Stats & Info: Curt Schilling


Jamie Squire/Getty Imag
The Cardinals (managed by Tony La Russa, on left) and Rangers (managed by Ron Washington, on right) lead their teams into the 36th Game 7 in World Series history.

For the 36th time in baseball history and first since 2002, a Game 7 is needed to decide the World Series, this time between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. If recent history is any indication, start popping the corks in St. Louis. Since 1980, home teams are 8-0 in World Series Game 7s (prior to 1980, home teams were 10-17).

Furthermore, of the last nine World Series to go seven games, eight were won by the team that won Game 6. The only team since 1979 to lose Game 7 after winning Game 6 was the Cleveland Indians against the Florida Marlins in 1997.

Playing in a Game 7 is nothing new for the Cardinals. In fact, they are making their 15th appearance in a postseason winner-take-all Game 7, the most all-time. And they’ve had quite a bit of success, winning 10 postseason Game 7s, also the most all-time.

St. Louis leads all franchises with seven Game 7 wins in World Series action, but has lost three of its last four. On the other side, Texas is making its first appearance in a Game 7 of any series in franchise history.

Pitching Matchup
Matt Harrison will make his second World Series start for Texas. Harrison took the loss in Game 3 after allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits in 3 2/3 innings. Harrison will try to be the first starting pitcher who lost a game earlier in the series to win Game 7 of a World Series since Frank Viola (1987 Minnesota Twins).

It was reported Friday that the Cardinals will start Chris Carpenter, and that should make St. Louis fans breathe a sigh of relief. Carpenter is 8-2 in his postseason career, including 3-0 this season. In three career World Series starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA and has allowed just four earned runs in 13 innings against the Rangers this series.

Carpenter has pitched on three-days rest just once and it was earlier this postseason in Game 2 of the NLDS at Philadelphia.

According to Elias, Carpenter will be the ninth pitcher to start two winner-take-all games in one postseason.

The others were Blue Moon Odom (1972 Oakland Athletics), Pete Vuckovich (1982 Milwaukee Brewers), Bret Saberhagen (1985 Kansas City Royals), John Smoltz (1991 Atlanta Braves), Jaret Wright (1997 Indians), Curt Schilling (2001 Arizona Diamondbacks), Roger Clemens (2001 New York Yankees), Kerry Wood (2003 Chicago Cubs) and Pedro Martinez (2003 Boston Red Sox). No pitcher has ever won two winner-take-all games in one postseason, no matter if he started the game or not.

Stat of the Game
Elias tells us that Tony La Russa needs a win in Game 7 to avoid becoming the first manager to lose the clinching game of four World Series on his home field. In 1988, the Athletics lost in five games to the Los Angeles Dodgers, with Game Five at the Oakland Coliseum; in 1990, the Athletics were swept by the Cincinnati Reds, with Game Four in Oakland; in 2004, the Cardinals lost all four games to the Red Sox, with Game Four at Busch Stadium.
The teams with the most wins in the majors start a three-game series tonight in Philadelphia as the Phillies (55 wins) and Braves (53) square off.

The red-hot Braves, who have won four straight and nine of their last 10, send Brandon Beachy to the mound, while the Phils (winners of seven of their last 10) counter with Roy Halladay. Halladay is 6-0 with a 2.69 ERA in his last nine starts and the Phillies have won each of them.

Halladay is 11-3 on the season, the seventh straight campaign that he has won at least 10 games by the break. Only three times since 1975 has a Phillies starter had 12+ wins before the break (Curt Schilling in 1999 and Steve Carlton in 1977 & 1980).

Beachy is winless in four starts against the Phillies, going 0-3 with a 5.00 ERA including his major league debut last Sept. 20 in Philly. The last time he faced them (May 13) he had to leave after two innings with a strained oblique. However, since returning from the DL, Beachy is 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts.

The Braves have won the last two series against the Phillies, taking two of three in each.

In other games Friday:

Josh Beckett and the Red Sox host the Orioles. From the Elias Sports Bureau: Beckett has permitted fewer hits than innings pitched in each of his last 11 starts, the longest single-season streak of that sort by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez had an 11-game streak in the 2000 season. The last Red Sox pitcher with a longer streak of that kind was Carl Mays: 12 straight starts allowing fewer hits than innings, in 1918.

Also from Elias: Minnesota's Joe Mauer has a hit in each of his last six at-bats against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. The longest current streak of consecutive hits by one active major-leaguer against another is eight, by Andruw Jones against Jason Marquis.

Working overtime: World Series pitchers

February, 2, 2011
2/02/11
3:56
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Since 2004, the innings pitched leader of the World Series winning team struggled the following year -- until CC Sabathia finished third in the 2010 AL Cy Young voting and the Yankees won all three of his postseason starts.

