On Wednesday, October 4, 1950, at Shibe Park, in Philadelphia, the New York Yankees (98-56) played the Philadelphia Phillies (91-63) in Game One of the 1950 World Series.
If the Yankees were the American League representative in the 2008 World Series against the Phillies, there would be many stories about the 1950 Series because it was the only time that the Yankees and Phillies met in Baseball’s Fall Classic.
Game 1 of the 1950 Series was a classic pitching matchup, as Yankees righthander starter, Vic Raschi, (21-8; 4.00 ERA; 1 SV), out-pitched the National League MVP, Phillies righthander, Jim Konstanty, (16-7; 2.66 ERA; 22 SV), leading the Yankees to victory.
Vic Raschi pitched one of the greatest games in World Series history, tossing a complete game, two-hit, 1-0 shutout, allowing only one walk while striking out five, in a game that took 2 hours and 17 minutes to play.
Raschi retired the first 13 batters he faced, before allowing a one-out, 5th inning hit to Willie Jones. Andy Seminick also singled in this inning, setting up a first and second situaton with two outs. But, Raschi struck out Mike Goliat to end the only threat the Phillies made, to score in the game.
The Phillies drew a one out walk in the top of the 6th, but that was it, as far as the Phillies getting any more runners on base. Raschi finished the game as strong as he started by retiring the final 11 batters he faced, to earn the 1-0 shutout that gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in this series.
The Yankees scored their only run in this game in the top of the 4th, when Bobby Brown led off the inning with a double; advanced to third on a long fly ball to centerfield by Hank Bauer; and, scored on a RBI sac-fly to leftfield by Jerry Coleman [a little small-ball by the 1950 Yankees].
Phillies starter, Jim Konstanty, also had a great game, pitching 8 solid innings, allowing the one run, on four hits, four walks, and no strikeouts. Russ Meyer came in from the bullpen to pitch a scoreless 9th inning for the Phillies, giving up only one hit.
It is also interesting to note: 1950 was the year the great Yankees shortstop, Phil Rizzuto, (.324 BA), won the American League MVP award. And, it was also the first year the great Whitey Ford pitched for the Yankees. Ford had a record of 9-1, with a 2.81 ERA.
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In the last 87 years, since 1921, the New York Yankees have appeared in 47 Post-Seasons; winning 39 American League Championships; and, 26 World Championships !!!
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And, yes, there was a World Series “Game One”, on Wednesday, October 22, 2008, in Tampa Bay.
In the first game of the 2008 World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies, led by a solid pitching performance by their starter, Cole Hamels, beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2.
The Phillies jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, off Rays starter Scott Kazmir, in the top of the first inning, when Jayson Werth walked, and scored on a two-run homerun by Chase Utley, (2-for-4; 1 run; 2 RBI).
In the top of the second, the Phillies had a chance to open up an even bigger lead, by loading the bases with one out. But, on a fly out to centerfield, Shane Victorino, trying to score from third, was thrown out at the plate by B.J. Upton, ending the inning without any runs scoring.
The Phillies did score their final run in the top of the 4th, when Victorino, (2-for-4), who led off the inning with a single, scored on a ground out to short that increased the Phillies lead to 3-0 at the time.
Tampa Bay got on the board in the bottom of the 4th, on a Carl Crawford homerun, desreasing the Phillies lead to 3-1.
Then, in the bottom of the 5th, the Rays scored what turned out to be the final run of the game when Jason Bartlett was driven home on a RBI double by Akinori Iwamura, who was (3-for-4) on the night, cutting the score to 3-2.
Scott Kazmir lasted only six innings in this game, allowing three runs, on six hits, four walks, and four strikeouts. But, four relievers out of the Rays bullpen shut down the Phillies the rest of the way, throwing three scoreless innings, that held Philadelphia to the three runs they scored off Kazmir, giving Tampa Bay a chance to comeback in this game.
The Phillies pitching was just a little better on this night, as Cole Hamels delivered an awesome effort, throwing seven strong innings, allowing two runs, on five hits, and two walks, while striking out five.
And, the Phillies bullpen was just as good as the Rays pen, closing the deal in this game.
Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless 8th; and, Brad Lidge, closed it out by striking out two, while throwing a scoreless 9th inning, to save the Phillies 3-2 victory.
So, the Phillies have the advantage leading this Series 1-0, as “Game 2” will be played on Thursday night, October 23th.
My prediction before this World Series began, was: the Tampa Bay Rays over the Philadelphia Phillies in 7 Games. There is a long way to go in this series, and I still think, when the final out of this World Series is recorded, the Tampa Bay Rays will be the 2008 World Champions.