Shutting ’em Down in Game 7

We’ve had a World Series for just over 100 years now. In all that time game seven has been the ultimate finale of a season. There were a handful of Series’ that were a best of nine, but none of them ever went nine. So game seven remains the capstone of a baseball season. In all those 100 plus years, there have been exactly nine times that a pitcher has thrown a complete game shutout. Here’s some information about them.

1. Only twice has the pitcher gone on to the Hall of Fame. Dizzy Dean did it in 1934 and Sandy Koufax in 1965.

2. Most of the games have been blowouts. Five of them were won by scores of 5-0 or worse.

3. The other four have been won by scores of  2-0 (1955), 1-0 (1962), 2-0 (1965), and 1-0 (1991).

4. Only one, 1991, went into extra innings, with the winning run occurring in the 10th inning.

5. Much of Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame defense lies in that 1991 game seven.

6. The biggest blowouts were both 11-0 (1934 and 1985).

7. The initial game seven complete game shutout was by Babe Adams for Pittsburgh in 1909. It was also the first time that a seven game series went seven games.

I did a post on 1991 a long time ago. Over the next few posts I want to look at the other three close games. They are in many ways, the ultimate nail-biters.


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13 Responses to “Shutting ’em Down in Game 7”

  1. wkkortas Says:

    Here’s a question for you–is Babe Adams more qualified for the Hall of Fame than Jack Morris is?

    • verdun2 Says:

      Short answer is probably. Adams has a higher pitching WAR (which I am wary of as a be-all-end-all stat) and has a higher ERA+ and a wonderful WHIP. It will be tough for the Vets Committee to get beyond the fact he has less than 200 wins. Adams has no mystique about him like Morris does with the 1991 game 7 shutout, so I think ultimately he’ll have more trouble getting in.
      Interesting question. I’d like to see other people’s thoughts on it.

  2. Glen Russell Slater Says:

    I find that in the most exciting world series, at least as long as I’ve been a fan, the 7th game has always turned out to be anticlimactic. As you said, blowouts. The most memorable games for me in the world series always seem to be the SIXTH game. The sixth games of the ’75, ’86, and 2011 world series are the ones that stand out the most in my mind. In all three of those world series, the sixth game was SO exciting that the seventh game couldn’t be ANYTHING but anticlimactic.

    Especially in ’75, when Joe Morgan hit that Texas Leaguer over the head of a drawn-in Boston outfield in the seventh game. Bummer. Lousy way to end a great world series.


    • verdun2 Says:

      I agree that game six can be great. I’d add 1995 in as a great game six of recent vintage. There have been some good game seven’s that weren’t shutouts like the 1997 and 2001 jobs.

    • wkkortas Says:

      You know, it’s not that Game 7 in ’75 was a bad game–I mean if Game 6 of that WS wasn’t what it was, it would be remembered as one of the better ones. To me, that Game 7 is like Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in the old Batman series–she looked pretty damn good, but she’s following Julie Newmar…I mean, damn.

  3. Glen Russell Slater Says:

    I’d have to say that when George Ruth ended the world series (I forgot what year it was) trying to steal second base, that was probably another one of the worst ways to end a world series. I wonder what Boy George was thinking when he did that? Did he go on his own? I wonder what Miller Huggins thought of THAT (or his George’s teammates, for that matter, who weren’t making more than the president of the United States like George was, and really NEEDED that winning World Series share). Huggins and Boy George never did get along in the first place, anyway; I’ll bet that Huggins had steam coming out of his ears after that game.


  4. Miller Says:

    Great idea for upcoming posts. Regarding someone joining Koufax and Dean, what do you think Morris’ chances are when the appropriate VC gets hold of him?

  5. steve Says:

    The only game 7 among the list that I remember watching is 1985; probably because Andujar had a 19th nervous breakdown or at least I think that was game 7. This topic is sparking an enjoyable discussion. I’m taking notes and looking up these baseball tid bits I had no idea about Ruth ending a series caught stealing second. Fascinating.

    • verdun2 Says:

      Yep, Andujar went off the rails in game 7. For years the Cards blamed the loss on Denkinger’s call in game 6 and the fact that he was behind the plate in game 7. Ultimately cooler heads remembered that Denkinger didn’t give up 11 runs in game 7.

      • steve Says:

        I’ve been trying to date the Cardinal mind set of we do no wrong because we’re god’s gift to baseball to the Larussa era, but this apparently runs further back. I guess there was some heated Missouri bragging rights involved as well back in 1985? How about another KC and St. Louis situation in the Series this year? Maybe the first time it’s been possible since 85? Or maybe I should shut up because KC hasn’t clinched that Wild card yet or better yet, maybe they’ll win the division? I hope so .

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