Jack Morris is the proud owner of what is arguably the greatest pitching performance in the history of Major League Baseball, pitching all 10 innings in the Twins' win over the Braves in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
Morris also pitched 7 innings in Game 1 and 6 innings in Game 4 of that series, totaling 23 innings in all. This year's World Series is long way from 1991. No starter this year has pitched into the seventh inning, with only three games featuring a starting pitcher going six innings.
"Starters really don’t have any glory in the postseason anymore," Morris said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.
Morris' 23 innings in '91 are just 3 2/3 innings fewer than the entire Cubs starting staff and 1 1/3 innings fewer than Cleveland's starters have combined for through five games.
"It’s such a different era," Morris added. "It’s almost like pitchers become paranoid because any indication at all that there’s trouble, you’re going to get yanked. I just can’t stand that."
While it's clear that modern day baseball – especially in the postseason – is all about letting the bullpen dominate, it's not easy to do what the Indians and Cubs are doing this season.
"Maybe we’ve copied the Royals or Giants for the last couple of years, but it takes a special group down there," Indians reliever Dan Otero told the Boston Herald. "Not everybody’s going to have an Andrew Miller type of pitcher or Cody Allen type of pitcher that can come in in the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and finish the games. They’re a special breed, and not every team has the luxury of having those guys."
Through 13 postseason games Cleveland's bullpen has a microscopic 1.56 ERA and 11.94 strikeouts per nine innings, which is basically the equivalent of having the 1999 version of Pedro Martinez pitch all of your relief innings.
Martinez won the Cy Young in '99 with a 1.39 ERA and 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings – one of the all-time great seasons for a starter.
Starters going deep in World Series games may seem like a distant memory, but Johnny Cueto went the distance in Game 2 for the Royals last season and Madison Bumgarner had a complete game shutout in the 2014 World Series for the Giants.