Welcome to ‘Marty's Musings', my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the previous week in MLB and previewing some of this week's starting pitching matchups.
In this week’s Musings, we sum-up one of the most memorable and intense World Series in recent memory. With games that were never over until either Houston or Los Angeles recorded the 27th out, the series came down to a decisive game seven, with Houston taking home the trophy.
World Series by the Numbers
103 - Degree temperatures on the field at Dodger Stadium. The uncharacteristically hot weather made it seem more like an August interleague game than the start of the World Series. Warm weather means more home runs, but we did not see that until later in the series.
1 - Pitch it took for the Dodgers to take a lead as Chris Taylor blasted Dallas Keuchel’s first pitch into the seats for a home run.
11 - Strikeouts and zero walks for Clayton Kershaw, who got the ‘can’t pitch in the postseason monkey off his back’....for a week. The last pitcher with 11 Ks in a World Series game was Bob Gibson in 1968. Kershaw tied Don Newcombe for the most strikeouts in a game in which no walks were issued as well. Newcome did that in the 1949 Fall Classic.
12 - Times the Astros struck out in this game. The free-swinging ‘stros are a thing of the past, as this was only the fourth time all year Houston K’d that many times.
371- Distance Justin Turner’s sixth inning home run off Dallas Keuchel. Those two additional runs were all the Dodgers needed to take a 1-0 series lead.
0 - At bats with runners in scoring position for the Astros. Houston did not even threaten to score in this game, as Dodgers pitchers controlled the game from start to finish.
2:28 - Time that this game took. It was a clean game with only two walks combined. Both pitchers
0 - NLCS games played by Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager. It did not take Seager too long to get back into a groove, as he hit a two-run, 383 foot bomb in the sixth inning to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
18 - Consecutive postseason hitters retired by Kenta Maeda, before giving up a single to Carlos Correa in the sixth inning.
28 - Scoreless innings for the Dodgers bullpen before Kenley Jansen allowed an inherited runner to score in the eighth inning of game two. Dodgers relievers to that point had faced 101 consecutive hitters without giving up a run.
98-0 - Los Angeles record in games where they led after eight innings. They were the only team without such a loss in 2017...until this game of course.
-46 - Win probability added by Ken Giles who gave up the Enrique Hernandez single in the bottom of the tenth, tying the game at five. But we were so far from being finished…
5 - Extra inning home runs in this game; once we hit the tenth inning, it was back and forth via the long ball until Houston finally held onto a two-run eleventh inning lead. Despite a Charlie Cuthbertson solo show, Chris Devenski closed out the game, tying the series at 1-1 going back to Houston.
1 2/3 - Innings for Yu Darvish, who gave up four runs and did not strike out any hitters. This game was over before it began, as Yu pitched the worst game of his career.
2 - Pitchers needed to get Houston over the hump in this one. They got 5 ⅓ from Lance McCullers and 3 ⅔ from Brad Peacock. Saving the rest of their bullpen would help in what would be a wild three games at home for the ‘stros.
0 - Batters in which Los Angeles had a win probability over 50 percent. With the quick lead against Darvish, Houston never looked back in this one, taking their first series lead, 2-1.
1 - Combined hit for both teams through five innings as Alex Wood and Charlie Morton were dominating the first half of the game. Morton ended up going 6 ⅓ giving up only one run, Wood was nearly as effective going 5 ⅔ and giving up only one run. The game came down to the bullpens.
0 - Outs recorded by Ken Giles who started to show serious signs of fatigue. Even with multiple days off, the Astros bullpen looked gassed, led by Giles who came in gave up two hits and a walk, setting up a five-run ninth inning for Los Angeles.
4 - Run lead the Dodgers offense gave Clayton Kershaw early in the game. In those games, the team previously was 100-0. They did not have to play the 2017 Astros however, and this game went long into the night.
8 - Postseason home runs allowed by Clayton Kershaw, which is as many home runs as he allowed all of the 2016 season (though nearly 150 innings). Despite an impressing performance earlier in the series, Kershaw did not go deep into game five and he could not protect a four-run lead. Rightly or wrongly, the best pitcher of this generation continues to suffer from the ‘can’t perform in the big-one’ narrative.
25 - Combined runs through the 11-inning affair. The game featured seven home runs, three blown LA leads, and one of the most dramatic and unique last few innings in World Series history.
7 - Postseason home runs by Jose Altuve, who set the major league record in game five. Altuve crushed a three-run shot in the fifth inning against kenta Maeda. That tied the game at seven.
6 - Dominant innings of two-run ball thrown by Astros ace Justin Verlander. Verlander K’d nine batters and walked zero.
9 - Batters left on base for Houston. The Astros had second and third nobody out in the top of the fifth, but could not plate a run. It was their best chance but with Rich Hill inducing two strikeouts, and Brandon Morrow coming in to put out the fire with a grounder, the Astros could only think of what could have been.
2 - Scoreless frames by Kenley Jansen, who looked more like his normal self than he did in game five. Jansen struck out three of the six batters he faced and made the Houston hitters look silly in two 1-2-3 innings to end the game, forcing a game seven.
2 - Games in which Yu Darvish did not get out of the second inning. The former Rangers’ ace showed limited command of all of his pitches, and became the first pitcher since 1960 to get pulled before pitching innings in multiple World Series Starts.
10 - Stranded runners for the Dodgers, including six runners through the first three innings that never crossed the plate. LA had runners on first and second with only one out in the first inning, first and second one out, in the second, and first and second one out in the third inning. Astros starter Lance McCullers faced 13 men and allowed seven of them to reach base. Despite this, he did not allow any runs to score.
29 - Total bases in the World Series for the series MVP, George Springer. Springer went 8/29 with three doubles and five home runs in the series.
10 ⅓ - Innings in the World Series for Charlie Morton, who only allowed two runs the entire series. Morton pitched the last four innings of game seven and only gave up one run. If not for Springer’s extra base hits, Morton could have been a contender for the series MVP.
17 - Strikeouts for Cody Bellinger, who went an abysmal 4 for 28 with one walk in the series. Bellinger hit one home run, but otherwise looked overmatched against offspeed pitches Houston delivered.
149 - Days until Opening Day.