Getting October relief from Starters

One of my favorite aspects of playoff baseball is seeing pitchers being used in unusual roles.

Recently, especially since LaRussa regimented the bullpen roles in Oakland in the late 80s, pitchers are given very specific jobs.
Starters are supposed to give about 6 innings.
There is a middle reliever.
An 8th inning set up guy.
And a closer whose sole job is to pitch the 9th.
And you hear players whine when their roles change. “I’m not used to my new job.”
I always thought their job was to get the batters out.
Well often in the post season, those roles go out the window and you’ll see starters coming out of the bullpen. And not for the Joba Chamberlain reason, in that he’s a great reliever who should never have been in the rotation.
Sometimes a manager will turn to a starting pitcher to get his team out of a jam. And there is always a roll of the dice element to it that I can’t help but love.
So here is the latest Sully Baseball insane list…
PITCHERS WHO STARTED A GAME AND GOT EITHER A SAVE OR A RELIEF WIN IN THE SAME POST SEASON SERIES

DOC WHITE, White Sox

1906 World Series
White Sox over Cubs, 4-2.

Started and lost Game 2.

Relieved Ed Walsh in Game 5 and pitched 3 shutout innings for the save as the White Sox won 8-6 and took a 3-2 lead in the series.
Started the very next day and threw a complete game clincher in Game 6.

MORDECAI “THREE FINGER” BROWN, Cubs

1908 World Series
Cubs over Tigers, 4-1

Blew a save in Game 1 but held on for the win as the Cubs scored 5 in the 9th to won.

Started Game 4 and threw a complete game shutout.
Athletics over Cubs, 4-1
Started and lost Game 2.
Pitched the 9th and 10th innings for the Game 4 win out of the bullpen.
Lost the clinching Game 5.

SMOKEY JOE WOOD, Red Sox

Red Sox over Giants, 4-3 with 1 tie.
Started and won Games 1 and 4.
Started and lost Game 7.
Pitched final three innings and won the clinching Game 8.

Braves over Athletics, 4-0
Started and threw a complete game shutout in Game 2.
Pitched 2 innings in relief to win Game 3.

RED FABER, White Sox
White Sox over Giants, 4-2
Started and won game 2.
Started and lost game 4.
Pitched the final 2 innings to win game 5 in relief.
Started and won the Game 6 clincher.

JOE BUSH, Red Sox
Red Sox over Cubs, 4-2
Started and lost Game 2.
Relieved Babe Ruth in Game 4 in the 9th inning and a one run lead with 2 on and nobody out. He retired the first batter and got the second to hit into a game ending double play for the save.

WALTER JOHNSON, Senators
Senators over Giants, 4-3
Started and lost games 1 and 5.
Pitched 4 shutout innings in relief to win the Game 7 clincher in extra innings.

REY KREMER, Pirates
Pirates over Senators, 4-3
Started and lost game 3.
Started and won game 6.
Pitched 4 innings letting up 1 run in relief to win the Game 7 clincher.

GROVER CLEVELAND ALEXANDER, Cardinals

1926 World Series
Cardinals over Yankees, 4-3.

Threw complete game victories in Games 2 and 6.
Relieved Jesse Haines in Game 7 for one of the most famous World Series saves of all time.
Leading by one with the bases loaded in the 7th, he struck out future Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri. He retired the next 5 batters before walking Babe Ruth with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. Ruth was caught stealing to end the World Series, giving Alexander the clinching save.

LEFTY GROVE, Athletics
Athletics over Cardinals, 4-2
Started and won Game 1.
Started and lost Game 4.
Pitched the final two innings to win Game 5 in relief.

BILL HALLAHAN, Cardinals

1931 World Series
Cardinals over Athletics, 4-3

Started and won games 2 and 5.

Came out of the bullpen to record the final out of Game 7 and get the save

SCHOOLBOY ROWE, Tigers

1935 World Series
Tigers over Cubs, 4-2

Started and lost Games 1 and 5.

Pitched the final 4 innings and got the win in relief for the 11 innings Game 3 victory.

SPUD CHANDLER, Yankees
Cardinals over Yankees, 4-1
Recorded the final out for a save in the Yankees 7-4 Game 1 victory.
Started and lost Game 3.

Tigers over Cubs, 4-3
Started and won game 1.
Started and lost game 5.
Pitched final 4 innings in relief to win Game 6.
Started and lasted only three batters for the Game 7 loss.

HARRY BRECHEEN, Cardinals
Cardinals over Red Sox, 4-3
Started and won games 2 and 6.
Pitched the final two innings of Game 7, earning the win in relief and clinching the World Series.