How will the increased workload affect Tim Lincecum in 2011? He threw 249 ⅓ innings last season -- 22 ⅓ more than his previous career high -- in helping the San Francisco Giants win the World Series.

2004 Curt Schilling
Schilling finished second in AL Cy Young voting in 2004 with a 21-8 record and 3.26 ERA in 226 ⅔ innings. He went 3-1 in 22 ⅔ more innings in an epic postseason that included the most memorable sock in baseball history. In 2005 Schilling started the season on the DL with pain in his right ankle. He was back on the DL from April to July with a bone bruise on that same ankle -- but a little higher on the leg than where he had surgery. He finished the season 8-8 with a 5.69 ERA.

2005 Mark Buehrle
Mark Buehrle
Buehrle
Buehrle led the AL in innings in 2004 and 2005, but pitched an extra 23 ⅓ in 2005 helping the Chicago White Sox on their World Series run. In 2006 Buehrle admitted that a back problem bothered him during the course of the season, but insisted that pain never affected him on the mound. He made 32 starts but finished below .500 for the only time in his career and had a career-worst 4.99 ERA.

2006 Chris Carpenter
A year after winning the NL Cy Young, Carpenter led the St. Louis Cardinals to their first World Series title since 1982. He went 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA in the postseason but pitched 254 innings from April to October. In 2007 and 2008 he appeared in just five games due to shoulder, triceps and elbow problems -- including Tommy John surgery in 2007.

2007 Josh Beckett
Josh Beckett
Beckett
Beckett went 20-7 in 2007 before going 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA in the postseason. He pitched a combined 230 ⅔ innings, the most of his professional career. He had a second World Series ring and the ALCS MVP trophy for his efforts, but the October overtime showed in 2008. He started the season on the DL with back problems and was sidelined again in August with elbow issues. He went 12-10 with a 4.03 ERA.

2008 Cole Hamels
Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the postseason on his way to capturing the NLCS and World Series MVP awards. He pitched 262 ⅓ innings between the regular and postseason, 72 ⅓ innings more than his previous career high. In 2009 Hamels missed starting on Opening Day due to inflammation in his left elbow, finished below .500 for the first time in his career (10-11) and had a career-worst 4.32 ERA. Cole was also unable to turn it on in the postseason, going 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four postseason starts.

2009 CC Sabathia
CC Sabathia
Sabathia
Sabathia went 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA in his first season with the New York Yankees. He also overcame previous postseason failures by going 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in five postseason starts, but he pitched a career-high 266 ⅓ innings in the regular and postseason. Sabathia was unfazed by recent history and pitched more than 240 total innings for the fourth straight season in 2010. He wasn’t just durable, he was also good -- he lowered his ERA from 3.37 to 3.18 and his 21 wins led the AL and established a career high.
Another weekend day game between AL East foes at Rogers Centre, some more history for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Brandon Morrow struck out 17 Tampa Bay Rays and was just one ground ball away from one of the more dominating no-hitters in MLB history on Sunday. Alas, Evan Longoria's grounder bounched off of Aaron Hill's diving attempt at it and Morrow was forced to strike out Dan Johnson to secure the 1-0 win.

Morrow joins an elite club of Blue Jays pitchers to lose a no-hitter when they were just one out away. Roy Halladay gave up a hit to Bobby Higginson of the Detroit Tigers back in 1998 when he was one out away. But Morrow has nothing on Dave Stieb, who lost three no-hitters in a two-season span between 1988 and 1989, including two in back-to-back starts.

The only Blue Jays no-hitter ever thrown was by Stieb on September 2, 1990 at the Indians.

Maybe we should have seen an effort like this coming from Morrow. On September 5, 2008, Morrow threw 7.2 hitless innings against the New York Yankees in his first MLB start. It was broken up by a Wilson Betemit double that actually scored a run. Morrow is now the ONLY pitcher to take a no-hitter through five innings three times this season.

The Tampa Bay Rays seem to have no-hitters on their brain as they narrowly escape becoming the first team in MLB history to be no-hit three times in a season. In fact, of the last six no-hitters across the bigs, the Rays have been involved in four of them (one by Matt Garza while three have come against them).

Instead of wallowing in what might have been, we should celebrate what Morrow did achieve. 17 strikeouts is one shy of the club record that Roger Clemens set against the Royals back in 1998. The list of pitchers with a one-hit shutout along with 17 Ks in the live-ball era (since 1920) is just three names deep. Curt Schilling in 2002 with the Diamondbacks, Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game back in 1998 and now Morrow.

Some other crazy facts:

•Home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg was also behind the dish for Anibal Sanchez and Ubaldo Jimenez's no-nos. The last umpire to have home plate for two no-hitters in a season was Drew Coble in 1990.

