115th World Series

The Astros and Nationals square off in this year’s edition of the Fall Classic. The oddsmakers have Houston as the favorite, but how well do they match up against the upstart NL champs? I’ll take a look after the jump.

This is Houston’s third World Series, after losing as the NL champions in 2005, and winning as the AL champions two seasons ago. For Washington, it’s their debut World Series. But, that doesn’t figure to be a huge handicap; expansion era World Series debutantes have thus far posted a 5-6 series record.

Washington has a nice mix of youngsters, players in the prime, and experienced veterans, with perhaps too many of the first and last and not enough in the second group. The Astros are more homogeneous, with most of their players in or near their primes. And, they have a wealth of post-season experience that the Nationals, for the most part, are clearly lacking.

Starting Pitching

If any team can match the Houston trio of Verlander, Cole and Grienke, Washington probably comes the closest with Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin. You might even give the Nats a slight edge on the strength of having an experienced fourth starter, Anibal Sanchez, whose effectiveness is enhanced by being so different from the other three fireballers. Game 4 might prove to be the pivotal contest in this series with Corbin or Sanchez at home against the Astro bullpen, a matchup that should favor the home side.

Relief Pitching

To beat a dead horse, the Nats are really thin in the bullpen, but somehow they’ve managed to make it work thus far. The formula has been 7+ innings from their starters, then going to Doolittle and Hudson, with support from Rodney and Rainey, to bring the game home. The danger, though, is having those same three or four going every night; they’ll likely wear down and, even if they don’t, Astro hitters will be accustomed to them by the middle of the series.

The Astro approach is similar, with 7+ IP from Verlander and Cole, and hopefully six from Greinke, with Harris, Smith and Osuna the preferred trio to wrap up games. But, Houston has a deeper and better supporting cast in James, Pressly (apparently he’s good to go after rolling his ankle in the finale against the Yankees), Devenski and Rondon. There’s even Peacock and Urquidy, who both showed well in their brief ALCS appearances, for a bullpen game or if there’s a game that goes deep into extras. Give the edge to Houston, especially if Washington’s starters falter.

Batting

Houston has a big power edge, but most of those power hitters (Bregman, Correa, Springer, Alvarez) have been scuffling thus far this post-season. But, despite those struggles by top players, Altuve, Brantley and Gurriel have been able to fill the void and provide just enough offense to support Houston’s dominating pitching. Bottom line is that this is a deep, deep lineup that can win even if one or two or more players are off their game.

Unlike the Astros, Washington’s best players (Rendon and Soto) have been their best players for the wildcard and first two post-season rounds. Add in over-achieving veterans (Kendrick, Zimmerman), some capable role players with speed and a little pop (Turner, Eaton, Robles), and a experienced bench (Dozier, Cabrera, Parra) and it can be a potent mix when everyone is contributing. The Nationals’ confidence is sky-high right now; time will tell whether they can continue to ride that high against Astro pitching. Give the edge to Houston, but probably not as big an edge as it might appear.

Catching

Both teams have experienced and capable catchers. The difference is Houston’s backstops are just better, offensively and defensively. If the Astros want to run, Suzuki will have little chance of slowing them down. Gomes would provide stiffer resistance and, unlike Suzuki, has shown well offensively in his brief appearances to date. But, Suzuki is evidently the Nationals’ choice. Sizable edge to the Astros with the tandem of Chirinos and Maldonado.

Defense

Both teams feature slick fielders at SS and 3B, and converted third baseman (thus, good fielders) at first base. Difference is at 2B, with Altuve having the edge over the veteran tandem of Cabrera and Kendrick, both of whom have lost a step or two. Houston has the edge in the outfield with capable and experienced veterans at each position. For the Nats, Soto plays an “adventurous” game (sometimes brilliant, but sometimes not) and Robles, while clearly talented, might lack the experience to be relied on to consistently make the right decisions. As mentioned above, the Nats are vulnerable defensively behind the plate. Overall, give the edge to the Astros.

