 starts in two consecutive seasons. The most game 7 appearances are three, by Gibson and Bob Turley. Mike Stanton, Firpo Marberry and Paul Derringer are the only pitchers to appear in a game 7 for two different teams.

Enjoy the game!

 

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Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago

Great game. Time for bed!

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago

An asterisk for 1912. Game 2 was a tie. The BoSox had a 3-1-1 lead before the Giants came back to tie the series at 3-3-1. The Giants scored one in the top of the 10th in game 8, and Boston scored two unearned runs in their half of the frame.

This was also the first game where three different catchers from the same team had RBI.

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago

I’d be really curious to find out how many viewers that rain delay before the 10th inning cost.

I would really suck if one of the most exciting World Series in quite some time lost a big chuck of it’s audience before it was decided.

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

The rain delay was probably one of the highest impact game interruptions ever, judging from the statements of the Cubs team members afterwards – their comments reinforced how much state of mind matters in sports. I expect that if the Indians don’t bounce back and take the Series during this stretch when their team is strong, the rain delay will become an enduring “curse” meme for the franchise. Personally, I felt this was a no-win / no-lose Series. I’m a National League fan, but the first Series team I rooted for was the ’54 Indians (the Giants were enemy #1… Read more »

David P
David P
5 years ago

I mentioned on Bryan’s Playoff Roster post that “Indians fan live in mortal fear that Tito will decide to use Michael Martinez at some critical juncture of the playoffs.”

I don’t think any of us, though, could have imagined that he’d make the final out of game 7 of the WS in the 10th inning with the tying run on first….

Mike L
Mike L
5 years ago

Well, that was different…..

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

I’ve never followed his teams closely, but think Joe Maddon is probably a very fine manager in the great scheme of things. He’s certainly gotten great results, seems loved by his teams, and appears smart and likable when interviewed. But, like many people, I thought his use of Chapman in Game 6 was an inexplicable mistake, and that lifting Hendricks when he’d hit his groove in Game 7 and inserting Lester mid-inning was a huge, unforced error. I think the Cubs paid a big price for those decisions, and that they and Maddon were terrifically lucky to survive them. I… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago

Totally agree.
Hendricks was ginsu-sharp, and he only walked Ramirez off of a terrible call from the ump.

I also would have left Lester in after the 2-out infield single.

And the 2-strike bunt call with Baez was the worst case of over-managing Ive ever seen.

I like Maddon a lot, and I will choose to like him more now, because due to his terrible managing last night, we got a classic thriller.

David P
David P
5 years ago

EPM – Can’t comment on Maddon but from watching Tito for the past several years, I do see that most managers make decisions that seem completely inexplicable. Obviously Tito’s a very good manager and deserves a lot of credit for guiding to the Indians to the World Series. But here are just a few of the strange decisions that I saw (there are probably many others): 1) Putting Dan Otero into the Witness Protection Program throughout the playoffs. Otero was amazing during the regular season (1.53 ERA, 2.33 ERA) but during the playoffs he was barely used and never in… Read more »

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago
Reply to  David P

Napoli had such a great World Series for Texas…

Paul E
Paul E
5 years ago

Agreed…. on both counts. Did it really take Aroldis Chapman to protect that large lead in Game 6? – truly a WTF moment! Like, your goal is to win the world series. Don’t you save Chapman for game 7 with game 6 apparently in hand. And, it almost bit him in the arse…… Regarding Hendricks, this nightmare of pulling pitchers started with LaRussa in the ’80’s and “match-up maximization” with LOOGY’s, 7th inning guys, 8th inning guys, and closers and never the four shall meet. The guy had the best ERA in baseball FCS. I thought he pulled Arrieta too… Read more »

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago

A Johnny Pesky moment on the shallow sacrifice fly?

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

Why Indians lost:
– not enough starting pitching
– never really got their running game going
– outfield defense was exposed

Why Cubs won:
– deep starting pitching
– talented offensive players able to make adjustments and be successful enough to overcome some shaky defense
– Aroldis Chapman (his game 7 performance notwithstanding)

Turning point of the series:
– Aroldis Chapman’s 8-out save in game 5

David P
David P
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

The Cubs, on the other hand, were able to run on the Indians, stealing 8 times in 9 tries. That’s a bit surprising since Robert Perez threw out 50% of baserunners this year (43% for career).

Jason Heyward was 4-4 in steals, despite only going 11-15 this year. And even Kyle Schwarber got a stolen base!