RALPH BRANCA, Dodgers
Yankees over Dodgers, 4-3.
Started and lost Game 1.
Came out of the bullpen to win Game 6.

WARREN SPAHN, Braves
Indians over Braves, 4-2
Started and lost Game 2.
Pitched the final 5 2/3 shutout innings out of the pen with the Braves on the verge of elimination to win Game 5.

GENE BEARDEN, Indians
Indians over Braves, 4-2.
Started and threw a complete game victory in Game 3.
Relieved Bob Lemon in the 8th inning of Game 6 with the bases loaded and the go ahead run at the plate.
He escaped the inning with the lead and the next inning got the save as the Indians won their last World Series as of this writing.

Yankees over Phillies 4-0
Won a 10 inning complete game in Game 2.
Finished the 9th inning for the save in the clinching Game 4.
Yankees over Dodgers 4-3
Started and lost Game 1.
Started and won Game 4.
Pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to get the save in Game 6.
Threw three innings in relief to win Game 7.
Yankees over Dodgers, 4-2.
Started Game 1.
Recorded the final two outs for the save in Game 5.
Pitched the final two innings for the clinching Game 6 victory out of the bullpen.

JOHNNY ANTONELLI, Giants

1954 World Series.
Giants over Indians. 4-0.

Pitched complete game victory to win Game 2.

Pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn the save in Game 4 and be, as of this writing, the last pitcher to ever clinch a World Series for the Giants.

BOB GRIM, Yankees
Dodgers over Yankees. 4-3
Pitched the 9th inning for the save in Game 1.
Started and lost game 5.

DON LARSEN, Yankees
Braves over Yankees. 4-3
Won Game 3 in relief, pitching the final 7 1/3 innings.
Started Game 7 and lost.

BOB TURLEY, Yankees

1958 World Series.
Yankees over Braves, 4-3.

Started and lasted only 5 batters in Game 2.
Started and threw a complete game shutout to stave off elimination in Game 5.
Ended a potential World Series winning rally by getting the last out and the save in Game 6.
Pitched the final 6 2/3 innings out of the bullpen to clinch Game 7 and earn Series MVP honors.

DICK DONOVAN, White Sox

1959 World Series
Dodgers over White Sox, 4-2

Started and lost Game 3.

Came into the 8th inning with the bases loaded, one out and the White Sox up 1-0 trying to hold off elimination.
Donovan retired Furillo and Zimmer and then threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save.

HARVEY HADDIX, Pirates
Pirates over Yankees, 4-3.
Started and won Game 5.
Blew the save in Game 7 but was the winning pitcher when Bill Mazeroski homered.

GARY BELL, Red Sox
Cardinals over Red Sox, 4-3
Started and lost Game 3.
Pitched the final two innings for the save in Game 6.

DAVE McNALLY, Orioles

1971 World Series
Pirates over Orioles, 4-3.

Started and won Game 1.
Started and lost Game 5.
In the 10th with the Pirates putting together a potential World Series winning rally, McNally got Al Oliver to fly out to end the threat. In the bottom of the 10th the Orioles won, giving McNally the victory in relief.

VIDA BLUE, A’s

1972 World Series.
A’s over Reds, 4-2

Pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for the save in Game 1.
Started and lost Game 6.
JIM “CATFISH” HUNTER, A’s

1972 World Series.
A’s over Reds, 4-2

Started and won Game 1.
Started Game 5.
Pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief to win the clinching Game 7.
A’s over Dodgers, 4-1
Recorded the final out to save Game 1.
Started and won Game 3.

RICK WISE, Red Sox
Reds over Red Sox. 4-3
Started Game 3.
Pitched in relief in Game 6, working out of a jam and becoming the winning pitcher when Fisk homered off of the foul pole.

BERT BLYLEVEN, Pirates

1979 World Series.
Pirates over Orioles. 4-3.

Started Game 2.
Down 1-0 and facing elimination in game 5, Blyleven came out of the bullpen in the 6th inning throwing 4 shutout innings. The Pirates rallied and Blyleven got the win in relief, saving the series.

DICK RUTHVEN, Phillies
Phillies over Astros, 3-2.
Started Game 2.
Entered the deciding game in the bottom of the 9th with the game tied at 7. He retired all three batters who could have clinched the pennant. When the Phillies scored in the 10th, he retired the Astros in order to get the win and clinch the pennant.

