These two “original 16” franchises renew their post-season “rivalry”, a mere 102 years after their only previous World Series matchup. A look back and a look ahead to this year’s Fall Classic are after the jump.
Most of the drama in that 1916 World Series came early as the first three games were all decided by just one run.
- Boston looked to be in good shape in the opener, leading 6-1 after 8 innings. But, Brooklyn rallied in the 9th, loading the bases with one out, before third baseman Mike Mowrey hit what might have been a game ending double play ball that instead plated two after an error by Boston second baseman Hal Janvrin. Brooklyn reloaded the bases and then sent up Fred Merkle to pinch-hit; Merkle drew a walk to draw the Robins within two, sending Boston starter Ernie Shore to the showers. Center-fielder Hi Myers greeted reliever Carl Mays with a single to close the gap to just one run, before Mays induced a Jake Daubert groundout to end the threat.
- Game 2 was a 14 inning pitchers’ duel that remains the longest in World Series history. The two starters, Babe Ruth for the Red Sox and Sherry Smith for the Robins. both went the distance as Boston prevailed 2-1. The Red Sox threatened in the 9th and 10th innings, with the winning run thrown out at home in both frames, before walking off the Robins on a Del Gainer pinch-hit single that plated pinch-runner Mike McNally from second base. Ruth held Brooklyn hitless over the last 6 innings to take the win.
- Brooklyn got back into the series, taking game 3 at home. The Robins jumped out to a 4-0 lead and then held on to win 4-3, with reliever Jeff Pfeffer retiring eight straight Red Sox batters to close out the game.
- Brooklyn took an early 2-0 lead in game 4, before Boston quelled that first inning uprising by throwing out Zack Wheat attempting to steal home. The Red Sox replied in the top of the 2nd with a three-run inside-the-park home run by third baseman Larry Gardner, and then cruised to a 6-2 win, with Dutch Leonard shutting out the Robins on three hits over the last eight innings.
- The series returned to Boston for game 5, with the Red Sox winning 4-1 on a three hit CG by Shore.
Ernie Shore posted a 2-0 record for the series, holding Brooklyn to just 3 ER over 17.2 IP. Robins’ ace Rube Marquard was 0-2 in his two starts, surrendering 7 ER in only 11 IP. Brooklyn bats were mostly silenced by Boston’s pitchers, with only Casey Stengel (.364 BA) hitting better than .250 among the Robins’ regulars. Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis paced the Red Sox attack with a combined 9 runs and 13 hits, while Dick Hoblitzell drew 6 walks and Larry Gardener recorded 6 RBI.
This was Boston’s second straight World Series title and fourth since taking the inaugural Fall Classic in 1903; another title would follow two years later, but that would be the last WS championship for the Red Sox until the next century. For Brooklyn, this was their first post-season appearance of the modern era; six more World Series losses would follow before finally recording a Fall Classic title in 1955.
Fast forwarding to 2018, this series is just the sixth between the clubs since inter-league play began. In their 15 regular season matchups, Boston holds an 8-7 edge, including winning two of three in 2004 and 2013, both WS championship seasons for the Red Sox. This is the 24th World Series since the introduction of the division series in 1995, but only the tenth in that period between original 16 opponents; the AL holds a 5-4 lead in those series, including those Red Sox wins in 2004 and 2013.
As a viewing companion to this series, here are crib sheets on how the players on the two teams have fared against each other.