Thursday, July 18, 2024

MLB World Series Game 2 Pregame Notes

The 119th World Series
Yesterday marked the 119th renewal of the World Series featuring the American League Champion Texas Rangers and the National League Champion Arizona Diamondbacks. The Fall Classic started off with a win by the Rangers. Texas jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, getting an RBI double from Evan Carter and a single by Adolis García in the first inning. Arizona answered back with three runs in the third inning, which included a two-run triple by Corbin Carroll, who later scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-2. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, Mitch Garver drew a walk to even the score, 3-3. In the fourth inning, Tommy Pham launched a solo home run out to left field to give Arizona a 4-3 lead. Ketel Marte extended the lead with an RBI double in the top of the fifth to make it 5-3. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Corey Seager launched a two-run home run to tie the game, 5-5. García launched the walk-off home run in the 11th inning to take a 6-5 win.

Rangers Take Game 1
The Texas Rangers won Game 1 by a final score of 6-5. It is in the first time in Rangers history that Texas took Game 1 of a World Series, after losing 11-7 to San Francisco in 2010 and 3-2 in 2011 against St. Louis. It was the 17th World Series Game to end with a walk-off home run, and 62nd World Series game to end in a walk-off plate appearance.

  • The winner of the first game of the World Series has gone on to win the Fall Classic 74 times (62.7%). That has been the case in 16 of the last 20 and 21 of the last 25 World Series beginning in 1997, with 2002 (San Francisco defeating Anaheim), 2009 (Philadelphia defeating New York), 2016 (Cleveland defeating Chicago), 2017 (Los Angeles defeating Houston) and 2022 (Philadelphia defeating Houston) the exceptions.
  • The Rangers are 8-7 all-time in Game 1 of a Postseason Series, including 3-3 in Game 1 of a best-of-seven series overall. The Rangers are 4-0 this Postseason in Game 1 of a series.
  • The Diamondbacks are 6-7 all-time in Game 1 of a Postseason Series, including 2-2 in Game 1 of a best-of-seven series overall, and 1-1 in Game 1 of the World Series (9-1 win vs. NYY in 2001). Arizona is 2-1 this Postseason in Game 1 of a series.

Recency Bias
Entering this year’s Fall Classic, the American League holds the overall lead in the World Series, 67-51.

  • The National League has won eight out of the last 13 and 10 of the last 16 with wins by the Cardinals in 2006, the Phillies in 2008, the Giants in 2010, the Cardinals in 2011, the Giants in 2012 and 2014, the Cubs in 2016, the Nationals in 2019, the Dodgers in 2020 and the Braves in 2021.
  • Since the Yankees won three straight World Championships from 1998-2000, the NL holds a narrow lead over the AL with an 12-10 record in the Fall Classic. However, over a longer span in the World Series, the AL has taken 14 of 27 since 1996; 17 of 31 starting in 1991; and 22 of 40 times beginning in 1983.

Walk It Off
Right fielder Adolis García ended Game 1 with a walk-off home run to right field, marking the Rangers’ second walk-off home run in Postseason history, joining Nelson Cruz walk-off grand slam in Game 2 of the 2011 ALCS. Overall, it was the 17th World Series Game to end with a walk-off home run, and 62nd World Series game to end in a walk-off plate appearance. It was García’s fifth consecutive game with a home run, tying the second-longest streak in Postseason history. Others with home runs in five straight Postseason games include Carlos Beltrán and George Springer of the Houston Astros; and Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees. Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets holds the Postseason record after he homered in six straight Postseason games from October 13-21, 2015.

Arizona Starting Pitcher

Merrill Kelly
Age: 35 (10/14/1988)
Birthplace: Houston, TX
College: Arizona State
Drafted: 8th Round in 2010 by TB
2023 Regular Season: 12-8, 3.29 ERA
2023 Postseason: 2-1, 2.65 ERA
Postseason Performance
Kelly has made three starts this Postseason going 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA (5 ER/17.0 IP), 19 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP…Opponents are batting .183 with nine hits and three home runs…Started Game 1 of the NLDS at Los Angeles, and Games 2 and 6 in the NLCS at Philadelphia…Earned the win on 10/7 as the Diamondbacks gained a 1-0 lead in the NLDS and again on 10/23 to force a decisive Game 7 of the NLCS.

