It was on this day in 1956 that Don Larsen made baseball history by tossing a perfect game in Game Five of the World Series. The right-hander had posted a 3.19 ERA over 276 2/3 IP for the Yankees in 1955-56, though he hadn’t yet fully established himself in the rotation, starting only 33 of his 57 appearances for the Bronx Bombers. Larsen also started Game Two of the 1956 Series but lasted only 1 2/3 innings thanks to four unearned runs allowed, making his dominance over the Dodgers just three days later even more unexpected. Larsen’s masterpiece was the only no-hit game in postseason history until the Phillies’ Roy Halladay tossed a no-no against the Reds in the 2010 NL Division Series.
Here’s the latest from around the AL East…
- “There is considerable curiosity within the industry about” how the Red Sox will handle another potential early exit in the ALDS, ESPN’s Scott Lauber writes, with John Farrell’s job security being a major topic. A managerial change might be popular with Boston fans, though Lauber points out that some of the team’s larger issues (such as the lack of power on the roster) aren’t Farrell’s fault. Farrell has a World Series championship, three AL East titles and a 432-378 record in five years as the Red Sox manager, though his contract only runs through the end of the 2018 season.
- With the Orioles looking for pitching help this winter, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko lists Jason Vargas, Doug Fister and Andrew Cashner as likely targets given that the team has been interested in all three in the past. Former Oriole Miguel Gonzalez is also a good bet, since Baltimore tried to re-acquire the right-hander in August before the Rangers outbid the O’s in trade talks with the White Sox. Since the Orioles have a stated need for left-handed starters, Jorge De La Rosa could be another option since the O’s were also interested in his services a few years ago, though Kubatko notes that de la Rosa worked exclusively out of the bullpen for the Diamondbacks in 2017.
- “It was just time” for the Rays to shake up their coaching staff, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes, though this need manifested itself in a few different ways. Pitching coach Jim Hickey, for instance, said he had a “difference of opinion” about the team’s plan to go to the bullpen earlier in the games. Hickey already seemed likely to leave when his contract was up after the 2018 season, with an eye towards joining a more consistent contender. The Mets and Cardinals have already been rumored to be after Hickey to fill their pitching coach vacancies this winter. The Rays’ changes have resulted in just one coach (bullpen coach Stan Boroski) remaining from Joe Maddon’s staff, so manager Kevin Cash now has more of his own people in place.