•On July 26 (two weeks ago tomorrow), Morrow turned 26 years old. Check out the ages of the pitchers who threw the five no-hitters this season: Ubaldo Jimenez (26), Dallas Braden (26), Roy Halladay (33), Edwin Jackson (26) and Garza (26). From July 30, 1973 until the end of last season, there were just five total no-hitters thrown by a pitcher who was exactly 26 years of age.

•According to Bill James' metric "Game Score," which is a one-number summary of how good a pitcher's single-game performance is, Brandon Morrow's 17-strikeout, 2-walk, one-hitter got a score of 100. That is tied for the 4th-best single-game pitching performance since 1920. It was the highest by any pitcher in a single game since Randy Johnson scored 100 in his perfect game back in 2004.

The Ones2Watch4

April, 19, 2010
4/19/10
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Four players from our One2Watch4 series (which kicked off the TMI blog in March), had impact performances on Sunday.

  • Rays ace Matt Garza improved to 3-0 by dominating against the Red Sox on Sunday. Garza, among the best right-handers in baseball against left-handed hitters, held Boston lefties to a 1-for-11 showing in the victory.

  • * - Won Cy Young Award

  • Shin-Soo Choo went 11-for-19 with three home runs and 11 RBI this week, leading the Indians to a 4-2 record in that time. Of note is Choo's early success against opposing pitchers' sliders. Sunday, Choo's decisive grand slam came off a Gavin Floyd slider. Last year, Choo struck out 30 times against sliders, walking just eight times. Already this season, Choo has four walks against the pitch, with only one strikeout.

  • Jay Bruce, struggling all season, hit his first two home runs of the year, giving him six career multi-homer games. The two RBI Bruce had matched his total from the first 12 games of the season.
  • Carlos Gonzalez was a would-be hero for the Rockies, hitting a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning before Jason Heyward stole some of his thunder. Gonzalez has made an impact all year with his bat, though this was the first time he’d done so for power. He’s played in nine games this season and had a hit in eight.
  • Why Yankees and Sabathia should worry

    March, 11, 2010
    3/11/10
    3:57
    PM ET
    If two is a coincidence and three is a trend, what is five? Five could be a serious concern for CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees. The past five innings leaders for World Series-winning teams have struggled and/or missed time due to injury the following season.

    WORKING OVERTIME
    Innings Leaders Of World Series-Winning Teams Since 2004

    2004 Curt Schilling
    Schilling finished second in American League Cy Young voting in 2004 with a 21-8 record and 3.26 ERA in 226 2/3 innings. He went 3-1 in 22 2/3 more innings in an epic postseason that included the most memorable sock in baseball history. In 2005, Schilling started the season on the DL with pain in his right ankle. He was back on the DL from April to July with a bone bruise on that same right ankle -- but a little higher on the leg than where he had surgery. He finished the season 8-8 with a 5.69 ERA.

    2005 Mark Buehrle
    Buehrle led the AL in innings in 2004 and 2005 but pitched an extra 23 1/3 innings in 2005 while helping the Chicago White Sox on their World Series run. In 2006, Buehrle admitted that a back problem bothered him during the course of the season but insisted that pain never affected him on the mound. He made 32 starts that season but finished below .500 for the only time in his career and had a career-worst 4.99 ERA.

    2006 Chris Carpenter
    A year after winning the National League Cy Young, Carpenter led the St. Louis Cardinals to their first World Series title since 1982. He went 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA in the postseason but pitched 254 innings from April to October. In 2007 and 2008, he appeared in just five games due to shoulder, triceps and elbow problems -- including undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2007.

    2007 Josh Beckett
    Beckett went 20-7 in 2007 before going 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA in the postseason. He pitched a combined 230 2/3 innings, the most of his professional career. He had a second World Series ring and the ALCS MVP trophy for his efforts, but the October overtime showed in 2008. He started the season on the DL with back problems and was sidelined again in August with elbow issues. He went 12-10 with a 4.03 ERA.

    2008 Cole Hamels
    Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the postseason on his way to capturing the NLCS and World Series MVP awards. He pitched 262 1/3 innings between the regular and postseason, 72 1/3 innings more than his previous career high. In 2009, Hamels missed starting on Opening Day due to inflammation in his left elbow, finished below .500 for the first time in his career (10-11) and had a career-worst 4.32 ERA. He also was unable to turn it on in the postseason, going 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four postseason starts.

    2009 CC Sabathia
    Sabathia went 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA in his first season with the Yankees. He also overcame previous postseason failures by going 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in five postseason starts, but he pitched a career-high 266 1/3 innings in the regular and postseason. One could argue that if anyone could handle the extra work it is Sabathia, who pitched just more than 256 innings each of his previous two seasons, but he never pitched so deep into the calendar before. A workhorse like Sabathia versus a streak with a track record like this will be something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

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