5. Josh Devore, 1911 New York Giants. Down three-games-to-one to the Philadelphia Athletics and trailing 3-1 entering the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Five at the Polo Grounds, the New York Giants were in serious trouble. Jack Coombs, a 28-game winner during the regular season, had held them to that single run and just six hits through eight innings.
Coombs dispatched Buck Herzog on a ground ball, gave up a double to Art Fletcher, then sat down Chief Meyers on another ground out, leaving him just one out from a Series-clinching victory. New York's only hope was Doc Crandall, a relief pitcher forced by circumstances to take the at bat. Somehow, Crandal produced a two-base hit that scored Fletcher and brought New York within one run at 3-2.
It also brought up Devore, New York’s leadoff hitter, seeking redemption for a miserable afternoon. In his four previous at bats, Devore had gone hitless with a double play and stranding two baserunners.
This time Devore would not be denied. He singled on Coombs’ first pitch, scoring Crandall with the tying run and sending the game into the 10th inning, which was when the Giants won it 4-3.
Their joy would be short-lived, the Athletics winning the Series the following day in Philadelphia. Devore Win Probability Added: 42 percent.
t-2. Johnny Mize, 1952 New York Yankees. In an earlier installment, it was noted that Johnny Mize had been the hero of New York’s Game 3 victory over Brooklyn in 1949. But Mize wasn’t through torturing the Dodgers. In Game Five of the 1952 World Series at Yankee Stadium he did it again, albeit this time with less ultimate success.
The Series was tied at two games each but the Dodgers led 4-0 halfway through the fifth game. Then Hank Bauer opened the bottom of the fifth with a base on balls off Carl Erskine, Billy Martin followed with a single, and Irv Noren chased Bauer home with another base hit.
Two outs later Mize came up in a 4-2 game with Gil McDougald and Phil Rizzuto on base. His three-run home run erased that Dodger lead and gave the Yankees a 5-4 advantage.
Unfortunately for the Yanks, their bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. Brooklyn tied the game in the seventh and won it on Duke Snider’s 11th inning RBI double. Fortunately for the Yankees, they won the final two games at Ebbets Field to claim the Series in seven. Mize Win Probability Added: 43 percent.