Down two games to none in the series, the Yankees ask LHP C.C. Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA) to be their stopper. The Astros counter with RHP Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA). Sabathia started Game Five of the ALDS against Cleveland and struck out nine over 4 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and two runs. David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman finished that game with a win for the Yankees. In Game 4 of the ALDS against the Red Sox, Morton’s first start of this postseason, he allowed two runs and struck out six over 4 1/3 innings. He was pulled in favor of Justin Verlander, who picked up the win in that deciding game.
Today in baseball history:
1912 Fred Snodgrass’ 10th inning two-base error of pinch-hitter Clyde Engle’s routine pop fly in center field sets up the tying run en route to the 3-2 Red Sox victory over the Giants and a World Championship for Boston. The play, which will become known as “Snodgrass’ Muff”, is followed by his spectacular catch of a long drive hit by Tris Speaker, but the 20 year-old outfielder will always be remembered as a goat in the Fall Classic.
1962 With the tying and winning runs in scoring position at Candlestick Park, Willie McCovey’s hard line drive is snagged by second baseman Bobby Richardson for the final out of the World Series. The Yankees win Game 7, beating the Giants, 1-0, capturing the franchise’s 20th World Championship.
1969 The Mets, thanks to Ron Swoboda’s double and two Oriole errors in the eighth inning, win their fourth straight World Series game to become World Champions. Jerry Koosman tosses a five-hitter, beating Baltimore 5-3 in Game 5, a contest which will be best remembered for manager Gil Hodges winning the ‘shoe polish’ argument.
2003 In Game 7 of the ALCS, the Yankees capture their 39th American League pennant, beating the Red Sox, 6-5, thanks to Aaron Boone’s 11th inning home run at the Bronx ballpark. The defensive replacement becomes the fifth player to end a postseason series with a homer, joining Bill Mazeroski (’60 Pirates, WS Game 7 vs. Yankees), Chris Chambliss (’76 Yankees, ALCS Game 5 vs. Royals), Joe Carter (’93 Blue Jays, WS Game 6 vs. Phillies), and Todd Pratt (’99 Mets, NLDS Game 4 vs. Diamondbacks).
The Yankees start RHP Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74 ERA) on the road (6.48 ERA), where he was markedly worse than at home (3.22 ERA) this season. His opponent will be LHP Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA), who’s 5-2 with a 1.24 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees, including a three-hit six-inning shutout in the 2015 Wild Card Game in which he got the win.
Today in baseball history:
1960 At Forbes Field, Bill Mazeroski’s dramatic walk-off home run off Yankee hurler Ralph Terry breaks up a 9-9 tie, ending one of the most exciting seven game World Series ever played. Maz’s round-tripper remains the only home run ever to a win a World Series Game 7.
2001 The Yankees, being down 2-0 in the best-of-five series, stave off elimination, beating the A’s and Barry Zito, 1-0, thanks to the shutout pitching by Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada’s fifth-inning home run. Shortstop Derek Jeter backing up an errant relay throw down the first base line and flipping it home to cut down Jeremy Giambi as the potential tying run will be remembered as one of the best defensive plays in postseason history.
It’s a magical phrase for a sports fan, Game Seven. Just look at all the previous ones from the World Series.
Here you’ll find Grover Cleveland Alexander’s masterful job of relief in 1926, when he entered the game in the seventh inning of Game Seven after winning Game Six the day before and struck out the Yankees’ Tony Lazzeri with the bases loaded to retire the side. You’ll find Dizzy Dean’s 11-0 shutout of the Tigers in 1934, with the left field fans showering Ducky Medwick with bottles after he spiked Mickey Owens in the previous inning. You’ll find Bill Mazeroski’s home run in 1960 and Luis Gonzalez’s bloop single over second base off Mariano Rivera in 2001. And you’ll find Gene Larkin’s single in the 10th inning of the Jack Morris shutout game in 1991.
The Cubs ask Kyle Hendricks to be the man. He started Game Three, went 4 1/3 innings and gave up six hits but no runs in the eventual 1-0 loss to the Indians. He’ll be opposed by the Indians’ Corey Kluber, who’s already won Games One and Four in this Series for the Tribe. He’ll try to join a very exclusive club of pitchers who’ve won three games in a Series; the last member to join was Randy Johnson of the D-Backs in 2001.