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Tribe shoulda walked Chapman in game 5 to make him stand on base for a while — surprising that Mr Intentional Walk did not think of it

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

Top WPA for series:
Batting: 0.343 – Rajai Davis, game 7. 0.483 total – Anthony Rizzo
Pitching: 0.409 – Aroldis Chapman, game 5. 0.380 total – Jake Arrieta

Worst WPA for series:
Batting: -0.377 – Javier Baez, game 3. -0.655 total – Javier Baez
Pitching: -0.300 – Bryan Shaw, game 7. -0.146 total – Trevor Bauer

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

Appearing for World Series winners in consecutive seasons for different teams.
– Ben Zobrist 2015-16
– Jake Peavy 2013-14
– Ryan Theriot 2011-12
– Jack Morris 1991-92
– Bill Skowron 1962-63
– Clem Labine 1959-60
– Allie Clark 1947-48

Any others?

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Don Gullett 1976-1977

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

Blown Save and Win in Game 7
– Aroldis Chapman 2016
– Harvey Haddix 1960
– Harry Brecheen 1946

bstar
bstar
5 years ago

Voomo, I think the bunt with two strikes may have been Baez’s call alone. Or not. It certainly fits his high reward / high risk style of play, both at the plate and in the field. I think Baez will win several Gold Gloves but will commit a high amount of errors for a great fielder, and a moderately-high amount overall. His ability to fight his way out of his WS slump with some good ABs the last two games was impressive. I just thought of something. I’m guessing this is the only WS game where three catchers on the… Read more »

Doug
Doug
5 years ago
Reply to  bstar

It is the only WS game with three catchers employed by one team and each with an RBI.

There are two other WS games with three catchers used by one team (Phillies 1950 game 2, Dodgers 1978 game 3), but none of the catchers in either game had an RBI.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago
Reply to  bstar

I doubt that was Baez’ choice.
After Heyward got to third on the error, the Naps huddled at the mound. While that was happening, Baez was talking to the 3rd base coach. I’d wager it was Yost telling Baez what to do, rather than the other way around.
_____
I predicted Baez’ homer.
After that 2nd error, I knew he would spend the next 20 minutes itching to get up to bat, and that he would rip at the first pitch with all he had. That’s certainly what I would have done.

bstar
bstar
5 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

After catching some of the replay of the game, I now agree with you. Not Baez’s idea. I must have been getting (yet another) beer when the huddle happened.

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

I predicted Gomes’s homer, but the game didn’t last long enough.

no statistician but
no statistician but
5 years ago

Why did the Cubs win game seven? To me it seems obvious: The two Cleveland pitchers they couldn’t solve earlier in the series (nor could the BoSox and Jays) they pounded for six runs by inning six. Had they not done so, Cleveland would have held a 3-0 lead going into late innings, and throughout the season the Indians have been darn good at holding onto late inning leads. There are certain truisms in baseball that are really true, and one is to get ahead early. Another comment: Both teams were remarkably focussed, especially in the later innings. More than… Read more »

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

A combination of Cub hitters making adjustments and tired Indian pitchers just not having the same quality of offerings. Some other nail-biting game 7’s: 1997 – Edgar Renteria’s walk-off RBI single 1986 – Red Sox score two in 8th to close to within a run, with the tying run at second and nobody out. Jesse Orosco comes on to retire the side in order, then, after Strawberry homers to lead off the bottom half, Orosco delivers an RBI single to add an extra insurance run before again retiring the Sox in order in the 9th. 1975 – Joe Morgan’s 9th… Read more »

David P
David P
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

I would add a bit of “regression to the mean” for Andrew Miller. He’s obviously a great pitcher but he’s also human and not 100% untouchable as he looked like early in the playoffs. Eventually someone was going to get to him and/or he’d have an off night. Unfortuantely, just happened to be game 7 of the WS…

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

You might add Chuck Knoblach & Greg Gagne decoying Lonnie Smith to keep him from scoring in the 8th inning of the 1991 Series to the list.

Maybe not all that exciting to a casual fan but it had me up out of my seat at the time.

David P
David P
5 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

How about just two years ago? Giants up 3-2 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, Alex Gordon singles and winds up on 3rd after th ball is bobbled twice. Many observers still feel Gordon should have been sent home on the play. Salvador Perez then fouls out for the final out of the game, stranding Gordon on 3rd.

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago

This was Kluber’s first career appearance without a strikeout, and only his third without multiple strikeouts (including a 1-inning relief appearance as a September callup in 2011).

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

Longest game 7’s
1. 2016 – 4:28
2. 1997 – 4:10
3. 1991 – 3:23
4. 2001 – 3:20
5. 2011 – 3:17
6. 2002 – 3:16
7. 1986 – 3:11
8. 2014 – 3:10
9. 1987 – 3:04
10. 1924 – 3:00

Andy
Admin
5 years ago

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