Strength of Schedule

Houston has the extra home game and play very well in their cozy confines (an historically excellent 60-21 mark). They’re also really good on the road at 47-34, as would be expected of a 107 win team. But, are they really as good as that record would suggest? The Astros blitzed their division with a 56-20 record, compared to 51-35 against everyone else. But, against the AL’s best teams (Yankees, Twins, Rays, Indians, Red Sox), Houston was only 18-16. A small sample size of better teams, but perhaps shades of the 1954 Indians.

Washington won 14 fewer games than Houston, so their results are obviously less impressive by comparison, but a 50-31 home record is still a solid result to pair with a creditable 43-38 mark on the road. As has been mentioned countless times, the story of the Nats season is that it was really two seasons, an awful first 50 games (19-31; only the 2005 Astros had fewer wins among pennant winners) and a spectacular finish (74-38) that matched the Astros record over that same period. The NL was more balanced than the AL, with only one .600 team (the Dodgers) and only one team below .400 (the Marlins). The Nats did make hay against Miami (14-5), but there were clearly fewer soft spots on the Nats schedule than was the case for Houston.

Conclusion

If my analysis holds water, the Astros should be fairly easy winners, perhaps in 5 games. But, Washington is really on a roll, and the Astro hitters aren’t. My hunch is this series goes 6 or 7. I’d still give the edge to Houston, but wouldn’t be hugely surprised if it goes the other way.

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Doug
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Many of the Nats made their WS debuts in game 1. Soto became the second youngest (after Andruw Jones) to homer in his debut, and second youngest with three hits (again after Jones) in his debut. Zimmermann became the fouth oldest to homer in his debut, behind Barry Bonds, Larry Walker and Bob Watson.

Doug
Guest

Matt Scherzer’s 112 pitches in game 1 are the most (since pitches have been counted) for a WS starter getting a win while pitching 5 innings or less, and second most for such a start in any post-season game. Scherzer topped the previous WS record holder (Ramon Ortiz, 2002) by a whopping 25 pitches.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Don’t think Astros in 5 is going to happen, Doug. 😉 As Doug mentioned, after starting the season 19-31, the Nationals went 74-38 over their remaining games. In THEIR final 112, the Astros went… 74-38. I think that’s actually pretty cool. I also think it’s caused the Nationals to be severely underrated. I also think that the relative merits of the two leagues should be taken into account. Doug mentioned this a little above, but I think it bears repeating in a little different analysis. Let’s say you group a league into three groups: Group A is playoff teams. Group… Read more »
Doug
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My allusion to the ’54 Indians may be closer to the mark than I imagined. The other example that comes to mind is the Mets and Orioles in 1969. Despite their “amazing” finish and dominating pitching staff, people discounted the Mets because they hadn’t been there before and because, well, they were the (formerly) hapless Mets. Going up against the 109 win Orioles and their stellar pitching, the O’s were the clear favorites (nobody knew it then, but the Orioles were 18 wins better than New York in Pythag). I see that, Andy Etchebarren, catcher for the ’60s and ’70s… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

