The prior week in MLB was about a legendary pitcher passing away, a team in the National League continuing an impressive postseason streak. A starting pitcher propels his team to the next round of the playoffs, and a club makes history.
St. Louis Cardinals Legendary Pitcher Bob Gibson Passes Away at Age 84
St. Louis Cardinals legendary pitcher Bob Gibson has passed away at age 84, per The Associated Press.
Gibson was battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year and passed away in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, per Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Gibson was regarded as one of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball history and was elected into Cooperstown in 1981.
Bob Gibson was one of the best we've ever seen. pic.twitter.com/9usybsp14F
— MLB (@MLB) October 3, 2020
He was a nine-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove winner, won one National League MVP, two Cy Young awards, two World Series, and two World Series MVPs.
In his 17-year career, the right-hander compiled a 2.91 ERA, a 127 ERA+, a 2.89 FIP, won 251 games, tossed 255 complete games, and struck out 3,117 batters.
Bob Gibson's 1968 season was one for the ages. pic.twitter.com/awMvlwdOBg
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 3, 2020
Rest in peace to legendary Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson.
In the last 40 seasons, there have been no players to do one of the following:
-Pitch 300 or more innings
-Have a sub-1.50 ERA
-Throw 25+ complete games
Bob Gibson did all three in 1968 (304.2 IP, 1.12 ERA, 28 CG). pic.twitter.com/mT7KN1q7rt
— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) October 3, 2020
The best season for Gibson was 1968, known as the “Year of the Pitcher,” he posted a microscopic 1.12 ERA in 304 2/3 innings pitched with 268 strikeouts and a 0.85 WHIP.
Bob Gibson has died at the age of 84.
He's the Cardinals' all-time franchise leader in wins (251), Ks (3,117), shutouts (56), games started (482) and CGs (255)
His 1.12 ERA in 1968 remains the lowest by any qualified pitcher in a single-season in the live-ball era pic.twitter.com/RTHTagnNgH
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 3, 2020
He had a stretch in 1968 where he yielded only two runs in a span of 95 innings.
The dominant season by Gibson forced MLB to lower the pitching mound the following season.
Gibson was not only great during the regular season, but also excelled in October.
Bob Gibson stepped up when the lights were the brightest. pic.twitter.com/tc4hbVYGJt
— MLB Vault (@MLBVault) October 3, 2020
This past Friday was the 52-year anniversary in which Gibson made history during Game 1 of the 1968 World Series.
He struck out an astounding 17 batters against the Detroit Tigers at Busch Stadium, a record that still stands.
Gibson was a dynamic pitcher in his postseason career, as illustrated by Andrew Simon of MLB.com.
Bob Gibson's postseason game log is just astonishing to look at in 2020. pic.twitter.com/cAldoshdOE
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) October 3, 2020
He made nine starts in the playoffs, tossing eight complete games, and averaged nine innings per start.
The only pitchers in postseason history with at least eight complete games are Dead Ball Era pitchers Christy Mathewson (10) and Chief Bender (nine), per Simon.
To provide more context on how unique Gibson was, he started Game 5 of the 1964 World Series on three days rest and Game 7 on two days rest.
Gibson was known for being ultra-competitive and had an intimidating stare on the mound.
He was an exceptional pitcher and will be missed.
Miami Marlins Advance to NLDS After Sweeping Chicago Cubs
The Miami Marlins have advanced to the National League Division Series after sweeping the Chicago Cubs in the wild-card series.
JUST KEEP WINNING. JUST KEEP WINNING. JUST KEEP
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) October 2, 2020
The team has yet to lose a postseason series in their franchise history.
For those math people out there, that is a 1.000 winning percentage. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/JhY5ieT6dr
— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 2020
The Marlins will face the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, and if they get past them, they will make history.
The series win against the Cubs was the seventh straight series win for the Marlins.
A win in the NLDS will match the Minneapolis Lakers for the longest playoff series winning streak to open a franchise in MLB, NBA, and NHL, per ESPN Stats & Info.
The Marlins are now 7-0 in postseason series.
According to Elias, the only team in MLB, NBA or NHL history to post more series wins before their first loss was George Mikan's Minneapolis Lakers, who won their first eight series from 1949-51 pic.twitter.com/hnfWem2FF2
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 2, 2020
The Marlins were surprisingly the better team against the Cubs.
A primary reason is the Marlins’ pitching staff held the Cubs trio of Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant to go 1-for-24 in the series.
The Marlins were an underdog against the Cubs and will keep that status facing the Braves.
They went 4-6 and were outscored 68-44 against the Braves during the 2020 season, but it would not be shocking if they were to defeat the Braves.
Clayton Kershaw Propels Los Angeles Dodgers to NLDS with Masterful Outing
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivered a masterful performance in his Game two start against the Milwaukee Brewers last Thursday.
Kershaw fired eight scoreless innings, yielded three hits and struck out 13 batters.
Kershaw joined Cliff Lee as the only left-handed pitchers ever with 13 strikeouts and zero runs allowed in a postseason start, per MLB Stats.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 2, 2020
The 13 strikeouts by Kershaw were a playoff career-high and the most by a Dodgers pitcher in a postseason game since Sandy Koufax had 15 K’s in Game 1 of the 1963 World Series against the New York Yankees.
The terrific outing by Kershaw advanced the Dodgers to the NLDS.
The stellar start by Kershaw was a deviation from the norm during the postseason for the left-hander.
He came into the start with a 9-11 record and 4.43 ERA in the postseason.
The Dodgers will need Kershaw to continue throwing the ball well as they will face a challenge in the NLDS against the San Diego Padres.
Atlanta Braves Make History by Advancing to NLDS
The Atlanta Braves have advanced to the NLDS, but they made history in accomplishing that feat.
In their wild-card series against the Cincinnati Reds, the Braves held the Reds scoreless over 22 innings.
Reds hitters this series: pic.twitter.com/i0ZNemloUm
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 1, 2020
This was the longest scoreless streak for a team to start a postseason in MLB history, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
The Reds were held scoreless for 22 innings to start the postseason, the longest streak of scoreless innings by a team's hitters to start the playoffs.
It also ended their playoff run…
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 1, 2020
The Reds also became the first team to go scoreless in a postseason in which a team played multiple games, per Langs.
No team has ever been held scoreless in a postseason run where they played multiple games (so, excluding just the Wild Card Game).
Fewest runs in a postseason series (2+ games):
1 — by the Rangers in each of the 1998 and 1999 ALDS, both vs the Yankees
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 1, 2020
This was the first playoff series win for the Braves since the 2001 NLDS. They had lost 10 consecutive series.
The Braves could be a dangerous team in the postseason if their pitching continues to keep opponents off the scoreboard, and the lineup can score runs consistently.
- Chris is a New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.
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