Royals over Blue Jays. 4-3
Started and lost Games 1 and 4.
Entered Game 7 in the 4th inning and pitched into the 9th inning. He got the win and the Royals won the pennant.
Dodgers over Mets, 4-3
Started games 1 and 3.
In game 4 with closer Jay Howell suspended and set up man Alejandro Pena already thrown 3 innings, Lasorda tried to use Tim Leary and Jesse Orosco to close out in the 12th with a 1 run lead.
The Mets loaded the bases and Hershiser came in. He closed out the game and got an unlikely save.
He threw a complete game shutout in Game 7 to clinch the pennant and win the MVP.

JIMMY KEY, Blue Jays
Blue Jays over Braves. 4-2
Started and won Game 4.
Relieved closer Tom Henke in Game 6 in the 10th inning. When the Blue Jays took the lead in the 11th, Key pitched in the bottom of the 11th. He gave way to reliever Mike Timlin who got the save and Key got the win for the World Series clincher.
RANDY JOHNSON, Mariners

Mariners over Yankees, 3-2.
Started and won Game 3.
Was brought into the 9th inning on one day’s rest for the Game 5 clincher. He stopped a Yankee rally and pitched into 11th inning. He let up a run in the 11th but the Mariners scored 2 in the bottom of the 11th ending the series and giving Johnson the win.

Marlins over Braves. 4-2
Relieved Tony Saunders in Game 3 and got the win after the Marlins rallied off of John Smoltz in the 6th.
2 days later threw a complete game victory in Game 5 where he struck out 15 batters (aided by Eric Gregg’s generous strike zone) and earned the series MVP.

GREG MADDUX, Braves
Padres over Braves, 4-2
Started and lost Game 3.
Came into the bottom of the 9th with a 1 run lead facing elimination. Maddux retired the first two batters before walking Finley. Got Tony Gwynn, who represented the pennant at the plate, to ground out and earn the only save in his big league career.

Braves over Astros. 3-1
Threw complete game 1 hit victory in Game 2.
Retired the Astros 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 12 inning to record a save in Game 3.

Red Sox over Indians, 3-2.
Started Game 1.
Came into a wild slug fest do or die Game 5 in the 4th inning. He proceeded to throw 6 no hit innings as the Red Sox rallied to take the game and the series. Pedro finished off the series and got the deciding Game 5 win.

JOHN SMOLTZ, Braves
Braves over Mets. 4-2.
Threw 1-2-3 ninth inning to record a save in Game 2.
Started Game 4.
RANDY JOHNSON, Diamondbacks

2001 World Series
Diamondbacks over Yankees, 4-3

Started Game 2 and threw a complete game shutout.
Started and won Game 6.
With no days rest and the Diamondbacks 6 outs from elimination, Johnson came into the 8th and retired Chuck Knoblauch to end a Yankee threat. He then shut down the Yankees 1-2-3 in the 9th.
Then the Diamondbacks rallied for 2 in the bottom of the 9th, Johnson was the winning pitcher. Not only did he become the first pitcher on this list to do it for two different teams, he also was the winning pitcher of two heart stopping deciding playoff games against the Yankees.
DEREK LOWE, Red Sox

2003 AL Division Series
Red Sox def. A’s, 3-2

Started Game 3 (the day I got married.)
Relieved Scott Williamson in the bottom of the 9th with a 1 run lead, 2 on nobody out. After loading the bases with 2 outs, Lowe got Terrence Long to strike out looking for the series clinching save… which included an interesting gesture to the Oakland dugout.

BRAD PENNY, Marlins
Marlins over Cubs, 4-3
Started and lost Game 2.
Relieved Mark Redman in the 4th inning of Game 7 with the Marlins trailing 5-3. He recorded a 1-2-3 fourth. The Marlins rallied to take the lead in the 5th as they clinched the pennant. Penny was credited with the win for the clincher out of the pen.
(It should be noted that Josh Beckett also came out of the bullpen that day and pitched 4 innings just 3 days after throwing a complete game shutout. Why HE didn’t get the win is anyone’s guess.)

ROGER CLEMENS, Astros

2005 NL Division Series
Astros over Braves, 3-1

Started and lost Game 2.
Came in as a pinch hitter in the 15th inning and executed a sacrifice bunt, moving the potential series winning run into scoring position. The Braves wiggled out of the jam and Clemens remained in the game as a pitcher.
He threw 3 innings of 1 hit shutout relief, earning the win when Chris Burke ended the series with a home run.

White Sox over Astros, 4-0
Started Game 2.
Relieved Damaso Marte with 2 outs and 2 on in the bottom of the 14th inning of Game 3. He got Adam Everett to pop up to earn the save.
So there you have it…
A bunch of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers… and a bunch of guys who were unlikely heroes (I’m looking at YOU Brad Penny!)
Let’s hope the 2009 playoffs have more crazy relief appearances that would make Grover Cleveland Alexander proud.

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