I’ve thought about the ’96 Series, too. That was really the first one I ever paid any attention to, and I remember the 2-0 Braves lead well. ’69 is not a bad comparison. They were, like the Nats, not very good at the start of the year. They rallied from 19-42 to close at 81-39 over the final three-quarters of the season. That’s, like this year, the same pace as the heavily-favored AL champs.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Doom, The Mets’ nadir was 18-23, after which they went 82-39 (winning just one game less late than they won total in each of the two following seasons). However, your larger point holds, since the O’s were 28-13 after 41 games and 81-40 thereafter. What I (and maybe a few others: say fifty million) missed was the importance of the O’s lazy finish: they clinched early and then went 8-8, with a 1-5 final stretch. The Mets finished with a 38-11 run (or 23-6, if you like), with a final stretch of 9-1 (4-1 after clinching). But still, it’s hard… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
You know, Doug, those Mets were hapless. Apart from Seaver and Koosman, and a couple of relievers (including a yet-to-be-Nolan-Ryan Nolan Ryan) the team was a collection of also-rans. They fell to 83-79 the next two seasons and stayed at that level. And, of course, prior to ’69, they were the original Mets, with their 73-89 record in ’68 celebrated as an amazing success. They should have been a .500 team in ’69. If you follow the history of that season, the Mets’ turnaround is not so much a matter of the team blossoming in hitting and pitching, as the… Read more »
CursedClevelander
Guest
From some numbers I ran, using BB-Ref WAR, the Top 3 starters for both teams combined for 38 WAR. The only total I could find higher searching manually was the 2001 WS, where they combined for 38.1 WAR. That was more top-heavy, though – Johnson and Schilling were amazing, but 3rd starter Miguel Batista was nothing special. On the Yankees side, Mussina and Clemens were great and Petittte was very good. Add in the 4th starters, and 2019 pulls ahead – Miley and Sanchez are quite a bit better than Brian Anderson and Orlando Hernandez. One of my friends said… Read more »
Voomo
Guest

1912:

10.1 .. Smokey Joe
5.6 … Ray Collins
5.3 … Buck O’Brien

7.7 … Mathewson
6.0 … Marquard
5.2 … Jeff Tesreau
______
39.9

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Doom, This seems like a very good analysis to me, and changes the way I’m looking at the Series.

Doug
Guest

During the 7th inning of game 2, Houston intentionally walked Juan Soto, after having issued no IBBs during the season. In fact, the Astros broke their own record of 4 IBBs, set last year. Of the 10 teams with 10 of fewer IBBs in a season, 9 made the post-season, 6 were pennant winners, and 3 won the WS (or 4 if the Astros come back to win it this year). The 1974 Dodgers are the only one of those 10 teams from before the 2013 season.

Voomo
Guest

That was the year Mike Marshall pitched 106 games and 252 innings in relief. Hope I remember that right. He was not a fan of the intentional walk. Flat out refused to do it.

Doug
Guest

It was actually 208.1 IP and he did have one IBB that year. Marshall had 39 IBB in 6 seasons before joining the Dodgers (36 of those for the Gene Mauch-managed Expos), but only 13 for the last 8 seasons of his career, incl. only 7 in LA.

Doug
Guest
Houston has tied the WS record set by the 1968 Tigers with three straight road wins allowing one run or none. But, the Tigers’ three wins were separated by home games, so the Astros are the first with this particular three-peat. Five road wins by both teams ties the WS record, achieved 14 times previously, but this is just the third time that the first 5 games have been won by the visitors. Four home runs in game 5 were hit by players from four different countries (or territories). Two were by players aged 22 or younger, the first time… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Speaking of road wins… there have been 5 such games so far this Series. Here are the ones I can find with 5+ road wins:

1903 (best of 9 series)
1906
1919 (best of 9 series)
1921 (best of 9 series)
1923
1926
1934
1945
1952
1968
1972
1979
1996
2016
2019

No Series has ever begun with 5-straight road wins before. I did not find any World Series with 6 or 7 road wins, so maybe that’s something to look out for: whether there’s a “road-field advantage” in this particular World Series. 🙂

Dr. Doom
Guest

Doug, I missed which ones BEGAN with five straight road wins… do you know which ones did that? I thought I had paid close attention, but obviously not close enough…

Doug
Guest

The visiting teams won the first 5 games of the 1906 and 1996 series.

Doug
Guest

Jose Urquidy’s 41 IP in the regular season is the lowest total of 22 pitchers to start and win a WS game in their debut season.
Quiz #1: which three pitchers had wins in two WS starts in their debut season?
Quiz: #2: who is the only pitcher to start and win a clinching WS game 7 in his debut season?
(Hint: he’s one of 7 pitchers to start and win two WS clinching games)

Richard Chester
Guest

Quiz 1: Spec Shea of the Yankees in 1947 is one.

