Tag Archives: World Series

Indians 19th team in history to have two shutout wins in World Series


With their 1-0 win over the Cubs last night to take a 2-1 lead in the series, the Cleveland Indians did something that has been pretty rare in World Series history: They have now pitched a shutout in two of the first three games and became the 19th team in history to win two or more games in the World Series by shutout, In addition, the Tribe is only the sixth team in World Series history to win two of the first three games in a World Series by shutout.

All total, there have been 118 shutouts in World Series history. Of the 18 teams that had two or more shutouts in a World Series, 13 went on to win the World Series that season, five did not. That is not good news for the Chicago Cubs.

Let’s look at the 19 teams that have pitched two or more shutouts in a World Series year.

2016: Cleveland (2/to date)
2012: San Francisco (2)
2010: San Francisco (2)
1966: Baltimore (3)
1965: Los Angeles Dodgers (3)
1961: New York Yankees (2)
1960: New York Yankees (2)
1959: Chicago White Sox (2)
1958: New York Yankees (2)
1957: Milwaukee Braves (2)
1956:  New York Yankees (2)
1945: Chicago Cubs (2)
1921: New York Yankees (2)
1920: Cleveland (2)
1919: Cincinnati (2)
1917: New York Giants (2)
1908: Chicago Cubs (2)
1905: New York Giants (4)
1903: Boston (2)

The Indians will be looking to become the only the fourth team in World Series history to win three or more World Series games by shutout (1966-Baltimore, 1965-L.A. Dodgers, 1905-N.Y. Giants). Each of these teams won the World Series that year.

As noted above, five teams were shutout twice in a World Serioes yet went on to win the title that year… that is certainly what the Cubs are hoping for. The last time it happened was in 1960 when the Yankees pitching staff shutout the Pirates in Games #3 and #6, yet the Pirates won Game #7 to win the championship. The other teams to win a World Series after being shutout in two of the games were the 1959 L.A. Dodgers, the 1945 Detroit Tigers, the 1921 N.Y Giants and the 1917 Chicago White Sox.

One final tidbit: Did you that the last team to lose two of the first three games of a World Series by a shutout to go on and win the World Series were the 1945 Detroit Tigers. Their oppponent in that series? The Cubs!

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Making the World Series after three sub .500 seasons… and more!


Although the New York Mets are down two games to none in the World Series, the team has already accomplished a lot just by getting into this post-season. Not many pundits had the Mets making the playoffs, let alone make it to the World Series.

To help quantify the above statements, let’s look at two stats.

  • The Mets are one of 12 teams in MLB history to have made the World Series after three or more seasons with a sub .500 record. After a .548 winning percentage in 2008 (89-73 record), the Mets went six seasons with a winning percentage under .500 for six straight years before going 90-72 and making it to the World Series this season. The 2006 Detroit Tigers hold the record for most sub. 500 season before making the World Series with 12. Here’s a look at those 12 teams that had three or more seasons under .500 before making the World Series.

Years under .500 before making World Series
12: 2006 Detroit Tigers
11: 1914 Boston Braves
10: 2008 Tampa Bay Rays
7: 1991 Atlanta Braves; 1967 Boston Red Sox; 1969 New York Mets
6: 2015 New York Mets; 1993 Philadelphia Phillies
5: 1945 Chicago Cubs; 2003 Florida Marlins
3: 1918 Chicago Cubs; 2002 Anaheim Angels

  • If the Mets should rebound from their 2-0 deficit and win the 2015 World Series, they would become the 11th team in MLB history (since 1969) to win a World Series after not making the playoffs in four or more of their previous seasons. The Minnesota Twins top this category; they won the 1987 World Series after missing the post-season in the 16 previous seasons. Had they made it to the World Series this year and won the title, the Toronto Blue Jays could have broken this record. The Blue Jays had gone 21 seasons prior to this year without making the playoffs. Here’s a look at the 10 teams that had four or more seasons not making the playoffs the years prior to winning the World Series. (Note: Does not include teams that won the World Series prior to 1969 when only two teams made it to the World Series each year.)

Consecutive years not making the post-season prior to winning the World Series (since 1969)
16: 1987 Minnesota Twins
15: 2002 Los Angeles Angels
13: 1982 St. Louis Cardinals
12: 1986 New York Mets
11: 1984 Detroit Tigers
10: 1970 Cincinnati Reds
7: 1969 New York Mets
5: 2003 Florida Marlins
4: 2005 Chicago White Sox; 1997 Florida Marlins

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Are we headed for a ‘same-state’ World Series in 2015?

Could we see a Missouri World Series in 2015?

Could we see a Missouri World Series in 2015?

If you opened up this morning’s paper and glanced at the baseball standings, you discovered something very interesting. Did you see that two teams from the same city are leading their divisions (the Yankees and Mets), two teams from the same state are leading their respective divisions (Missouri’s Royals and Cardinals), and while the Dodgers sit atop the N.L. West, their in-state rivals, the Angels, are just a couple games behind the Astros in the A.L. West race?

What does all this mean? Not only could we see a World Series with two teams from the same state, but for the first time in MLB history there could be three pairs of teams from three states winning the six divisions.

In 1994, baseball went to a three-division format in each of the two leagues. Since then, teams from the same state have won a division title in the same year several times. Considering that there are five teams from California, it’s not surprising that several of those pairs have been west coast teams.  Here’s a look at the other state pairs that have won divisions title in the same year since 1969 when MLB went from two leagues to two divisions in each league.

