Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. posted a scoreless start in Game 7 of the World Series, but it wasn’t exactly a good one. McCullers set a dubious World Series record during Game 7, and managed to do so after facing only 12 batters.
McCullers hit an incredible four batters despite being pulled after just 2 1/3 innings. That’s more than any starter has ever hit in a World Series game.
McCullers' 4 HBP is a World Series record. It's the third inning.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) November 2, 2017
Keep in mind, McCullers only managed seven outs in the contest. The only thing he was efficient at here was hitting people.
He accomplished that feat in just 12 batters. McCullers hit both Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig in the first inning. That actually loaded the bases for Joc Pederson, but he grounded out to end the threat. In the second, McCullers added to the hit total, hitting Enrique Hernandez with two outs.
Then, in the third, he set the record. With one out, McCullers hit Turner again. He was allowed to remain in the game to face the next hitter, Cody Bellinger. After striking out Bellinger, McCullers’ day was done. He faced 13 hitters total, and hit nearly a quarter of them.
And yet, somehow, McCullers didn’t give up any runs. Seven out of the 13 batters he faced managed to reach base, but McCullers worked his way out of jams.
Despite his sudden lack of control, it wasn’t like he was missing with every pitch. McCullers didn’t issue any walks in the brief start. Four pitches just got away from him. It was strange, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from this World Series.
McCullers wasn’t all that effective, but his counterpart was even worse. Yu Darvish didn’t even make it out of the second inning, allowing five runs, four earned, in just 1 2/3 innings. The team had to call on Clayton Kershaw to come on in relief after Brandon Morrow notched the final out in the second inning. It was probably a bit earlier than most Dodgers fans expected.
Between Darvish and McCullers, it was the shortest World Series outing ever by both starters. And yet, each guy saw vastly different results.
Despite a shaky start, McCullers left with his team ahead. The Astros held on, winning the World Series 5-1 over the Dodgers, so we’re going to forget about that record as quickly as McCullers set it Wednesday night.
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