Richard Chester
Guest

Also Paul Dean in 1934.

Richard Chester
Guest

And, finally, Dickey Kerr in 1919.

Doug
Guest

Kerr’s career was cut short when he was blackballed for playing semipro ball during a contract holdout. He’s one of 5 pitchers since 1901 to post a .650 W-L% in 20+ decisions in each of his first two seasons; Dwight Gooden is the only expansion era pitcher among that group.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I guess John Lackey may be your Quiz #2 answer. (I had to look for the answer; it didn’t come to mind.) “Debut season” isn’t a term I’m used to, and I thought originally you were just referring to rookie season, in which case Babe Adams would have been one of the answers to #1, since he went 3-0 in the Series as a 27 year-old rookie (including a game-seven starting win). Adams went into the 1909 Series with a career record of 12-6 over 156 IP, and went 3-0 in 27 IP in the Pirates’ win over the Tigers.… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Lackey is correct. He’s the only pitcher to start and win a WS clinching game for two franchises, for the Angels in 2002 and the Red Sox in 2013. That 11 year gap is the largest between such starts, matching Andy Pettitte who closed out the 1998 and 2009 series for the Yankees.

Richard Chester
Guest

Here’s a WS factoid that I stumbled across while browsing on my computer. Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio and Johnny Mize form the only trio to be on base for a bases loaded HR and a bases loaded triple. Each event occurred in the 1951 WS (Gil McDougald HR and Hank Bauer triple, games 5 and 6).

Tucker, Springer and Brantley have an opportunity to tie that record.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Here’s a thought about the effects of baseball realignments on being a fan. As HHS posters know, my baseball loyalties were shaped as a small but ardent Brooklyn Dodger fan in the mid-1950s. Consequently, I was an NL fan, the built-in exception being that I would root for any team, regardless of league, over the Giants. (That was put to the test in 1962, when I attended my only Series game to root, in a melancholy way, for the richly-hated Yankees over the most-hated Giants.) When the Mets became a team in 1962, I doubled my loyalties, rooting for the… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Bob, you’ve gotta have heart.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

It’s only 7:30am, Richard, and now that thing’s going to go through my head all day . . .

Mike L
Guest

It’s now 930, and Bud Selig’s election to HOF remains beyond an outrage. Thumb placed on scale for Friends of Bud, the incredibly questionable contraction and franchise swap with Expos/Marlins/Red Sox/looking the other way as PEDS use became rampant/and the synthetic league swap for no rational purpose are just some of the “highlights”

Dr. Doom
Guest
Selig’s HOF induction may have been an outrage, but it was also inevitable. While I don’t disagree with the things you’ve said, commissioners get inducted. Some things you missed: when MLB took over the Expos under Bud’s watch, the team basically froze salaries, set assets adrift (Colon, Guerrero, etc.), and made no good-faith attempt to win. That basically forcibly removed them from Montreal, with Bud using the mechanisms of MLB to do it once he could. Another thing Bud always gets crap for that you forgot was the infamous tie in the All-Star Game. Ugh. Worse than that, he was… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
A very nice personal account, Doom. If commissioners get inducted, let’s hear it for Faye Vincent, who considered Bud a crook, and whom Bud successfully conspired to oust, free of the ethical constraints of the rabbinate. Milwaukee is the real outlier in my fan psychology. I really admired the Milwaukee Braves (Spahn, Burdette, Mathews, Aaron)–a team that never had a losing season. Their move to Atlanta seemed to me to be almost as crass as O’Malley’s perfidious treachery. By the time the Brewers displaced the sad-sack Pilots (the irony of the Milwaukee Brewers displacing the only one-year team other than… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Doom, this was great. It captures every nuance.

Voomo
Guest

Hey MLB officials, I know you read our conversations, this being the most insightful and civilized place on the internet.

