Yuli's K-less streak & other numbers to watch for

October 31st, 2022

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

But he still has not struck out.

Gurriel enters Game 3 having gone 13-for-38 (.342) with two homers, one walk and no strikeouts in 39 plate appearances this postseason. That's the eighth-longest streak to begin a postseason in MLB history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau -- and he has a chance to move further up that list Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

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

World Series ticket information: Astros | Phillies

Gurriel went 48 straight plate appearances without a strikeout to begin the 2019 postseason before striking out against then-Nationals ace Max Scherzer in Game 1 of the World Series.

Here’s a look at the longest such streaks to begin a postseason all-time, per Elias:

Most consecutive PAs to begin a postseason without a strikeout
1995 -- Joey Cora: 51^
2006 -- David Eckstein: 50
2019 -- Yuli Gurriel: 48
1979 -- Tim Foli: 48^
1981 -- Dusty Baker: 46
1992 -- Sid Bream: 44^
2002 -- Fernando Viña: 40^
1982 -- Ozzie Smith: 40^
2022 -- Yuli Gurriel: 39

^ - Span covered entire postseason

But Gurriel isn’t the only one looking to rewrite the record book during this year’s Fall Classic. Here’s a look at some of the other notable numbers to keep an eye on as the World Series shifts to Philadelphia this week.

Bregman bombs
teed off for a two-run homer off Phillies ace Zack Wheeler in Game 2, marking Bregman’s sixth career World Series home run. 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
 provided arguably the biggest hit of the series so far when he clubbed a go-ahead solo homer in the top of the 10th inning in Game 1. In doing so, he became the first catcher to hit an extra-inning World Series homer since Carlton Fisk’s iconic walk-off in Game 6 of the 1975 Fall Classic.

But that’s not the first time Realmuto has made home run history this postseason. He already became the first catcher to leg out a postseason inside-the-park-homer when he did so against the Braves in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.

Realmuto is the first player, regardless of position, with both an inside-the-park home run and an extra-inning homer at any point in his career -- let alone in the same season -- according to STATS.

Peña’s extra effort
Astros shortstop Jeremy Peña has continued his sensational rookie campaign into the postseason, recording a hit in eight of his nine games. He also has eight extra-base hits in those nine games, including a double in each of the first two games of the World Series. Peña’s eight extra-base hits are tied for the fourth-most by a rookie in a single postseason in MLB history, trailing only Randy Arozarena (14 in 2020), Gurriel (10 in 2017) and Evan Longoria (nine in 2008).

Verlander’s World Series woes
It hasn’t been all good for the Astros, though. After giving up five runs over five innings in Game 1 against the Phillies,  has a 6.07 ERA in eight career World Series starts. That’s the highest ERA by any pitcher with at least 30 innings pitched in World Series history. Verlander is also 0-6 in those starts, though he figures to have another shot at getting in the win column -- and improving on that ERA -- at some point this series, likely in Game 5.

Tucker’s wasted big day
Kyle Tucker put on a show in Game 1, going 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs in Houston’s 6-5 loss. It marked just the 24th instance of a player having a three-hit, two-homer game in the World Series -- but only the second to come in a loss.

Strangely enough, the only other team to lose a World Series game after getting an individual performance like that was the 1993 Phillies. They dropped a wild 15-14 decision against the Blue Jays despite Lenny Dykstra going 3-for-5 with two homers, four RBIs and four runs scored.

Speaking of the Phillies’ unlikely Game 1 win …
Not only did the Phils overcome Tucker’s big day in Game 1, but they rallied from a 5-0 deficit. Their win probability dipped as low as 6.0% in the fourth inning.

But just how rare was that rally?

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

Overall, teams were 220-5 in World Series history when taking a five-run lead at any point. Yet, with the Phillies rattling off 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 dismissed manager Joe Girardi and handed the reins to longtime big league coach Rob Thomson. The club won 10-0 in its first game under Thomson and went on to win each of his first eight games at the helm. The Phils posted a 65-46 record under Thomson while clinching an NL Wild Card berth in the season’s final series. As it stands, Philadelphia is just the ninth team in MLB history to reach the World Series after making a managerial change at any point during the season. Now, the Phillies have their sights set on joining the 2003 Marlins (Jack McKeon) and 1978 Yankees (Bob Lemon) as the only teams to win a title after a midseason switch.