1950 Vic Raschi Game 1 Yanks 1 Phillies 0 Game Score 87
1951 Eddie Lopat Game 5 Yanks 13 Giants 1 Game Score 77
1952 Allie Reynolds Game 4 Yanks 2 Dodgers 0 Game Score 86
1953 Carl Erskine Game 3 Dodgers 3 Yanks 2 Game Score 78
1954 Johnny Antonelli Game 2 Giants 3 Indians 1 Game Score 70
1955 Johnny Podres Game 7 Brook 2, Yanks 0 Game Score 73
1956 Don Larson Game 5 Yanks 2, Brook 0 Game Score 94
1957 Lew Burdette Game 7 Braves 5, Yanks 0 Game Score 75
1958 Warren Spahn Game 4 Braves 3, Yanks 0 Game Score 88
1959 Early Wynn Game 1, White Sox 11, Dodgers 0 Game Score 70
For those of you who missed part one, I’m going through every World Series and trying to pick the best pitched game. Then I let the guys from Bill James online pick the best pitched World Series game of the decade. Here are comments on the games I selected:
1950 Vic Raschi Game 1 Yanks 1 Phillies 0 Raschi beat the relief ace of the Phillies that year Jim Konstanty in a pitchers duo. The Phillies won the pennant the last game of the season and used up their ace Robin Roberts. So, Phillies manager Eddie Sawyer started the first game and pitched well, but not as well as Raschi. Raschi had 5 strikeouts, one walk and gave up 2 hits.
1951 Eddie Lopat Game 5 Yanks 13 Giants 1 He could relax after the Yankees had a 5-run third and kept on scoring after that. However, this was game 5 and the series was even coming into the game. The Yankees won game 6 to win the series. There were three games in the series where the losing team scored 1 run and Lopat won two of them. Lopat was slightly better in this game. He had 3 strikeouts, gave up 1 walk and 5 hits.
1952 Allie Reynolds Game 4 Yanks 2 Dodgers 0 This was quite a pitching performance to even the series. Reynolds had 10 strikeouts with 3 walks. He also gave up 4 hits. The Yanks won a back-and-forth series in 7.
1953 Carl Erskine Game 3 Dodgers 3 Yanks 2 Erskine broke the World Series strikeout record in this game with 14. It gave the Dodgers a victory after losing the first two games. Brooklyn evened the series in game 4, but then lost games 5 and 6 and the series.
1954 Johnny Antonelli Game 2 Giants 3 Indians 1 No really good starts in this series, so this was an easy choice. Antonelli had 9 strikeouts but gave up 8 hits and 6 walks. Having 14 baserunners shows this wasn’t the best pitched game ever.
1955 Johnny Podres Game 7 Brook 2, Yanks 0 At this time it was the biggest win in franchise history. After coming close so many times they finally won it. How could I not select this game?
1956 Don Larson Game 5 Yanks 2, Brook 0 No other game was considered.
1957 Lew Burdette Game 7 Braves 5, Yanks 0 Burdette shutout the Yanks twice in three games. I picked this one as Burdette only had two days rest.
1958 Warren Spahn Game 4 Braves 3, Yanks 0 Spahn was pitching well in this series and this game was excellent. He gave up 2 hits and 2 walks with 7 strikeouts. He pitched well in game 6 with two days rest, but his 37-year-old arm tired in the 10th inning. I’m sure a lot of Braves fans still wonder what would have happened if he had had another day of rest.
1959 Early Wynn Game 1, White Sox 11, Dodgers 0 This was the first World Series with no complete games. I think Wynn was relieved as he had an 11-0 lead. He pitched 7 innings, with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk. He gave up 6 hits.
The winner was Don Larson’s perfect game. Actually, the vote was anonymous with Larson getting all 10 votes. One thing about Larson this year, he had a slow start. At the end of May his ERA was 5.64 and he lowered it every month to get to a respectable 3.26. This was especially true in September when he gave up 2 runs (both earned) in four starts and a relief appearance. He pitched 34.2 innings in September for an ERA of .052.
I remember reading about this game as a kid and reporters were supposedly asking Stengel why he was starting Larson and game 5 as he had a bad start in game 2. Well, it seems obvious now. He was pitching great ball before one bad start.