Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Joe Blanton, Meet Ken Holtzman

The last pitcher to go yard in the World Series. Before you, that is. It was the 1974 Fall Classic. A's (Remember them, Joe?) versus Dodgers. And Holtzman was dominant - on the mound and at the dish. In game 1, he doubled and scored. Didn't go deep into the game, but didn't give up any runs either. A's win 3-2. Turns out Holtzman's run is pivotal in the win. In game 4, he homers. Goes 7 strong innings, 2 earned runs, 7 strikeouts. A's win 5-2.

The rest, as they say, is history. They put the Dodgers away in game 5. All told, Holtzman goes 12 innings, gives up 2 runs, and strikes out 10. ERA is 1.50.

But he's not the World Series MVP. Instead, they give it to Rollie Fingers, who went 9 innings and gave up 2 runs. ERA is 1.93. Now, I'm not saying that Fingers wasn't great. 1 win and 2 saves looks very good on paper.

But the fact of the matter is, short of exposing Holtzman to large quantities of Kryptonite, nothing could have stopped him in the '74 Series. No doubt in my mind he should have won MVP. Not that Fingers was a bad pick. Just that one pitcher was more deserving than the other, in my opinion.

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