That Trea Turner interference call last night is easily avoided.

Simply integrate a double base system like they having beer league softball. One bag right where it is now, the other bag on the foul side. Done.

Paul E
Guest

Either that, or get the call right

Richard Chester
Guest

I may be wrong but It was always my impression that the reason for making the batter run to first on the outside of the foul line was to avoid interference with a throw from the catcher to the first baseman. That was not the case for Trea Turner so he should not have been called out.

Paul E
Guest

Certainly would seem to apply for balls in front of the plate. But if strike three gets beyond the catcher, isn’t he throwing into the runner in foul territory when trying to complete the strikeout at 1B? I dunno….I’m sure it’s in the rule book, somewhere.
The IRS has something like 1,143 forms and booklets to explain the forms. Fannie Mae has approximately 1,370 pages in their selling guide (as of Feb 2016)……I’m sure the umpires’ rulebook is an even thicker tome

Richard Chester
Guest

Another situation is bases loaded with less than 2 outs. The batter hits a ground ball to one of the infielders and there is a force out at home. The catcher then throws to the first baseman.

Doug
Guest
The rule makes no distinction about which fielder is making a throw. The batter is out simply for interfering with the first baseman’s attempt to field the throw. 5.09 (a) A batter is out when: … (11) In running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, he runs outside (to the right of) the three-foot line, or inside (to the left of) the foul line, and in the umpire’s judgment in so doing interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, in which case… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
#RoadFieldAdvantage I feel like that should’ve been trending. BTW, I’ve loved/hated hearing announcers/pundits ask if there’s “meaning” to why road teams were winning. Uh… baseball is weird and random? That’s pretty much the reason. Two pretty evenly-matched teams (see my post above) played a tight series. There’s really not much more to it than that. And like 5 of the games were absolute blowouts, anyway, and those don’t really matter as far as who’s the home team and who the road. If I had to pick an historical precedent for this series, my go-to would be outside of baseball, actually:… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Doom,
I’m no Warriors’ fan but, if Dramond doesn’t have his spastic fit, the Cavaliers go home early. But, the better team doesn’t always win and that’s why they play the game. At the risk of going all Calvinist here, some things are just meant to be – a hemophiliac heir and Rasputin, the ’69 Mets, the ’64 Phillies’ collapse…..Miami over the 1984 Nebraska Superteam in the Orange Bowl. It happens

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Well, the World Series is over, and since for most of my life I thought the notion of Washington as World Champs was an impossible fantasy, in my view it’s a remarkable outcome. The games weren’t particularly close overall, but they felt closer because the scoring tended to come late, and a seven-game Series is always close. But to me, the most memorable aspect of the Series is that it was an all-away affair. That is something I had expected never to happen in the Series. The odds are very high against it. It can only happen in a full… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Saw Doom’s comment after posting mine, and one portion caught my eye: “5 of the games were absolute blowouts, anyway, and those don’t really matter as far as who’s the home team and who the road.” They may look that way in retrospect, but the scores of all the games after six or seven innings were: Game 1: 5-3 (after 7) Game 2: 2-2 (after 6) Game 3: 4-1 (after 7) Game 4: 4-1 (after 6) Game 5: 4-1 (after 7) Game 6: 3-2 (after 6) Game 7: 3-2 (after 7) So although some of these turned into blowouts (although… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Bob,

A really good point about the scores in late innings. Still not terribly close, but it’s unfortunate that the bullpens seemed so fundamentally broken (last night included!) that those late games couldn’t have been held a bit closer.

As a Brewers fan (I had to get there eventually, right?!), it’s so upsetting to think that we were TWO OUTS away from knocking the World Champs out in the Wild Card game, with the NL’s best reliever on the mound. Yet, so it goes.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Yeah, well, Doom, as a Brooklyn fan I have my own regrets. But my team (a phrase I’d also use if it were the Mets) had its Series shots these past two years, so maybe watching Kershaw blow up in the NLDS spared me watching him blowing up later, when I might actually have been watching. . . .

