Good morning, Athletics Nation!
For the third time in the last month, the baseball world lost one of its all-time legends. Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson died Friday at the age of 84.
The longtime St. Louis Cardinals hurler was in hospice care fighting pancreatic cancer, reports Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Gibson’s passing comes within a month of the deaths of two other Hall of Famers, fellow Cardinals great Lou Brock and New York Mets pitcher Tom Seaver, both in early September.
The right-hander from Omaha, Nebraska spent his entire 17-season career with the Cardinals, from 1959 to 1975. He’s on the short list of best pitchers in history, as well as one of the toughest competitors the sport has ever seen.
In terms of numbers, Gibson ranks 14th in career strikeouts with 3,117, to go with his 2.91 ERA in nearly 3,900 innings, adding up to slightly over 80 WAR (Top 20 among pitchers). His 1.12 ERA in 1968 is the all-time single-season record for qualified pitchers, and that performance earned him the first of his two Cy Young awards as well as the NL MVP. He added nine All-Star berths and nine Gold Gloves, plus a no-hitter in 1971.
Gibson’s 1.12 ERA is the least spoken of unbreakable MLB record— Alan Torres (@cuppingmaster) October 3, 2020
On three occasions Gibson reached the World Series, and twice his Cardinals won, in 1964 and ‘67. Both times, he earned MVP honors after pitching Game 7, and his total postseason numbers are among the best ever. He made nine starts, and eight were complete games — once he was pulled for the 9th, but then the next time out he went 10 for the win. He won seven of the nine starts, including all three he made in 1967, and posted a 1.89 ERA in 81 innings with 92 strikeouts. His 17 Ks from 1968 Game 1 are still a postseason record.
Bob Gibson's postseason game log is just astonishing to look at in 2020. pic.twitter.com/cAldoshdOE— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) October 3, 2020
After hanging up his spikes in 1975, the Cardinals retired his jersey number, 45. Soon after, in 1981, he was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot, with 84% of the vote.
As much as I wanted be, tried to be like Bob Gibson, there was only one Bob Gibson! My deepest sympathy to the Gibson family. RIP to the #1 starter of the Black Aces.— Dave “Smoke” Stewart (@Dsmoke34) October 3, 2020
Rip Mr Bob Gibson! We will miss you dearly. A standard setter on the mound your entire career and one of the most feared competitors to ever play the game of baseball! I totally enjoyed my conversations with you in Cooperstown. #Thanksforeverything#TrueLegend#Godbless— Frank Thomas (@TheBigHurt_35) October 3, 2020
Love this Bob Gibson story in “24” in our back-of-the-book Q&A with me and Willie Mays: pic.twitter.com/9sIh4CUjPC— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) October 3, 2020
BTW, a couple of years later, Torre won the batting title at .363. So he knew hot to hit a little.— John Hickey (@JHickey3) October 3, 2020
RIP ❤️ ✊— Jack Flaherty (@Jack9Flaherty) October 3, 2020
Thank you for all your wisdom
You are a legend
Bob Gibson was so good they had to change the rules to make it fair for the hitters. RIP to an incredible legend.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) October 3, 2020
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MLB Postseason Update
There were only two series left in the Wild Card Round, both in the NL, and they wrapped up Friday. Click here to see the full bracket.
The No. 6 Miami Marlins completed a sweep over the No. 3 Chicago Cubs. In Game 2 they were by five scoreless innings from rookie starter Sixto Sanchez and a homer by Garrett Cooper. Miami has still never lost a postseason series in their franchise history. Final: Marlins move on, Cubs eliminated
Meanwhile, the No. 5 San Diego Padres also won in a shutout, over the No. 4 St. Louis Cardinals. However, the Friars didn’t have a starter to thank, but rather a full bullpen game, in which they used nine pitchers — a record number for a shutout, even counting the regular season. Jake Cronenworth homered and Eric Hosmer knocked in a pair, and San Diego wrapped up an epic series comeback that began when they trailed 6-2 in the 6th inning of Game 2. They basically Cardinals’d the Cardinals. Final: Padres move on, Cardinals eliminated
Best of Twitter
ALDS schedule is out! A’s play a whole hour later this time. Cool.
The schedule for the opening games of the ALDS presented by @UtzSnacks on @TBSNetwork on Monday is set with @Athletics vs. @astros at 4:07 p.m. ET, followed by @RaysBaseball vs. @Yankees at 8:07 p.m. ET. pic.twitter.com/kUNpNlhzqI— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) October 3, 2020
Message from the Ace
Thank you to everyone this year for all the support. It’s been a year where we’ve needed it more than ever. My wife @jgbolton and all of our A’s families have been absolute rock stars. So many people have made absurd sacrifices. The show goes on though. LA here we come! pic.twitter.com/ekTyr43Xk0— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) October 2, 2020
The Astros and A’s played 10 times this season. The Astros went 3-7. Their three wins were all in seven-inning games.— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) October 1, 2020
Astros offense in 333 PAs against the A’s: .205/.259/.325
Astros pitching in 81.1 IP against the A’s: 3.87 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, .755 OPS against
Life’s not fair
THE MARLINS, FOLKS!!— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 2, 2020
The Marlins are now 7-0 in postseason series in franchise history.
The only team to never lose a playoff series.
STILL TRUE! pic.twitter.com/gYHqa3qgrP
... But the universe does have a sense of humor
... Though nobody in the Midwest is laughing
The NL and AL Central divisions qualified seven of the 16 postseason clubs. None are remaining. They had a 2-14 record and in nine NL Wild Card games, they were shutout five times.— Pedro Gomez (@pedrogomezESPN) October 3, 2020
November is coming
Look who’s still rooting for us!
Ok, baseball fans watching the postseason whose teams are NOT in the playoffs: which playoff teams are you enjoying watching most and why? I’ll start: I like watching the A’s because they’re playing a high-energy style of baseball, and they stay in every game until the end— Eireann Dolan (@EireannDolan) October 2, 2020