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Marty’s Musings: The hell-has-frozen-over World Series edition

Thanks to the Cubs scratching and clawing their way to a Game 5 victory, we will all reap the benefits of November baseball.

World Series - Cleveland Indians v Chicago Cubs - Game Five Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Marty's Musings', my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball and looking forward to this week’s key matchups. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the previous week in MLB and previewing some of this week's key matchups, identifying numbers that are generally not found in a standard box score.

In this week’s edition, we prepare ourselves for one and possibly two more games in Cleveland and take a look at some fun numbers from the first five World Series games.

Indians v. Cubs: a likely, yet surprising World Series matchup

6 - Game 1 starters under the age of 25. It’s the most 25-and-under starters for a World Series game since 1970. The Cubs' Kris Bryant (24), Kyle Schwarber (23), Javier Baez (23), and Addison Russell (22) fit the bill, as did Jose Ramirez (24) and Francisco Lindor (22) for Cleveland.

1 - Pitcher in MLB history who won both the All-Star Game and Game 1 of the World Series. Back in July, Kluber threw a perfect one inning, helping the AL gain home field advantage in the Fall Classic (yes, somehow this is STILL a thing). He came out in Game 1 and dominated the Cubs over a six-inning, nine-strikeout affair.

8 - Of nine outs though the first three innings of Game 1 came via strikeout. Kluber’s two-seam fastball and slider were working swimmingly and caused the Cubs to K more than any other World Series team through the first three innings.

29 - Strikeouts by Cleveland ‘fireman’ Andrew Miller. Miller set the record for most Ks in a single postseason. The distinction was previously held by the Angels’ Francisco Rodriguez, who KO’d 28 in the 2002 playoffs. So far this postseason, Miller has faced 62 batters and fanned 29 of them (46.8 percent K-rate).

1945 - The last time the Cubs won a World Series game at Wrigley Field. With their backs against the walls, Chicago pulled out a victory for the first time in 70 years.

5 - Earned runs given up by Trevor Bauer in only 7.2 innings of World Series work. Bauer could not get out of the fourth inning in Game 2, and the trouble continued for Cleveland pitching in the fifth. Although he looked unhittable in Game 5, the Cubs strung together some solid contact in a three-run fourth inning. Bauer made it through the fourth, but the three runs were all that the Cubs needed. Five of the Cubs' ten runs in the series have come on Bauer’s pitching line. The rest of the staff has given up five runs in 37.1 innings.

33 - Hit by pitches for the Tribe’s Brandon Guyer in 2016. Despite playing in only 101 games, he posted 31 HBPs during the regular season and two in the World Series. Even as a part-time player, Guyer led the majors in being hit-by-pitch in 2015 and 2016.

5:2 - Indians : Cubs home runs so far through five games of the World Series. Roberto Perez hit two homers in the opening contest (a 6-0 Tribe victory), Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis hit one each in Game 3, and Jose Ramirez hit one in a losing effort in Game 5.  The Cubs' first homer was a Dexter Fowler rocket off Andrew Miller in a game that was already out of hand (the Indians led 7-1). The second was a Kris Bryant blast off Trevor Bauer to tie Game 5 at 1-1 in the fourth inning. In 2016, the Cubs out-homered their opponents 199 to 163.

8 - Outs generated by Aroldis Chapman, who followed up a strong Jon Lester performance in Game 5 to ensure the series went back to Cleveland. Chapman repeatedly hovered around 100 to 102 miles per hour and over the course of nearly three innings allowed only one baserunner.

+19 - Run differential for the Indians through the 2016 postseason. Despite amassing 119 baserunners (hits + walks) to their opponents’ 122, Cleveland has outscored teams by nearly twenty runs.

28-0 - Indians record when both Cody Allen and Andrew Miller pitch. Admittedly, the number is a bit contrived as both Allen and Miller generally enter the games with leads, but the tandem shortens games significantly. With a day of rest after Game 5, it stands to reason we’ll see plenty of them in Game 6 and potentially 7.

1 - Player in history to have zero regular-season hits and get a hit in the World Series. Kyle Schwarber went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter in Game 1 and drove in two runs in a 2-for-4 in Game 2. Schwarber did not pinch-hit at Wrigley, but he will be manning the DH spot again for the Cubs going forward.

1983 - The last time a visiting team swept three games on the road to win a World Series in five games. It’s a near-impossible task, and although the Indians had their chances on Sunday night, the 1983 Orioles still stand as the last team to accomplish such a feat. See you back in Cleveland.

Ed's Note: The home run statistic has been changed to properly indicate the Roberto Perez and Dexter Fowler home runs.


Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano