Bobby jenks and his bond with Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon

Today the Red Sox took a flier on former White Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks for some bullpen depth. How could it hurt?

But as Jenks changes the color of his Sox, he has a unique bond with current Boston pitchers Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon:

All three were the pitchers on the mound when their team won the World Series.

Beckett tagged out Jorge Posada on a little dribbler to end the 2003 World Series for the Marlins.

Jenks got Orlando Palmeiro to ground out to end the 2005 World Series for the White Sox.

And Papelbon struck out Seth Smith to end the 2007 World Seris for the Red Sox.

Personally, I can’t think of anything cooler in all of sports than being the pitcher to end the World Series. More than a game winning home run. I used to reenact clinching a World Series as a pitcher on our front lawn… jumping up and being mobbed on the mound.

And I’ve written a few posts like this one and this one about my fascination with the pitcher who got the final out.

I can’t help but wonder if they will talk about it amongst each other in spring training.

They MUST talk about it. Heck, that’s how I would preface every sentence. “As a man who clinched the World Series… I will order the chicken salad.”

Maybe that’s just me.
Follow sullybaseball on Twitter

COMPLETE GAME VICTORIES TO CLINCH DIVISION SERIES (Updated with Cliff Lee)

A few days ago I wrote a post about pitchers who threw a complete game victory to clinch the Division Series.

I felt it was such a rare occurrence that it was worth noting.

Now it has happened twice in three days and Cliff Lee has added his name to the list. It just goes to show you, I shouldn’t write lists like this until the round is OVER!

Let’s update it.

Complete Game Division Series Clinchers

John Smoltz
1997 ATLANTA BRAVES
Game 3
4-1 victory against Houston Astros


Bobby Jones
2000 NEW YORK METS
Game 4
4-0 victory against San Francisco Giants


Curt Schilling
2001 ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Game 5
2-1 victory against St. Louis Cardinals


Cole Hamels
2010 PHILADELPHIA PHLLIES
Game 3
2-0 victory against Cincinnati Reds

Cliff Lee
2010 TEXAS RANGERS
Game 5
5-1 victory against Tampa Bay Rays

The 2001 Series didn’t end with Schilling on the mound getting the last out. The series ended with a walk off single by Tony Womack.

For sticklers of details, they played the Division Series in 1981 as well and two more complete games clinched series THAT year.

Steve Rogers
1981 MONTREAL EXPOS
Game 5
3-0 victory against Philadelphia Phillies

Jerry Reuss
1981 LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Game 5
4-0 victory against Houston Astros

But while relievers were being used more frequently then, the whole specialization of EVERY bullpen role (and the cheapening of the save) didn’t come around until the late 1980s.

Maybe we’ll update it next year if there is any new names to add.

Little side note… Cliff Lee is the first person to throw a complete game to clinch an AMERICAN LEAGUE Division Series.

ChaChing this off season!

Follow sullybaseball on Twitter

Complete Game Victories to Clinch the Division Series

Cole Hamels gave the Division Series a wonderful exclamation point and helped the Phillies continue to serve notice:

They intend to roll over the National League.

Last night, Hamels gave the Phillies their second complete game shutout in 3 games. (Granted, Halladay’s was more impressive.)

But a clinching complete game shutout is nonetheless pretty dang cool.
And RARE.

In this day and age of high paid closer, the clinching pitch is almost always thrown by the closer regardless of the situation. (The Yankees didn’t NEED to bring in Rivera the other day against the Twins.)

You might see the occasional World Series clinched with a complete game (a la Josh Beckett in 2003) or the LCS (a la Jose Contreras in 2005) but throwing a complete game to clinch a Division Series didn’t seem all that common.

So the staff at Sully Baseball looked it up, and since the Division Series became an annual event in 1995, there have been only three other times when a pitcher threw a complete game to clinch the first round.

Complete Game Division Series Clinchers

John Smoltz
1997 ATLANTA BRAVES
Game 3
4-1 victory against Houston Astros


Bobby Jones
2000 NEW YORK METS
Game 4
4-0 victory against San Francisco Giants


Curt Schilling
2001 ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Game 5
2-1 victory against St. Louis Cardinals


Cole Hamels
2010 PHILADELPHIA PHLLIES
Game 3
2-0 victory against Cincinnati Reds

The 2001 Series didn’t end with Schilling on the mound getting the last out. The series ended with a walk off single by Tony Womack.

For sticklers of details, they played the Division Series in 1981 as well and two more complete games clinched series THAT year.

Steve Rogers
1981 MONTREAL EXPOS
Game 5
3-0 victory against Philadelphia Phillies

Jerry Reuss
1981 LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Game 5
4-0 victory against Houston Astros

But while relievers were being used more frequently then, the whole specialization of EVERY bullpen role (and the cheapening of the save) didn’t come around until the late 1980s.

So Cole Hamels has a complete game clincher to go along with his NLCS MVP, World Series MVP and World Series ring.

And gets to join select company.

Follow sullybaseball on Twitter