MLB postseason: The ten best playoff MVPs

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /
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Braves pitcher Lew Burdette, a three-game winner in 1957. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)
Braves pitcher Lew Burdette, a three-game winner in 1957. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images) /

5. Lew Burdette, 1.104, 1957 World Series

Only 13 pitchers have won three games in the same World Series, none since Randy Johnson in 2001. Milwaukee’s Lew Burdette is on that list.

The odd thing is that Burdette was not even the star of his team’s rotation. That distinction plainly went to his Hall of Fame teammate, Warren Spahn. He was 21-11, Burdette a very complementary 17-9.

But after Whitey Ford beat Spahn 3-1 in the first game of that year’s World Series, Burdette squared matters with a 4-2 victory. He scattered seven Yankee hits in a complete game performance, surviving a ninth inning rally that ended when Burdette got Hank Bauer to ground out with the tying runs on base.

With only three reliable starters – Spahn, Burdette, and Bob Buhl – Milwaukee manager Fred Haney was forced to turn to Burdette again in Game 5. He was even better, shutting out the Yankees on six hits and winning 1-0 on Joe Adcock’s run-producing single.

And when Spahn lost the sixth game, Haney turned a third time to Burdette, this time working on just two days of rest. He was as strong as ever, shutting out the Yankees again, this time on seven hits. Milwaukee wrapped up the series 5-0.

For the series, Burdette had pitched 27 innings, the last 24 of them without allowing a run. That gave him a 0.67 ERA.