You may have missed this during Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night, but with a three-hit game, Cubs left fielder Ben Zobrist did something only the mighty Babe Ruth has accomplished.
Zobrist also had three hits in the opener of last year’s World Series for the Royals (in a 5-4 win over the Mets in 13 innings). Only one other player has ever had three hits in consecutive World Series openers — Ruth, who had three hits for the New York Yankees in 1927 and 1928.
Here are 10 other noteworthy stats from the World Series opener:
▪ Indians pitcher Corey Kluber set a World Series record with eight strikeouts through the first three innings. Actually, it was a postseason record. Bob Gibson, Randy Johnson and Orlando Hernandez each had seven strikeouts in that span in a World Series game.
▪ Kluber is the first pitcher to get the win in the All-Star Game and the World Series in the same year since Boston’s Josh Beckett in 2007.
▪ Chicago Cubs designated hitter Kyle Schwarber doubled and was the first non-pitcher in baseball history with a hit in the World Series after having none in the regular season.
▪ Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez is the first player to hit two home runs batting from the ninth spot in the batting order in a World Series game.
▪ There is also this:
▪ Perez hit .183 during the season, and the Elias Sports Bureau says that is the lowest regular-season batting average for a player who hit at least two homers in a game in World Series history.
▪ Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez (24.038) and Francisco Lindor (22.346) were the third pair of teammates under the age of 25 with at least three hits in the same World Series game. The others: Washington’s Goose Goslin (23.357) and Ossie Bluege (23.349) in Game 4 in 1924, and Boston’s Dustin Pedroia (24.071) and Jacoby Ellsbury (24.046) in Game 3 in 2007.
▪ With the Indians’ win, the home team has won the first game of the World Series in six of the last seven years. You can guess the only exception: the Royals in 2014.
▪ Elias noted that Tuesday’s opener was the first game in World Series history in the two starting shortstops were under the age of 23. The Cubs’ Addison Russell and the Indians’ Lindor are both 22 years old.
▪ The Indians’ 15 strikeouts were tied for the second-most in a nine-inning World Series game. The Cardinals had a record 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series against Detroit — all by Gibson. The Cardinals also had 15 against the Royals in Game 5 of the 1985 World Series. The Dodgers recorded 15 in Game 1 of the 1963 Fall Classic against the Yankees.