1980 Steve Carlton Game 6 Phils 4 KC 1 Game Score 69
1981 Jerry Reuss Game 5 Dodgers 2 Yanks 1 Game Score 76
1982 Mike Caldwell Game 1 Mil 10 Cards 0 Game Score 83
1983 Mike Boddicker Game 2 Balt 4 Phils 1 Game Score 85
1984 Jack Morris Game 4 Detroit 4 SD 2 Game Score 73
1985 Brett Saberhagen Game 7 KC 11 StL 0 Game Score 79
1986 Bruce Hurst Game 1 Red Sox 1 Mets 0 Game Score 78
1987 Frank Viola Game 7 Twins 4 Cards 2 Game Score 69
1988 Orel Hershiser Game 2 Dodgers 6 As 0 Game Score 87
1989 Dave Stewart Game 1 As 5 Giants 0 Game Score 82
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. 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:
1980 Steve Carlton Game 6 Phils 4 KC 1 It wasn’t that great of a start for Carlton, but it was the best of the series and gave the Phillies their first World Series Championship.
1981 Jerry Reuss Game 5 Dodgers 2 Yanks 1 I almost picked John’s game 2 which he held the Dodgers scoreless for 7 innings. Reuss threw 9 innings of a close game. It was also game 5 of a tight series. The Dodgers took the series in game 6.
1982 Mike Caldwell Game 1 Mil 10 Cards 0 What got lost in the shuffle of the Brewers offensive outburst was Caldwell allowed only 4 baserunners in 9 innings.
1983 Mike Boddicker Game 2 Balt 4 Phils 1 This game was slightly better than his shutout in game 5. It started a four-game winning streak for the Orioles that Mike Boddicker finished with another great performance. This one he allowed only 3 hits and no walks, and the run was unearned.
1984 Jack Morris Game 4 Detroit 4 SD 2 Besides Jack Morris starters didn’t fare well in this World Series. This start was slightly better than his game 1 start. For two years in a row one pitcher easily out distanced the rest of the field with their two starts. Boddicker was a little more dominate in 1983 than Morris in 1984.
1985 Brett Saberhagen Game 7 KC 11 StL 0 Tudor pitched a great game in game 4, which easily could have won. What I liked about Saberhagen’s game is while the Cardinals were out on the field giving up all kinds of baserunners Saberhagen would go out and be back in the dugout in about 5 minutes, so his teammates could create more mayhem. He gave up 5 hits and 0 walks.
1986 Bruce Hurst Game 1 Red Sox 1 Mets 0 Hurst got the Red Sox off to a great start in a road game where they scored 1 run, and he pitched them to victory. It wasn’t a complete game with 8 innings pitched, but he was strong enough when he did pitch.
1987 Frank Viola Game 7 Twins 4 Cards 2 I picked this game because after Viola gave up 4 singles in the 2nd to fall behind 2-0 he became dominant. In the third he had 2 strikeouts and a groundout. The same in the fourth. In the fifth a strikeout, groundout and pop out. After the Twins tied the game in the fifth, Viola gave up a one out single to Tommy Herr and preceded to pick hip off first.
1988 Orel Hershiser Game 2 Dodgers 6 As 0 Hershiser was pitching out of this world during this streak. He had 8 strikeouts, 2 walks and 3 hits to a hard-hitting lineup.
1989 Dave Stewart Game 1 As 5 Giants 0 The As offense dominated the series with 4 starts with an OPS of over 1,000. However, Stewart also dominated game 1.
Orel Hershiser won easily with only one vote against him. Hershiser was about unhittable for the months in September and October 1988. He started the month with 5 shoutouts and then threw 10 scoreless innings against the Padres.
Then he rested for the postseason where he would be facing two teams with 100 wins that year. He faced the Mets in game 1 and finally gave up a run in the ninth. Jay Howell came in and gave up a run charged to Hershiser, and one charged to himself to give the Mets a 3-2 victory. It didn’t look good for the underdog Dodgers having their ace lose game 1.
With a rain out for game 3, Lasorda decided to pitch Hershiser with 3 days rest in the rescheduled game. It didn’t work well. Hershiser pitched fair, but not like he had been. He gave up 3 runs in 7 innings (only one earned) and left the game tied. The Dodgers scored a run in the top of the eighth making Hershiser the possible winning pitcher. Again, the bullpen failed him and the team as the Mets scored 5 runs in the bottom of the eighth to win 8-4.
Game 4 went into extra innings. Kirk Gibson hit a home run in the top of the 12th to give the Dodgers a one run lead. However, the Dodger bullpen loaded the bases with two outs. Who did Lasorda bring into the game? Of course, his best pitcher Hershiser. He got Kevin McReynolds to pop out and got the save.
The two teams split the next two games to bring about game 7. Hershiser got the start and got back in the groove with a shutout.
Of course, we know the Dodgers won with a miracle victory in game 1. They had Hershiser going in game 2 which probably made the favorite Oakland A’s nervous. Well, they should have been as Hershiser made the best World Series start of the 1980s.
Hershiser started game 5 with the Dodgers having a chance to clench the series. No, he didn’t get another shutout, but threw a complete game only giving up 2 runs and the Dodgers won 5-2 to win the World Series. That was a great streak.