Yuli Gurriel, JT Realmuto Among Story Makers This Post-Season

When Yuli Gurriel worked a 10th inning walk in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday night, marking the first time this postseason that one of his plate appearances did not end with him putting the ball in play.

But he still hasn’t knocked.

Gurriel enters Game 3 Monday night having gone 13 for 38 (.342) with two home runs, one walk and no strikeouts in 39 plate appearances this postseason. It’s the eighth-longest playoff streak in MLB history, according to Elias’ Athletic Bureau — and he has a chance to move higher up that list Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.

By the way, one of the players Gurriel is chasing? Himself.

Gurriel made 48 consecutive non-strikeout plate appearances to start the 2019 playoffs before retiring against then-Nationals ace Max Scherzer in Game 1 of the World Series.

Here’s a rundown of the longest such streaks to start a playoff series of all time, per Elias:

Most Consecutive APs to Start a Playoff No Strikeout
1995 –Joey Cora: 51^
2006 — David Eckstein: 50
2019 — Yuli Gurriel: 48
1979 — Tim Foli: 48^
1981 — Dusty Baker: 46 years old
1992 — Sid Bremen: 44^
2002 — Fernando Vina: 40^
1982 — Ozzie Smith: 40^
2022 — Yuli Gurriel: 39

^ – Span covered the entire post-season

But Gurriel isn’t the only one looking to rewrite the record books at this year’s Fall Classic. Here’s a look at some of the other notable numbers to watch as the World Series moves to Philadelphia this week.

Bregman bombs
Alex Bregman started for a two-run homer against Phillies ace Zack Wheeler in Game 2, marking Bregman’s sixth career World Series homer. That’s two more than any other third baseman in World Series history and it also leaves Bregman just one shy of the World Series home run leader among all active players – his former teammate George. Springer (seven).

Realmuto is the real deal
JT Realmuto provided arguably the biggest hit of the series so far when he bludgeoned a solo homer in the top of the 10th inning of Game 1. In doing so, he became the first catcher to hit an extra World Series home run since Fisk’s iconic Carlton Walk-off in Game 6 of the 1975 Fall Classic.

But this isn’t the first time Realmuto has made playoff home run history. He already became the first receiver to give up a homer inside the park in the playoffs when he did so against the Braves in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.

Realmuto is the first player in any position with both an inside-the-park home run and an overtime home run at any time in his career — let alone in the same season — according to STATS.

Peña’s Extra Effort
Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena continued his sensational rookie campaign in the playoffs, recording a hit in eight of his nine games. He also had eight extra hits in those nine games, including a brace in each of the first two World Series games. Peña’s eight extra hits are tied for fourth by a rookie in a single postseason in MLB history, behind only Randy Arozarena (14 in 2020), Gurriel (10 in 2017) and Evan Longoria (nine in 2008).

Verlander’s World Series woes
However, all has not been good for the Astros. After give up five runs in five innings in Game 1 against the Phillies, Justin Verlander has a 6.07 ERA in eight career World Series starts. This is the highest ERA of any pitcher with at least 30 innings pitched in World Series history. Verlander is also 0-6 in those starts, though he believes he has another chance to get into the win column — and improve that ERA — at some point in this series, likely in the fifth game.

Oddly enough, the only other team to lose a World Series game after putting in such an individual performance was the 1993 Phillies. They lost a crazy 15-14 decision to the Blue Jays despite Lenny Dykstra going 3 in 5 with two home runs, four RBIs and four runs scored.

Speaking of the Phillies’ unlikely Game 1 win…
Not only did the Phils get over Tucker’s big day in Game 1, but they rebounded from a 5-0 deficit. Their probability of winning dropped to 6.0% in the fourth set.

But how rare was this rally?

Well, the Astros were 29-0 in franchise history when they were leading by at least five points in a postseason game. The Phillies, meanwhile, were 0-11 when trailing by at least five points in a playoff game.

Overall, the teams were 220-5 in World Series history when taking a five-point lead at any time. Still, with the Phillies hitting six unanswered runs, they became the first team to overcome such a deficit in the Fall Classic since the 2002 Angels rallied from an identical 5-0 hole. against the Giants in Game 6 to force — and ultimately win — a decisive Game 7.

Philly Rob saves the day
After a disappointing 22-29 start, the Phillies fired manager Joe Girardi and handed the reins over to longtime big league coach Rob Thomson. The club won 10-0 in their first game under Thomson and won each of their first eight games at the helm. The Phils went 65-46 under Thomson while clinching an NL Wild Card berth in the final series of the season. As it stands, Philadelphia is only the ninth team in MLB history to reach the World Series after making a managerial change at any point in the season. Now the Phillies are aiming to join the 2003 Marlins (Jack McKeon) and 1978 Yankees (Bob Lemon) as the only teams to win a title after a midseason switch.