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« Bay Done in By Fastballs | Main | Prince Fielder's Tough World Series »
Tuesday
Oct302012

Sergio Romo had the Tigers Slip Slidering away, until...

I'm really still in awe of Sergio Romo's virtuoso performance in the 2012 World Series. Romo faced nine Tigers, struck out five of them, allowed four balls in the air, and earned three saves. Most recently, in 2007, Jonathan Papelbon had three saves in the Red Sox four-game sweep of the Rockies. Mariano Rivera had three saves in the 1998 Yankee sweep of the Padres. And in 1996, John Wetteland had four saves in the Yankee Series victory over the Braves, but that was a six-gamer. 

Romo needed a tidy 43 pitches to retire the nine Tigers.

In Romo's first appearance in Game 2

Quentin Berry led off

  • 0-0 - Strike Looking on a 87 MPH Four Seamer - Outside
  • 0-1 - Fly Ball Out on a 88 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate

Austin Jackson was up next

  • 0-0 - Strike Looking on a 78 MPH Slider - Over the Plate
  • 0-1 - Strike Swinging on a 79 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 0-2 - Ball on a 80 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 1-2 - Strike Out on a 79 MPH Slider - Outside

Omar Infante ended the game

  • 0-0 - Ball on a 77 MPH Slider - Inside
  • 1-0 - Ball on a 88 MPH Sinker - Outside
  • 2-0 - Strike Looking on a 87 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate
  • 2-1 - Strike Looking on a 78 MPH Slider - Over the Plate
  • 2-2 - Pop Up Out on a 79 MPH Slider - Over the Plate

Romo in Game 3

Jhonny Peralta led off the 9th for the Tigers

  • 0-0 - Ball on a 80 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 1-0 - Strike Swinging on a 80 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 1-1 - Strike Looking on a 80 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 1-2 - Ball on a 81 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 2-2 - Foul on a 79 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 2-2 - Foul on a 78 MPH Slider - Low
  • 2-2 - Fly Ball Out on a 89 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate

Alex Avila was up next

  • 0-0 - Ball on a 88 MPH Sinker - Low
  • 1-0 - Strike Looking on a 89 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate
  • 1-1 - Ball on a 87 MPH Sinker - Low
  • 2-1 - Fly Ball Out on a 88 MPH Sinker - Over the Plate

Omar Infante was the final batter

  • 0-0 - Strike Looking on a 88 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate
  • 0-1 - Strike Swinging on a 80 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 0-2 - Ball on a 80 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 1-2 - Foul on a 79 MPH Slider - Over the Plate
  • 1-2 - Foul on a 79 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 1-2 - Strike Out on a 77 MPH Slider - Outside

Romo finished off the Tigers in Game 4

Austin Jackson didn't have a prayer

  • 0-0 - Strike Looking on a 79 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 0-1 - Ball on a 78 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 1-1 - Foul on a 79 MPH Slider - Over the Plate
  • 1-2 - Strike Out swinging on a 79 MPH Slider - Outside

Either did Don Kelly

  • 0-0 - Strike Swinging on a 88 MPH Four Seamer - Low
  • 0-1 - Ball on a 87 MPH Four Seamer - Low
  • 1-1 - Ball on a 87 MPH Sinker - Low
  • 2-1 - Strike Swinging on a 87 MPH Sinker - Over the Plate
  • 2-2 - Strike Out on a 86 MPH Sinker - Outside

Miguel Cabrera was stunned

  • 0-0 - Strike Looking on a 78 MPH Slider - Over the Plate
  • 0-1 - Ball on a 80 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 1-1 - Strike Swinging on a 80 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 1-2 - Ball on a 79 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 2-2 - Foul on a 79 MPH Slider - Outside
  • 2-2 - Strike Out looking on a 89 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate

After five sliders, there was absolutely no reason that Miguel Cabrera could ever expected the four-seamer and he watched that pitch, absolutely stunned as he knew a strike had been thrown.

Romo had thrown 27 sliders, nine fastballs and seven sinkers in this Series. He got three strikeouts on the slider but the slider was the set-up pitch that crippled Cabrera on that fastball.

The last time a World Series ended with a whiff was in 2010 when Texas' Nelson Cruz went swinging at pitch from Brian Wilson of the Giants. Cruz is one of at least 15 batters who went swinging at strike three to end a World Series (Honus Wagner may have. We do know that he whiffed to end the inaugural 1903 World Series we just don't know if he swung or watched).

Cabrera does join Goose Goslin as the only other player we know for sure who watched a pitch go by to end a Series. Goslin was a 1925 Washington Senator who took a pitch from the Pirates' Red Oldham. 

Here are the Series ending whiffers prior to Cabrera 

Cr# Date Gm# Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB
1 1903-10-13 8 Honus Wagner PIT @BOS Bill Dinneen down 3-0 t9 ---
2 1925-10-15 7 Goose Goslin WSH @PIT Red Oldham down 9-7 t9 ---
3 1933-10-07 5 Joe Kuhel WSH NYG Dolf Luque down 4-3 b10 12-
4 1944-10-09 6 Mike Chartak SLB @STL Ted Wilks down 3-1 t9 ---
5 1949-10-09 5 Gil Hodges BRO NYY Joe Page down 10-6 b9 12-
6 1950-10-07 4 Stan Lopata PHI @NYY Allie Reynolds down 5-2 t9 12-
7 1956-10-10 7 Jackie Robinson BRO NYY Johnny Kucks down 9-0 b9 1--
8 1965-10-14 7 Bob Allison MIN LAD Sandy Koufax down 2-0 b9 1--
9 1967-10-12 7 George Scott BOS STL Bob Gibson down 7-2 b9 ---
10 1980-10-21 6 Willie Wilson KCR @PHI Tug McGraw down 4-1 t9 123
11 1982-10-20 7 Gorman Thomas MIL @STL Bruce Sutter down 6-3 t9 ---
12 1986-10-27 7 Marty Barrett BOS @NYM Jesse Orosco down 8-5 t9 ---
13 1988-10-20 5 Tony Phillips OAK LAD Orel Hershiser down 5-2 b9 --3
14 2006-10-27 5 Brandon Inge DET @STL Adam Wainwright down 4-2 t9 1-3
15 2007-10-28 4 Seth Smith COL BOS Jonathan Papelbon down 4-3 b9 ---
16 2008-10-27 5 Eric Hinske TBR @PHI Brad Lidge down 4-3 t9 -2-
17 2010-11-01 5 Nelson Cruz TEX SFG Brian Wilson down 3-1 b9 ---
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/30/2012.

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