Friday, October 5, 2007

Post-Season Shutouts,etc.

I'm sure Mets fans are amused to find that the last 4 complete game shutouts in major league post-season games (dating back to 2003) include three by Josh Beckett and one by a pitcher who later pitched for the Mets -- Jose Lima.

The Mets have had three post-season complete game shutouts thrown for them: Mike Hampton against the Cards in 2000, Bobby Jones against the Giants in 2000 (I was lucky enough to be at Shea for that one) and Jon Matlack against the Reds in 1973. The Mets shut out the Cards in the playoffs last season, but it was not a complete game -- Glavine, Mota and Wagner combined to pitch that one. The other combined shutouts for the Mets in the post-season are Game 5 of the 1973 World Series (Koosman and McGraw, with Tug pitching the last two and two-thirds innings) and Game 3 of the 1969 World Series (Gary Gentry and Nolan Ryan).

Interesting that Tom Seaver never had a post-season game in which he gave up no runs (his post-season pitching performance overall was nearly identical in performance to his regular season career performance -- 3 wins and two losses with a 2.77 ERA in the post-season, compared to a .603 regular season winning percentage and 2.86 regular season ERA). Seaver pitched one post-season game in which he gave up only one run -- the classic Game 4 of the 1969 World Series in which he pitched a ten-inning complete game win, with the Orioles' only run coming in the ninth on two singles and a sac fly. That's the game the Mets won in the tenth on J.C. Martin's walk-off bunt (Martin was pinch-hitting for Seaver) when relief pitcher Pete Richert's throw to first base hit Martin running up the line (O's fans claim it was interference), allowing the winning run to score.

Martin's bunt was one of three walk-off sac bunts in post-season history, along with Charlie Hayes for the Yankees against the Rangers in 1996 and Herbie Moran of the Boston Braves in Game 3 of the 1914 World Series against the A's. The A's were swept by the Braves in that 1914 Series, managing only 6 runs in the four games after having won three of the previous four World Series, one of the games being (to bring us back to the original theme of this entry) a 1-0 shutout by Braves pitcher Bill James. Having been swept in the Series, the A's went on to finished dead last in the AL for the next seven seasons in a row -- that was some devastating walkoff sac bunt.


metswalkoffs said...

Love the last line...

Gonna do grand slams in honor of Matsui next??

birtelcom said...

Actually I had posted a short piece on about post-season grand slams by second basemen, but wasn't sure it was quite meaty enough to post here. Your comment has inspired me to add some more stuff and post it here -- see the "Rockie Road" post above.