Tuesday, August 7, 2007

? No. 25: Who knew Gwynn could hit?

As I write this question, I'm watching the Cardinals-Padres tilt on ESPN, enjoying the fine HD on my relatively new 37-inch TV. Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn is at the game, so he'll be the source of my trivia question today. (David Wells, who is starting tonight, will have to wait for the "fattest pitcher ever" question, surely forthcoming.) Gwynn's longest hitting streak in his career was 25 games, and happened in just his second season in 1983. Other than that streak, his longest was 20. I guess I was surprised that Gwynn didn't have a bunch of 20-some game streaks, not to mention a streak in the 30s. But he did have a 19, two 18s, a 16, four 15s, a 14, five 13s, and eight 12s -- so I guess he could hit a little. My question today is: What was Gwynn's longest career streak for times reaching base twice in a game? Price Is Right rules.

Yesterday's Answer: Way to go Listmaker, using your powers of deduction! Mickey Lolich, believe it or not, is the only true answer. Best as I can tell, other than Gibby in '67, Lolich is the only starting pitcher since '65 not named Tiant to start three games in a World Series that his team eventually won. In Lolich's case, he actually was credited with the W in each of his games, too. Lolich took the hard road to get there. Typically, a pitcher needs to start Game 1 to have a chance at this feat, because that enables him to come back in Games 4 and 7. But in this case, Lolich started Game 2 and pitched a complete game as the Tigers defeated the Cardinals 8-1. He returned in Game 5 and spotted the Redbirds three runs in the top of the first, then blanked them for eight innings as the Tigers won 5-3. Three days later he took the mound in Game 7 to face Gibby. Both pitchers tossed nine innings -- Lolich's third complete game of the series -- but the Tigers edged the Cardinals 4-1. To no surprise, Lolich was the World Series MVP after posting a 1.67 ERA in 27 innings pitched.

As for the others... Randy Johnson started and won Games 2 and 6 of the 2001 Series, and picked up the win in relief of Game 7. So close, but no cigar for him. Ron Darling lost a Game 1 heartbreaker in 1986, 1-0. He won in Game 4 and started, but did not get the win, in Game 7. Koufax, who is possibly the best World Series pitcher ever (note the 0.95 ERA), was the loser in Game 2 of the '65 Series, then pitched a complete-game gem in Game 5 and came back on two days rest to throw a duplicate gem in Game 7. In 1991, Morris won Games 1 and 7 (the 10-inning complete game), but the Twins lost his Game 4 start, 3-2.

1 comment:

the guru said...

16