For All The Marbles has a fascinating chart of the pitchers who have started the most Game Seven-style do-or-die postseason games. Bob Gibson’s still the only guy to start and win two of them (although he lost Game 7 in 1968). Roger Clemens has started the most (5), but it’s kind of sad to see Jaret Wright tied for second. John Smoltz has the best ERA in deciding games (0.81); Blue Moon Odom is a deceptive second at 0.96, deceptive because he threw 5 innings in one start and 4.1 innings in the other. Ron Darling gets the honor of the worst Game Seven starter of all time (he got chased early in the 1986 World Series and clobbered in the 1988 NLCS, although in the latter case his fielders bore a lot of the blame; Darling didn’t allow a walk, homer or flyball double in that game), followed by Andy Pettitte, who would seem to be slated to start Game Seven if the ALCS goes that far.

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  1. Interesting that you mentioned Blue Moon Odam and his innings pitched because I think most younger fans would have been stunned by the way Dick Williams used his pitchers in the post season. There were exceptions but his starters (including guys like Catfish Hunter and Vida Blue – Odam was really the fourth starter) rarely went much more than 5 innings. And he’d sometimes bring in Fingers (widely seen now as a closer) in very early and then go to Darold Knowles to finish it off. Some days it would be the other way around.
    Today, Knowles would be the lefty one out guy with Fingers reserved soley for save situations.
    Frankly, I agree with Williams’ logic because he used his best guys at what he thought were the crucial moments of the game.

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