Sully Baseball Podcast – Hoping for a classic and thoughts from my sons – October 28, 2017


Brad Peacock helped show that the Astros are using their bullpen the way it should be used: Use the best pitchers for the best situation to win a game. I hope the Series goes 6 or 7 to become a classic.

Meanwhile my son’s give their World Series thoughts and tie it to Jurassic Park.

Looking for something timeless this Episode of Sully Baseball.

While we are at it, enjoy the In Memoriam video.

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Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle


Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle

The save became an official stat in 1969. Teams in the post season initially played to the situation instead of using the closer in all close 9th innings. But as saves began to pile up (especially after Tony LaRussa began using Dennis Eckersley one inning at time) and the prices of an innings closers sky rocketed, managers seemed to manage by the book and stick the closer in no matter what.

Every once in a while, a team will have multiple pitchers record a save in a post season. It does not happen often, but they pop up. Mike Montgomery did not have a career save in the majors or minors until Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Not a bad time to get your first one.

So here are all the teams to use more than one pitcher to save a game since 1969.

Teams with multiple pitchers with post season saves since 1969
1969 New York Mets – Ron Taylor (WS), Nolan Ryan (WS)
1970 Baltimore Orioles – Pete Richert (WS), Dick Hall (WS)
1970 Cincinnati Reds – Clay Carroll (NLCS), Don Gullett (NLCS)
1972 Oakland A’s – Vida Blue (ALCS), Rollie Fingers (WS)
1972 Cincinnati Reds – Clay Carroll (WS), Jack Billingham (WS), Tom Hall (WS)
1973 New York Mets – Tug McGraw (NLCS, WS), George Stone (WS), Ray Sadecki (WS)
1973 Oakland A’s – Rollie Fingers (ALCS, WS), Darold Knowles (WS)
1974 Oakland A’s – Rollie Fingers (ALCS, WS), Catfish Hunter (WS)
1975 Cincinnati Reds – Pedro Borbon (NLCS), Rawly Eastwick (WS), Will McEnaney (WS)
1976 Cincinnati Reds – Pedro Borbon (NLCS), Will McEnaney (WS)
1978 New York Yankees – Ken Clay (ALCS), Rich Gossage (ALCS)
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates – Don Robinson (NLCS), Kent Tekulve (WS)
1980 Philadelphia Phillies – Tug McGraw (NLCS, WS), Ron Reed (WS)
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers – Bob Welch (NLCS), Steve Howe (WS)
1982 Milwaukee Brewers – Pete Ladd (ALCS), Jim Slaton (ALCS), Bob McClure (WS)
1983 Baltimore Orioles – Sammy Stewart (ALCS), Tippy Martinez (WS)
1984 San Diego Padres – Rich Gossage (NLCS), Craig Lefferts (WS)
1985 St. Louis Cardinals – Ken Dayley (NLCS), Todd Worrell (WS), Jeff Lahti (WS)
1986 Boston Red Sox – Calvin Schraldi (ALCS, WS), Bob Stanley (WS)
1987 Minnesota Twins – Juan Berenguer (ALCS), Jeff Reardon (ALCS, WS)
1987 St. Louis Cardinals – Ken Dayley (NLCS, WS), Todd Worrell (NLCS, WS)
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers – Alejandro Pena (NLCS), Orel Hershiser (NLCS), Brian Holton (NLCS), Jay Howell (WS)
1990 Cincinnati Reds – Randy Myers (NLCS, WS), Rob Dibble (NLCS)
1990 Pittsburgh Pirates – Ted Power (NLCS), Bob Patterson (NLCS)
1990 Oakland Athletics – Dennis Eckersley (ALCS), Rick Honeycutt (ALCS)
1991 Pittsburgh Pirates – Bob Walk (NLCS), Roger Mason (NLCS)
1992 Toronto Blue Jays – Tom Henke (ALCS, WS), Mike Timlin (WS)
1992 Atlanta Braves – Jeff Reardon (NLCS), Mike Stanton (WS)
1993 Philadelphia Phillies – Mitch Williams (NLCS), Larry Andersen (NLCS)
1995 Atlanta Braves – Mark Wohlers (DS, NLCS, WS) Greg McMichael (NLCS), Pedro Borbon (WS)
1995 Seattle Mariners – Norm Charlton (DS, ALCS), Bill Risley (DS)
1996 Baltimore Orioles – Randy Myers (DS), Armando Benitez (ALCS)
1997 Cleveland Indians – Jose Mesa (DS, ALCS, WS), Brian Anderson (WS)
1998 San Diego Padres – Trevor Hoffman (DS, NLCS), Donne Wall (NLCS)
1999 Atlanta Braves – Kevin Millwood (DS), John Rocker (DS, NLCS), John Smoltz (NLCS)
1999 New York Yankees – Mariano Rivera (DS, ALCS, WS), Ramiro Mendoza (ALCS)
2000 New York Mets – John Franco (DS), Armando Benitez (NLCS, WS)
2003 Florida Marlins – Ugueth Urbina (DS, NLCS, WS), Braden Looper (NLCS)
2003 Chicago Cubs – Joe Borowski (DS), Mike Remlinger (NLCS)
2003 Boston Red Sox – Derek Lowe (DS), Scott Williamson (ALCS)
2005 Chicago White Sox – Bobby Jenks (DS, WS), Mark Buehrle (WS)
2007 Colorado Rockies – Manny Corpas (DS, NLCS), Ryan Speier (NLCS)
2008 Tampa Bay Rays – Dan Wheeler (DS), David Price (ALCS)
2009 Philadelphia Phillies – Brad Lidge (DS, NLCS), Ryan Madson (WS)
2010 Texas Rangers – Darren Oliver (ALCS), Neftali Feliz (WS)
2011 Detroit Tigers – Jose Valverde (DS, ALCS), Phil Coke (ALCS)
2012 Detroit Tigers – Jose Valverde (DS), Phil Coke (ALCS)
2014 San Francisco Giants – Santiago Castilla (DS, NLCS, WS), Hunter Strickland (DS), Madison Bumgarner (WS)
2015 Texas Rangers – Sam Dyson (DS), Ross Ohlendorf (DS)
2016 Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen (DS, NLCS), Clayton Kershaw (DS)
2016 Cleveland Indians – Cody Allen (DS, ALCS), Andrew Miller (ALCS)
2016 Chicago Cubs – Aroldis Chapman (DS, NLCS, WS), Mike Montgomery (WS)
2017 New York Yankees – Aroldis Chapman (DS, ALCS), Tommy Kahnle (DS)
2017 Houston Astros – Ken Giles (DS, ALCS), Lancs McCullers Jr. (ALCS), Brad Peacock (WS)