(New York) New York Yankees and New York Mets: 2006

(Missouri) Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals: 1985

(Illinois) Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox: 2008

(Ohio) Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds: 1995

(California) Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers (2004, 2008, 2009, 2014)
(California) Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers (1974, 1988, 2013)
(California) Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants (1971, 1989, 2000, 2003, 2012)
(California) Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres (2006)
(California) Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres (2005)

In addition, there are two pairs from the same state that have never won a division title in the same year: Florida’s Tampa Bay and Miami franchises, and the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants from California.

There have been 20 times when two teams from the same state (and in many cases, the same city) have faced each other in the World Series. The last time it happened was in 2002 when the San Francisco Giants faced off against the Anaheim Angels. The current 12-year drought of not having two teams from the same state play each other in the World Series is the fourth longest in MLB history. The longest drought was from 1956 to 1974, 17 years.

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SF Giants prove you can win a World Series without a league MVP front-runner

SF Giants catcher Buster Posey

SF Giants catcher Buster Posey


When the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2012, catcher Buster Posey was the National League’s MVP. When they won the World Series this past season, Posey was the highest ranking Giant player in the MVP voting when he finished sixth (Giants outfielder Hunter Pence finished 11th, the second-highest finish for a Giants player) in the National League voting. Go back a few more years to when San Francisco won the 2010 World Series, and you’ll see that Aubrey Huff was the Giants player who finished the highest in the voting with a seventh-place finish.

What does all this mean? Well, based on past history we can see that no longer does it take a front-runner for the league MVP Award to lead his team to the World Series.

This year was the 11th time since 1990 that the World Series champion did not have a player finish in the Top 5 for the league MVP Award. Here’s a look at those 11 teams.

World Series champ, highest finish for the league MVP Award

1990: Cincinnati, Barry Larkin (7th)
1991: Minnesota, Kirby Puckett (7th)
1996 N.Y. Yankees, Mariano Rivera (tie for 12th)
1997: Florida, Moises Alou (10th)
1999: N.Y. Yankees, Derek Jeter (6th)
2000: N.Y. Yankees, Derek Jeter (10th)
2003: Florida, Juan Pierre (10th)
2005: Chicago White Sox, Paul Konerko (6th)
2010: San Francisco, Aubrey Huff (7th)
2013: Boston, Dustin Pedroia (tie for 7th)
2014: San Francisco, Buster Posey (6th)

Prior to the 1990 season, there was never a season where the World Series champion had a player finish lower than 5th in the league MVP Award balloting. In fact, from 1923 to 1989, only seven teams won the World Series with the highest player finish in the league MVP Award being third or lower. Those seven:

1989 Oakland (Dennis Eckersley, 5th); 1987 Minnesota (Kirby Puckett, 3rd); 1986 N.Y. Mets (Gary Carter, 3rd); 1981 L.A. Dodgers (Fernando Valenzuela, 5th); 1977 N.Y. Yankees (Graig Nettles, 5th); 1959 L.A. Dodgers (Wally Moon, 4th); 1928 N.Y. Yankees (Tony Lazzeri, 4th).

From 1923 to 1984 (60 seasons), 41 of the World Series champs also had the player who won the league MVP Award in their league, with another 15 World Series champs having the player who finished second in the balloting for the league honor. Since 1985, only two teams that won the World Series had the player who won the league MVP Award: Posey in 2012 for the Giants, and in 1988 when N.L. MVP Kirk Gibson led the Dodgers to a World Series title.

Is there a lesson here? Probably that it no longer takes a team with a front-runner for the league MVP to win the World Series.

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Wanna win the World Series? Hire a former MLB catcher to be your manager!


World Series managers (and former MLB catchers) Bruce Bochy & Ned Yost

World Series managers (and former MLB catchers) Bruce Bochy & Ned Yost

With the 2014 World Series starting tonight, one thing is for certain: A former major league catcher will manage his team to a World Series title when the series is over.

Kansas City’s Ned Yost and San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy were both catchers during their playing days in the majors. Yost played six years in the majors (1980-85), four of those seasons with the Brewers. Bochy had a 10-year MLB career (1978-87) playing six seasons with the Padres.

This will be the second World Series since 2001 where the opposing managers were former MLB catchers. In 2001 Bob Brenly (Arizona) and Joe Torre (N.Y. Yankees) faced off in the series won by the Diamondbacks in seven games.

In the 15 World Series this century (including this year), 11 of the 30 managers in the Fall Classic were former catchers. Bochy and Torre each had three appearances in the World Series from 2000-2014; Mike Scioscia, Brenly, Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny and Yost are the other former MLB catchers who managed in the World Series since 2000. Since a former catcher will win the title this year, that will be seven times in the last 15 years for former catchers to manage a World Series champ since 2000.

From 1901-2013, there have been 66 different managers that won a World Series. Of those 66, seven never played in the majors. Of the other 59, there have been 13 catchers, most of any position player. Following is a breakdown of the former MLB player positions that have won a World Series. (Noted in parenthesis are the number of World Series titles won by each position.)

* Several of the World Series managers played multiple positions during their MLB careers. For the sake of this posting, the position noted is the position where they had the most games played.

Catchers: 13 different managers (won 23 titles)
Second Basemen: 10 different managers (won 18 titles)
First Basemen: 8 different managers (won 14 titles)
Left Fielders: 6 different managers (won 7 titles)
Third Basemen: 5 different managers (won 8 titles)
Pitchers: 5 different managers (won 6 titles)
Shortstops: 5 different managers (won 5 titles)
Right Fielders: 4 different managers (won 11 titles)
Center Fielders: 3 different managers (won 4 titles)
Managers with no MLB playing experience: 7 different managers (won 13 titles)

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