Paul E
Guest

Bob,
“The odds of a seven-game Series being all-away are 63-1 without factoring in home-field advantage.”
Interestingly enough, If the “road underdogs” were catching $180 on a $100 bet, 1.8 to the 7th power is about 61.222 – 1.

Vooomo
Guest

For the record, I called the all-road victories after the Nats won the first 2. Even texted my Astro fan buddy saying how hilarious it would be when it happened…… I should probably start gambling on this stuff.

Voomo
Guest

Though I have trouble spelling my nom de e-plume

Doug
Guest
Obviously, a most unusual WS, starting, of course, with the away team winning every game. Biggest differences between the clubs: – Washington was 4-0 with their top two starters going, compared to 1-3 for the Astros – The Nats bullpen (4.03 ERA) outpitched the Astro relievers (5.72) in virtually the same workload (one out difference) – Nats were 4-0 in games in which they led at any point; Houston was only 3-3. Some other factoids: – Teams to win WS with 14+ fewer season wins than opponent: Nats (14), 1954 Giants (14), 1906 White Sox (23) – Teams to win… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Doug, You can knock the 1918 BoSox off of: “Teams to win best-of-7 WS despite scoring 1 run or none in 3 games”: that Series ended in six.

Bob Eno (epm)
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Whoops . . . Just realized you meant “best-of-7” as opposed to “best-of-9,” not a 7-game Series.

Josh Davis
Guest
Maybe someone is going to start a new thread on World Series aftermath, but I can’t wait to hear your reactions. 1. Who did you have as the MVP? I don’t think Strasburg was a bad choice, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Soto or Rendon win it. Even Kendrick has an argument (perhaps) on the strength of that huge, momentum swinging home run. 2. Was anyone else surprised that they took Greinke out after only 80 pitches? He was pitching a phenomenal game and looked totally in control. One mistake pitch to Rendon, then a terrible call… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Just FYI, everyone. As I have the last two years, I wrote up some awards voting posts. I emailed them to Doug aaaaaand I’m sure he’ll post them when he gets the time. So that’s something to look forward to.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Terrific, Doom! Thanks for doing this again. In the past some of the discussions on those posts have been really focused and challenging to join.

Doug
Guest

Doom’s first post should be up by end of day on Sunday.

Doug
Guest
More unusual facts from the just completed World Series. – Adam Eaton becomes the first player with two WS games having both a HR and a sacrifice bunt. That’s the first player with two such WS games in a career, and he did it in the space of 7 days. Eaton is also the first outfielder with such a game since Tom Tresh in 1962. – Juan Soto becomes the youngest player with three HR in a single WS, two years younger than Charlie Keller in 1939. – George Springer becomes the first player with 7 career WS home runs… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

I’ve retired from commenting, but a correction here is necessary.

Lefty Gomez was not only 5-0 but 6-0 in the post season—all in the World Series.

Mike L
Guest

No one of your depth should retire from commenting.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

I think Doug meant in a single post-season, nsb, but I’m sure he’d be willing to cede the point to you if you unretire. George Washington unretired when his country was in need and called upon him. Now it is HHS in need, and the call is for you.

Scary Tuna
Guest

I wholeheartedly agree. HHS needs nsb.