  • 10/7 at LAD: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 SO (89 pitches, 59 strikes)
  • 10/17 at PHI: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO (89 pitches, 51 strikes)
  • 10/23 vs. PHI: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO (90 pitches, 57 strikes)
    Against the Rangers
    Will face Texas for the second time in his career… Is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA (1 ER/7.2 IP)…Took a win on July 28, 2020 at Globe Life Field, tossing 7.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
    On the Road Again
    Went 7-3 away from Chase Field this year, pitching to a 4.07 ERA (38 ER/84.0 IP) in 15 starts…All of his Postseason starts have come on the road…He is 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA (5 ER/17.0 IP)…In his career he is 26-23 with a 4.48 ERA in 64 road starts.
  • Regular Season
    Went 12-8 with a 3.29 ERA (65 ER/177.2 IP), 187 strikeouts, a 1.19 WHIP, and a .222 opponents’ average…Tossed a season-high 7.0 innings in seven starts, earning the win in all but two of the starts…Recorded five of his seven career 10+ strikeout games this season…Tied his career-high 12 strikeouts on August 24th against Cincinnati and September 4th against Colorado.
    Show Me What You Got
    Kelly relies on six pitches:
  • 4-Seam Fastball – 30.0%, .224 opp. AVG
  • Changeup – 23.1%, .180 opp. AVG
  • Cutter – 18.1%, .220 opp. AVG
  • Sinker – 12.2%, .261 opp. AVG
  • Curveball – 11.0%, .268 opp. AVG
  • Slider – 5.5%, .217 opp. AVG
    Now in his fifth season in the Majors, Kelly has amassed a 48-43 career record with a 3.29 ERA… Attended Arizona State University, Yavapai College and Desert Mountain High School…Drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth round of the 2010 First-Year Draft…Was also selected by Baltimore in the 37th Round in 2007 and Cleveland in the 22nd Round in 2009…Signed with Arizona as a Free Agent on December 4, 2018…Made his Major League debut on April 1, 2018 at San Diego, tossing 6.0 innings…Earned his first career win in his first career start…Participated in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, pitching for Team USA.

Texas Starting Pitcher

Jordan Montgomery
Age: 30 (12/27/1992)
Birthplace: Sumter, SC
College: Sumter High School (SC)
Drafted: 4th Round in 2014 by NYY
2023 Regular Season: 10-11, 3.20 ERA
2023 Postseason: 3-0, 2.16 ERA
Postseason Performance
Montgomery has made three starts this Postseason and appeared in one game as a reliever going 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA (6 ER/25.0 IP), 17 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP…Opponents are batting .272 with 28 hits and two home runs…Started Game 1 of the Wild Card Series at Tampa Bay, Game 2 of the ALDS against Baltimore, and Games 1 and 5 in the ALCS against Houston…Appeared as a reliever in Game 7 of the ALCS tossing 2.1 shutout innings.

  • 10/3 at TB: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO (93 pitches, 61 strikes)
  • 10/8 vs. BAL: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO (88 pitches, 55 strikes)
    • 10/15 at HOU: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO (90 pitches, 60 strikes)
  • 10/20 at HOU: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO (82 pitches, 54 strikes)
    • 10/23 at HOU: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO (32 pitches, 22 strikes)
      Against the Diamondbacks
      Will face Arizona for the third time in his career with the other two appearances coming on April 18th and August 21st this year. Is 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA (7 ER/12.0 IP) in the two starts.
      Home Sweet Home
      Went 7-5 with a 3.61 ERA (40 ER/99.2 IP) in 17 starts at home this season. Went 4-4 with a 3.50 ERA at Busch Stadium and 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA in six starts at Globe Life Field. Has only made one start at home this Postseason, last Friday against Houston in Game 5 of the ALCS.
      Regular Season
      Went 10-11 with a 3.20 ERA (67 ER/188.2 IP), 166 strikeouts, a 1.19 WHIP, and a .247 opponents’ average, tying his career-high with 32 starts… Was traded with RHP Chris Stratton from St. Louis to Texas at the trade deadline in exchange for LHP John King, RHP Tekoah Roby and SS Thomas Saggese.
      The Arsenal
      Montgomery relies on five pitches:
  • Sinker – 42.6%, .255 opp. AVG
  • Changeup – 23.0%, .239 opp. AVG
  • Curveball – 12.2%, .191 opp. AVG
  • 4-Seam Fastball – 10.6%, .333 opp. AVG
  • Cutter – 1.6%, .417 opp. AVG
    Now in his seventh season in the Majors, Montgomery has amassed a 38-34 career record with a 3.68 ERA….Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 4th round of the 2014 First-Year Draft out of Sumter High School (SC)…Traded to the Miami Marlins on July 25, 2012 along with RHP Scott McGough in exchange for SS Hanley Ramirez and RHP Randy Choate…Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on August 2, 2022 in exchange for OF Harrison Bader…Traded to Texas at the 2023 Trade Deadline (see above)…Made his Major League debut on April 12, 2017 against Tampa Bay, tossing 4.2 innings…Earned his first career win in his second career start on April 17, 2017 against Chicago (AL).
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