1970 Mike Cuellar Game 5 Balt 9 Cinn 3 Game Score 66
1971 Nelson Briles Game 5 Pitt 4 Balt 0 Game Score 83
1972 Jack Billingham Game 3 Cinn 1 A’s 0 Game Score 80
1973 Jon Matlack Game 4 Mets 6 A’s 1 Game Score 77
1974 Catfish Hunter Game 3 Oak 3, Dodgers 2 Game Score 66
1975 Luis Tiant Game 1 Red Sox 6 Reds 0 Game Score 78
1976 Don Gullet Game 1 Reds 5 Yanks 1 Game Score 65
1977 Burt Hooten Game 2 Dodgers 6, Yanks 1 Game Score 80
1978 Jim Beattie Game 5 Yanks 12 Dodgers 2 Game Score 65
1979 John Candelaria Game 6 Pitt 4 Balt 0 Game Score 62
For those of you who missed part one, I’m going through every World Series and trying to pick the best pitched game. One thing I should have mentioned before, but it didn’t matter much before now. I’m only looking at starts. Sorry Madison. 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:
1970 Mike Cuellar Game 5 Balt 9 Cinn 3 This was the best game score of the series. Cuellar allowed 3 runs in the ninth and only 4 baserunners and 0 runs the rest of the game. The Orioles scored 2 runs each of the first three innings.
1971 Nelson Briles Game 5 Pitt 4 Balt 0 This win put the Pirates up 3 games to 2. His teammate Steve Blass won games 3 and 7 with great efforts. I decided to go with the shutout. Briles allowed only 4 baserunners, two wiped out by double plays.
1972 Jack Billingham Game 3 Cinn 1 A’s 0 There were no complete games in this series. Billingham pitched 8 scoreless innings, Catfish Hunter went 8.2 innings for a 2-1 win the previous game. Billingham had more strikeouts. It was a great pitched series, with a more modern use of relievers.
1973 Jon Matlack Game 4 Mets 6 A’s 1 It was close with Tom Seaver in game 3. Seaver had 12 strikeouts in 7 innings, but Matlack pitched 8 innings and got the win. Seaver also gave up 7 hits as compared to 3 for Matlack.
1974 Catfish Hunter Game 3 Oak 3, Dodgers 2 I had to give the As one game with three World Series wins in a row. He gave up only 1 run before giving the mound up to Rollie Fingers in the 8th.
1975 Luis Tiant Game 1 Red Sox 6 Reds 0 I am impressed a complete game shutout against one of the greatest lineups of all time. Don Gullet made a great effort in game 5, but I considered the Reds lineup more. Also, this game was at Fenway.
1976 Don Gullet Game 1 Reds 5 Yanks 1 Well, it was the highest game score of the series.
1977 Burt Hooten Game 2 Dodgers 6 Yanks 1 Hooten had 8 strikeouts and 1 walk to tie the series after a tough loss the night before for Dodgers.
1978 Jim Beattie Game 5 Yanks 12 Dodgers 2 Beattie had 8 strikeouts and pitched a complete game. He put the Yankees up in the series 3 games to 2.
1979 John Candelaria Game 6 Pitt 4 Balt 0 In the last three games it seems like Chuck Tanner had a plan to pitch the starter 5 innings and go with a completely different pitcher to complete the game. The Candy Man actually pitched 6 scoreless innings. As soon as the Pirates went ahead 2-0 in the top of the seventh, Kent Tekulve came in and finished the game.
Luis Tiant won with 7 votes, edging Nelson Briles of the 1971 Pirates who had 4 votes. It is in my opinion that Steve Blass had two of the top five starts for the decade in the 1971 World Series.
That being said I agree that Luis Tiant had the best start in the World Series in the 1970s. I also voted for him, largely because of the lineup he was facing. Morgan was in his prime. Bench had a darn good season with the bat. Foster hit like Sparky wanted him to when he moved Rose to third base. Rose still hit like Pete Rose despite the move. Perez had past his peak but was still good enough with the bat. Ken Griffy was entering his peak. Dave Conception and Cesar Geronimo were below average hitters that season, but weren’t bad hitters.
I notice something surprising about the game when looking at the play by play. I wondered who pinch hit for the Reds in the game. The answer was nobody. The game was tied 0-0 in the seventh inning. Ken Griffy doubled with two outs. Tiant intentionally walked Cesar Geronimo to face the pitcher Don Gullett. In a tie game, both pitchers pitching well he kept Gullet, who lined out to second base, in the game.
It was a mistake. Gullett gave up a leadoff single to Luis Tiant of all people. After a sacrifice bunt where Gullet failed to get Tiant at second base, Gullett gave up two singles to finally score Tiant. Then his bullpen failed him making the score 6-0 after seven.
Now Tiant was facing the top of the lineup and Sparky wasn’t going to pinch hit for any of them. Tiant retired all six batters he faced to end the game and didn’t face the pitchers spot or Geronimo again.