no statistician but
Guest
I suppose I should, out of curtesy, make a response. Bob: Wrong General, wrong year. Try Sherman 1884. CLIMATE CHANGE AND BASEBALL, PARALLEL CATASTROPHES. Climate change, despite actually rather cautious projections from most scientists, is by now irreversible without the kind of effort, financing, and general willingness to sacrifice—not merely in the U.S, but world wide—that is beyond the capability of humanity, much less that of governments and free market capitalists who might actually exert some power. A couple of examples: Florida will be mostly under water with the lifetime of anyone younger than thirty or so today. Increasingly irregular… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Sadly, I believe your climate prognosis is likely very accurate. An enormous challenge bequeathed to our children and grand-children, with the added insult of wasting untold trillions on pointless efforts to undo what cannot be undone, rather than preparing for the response and adaptation that will be required.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
But, nsb, HHS has never called for Sherman, a great general, but only when guided by a greater superior. It is Washington we need, a general capable of leading the way with long, detailed analogies that no other leader has ever conceived of before (or likely will again). On my part, I can’t dispute what you have identified as the future of baseball. If you’ve been lurking, you know that my participation has been down too, and many times I do wonder whether I have enough interest in today’s TTO game to support HHS comments. But remember that the coming… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
NSB, short-term thinking is the only kind of thinking that has influence these days. As to your climate change comment, I suspect those that haven’t convinced themselves it’s a fraud, think somehow it’s not going to impact them. But it’s all intertwined…arable land, inhabitable cities, migration, rising anger and social dislocation. One small observation I heard made by Richard Sennett–citing a projection of 83 million climate refugees from Africa over the next few decades, he simply asked where they would live, when Europe reacted so violently to just 1.5 Million. Still, baseball is an escape, and while I agree with… Read more »
Scary Tuna
Guest

Cliff Lee was 4-0 for the Phillies in the 2009 post-season.

Doug
Guest

Indeed he was.

The other nine with a 4-0 record in starts in one post-season all played for WS champions: Strasburg (2019), Carpenter (2011), Pettitte (2009), Hamels (2008), Beckett (2007), Schilling (2001), Wells (1998), Morris (1991), Stewart (1989)

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Grumpy Old Man here. First: Get off my lawn! (Ah. . . . . . . I needed that.) Second: I can’t get too excited about any of these 4-0 or 5-0 post-season records. They include no 3-0 series, either league championship or World. Look at Pettitte: he makes this special list, but he was in 18 (18!!) best-of-seven post-season series and never managed three wins in any one of them. Only six pitchers have ever gone 3-0 as starters in a best-of-seven series, all in the World Series: Mathewson ’05, Adams ’09, Coombs ’10, Burdette ’57, Gibson ’67, and… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

For educated orneriness, this one is the best I’ve read. Well done, Bob.

ReliefMan
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Nats pitchers in the first game of the playoffs: Scherzer for 5, Strasburg for 3, and Hudson to close it out. Nats pitchers in the final game of the playoffs, with Strasburg all but unavailable: Scherzer for 5, Corbin for 3, and Hudson again. At least they’re consistent. Another curious thing about that first game: *Every* batter who stepped to the plate for them in the entire game did so while trailing (by 2+ runs in fact), and they not only pulled out the win but had a pitcher earn a save in the same game (something that wouldn’t be… Read more »
Doug
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Not sure I’ve understood you RM. In game 1, Washington tied the game in the 4th inning and took a lead in the 5th. Every batter after that batted with the lead. Only scenario I can think of with a team winning a game, but having every batter bat while trailing in the game, would be a walk-off win with the visitors taking the lead in the top of the first, as occurred in game 4 of the 1947 series won by Cookie Lavagetto breaking up Bill Bevens’ no-hitter (there are 59 other walk-off games in WS history, so there… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Suppose the visiting team scores 2 runs in the top of the first inning and maintains a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the 8th inning. The home team loads the bases with 2 out. The next batter hits a bases-clearing double and is thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple after the runner on first has scored. The home team now leads 3-2 and the visitors do not score in the top of the 9th. I did a search with the event finder and could not find any such game.

Doug
Guest

Right you are, Richard. Did you mean, you couldn’t such a World Series game, or you couldn’t find any such game at all.

Richard Chester
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I meant any regular season game since 1925 and any post-season game since 1901.

ReliefMan
Guest

The “every batter trailing” phenomenon was in the first game of the playoffs overall (the WC game), not WS game 1.

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