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RedsBaron
10-08-2010, 12:42 PM
I was on the road yesterday. As I drove I listened to ESPN's "Mike & Mike Show." One topic of discussion, which was still being discussed this morning, was what was the greatest game ever pitched. The discussion arose as a result of Roy Halladay's awesome no hitting of the Reds. While Mike Golic seemed to regard Halladay's game as perhaps only having been exceeded by Don Larsen's perfect game, Mike Greenberg argued that Jack Morris's ten inning shutout of the Braves in game seven of the 1991 World Series was the greater pitching performance, given that it was in the deciding game of the World Series, and was a ten inning performance.
Jack Morris obviously pitched one of the greatest games ever in 1991, but he isn't the only pitcher to toss a shutout in the final game of a World Series.
The first two deciding game shutouts in World Series history were actually game 8 when the Series was a best of nine affair. In the very first World Series in 1903 Bill Dinneen shut out the Pirates to give Boston the title 3-0. Dinneen allowed 4 hits, two walks and fanned 7; impressive, but this came at a time when home runs and just plain runs were rare.
The second shutout I found came in game eight of the 1921 World Series when the Giants' Art Nehf shut out the Yankees 1-0, giving up 4 hits, five walks and getting 3 strike outs. A 1-0 win is more impressive, and it came after introduction of the "lively ball." Incidentally, the box score indicates that Babe Ruth only appeared as a pinch hitter in this game even though he had hit 59 HRs that season; I have no idea why Ruth was not in the starting lineup.
Dizzy Dean shutout the Tigers in game seven of the 1934 Series, giving up 6 hits with 0 walks and 5 K's, but the win was hardly a nail biter as the Cardinals scored 11.
Johnny Kucks had a similar game seven for the Yankees in 1956, as he gave up 3 hits and 3 walks, with only one K, as the Yankees defeated the Dodgers 9-0 (in the final three games of that Series the Dodgers were the victim of Larsen's perfect game, losing 2-0, then won 1-0, then lost 9-0, scoring only one run in the final three games).
The next season Milwaukee's Lew Burdette shut out the Yankees in game seven 5-0, allowing 7 hits and a walk, with 3 strikeouts.
I do not find any of these games as compelling as Morris's 1991 outing, but there are three others to consider.

RedsBaron
10-08-2010, 12:45 PM
Johnny Podres in 1955 shut out the Yankees 2-0, giving up 8 hits and 2 walks to go with 4 K's. Podres gets "extra credit" because of the pressure of bringing Brooklyn its only World Series victory after the Dodgers had failed against the Yankees in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953, but I would still rank his effort behind Morris and behind the next two games.

RedsBaron
10-08-2010, 12:50 PM
Now we get to a deciding game shutout that does belong in the discussion with Jack Morris, and one that is often forgotten today. Ralph Terry is perhaps best remembered as the Yankees pitcher who surrendered Bill Mazeroski's World Series winning HR in 1960, and the 1962 World Series is often remembered as the Series that ended with Willie McCovey hitting a line drive to Bobby Richardson with two Giants on base. Terry was the Yankees pitcher in game seven of the 1962 World Series and he shut out the Giants 1-0. He only gave up 4 hits, walked no one, and struck out 4. That performance against a Giants team that featured Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda, a team that had hit 204 HRs and scored 878 runs, has to rank near the top of any list of great clutch pitching performances.

cumberlandreds
10-08-2010, 12:53 PM
As for a regular season game Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965 has to be right there. He pitched a perfect game while the opposing pitcher(I cannot think of his name) only gave up one hit and one run which I believe was unearned. It would hard to top that for a regular season game.
The Morris game has to be at the top for just sheer clutch performances. I believe he could have pitched all night and never given up a run.

RedsBaron
10-08-2010, 12:55 PM
To me, Jack Morris's game seven in 1991 outranks any of the prior games, given that Morris threw ten shutout innings to win 1-0, but a couple of items should be noted. One, his pitching line is not totally dominant, as he allowed 7 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 8, while pitching on three days rest after his six inning no decision effort in game four. Two, had Lonnie Smith not been faked out of his shoes in the 8th inning Morris would have lost 1-0. With Smith on first base Terry Pendleton hit a double into the left field gap, but Smith was taken in by a fake that the ball would be caught and only made it to third base. Had he ran properly he would have scored.

