With the World Series opening tomorrow, BBRT would like to take a look at some of the individual records that the Royals and Giants players may find themselves shooting for - or trying to avoid. We’ll start with World Series single-game hitting records – where, by the way, Albert Pujols holds a least a share of the record for hits, home runs, RBI, runs and total bases.
Most Hits in a Single World Series Game – Five
There have been only two five-hit games in World Series’ history. The first was by Milwaukee Brewers’ lead-off hitter and third baseman Paul Molitor, who hit five singles in six at bats as the Brewers (then in the AL) beat the Cardinals 10-0 on October 12, 1982. Molitor’s five safeties were matched on October 22, 2011, by Cardinals’ 1B Albert Pujols – who also went five-for-six, and slugged three home runs – as the Cardinals blasted the Rangers 16-7.
Most Home Runs in a Single World Series Game – Three
There have been five-three homer World Series games. We’ve already noted Albert Pujols’ three-HR effort (see the above section on most hits in a single World Series game). The most recent three-homer World Series’ contest was by a player who will be taking the field for the 2014 Fall Classic. San Francisco 3B Pablo Sandoval popped three round trippers as the Giants topped the Tigers 8-3 in Game One of the 2012 Series (October 24). “Panda” went 4-4 and homered in the first, third and fifth innings – collecting four RBI. In the 2014 Series, he will have a chance to tie the only player to have two three-homer World Series games – Babe Ruth. Ruth accomplished the powerful feat on October 6, 1926, as the Yankees beat the Cardinals 10-5. He victimized the Redbirds again on October 10, 1928 in a 7-3 New York win. The Bambino started in LF in both those games. The remaining three-homer World Series game belongs to Yankees’ RF Reggie Jackson (October 18, 1977).
Most RBI – Six
Three players have driven in six runs in a single World Series game – and, as you might expect – the Cardinals’ 1B Albert Pujols is one of them. Pujols collected six RBI in his five-hit/three-homer game of October 22, 2011. The other six-RBI games belong to a pair of Yankees, although not the ones you might expect: 2B Bobby Richardson (October 8, 1960) and DH Hideki Matsui (November 4, 2009).
Most Runs Scored – Four
There have been ten World Series games in which a player has scored four runs – including, of course, that October 22, 2011 Albert Pujols’ game that keeps showing up here. The others in chronological order: Yankees’ SS Frank Crosetti (October 2, 1926); Yankees’ LF Babe Ruth (October 6, 1926); Yankees’ CF Earl Combs (October 2, 1932); Cardinals’ RF Enos Slaughter (October 10, 1946); Yankees’ RF Reggie Jackson (October 18, 1977); Twins’ CF Kirby Puckett (October 24, 1987); Athletics’ 3B Carney Lansford (October 27, 1989); Phillies’ CF Lenny Dykstra (October 20, 1993); and Giants’ 2B Jeff Kent (October 24, 2002).
Most Total Bases – 14
Short list here – Albert Pujols – again that October 22, 2011 game in which he collected three home runs and two singles.
Doubles – Four
Another short list. Chicago White Sox 2B Frank Isbell rapped four doubles on October 13, 1906, as the Sox beat the crosstown Cubs 8-6. No other player has matched his four two-bagger performance.
Triples – two
A half dozen players have logged two triples in a World Series game, most recently on October 24, 1991, when Braves’ 2B Mark Lemke contributed a pair of three-baggers to Atlanta’s 14-5 trouncing of the Twins. Others with a two-triple World Series game: Pirates’ 3B Tommy Leach (two triples in a four-hit game on October 1, 1903); Boston Americans’ (AL) LF Patsy Dougherty (October 7, 1903); Reds’ PITCHER Dutch Reuther, who also threw a complete game, six-hitter – one run, unearned – on the day he got his two World Series triples (October 1, 1919); Yankees’ 2B Bobby Richardson (October 12, 1960); and Dodgers’ LF Tommy Davis (October 3, 1963).
Most Stolen Bases – Three
Three bases have been stolen in a World Series game four times, by three different players. Pirates’ SS Honus Wagner stole second base three times (in four attempts) in an October 11. 1909, 8-6 WS win over the Tigers; and Dodgers’ CF Willie Davis stole second base three times in a 7-0 win over the Twins on October 11, 1965. Cardinals’ LF Lou Brock stole second base twice and third base once in an October 12, 1967 Game Seven win over Boston and stole second base three times in an October 5, 1968 win over the Tigers.
Most Strikeouts – Five
Back on October 1, 1932, New York Yankee George Pipgras came to the plate five-times in a World Series game and whiffed on each and every trip. He also, however, was the winning pitcher, giving up four earned runs in New York’s 7-5 win over the Cubs.
Most Walks – Four (Intentional Walks – Three)
This one’s been done a half dozen times, although not since 1979. Of more interest may be the October 23, 2002 World Series game in which Giants’ LF Barry Bonds was intentionally walked a World Series single-game record three times.
World Series Single Game Pitching Records
Fewest hits, Fewest Base runners – Zero
Okay, Yankee Don Larsen’s October 8, 1956 perfect game set World Series single-game pitching records that can at best be tied. As a result, much of what is listed here will focus more on futility than accomplishment.
Most Strikeouts – 17
On October 2, 1968, the Cardinals’ Bob Gibson whiffed 17 Tigers on his way to a 4-0 win (five hits, one walk).
As an aside, Gibson and the White Sox’ Ed Walsh are the only pitchers to hurl a World Series complete game and strikeout at least one hitter every inning. (On October 11, 1906, Walsh beat the Cubs 3-0; giving up two hits and one walk, while whiffing 12.
Most Hits Allowed – 15
On October 15, 1925, Washington Senators’ great Walter Johnson gave up 15 hits (nine runs, five earned) in a 9-7 complete game loss to the Pirates.
Innings Pitched – 14
Babe Ruth is the only player on both the World Series hitting and pitching single-game record sheet. On October 9, 1916, Ruth – then a southpaw hurler for the Red Sox – pitched a 14-inning complete game, giving up just 6 hits in beating Brooklyn 2-1.
Walks – ten
On October 3, 1947, the Yankees’ Bill Bevens gave up just one hit (8 2/3 innings) in a 3-2 loss to the Dodgers. Bevens, unfortunately, walked a World Series single-game record ten batters (one intentional), and free passes contributed to all the scoring.
Runs Given Up – Ten
Bill “Brickyard” Kennedy gave up a World Series single-game record ten runs on October 7, 1903, as his Pirates lost to the Boston Americans (AL) 11-2. Kennedy was matched up in a scoreless duel with Cy Young through five innings, before giving up six runs – all unearned – on three hits and three errors in the sixth and another four runs (all earned) in the seventh.
Earned Runs Given Up – Eight
Twice hurlers have given up eight earned runs in a World Series game. On October 5, 1928, Grover Cleveland Alexander (16-9, 3.36 in the regular season) lasted only 2 1/3 innings against the Yankees – giving up eight runs on six hits (one home run) and four walks. On November 3, 2001, Yankees’ reliever Jay Witasick came on in the third inning against the Diamondbacks, who already had roughed up starter Andy Pettitte for six runs (on seven hits and two walks) in just two innings. Witasick gave up a record-tying eight earned runs (plus one unearned) in 1 1/3 innings. While he gave up ten hits, Witasick walked none and recorded all four of his outs on strikeouts. Arizona scored 15 runs in the first four innings of a 15-2 win.
So, there’s a look at some World Series single-game records. Watch for a post on records for a full series in the next day or two.