When I left my Conservative Shul during Yom Kippur Services in 1965 To Watch The Twins first World Series Game, I felt guilty in a way since I knew I had to be in Shul. But that was the environment we lived in. I thought that perhaps this experience would someday help me interpret future World Series events, that could be tied into the 1965 World Series.
It appears that day has arrived.
Here is information on four players, three of which are in this World Series; portions of which are from Wikipedia-
Pitcher LA Dodgers -Sandy Koufax – World Series 1965
In early 1960, Koufax asked Los Angeles Dodgers GM Buzzie Bavasi to trade him because he was not getting enough playing time. After the last game of the season, he threw his gloves and spikes into the trash. But the following year, after some adjustments to his delivery, he became one of the greatest pitchers to have played the game.
Sandy Koufax pitched a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on September 9, 1965. Koufax, by retiring 27 consecutive batters without allowing any to reach base, became the sixth pitcher of the modern era, eighth overall, to throw a perfect game.
Less than one month later the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers met in the World Series. The first game was scheduled for October 6, but Sandy Koufax refused to pitch because it was Yom Kippur.
Playing in the 2019 World Series-
Astros 3B Alex Bregman-
He is Jewish, and in his bar mitzvah speech he said: “I want to be a professional athlete who plays for the love of the game, never quits trying to give my best, and is a good role model for all of the kids who look up to baseball players.
Nationals And Ex- Twins Catcher Kurt Suzuki-
Celebrated his World Series “Bar Mitzvah” because this was his first World Series after playing for 13 years.
Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole –
Duplicated the 5th Game of the 1965 World Series that Sandy Koufax pitched.
So let me begin right here by comparing the key statistics of these two games-
Monday, October 11, 1965 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
Koufax gave up only 4 hits and shut out Minnesota by a score of 7-0. WP – Koufax 1-1 L – Jim Kaat 1-1
Sunday, October 27, 2019 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC
Houston 7 10 0
Washington 1 4 0
WP – Cole 1-1 L – Ross 0-1
You can plainly see that Cole’s performance was very similar to that of Koufax during that game. And the results from both games sent the winning team into the Series lead needing only one more victory to claim the World Series championship.
An Ex-Twin has his “Bar Mitzvah”-
Kurt Suzuki: ‘I’ve waited 13 seasons for this moment’, referring to the fact he’s played in the Majors for 13 years and this is his first World Series appearance.
In Game Two- Former Twin Kurt Suzuki homered to “open the floodgates” and the runs continued to pile up. At the plate, Bregman’s only hit was a homer which accounted for two of the three runs Houston would score in the 12-3 defeat.
For the first two games of the Series, Bregman was 1 for 13 or a 0.77 batting average. And Bregman along with Altuve also committed the only errors by a Houston player in the first five games of the Series.
Bregman’s performance improved during Game 4 when he hit a Grand Slam off of another Ex-Twin Fernando Rodney.
Now Let’s Compare Statisics from the 1965 and 2019 Series-
A Comparison – 1965 vs 2019 World Series
In the first five games of this Series, the exact opposite pattern has occurred compared to that of the 1965 World Series. Each game has been won by the visiting team. And the scoring has been somewhat similar as well-
Total Runs Scored By Each Team- 2019 / 1965
First Two Games – Washington 17 Houston 7 Margin 10 / Minnesota 13 LA 3 Margin =10
Games 3, 4 and 5 – Houston 19 Washington 3 Margin 16 / LA 18 Minnesota 2 Margin = 16
We have an exact match in the run margins between the two series, split between the first two games and the last three, covering the first five games played.
This would suggest that there must be some relationship between the 1965 and 2019 Series that will play out over the next day or two, depending on if a seventh game is needed.
Game 6 – October 29, 2019
It is expected that the starting pitchers for this game will be Justin Verlander for Houston against Stephen Strasburg for Washington.
If the Nationals can win on Wednesday night, it will mark the first time the road team has won the first six games of a Series since … ever.
Is this possible? Just take a look at Game 2 for an answer. The same pitchers met and Strasburg came out the winner.
In addition, in the 1965 Series, both the second and sixth games were victories for Minnesota, by the same identical score of 5-1.
In the second game, Koufax was the starting pitcher and was the loser against Jim Kaat, whom Koufax would face again in the fifth and final games. But in those final two games Koufax pitched, he shut out the Twins both times, and he faced Jim Kaat in both of those games, with Kaat taking the loss in each one.
And another key consideration, up until today, Justin Verlander, who has been one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, has never recorded a win in the World Series.
Houston has the momentum but these considerations I am pointing out seem to indicate that it is very possible Washington comes bouncing back and forces Game 7.
If Game 7 is Necessary, Who Are the Most Likely Starting Pitchers For Both Teams?
Going back to Game 1 in 2019, Cole was the starter for Houston and ended up on the losing end of a 5-4 score. In 1965, Koufax refused to pitch on Yom Kippur, so he pitched on the following day and lost 5-1.
Here we have a similarity, that Koufax pitched in the second game while Cole pitched the first. Both pitchers lost the first game they pitched in the World Series that year.
Then they both pitched the fifth game and both won by similar scores. It therefore stands to reason that due to Cole’s dazzling performance, he should start the seventh and final game if there is one.
But according to various sources, it seems Cole may not be ready to pitch for that seventh game. On the other hand, for the Nationals Max Scherzer could available to pitch the final for the Nationals. In the first game, Scherzer was the winner over Cole, so if there is a seventh game, then if Scherzer faces Cole, this would be almost an identical situation to the 1965 World Series, where the two best pitchers for each team faced each other in the last two games.
Other Interesting Comparisons between the 1965 and 2019 Series –
Houston was originally a National League Club while Washington traditionally was in the American League. Therefore for this Series, both Clubs are now representing the exact opposite League from where they had originated.
In 1965, the Dodgers paid Koufax $85,000 and $80,000 to Drysdale.
For 1966, the Dodgers offered $100,000 to Koufax and $85,000 to Drysdale. The San Francisco Giants had signed Mays for two years, at about $125,000 per year.
Koufax and Drysdale, wary of the Dodgers’ playing one pitcher against the other, teamed up and asked for three years at a total of $1 million — split equally, so that each would earn $167,000 per year.
The duo effectively became baseball’s first union.
Gerrit Cole signed a 1 year / $13,500,000 contract with the Houston Astros, including $13,500,000 guaranteed in 2019..
Question- Given All That Is At Stake, Can Cole Consider Pitching The Seventh Game Like Sandy Koufax Did In 1965?
The 1991 World Series
Though the Twins lost the final game in the 1965 World Series to Koufax, the Twins won both in 1987 and 1991, and in the same manner, with all teams winning their home games.
And the highlight of those two series, was the seventh game Jack Morris pitched in 1991. Morris shutout the Atlanta Braves through 9 innings but the problem was that Minnesota did not score.
In the 10th inning Minnesota manager Tom Kelly wanted to pull Jack Morris, but Morris refused and was determined to keep pitching. Kelly left him in and Morris retired the side. In the bottom of the tenth the Twins scored the winning run and Morris became the MVP of the Series.
The 1991 World Series was also the first since 1924 to end with an extra-inning seventh-game when the home team, the Washington Senators (who would become the Twins franchise in 1961), won it in their last at-bat.
Perhaps the momentum is on the side of the Astros, but history seems to indicate the Washington Nationals have a good chance of winning the last two games, and taking the Series.
That would be a first for the World Series, but should not be surprising given all of the other facts and figures presented above.
It’s All In G-d’s Plan