Baseball, to me, is about offense. Someone is going to have to score to win the game. While pitching helps prevent those scores eventually if the game is to be finished someone has to cross the plate...pitchers can't score (at least from the mound)! So I don't begrudged those that think baseball would be better served if the offense explodes and games become football scores (to an extent). The old Nintendo ball at Coors was a sight to behold and sometimes I wonder what beer sales were back in the day when a 9 inning 14 - 12 score lasted 4+ hours?
So with that preface I turn to last nights World Series. Two Cy Young winners, two former Indians (Cleveland must have hated to watch this), and two of the top hitting clubs in their respective leagues matched off in new Yankee Stadium. A game of possibilities...which why we watch and play the games. The thing that become apparent very quickly was that Cliff Lee was Godzilla last night. To watch a pitcher with complete command and control of a game is a thing of beauty. As I said above offense sells tickets but pitching makes memories. If last night had been a slugfest we'd only remember who won but a great pitching performance like that will be remembered. That spike curve he threw changed zip codes! Not only was Lee in the zone but his defense was on par. That nonchalant grab of the ball, that behind the back stab...wow what a game. Ten strikeouts, a complete game almost shutout. That was awesome.
So last night performance got me thinking...what kind of game score was that. Well it was 83. Not too shabby and how would it have fared in the annals of baseball post seasons? In postseason history it is the 80th best performance and in world series history it is 45th (!*&# only 45?). I was a bit amazed by that but I guess the top teams with the best pitchers do make the playoffs and thus a pitcher can shut a team down.
Who has the highest game score in world series history? - Babe Ruth's 14 inning win in 1916 (97), Don Larsen's perfect game garnered a 94.
What about modern day (post 80s)? Randy Johnson's 11 strikeout shut out in 2001 (91). Lee's performance last night put him 9th behind Johnson, Clemons, Hershiser, Glavine, Boddicker, Beckett, Morris (very memorable game), and Tudor.
Interesting to see what Pedro does tonight...