RedsBaron
10-08-2010, 01:04 PM
Cumberlandreds has mentioned Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965. My pick as the greatest clutch performance in a World Series is another game Koufax pitched in 1965, game seven of the World Series.
Koufax shut out the Twins in game five, 7-0, giving up 4 hits and one walk, while striking out 10. Even though Koufax had already pitched 335 innings in the regular season and 15 more in the Series, the Dodgers called on him to start game seven on two days rest rather than give the ball to the more rested Don Drysdale, a 23 game winner that season.
Early in the game, Koufax, pitching with an arthritic elbow, found he lacked control of his curveball, so he relied solely upon his fastball.
Koufax shut out the Twins again, this time 2-0. He gave up 3 hits, walked 3, and again struck out 10.
Some may note that Koufax was pitching in the so-called "mini-deadball" era when scoring was reduced (although Willie Mays had a 52 HR season that year). Despite that, the 1965 Twins, which featured Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva, actually outscored the 1991 Braves that Jack Morris faced, 774-749, with more HRs and a higher SLG.
Unlike Morris being fortunate that Lonnie Smith committed a base running blunder, Koufax needed no such gifts in game seven in 1965.
I give Koufax the edge over Morris.

bucksfan2
10-08-2010, 07:03 PM
To me, Jack Morris's game seven in 1991 outranks any of the prior games, given that Morris threw ten shutout innings to win 1-0, but a couple of items should be noted. One, his pitching line is not totally dominant, as he allowed 7 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 8, while pitching on three days rest after his six inning no decision effort in game four. Two, had Lonnie Smith not been faked out of his shoes in the 8th inning Morris would have lost 1-0. With Smith on first base Terry Pendleton hit a double into the left field gap, but Smith was taken in by a fake that the ball would be caught and only made it to third base. Had he ran properly he would have scored.

For me one of the greatest game I ever saw was when Beckett shut down the Yankees on 3 days rest back in 2003 (?). You just had the feeling that if the Yanks took it to 7 they would win. Beckett closed that door with a great effort.

Halladay's game was the most dominant I have ever witnessed. I have never seen a game in which the best hit ball was by the opposing pitcher. It may not have been the greatest game, but it may have been the most dominant game.

mth123
10-08-2010, 07:21 PM
Didn't Harvey Haddix throw a 12 inning no hitter and lose?

RFS62
10-08-2010, 07:47 PM
Didn't Harvey Haddix throw a 12 inning no hitter and lose?


12 inning perfect game.

Here's a description from Baseball Almanac

"Thirty-six consecutive batters were retired by Harvey Haddix before the thirteenth inning when it all ended on an error, an intentional walk of Hank Aaron, then a double.

Don Hoak, who was charged with the error in the thirteenth inning, said before the game, "That was a pretty good run down (pre-game discussion). If you pitch that way, you'll have a no hitter."

After the game, Lew Burdette told the media, "I called Harvey that night in the visiting clubhouse. I told him 'I realize I got what I wanted, a win, but I'd really give it up because you pitched the greatest game that's ever been pitched in the history of baseball. It was a damned shame you had to lose.' "

RedsBaron
10-08-2010, 08:17 PM
Halladay's game was the most dominant I have ever witnessed. I have never seen a game in which the best hit ball was by the opposing pitcher. It may not have been the greatest game, but it may have been the most dominant game.

On "Mike & Mike" they were making a distinction between the "most dominant" pitching performance and the "greatest" pitching performance. It is hard to imagine anyone ever being more dominant than Halladay was.

marcshoe
10-08-2010, 08:19 PM
As for a regular season game Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965 has to be right there. He pitched a perfect game while the opposing pitcher(I cannot think of his name) only gave up one hit and one run which I believe was unearned. It would hard to top that for a regular season game.




That was my gut reaction, heavily influenced by the great bio of Koufax that came out a few years ago.

mth123
10-08-2010, 08:24 PM
12 inning perfect game.

Here's a description from Baseball Almanac

"Thirty-six consecutive batters were retired by Harvey Haddix before the thirteenth inning when it all ended on an error, an intentional walk of Hank Aaron, then a double.

Don Hoak, who was charged with the error in the thirteenth inning, said before the game, "That was a pretty good run down (pre-game discussion). If you pitch that way, you'll have a no hitter."

After the game, Lew Burdette told the media, "I called Harvey that night in the visiting clubhouse. I told him 'I realize I got what I wanted, a win, but I'd really give it up because you pitched the greatest game that's ever been pitched in the history of baseball. It was a damned shame you had to lose.' "

I thought I remembered reading about that.

Hard to see how any game is better pitched than 12 innings of perfect with an error in the 13th basically leading to the loss.