As we inch closer and closer to the Fall Classic, it only makes sense to go back in time and review the top World Series performances since 2000.
Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants (2002)
.471/.700/1.294, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 13 BB, (seven games, lost)
Although the Giants would go on to lose to the Angels in seven games, Bonds would be the last guy to blame. He was walked 13 times in 30 plate appearances, which is still the record for walks in a World Series.
Bonds was intentionally walked seven times, including three in Game 3. He was literally on base 70 percent of the time. Bonds’ four World Series home runs ranks second all time.
In Game 7, Bonds was never able to come to the plate with runners on, and went 1-3 with a walk.
Game 1 and 7 were the only games in the series in which Bonds was unable to reach base at least three times.
Hideki Matsui, New York Yankees (2009)
.615/.643/1.385, 3 HR, 8 RBI, (6 games, won)
The 2009 World Series MVP, Matsui currently holds the record for slugging percentage as well as on base plus slugging in a World Series. Matsui hit an insane .615, with three long balls and 8 RBIs. In Game 3, he knocked in six, which tied Bobby Richardson’s 1960 World Series record for most RBIs in a World Series game.
The craziest part about Matsui’s historic October performance was the fact that he was strictly used as the designated hitter. Due to half the series being in Philadelphia, he only started three games. Not only was he the first DH to win the award, but Matsui became the first Japanese-born player to earn MVP honors. Trivia: Who are the only players to hit three home runs and bat over .500 in the World Series? Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Hideki Matsui.
Side note: Although the Phillies lost the series to New York, Chase Utley hit five home runs, which is tied with Reggie Jackson for most in a World Series. Had to mention it.
David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals (2011)
.348/.464/.696, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 BB, (7 games, won)
It would be a sin not to mention David Freese in top World Series performances. He had possibly the most clutch performance in major league history during the late innings of Game 6. With the Rangers up 7-5, and three games to two in the series, Freese stepped up to the plate with two outs in the ninth. Down in the count, 1-2, Freese hit a two-run triple off Neftali Feliz to tie the game. In the 11th inning, Freese came up clutch again and forced Game 7 with a walk-off home run to dead center.
Following his epic performance in Game 6, Freese kept it going in Game 7, with a two-run double in the first inning. The 2011 World Series MVP, Freese became the sixth player to win the LCS and World Series MVPs in the same year. In the 2011 postseason, he tallied up 21 RBIs, which is a postseason record. Freese also holds the postseason record for total bases, and is tied for first with his former teammate, Albert Pujols, with eight doubles in a postseason.
Another side note: Lance Berkman had quite the World Series as well. In that same Game 6, Berkman went 3-for-5 with a home run, a walk, four runs and three RBIs. Berkman walked in the ninth and later scored on Freese’s triple.
In the 10th, with St. Louis down to their final out, Berkman singled in the game-tying run. He would go on score two more runs in Game 7. Berkman hit .423 in the series, and his nine total runs rank second all time.
Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants (2012, 2014)
2012: .500/.529/1.125, 3 HR, 4 RBI, (4 games, won)
2014: .429/.467/.536 12 H, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 6 R (7 games, won)
As much of a disaster Sandoval turned out to be for Boston, Giants fans will never forget the impact he had on their 2012 and 2014 championship runs. In Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, Sandoval joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only players to hit three home runs in World Series game.
If the series went more than four games, Sandoval could have put up historic numbers. He would go on to be named World Series MVP, as well as receiving the Babe Ruth Award, which is given out to the best postseason performer.
In 2014, Sandoval racked up 12 hits, leaving him one shy of the World Series record. His 26 hits in the 2014 postseason is an all-time record.
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (2013)
.688/.760/1.188, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 7 R, 8 BB, (6 games, won)
Most people remember Ortiz’ game-tying grand slam off Joaquin Benoit in the 2013 ALCS, but the 2013 World Series MVP had quite the Fall Classic. Everyone on the Red Sox not named David Ortiz hit a combined .169 in the 2013 World Series.
Big Papi put the team on his back. His .688 batting average, and .760 on base percentage, both rank second all time in their respected categories. He reached base three or more times in five of the six games.
Ortiz hit a home run in both Game 1 and 2, and his 1.188 slugging percentage is eighth all-time. He is widely considered one of the best postseason players this game has ever seen. For his playoff career, Ortiz ranks top 10 in at bats, runs scored, hits, total bases, doubles, runs batted in, home runs and walks.
MLB POSTSEASON RECORDS
Will any of these record be broken in 2017?
18 plate appearances or 7 BB + H required
|BATTING AVERAGE||.750||Billy Hatcher (1990)|
|ON-BASE %||.800||Billy Hatcher (1990)|
|SLUGGING %||1.727||Lou Gehrig (1928)|
|RUNS||10||Paul Molitor (1993)|
Reggie Jackson (1977)
|HITS||13||Marty Barrett (1986)|
Bobby Richardson (1964)
Lou Brock (1968)
|TOTAL BASES||25||Willie Stargell (1979)|
Reggie Jackson (1977)
|HOME RUNS||5||Chase Utley (2009)|
Reggie Jackson (1977)
|RUNS BATTED IN||12||Bobby Richardson (1960)|
|BASE ON BALLS||13||Barry Bonds (2002)|
|STEALS||7||Lou Brock (1967, 1968)|
Featured image by Zimbio.com
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