Thursday, April 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

World Series: The baseball immortality Corey Kluber is flirting with

The Cubs are chasing history. The Indians are not far behind.

And on the mound when Game 7 starts tonight will be a pitcher flirting with his own bit of baseball immortality.

Indians righthander Corey Kluber has a chance to become one of a handful of starting pitchers, and the first in 48 years, to win three games in the same World Series.

Why is it so rare?

Well, first of all, there have not been a lot of Game 7's in recent history. And, since the 1970s, most teams have gone to five-man rotations, so it's highly unusual for a pitcher to start three times in nine days even in the postseason.

Cris Carpenter started three games for the Cardinals in 2011, but a rainout gave him an extra day of rest earlier in the Series.

Before that, you have to go back to Curt Schilling (2001), Jack Morris (1991) and Frank Viola (1987) to find pitchers who started three times in nine days. None of them, however, won all three of their starts.

The last pitcher to go 3-0 in a World Series was Detroit's Mickey Lolich in 1968, and he did it the hard way. Lolich started Games 2 and 5, and then came back on two days rest to beat Bob Gibson and the Cardinals in Game 7. Gibson, by the way, went 3-0 in 1967 World Series.

If you're looking for omens, the last four teams to use a starter three times have all gone on to win Game 7.

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