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100 Years Of The World Series

October 19, 2003|Houston Mitchell

THE PITCHERS

A selection of the outstanding pitching performances in World Series history:

* Christy Mathewson, 1905, New York Giants vs. Philadelphia A's.

The Giants won the Series in five games. Mathewson started three times and pitched three shutouts. Final numbers: 27 innings, 14 hits, no runs, one walk, 18 strikeouts.

* Babe Ruth, 1916, Game 2, Boston vs. Brooklyn

Ruth gave up a run on an inside-the-park homer in the first inning, and that was it. For 14 innings. Boston scored in the bottom of the 14th to give the win to Ruth. His numbers: 14 innings, six hits, one run, three walks, four strikeouts. We hear he went on to become a decent hitter too.

* Waite Hoyt, 1921, New York Giants vs. New York Yankees

Talk about heartbreaking. Hoyt didn't give up an earned run in 27 innings but lost the decisive Game 8 (the World Series was best-of-nine for a while), 1-0, on an error by Yankee shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh. Hoyt's final numbers: 27 innings, 18 hits, no earned runs, 11 walks, 18 strikeouts.

* Don Larsen, Game 5, 1956, New York Yankees vs. Brooklyn

Let's see. Perfect game. Only one in World Series history. Probably belongs on this list.

* Lew Burdette, 1957, Milwaukee vs. New York Yankees

Burdette helped give Milwaukee its first Series title by winning three games, including shutouts in Games 5 and 7 (the latter on two days' rest). Final numbers: 27 innings, 21 hits, two runs, four walks, 13 strikeouts, 0.67 ERA.

* Sandy Koufax, 1965, Game 7, Dodgers vs. Minnesota

With the Series tied, 3-3, Dodger Manager Walter Alston had a choice for Game 7. Go with Don Drysdale on three days' rest or turn to Koufax with two days' rest. Alston chose Koufax, who responded by giving up only three hits and striking out 10 in a 2-0 victory. Koufax would retire one season later because of a painful pitching elbow.

* Baltimore staff, 1966, Baltimore vs. Dodgers

In Game 1, the Dodgers scored a run in the second inning and another in the third ... and didn't score again for the rest of the Series. Oriole pitchers Moe Drabowsky, Jim Palmer, Wally Bunker and Dave McNally held L.A. scoreless over the Series' final 33 innings.

* Bob Gibson, 1967, St. Louis vs. Boston

Gibson pitched three complete-game victories in the Cardinals' 4-3 Series win, including the decisive Game 7. Final numbers: 27 innings, 14 hits, three runs, five walks, 26 strikeouts, 1.00 ERA.

* Mickey Lolich, 1968, Detroit vs. St. Louis

Denny McLain won 31 games for the Tigers, but Lolich was the star in the World Series, winning three games, including outpitching Gibson on two days' rest in Detroit's 4-1 Game 7 victory. Final numbers: 27 innings, 20 hits, five earned runs, six walks, 21 strikeouts, 1.67 ERA.

* Jack Morris, Game 7, 1991, Minnesota vs. Atlanta

Many consider this the best Game 7 ever. After nine innings, neither team had scored as Morris and Atlanta's John Smoltz matched each other pitch for pitch. In the bottom of the 10th, Dan Gladden scored the winning run on Gene Larkin's single, giving the Twins the win and the Series. Morris' numbers for Game 7: 10 innings, seven hits, no runs, two walks, eight strikeouts.

* Randy Johnson, 2001, Arizona vs. New York Yankees

With Arizona trailing in the Series, 3-2, Johnson started and won Game 6, giving up two runs in seven innings of a 15-2 Diamondback victory. That figured to be it for him in the Series, as Game 7 was played the next night. But with Arizona trailing, 2-1, in the eighth inning, Manager Bob Brenly brought Johnson in with one on and two out. Johnson retired Chuck Knoblauch for the last out and pitched a scoreless ninth. Arizona scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to give Johnson his third win of the Series.

-- Houston Mitchell

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