Sunday, August 5, 2007

? No. 24: World Series aces

I just finished Tom Adelman's The Long Ball, and I highly recommend it. The author's research is remarkable and his inferences refreshing. Go read it. But first, answer this question, inspired by the book.

1975 World Series between Fisk, Yaz, and the Spaceman's Red Sox and the Big Red Machine is always in the discussion when the question is, What is the greatest World Series ever? The Series featured Fisk's extra-inning, hand-waving home run that smacked into the Monster's foul pole, a whole lot of postponements due to rain, and easily one of the best postseason games ever (Game 6, with said homer by Fisk ending what had been a game with numerous highlights). In that Series, the Sox's Luis Tiant pitched in front of his Cuban parents for the first time in his big-league career, which at that point was 12 years and counting. El Tiante pitched brilliantly in the Sox's Game 1 win, tossing a complete game five-hit shutout. In Game 4 he battled for nine innings and 150-some pitches, getting just enough offensive support to win 5-4. After several rainy days pushed back Game 6 in Boston, he took the mound for his third start with the Sox on the verge of elimination and the hometown crowd chanting "Loo-ee" throughout the game. He was far from brilliant in the game, giving up 6 runs in 7 innings. But Dwight Evans bailed him out with a dramatic catch and Bernie Carbo and Fisk took care of the offensive fireworks. His team won all three of the games he started in the Series.

Of the following pitchers, who can make the same claim?

A) Jack Morris 1991
B) Sandy Koufax 1965
C) Randy Johnson 2001
D) Mickey Lolich 1968
E) Ron Darling 1986

Yesterday's Answer: All good guesses, particularly Gwynn, whose name is on the list often. But the player I'm looking for is Nellie Fox. The longtime White Sox second baseman was just about impossible to strike out in his career. Over a span of 13 straight seasons with at least 582 plate appearances, Fox struck out a low of 11 times (twice) and a high of 18 times. That's just silly. If we go all the way back to 1900, there are a lot of players (from the deadball era) who went an entire season without striking out. Post-deadball era, the record is held by Joe Sewell, who twice struck out just three times (and in three other seasons tallied just four Ks).


Anonymous said...


Listmaker said...

that's a great question and i'm not sure who. but i know who it isn't. randy johnson won one of his games in relief i believe. so unless he won all 4 games of that series, it ain't him. unless he won 3 games and had a save. hmmmmm....

darling - no way. otherwise ray knight wouldn't have been mvp. plus they won games 3 and 4 and he didn't start both of them. plus game 6 went so long that he obviously didn't win.

it ain't morris because if he started games 1, 4, and 7, it can't be him since the twins lost all the games on the road i think - or am i confusing that with the 87 series? i'm still not going with morris.

which leaves b and d. i don't think it was koufax for some reason. but it could be.

i'm going to guess lolich because i know he dominated in that series and it sure as hell wasn't the 31 game winner, felon, waste of space on the washington senators denny mclain.