Clint Hurdle 2003 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for October 28, 2017


Clint Hurdle was a player with insanely high expectations placed on him. He had a fine career but was not the superstar that he was projected to be.

But if a few bounces went here or there in the course of his managerial career, he would have received consideration for the Hall of Fame.

I know that sounds absurd, but bear with me. I am not being hyperbolic.

Drafted by the Royals in 1975 first round, he made his big league debut as a 19 year old in 1977. By spring training 1978, he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, touted as the next great baseball phenom.

He played well in 1978, hitting a respectable .264 with an OPS of .746. He batted .375 with an 1.125 OPS in the ALCS loss to the Yankees that year. In 1980, the 22 year old outfielder was a .294 hitters with 10 homers. He helped the Royals win the AL Pennant and hit .417 with an OPS of 1.000 in the World Series.

But injuries and inconsistencies derailed his playing career. He bounded between the Reds, Mets and Cardinals, finishing his career with 3 games with the 1987 Mets. His playing days were over before his 30th birthday.

Actually, his addiction to drinking and partying had as much to do with crushing his once promising career as anything.

He found a home in the Mets organization, building up his managerial credentials. Hurdle managed in Class A, then Double A and finally with the Norfolk Tides Triple A team by 1992.  He needed to prove that his hard partying days were over and he was willing to be an organization man. He did.

When the Rockies expanded into the National League, Hurdle joined the organization as an instructor and later a coach. As he sought help through AA, he worked his way back to the majors as a coach and eventually was named the manager of the Rockies.

From 2002 to 2006, he was as nondescript a manager as anyone could have. Losing records each years did not exactly inspire confidence. Then with the team on the fringe of the Wild Card Race in 2007, they went on their unreal finish.

They won 13 of their final 14 games to force a one game playoff with San Diego for the Wild Card. They won the wild extra inning match up and swept the Phillies and the Diamondbacks to get to the World Series.

Everyone remembers that the Rockies got swept and Game 1 was indeed an embarrassing blow out. But Game 2 was a tense match up. Jonathan Papelbon picked off Matt Holliday in the 8th inning to squash a potential game tying rally.

In Game 3, the Rockies fought to make it a one run game late until the Red Sox pulled away.

In Game 4, the Rockies lost by one single run and had a potential game tying homer caught at the wall in the 9th.

A few balls bouncing one way or another in Games 2 and 4 and the 2007 World Series could have been a much different affair.

He was let go in 2009, a year when Jim Tracy took over and brought Colorado back to the playoffs.

After spending a year in Texas mentoring Josh Hamilton, another former phenom who battled with addiction, Hurdle took over the hapless Pirates for the 2011 season.

The Pirates had not sniffed .500 since the Francisco Cabrera single that ended the 1992 NLCS. After a few near misses in 2011 and 2012, the Pirates finally had a winning ballclub again in 2013. In fact they won 94 games and took the Wild Card Game from Cincinnati.

In the Division Series, the Pirates went up 2 games to 1 against the favored Cardinals. In the bottom of the 9th of Game 4, St. Louis was up by one but the Pirates had a man on base. Andrew McCutchen was up. If he homered, the Pirates would move on to the NLCS against LA.

Instead McCutchen was retired and they lost Game 5 and St. Louis advanced to the NLCS and World Series.

In 2014, they made the post season hosting the Wild Card Game but faced Madison Bumgarner who threw a complete game shutout to shut down Pittsburgh’s hopes.

In 2015, the Pirates won 98 games but still finished behind the Cardinals. In the Wild Card Game, they went against eventual Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta who, like Bumgarner, dominated the Pirates and ending their post season with one game.

Imagine if the Pirates won that Game 4 in 2013 where they were a swing away from doing so.

Imagine if, over the course of 2015, the Pirates won 3 more games. That year, the Pirates looked like the strongest of the NL Central contenders and probably would have beaten the Mets in the NLCS.

Just picture some of those events bouncing one way instead of the other… the Rockies making the 2007 World Series competitive after the dominating ending and playoffs… taking the Pirates to the World Series after decades of futility.

I am not saying Hurdle would be a lock for the Hall of Fame. But being the leader of two franchises that looked hopeless and bringing them to the World Series would be the sort of accomplishment that is honored.

Instead he is a baseball lifer, a man who is a spokesman for Alcoholics Anonymous as well as an avid fundraiser and spokesman for Prader Willi Syndrome, which his daughter suffers from.

I am still rooting for him to win it all as a manager. It will make all of these accomplishments a wonderful prologue.