Thursday, October 27, 2016

World Series: Did You Know?

Jake Arrieta carried a no-hitter in game 2016 well into the game. It was the furthest anyone had taken a no-no in World Series game since Jerry Koosman did in the second contest of the 1969 Fall Classic against Baltimore. Koosman's Mets went on to win games three, four and five at home. Arrieta has brought the Chicago Cubs home tied, for games three, four and five. Have high hopes, Chicago!

Koosman was tying to tie up the Fall Classic after his New York Mets lost game one, 4-1 to Baltimore. He was fantastic, and his team had a 1-0 over the Orioles after six innings. The O's woke up in the bottom of the second, and the home team would tie it as the no-hitter was broken up by Paul Blair's leadoff single. Although Koosman got the next two batters off, Blair stole second. A single by Brooks Robinson tied it. Those two hits by the Orioles, however, would be their only ones of the game.

Would you believe it?

The Mets broke the 1-1 deadlock with three singles in the top of the ninth. All of this coming, after stater Dave McNally had retired the first two New York batters. But Ed Charles, Ron Swoboda and Al Weis all singled to left, making the score 2-1 for the visitors.

In the bottom of the frame, Jerry Koosman got the first two batters out. He seemed safe, just like McNally in the top of the inning. But Frank Robinson had to be pitched very carefully to. Koosman was too careful. He walked him. Boog Powell followed that by drawing a walk. Ball four was the last pitch Koosman would throw. Gil Hodges, the Mets' manager, turned it over to Ron Taylor. Taylor got Brooks Robinson to ground out to third to end the game.

It was a similar story for the Chicago Cubs 47 years later. Playing in their first Fall Classic since 1945, they lost the first game on the road. Badly, worse than the Mets. 6-0, to the American League winners, the Cleveland Indians. So game two, as it had been for the Mets in '69 was a must.

The visiting Chicago Cubs scored first in the second game, so there would be no shutout for the Cleveland Indians. Another run in the top of the third, and it was 2-0, Chicago. Three more for good measure in the top of the fifth. Jake Arrieta had all the runs he needed.

But Jake was really pitching well. Through he'd walked three batters, including two in the bottom of the first, he was lights out. The Indians didn't get a hit off him until the bottom of the sixth. With one out, a double, a grounder and a wild pitch got Cleveland on the board. Mike Napoli singled to keep the rally going. Arrieta had now allowed two hits in one inning, but the home team would not score another run. Mike Montgomery came in and retired Jose Ramirez.

Both bullpens did the job after that. The Cubs had opportunities galore to add to their score. How about Cleveland. They got their third hit, and had two men on the very next inning as they tried to make a game of this. Montgomery held the fort. Chicago went down 1-2-3 in the 8th and 9th. Napoli got his second hit (And Cleveland's fourth) of the game with two away in the bottom of the eighth. That brought in Aroldis Chapman, who got Ramirez to end that.

Chapman, pitching well but not in a save situation, got the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth, looking to send this to Wrigley tied at one. Brandon Guyer drew a walk and took second on defensive indifference. But when catcher Robert Perez grounded out, the ballgame was over.

Arrieta had gone only 5 2/3, but his team needed a big effort from him in this big game. He provided it. Much like Jerry Koosman, he wanted to keep his team in the Fall Classic, not put 'em behind the eight ball. Although he didn't last quite as long as Jerry in 1969, Jake did the job and had the opposition guessing at his offerings all night. All the bullpen carried it from there!


Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series: Complete Play-by-play of Every Game, 1903-1989. 4th ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1990. Print. PP. 326-327.

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

Retrosheet. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.  <>

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