Young lefties in the spotlight for Game 1

Updated: October 21, 2008

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A pair of young lefties, Cole Hamels and Scott Kazmir, take the mound for Game 1 of the World Series.

GOING LEFT

Only twice in World Series history (and not since 1970) has Game 1 featured a pair of starting pitchers under age 25. The opener of the 2008 World Series will make it three, with the Phillies' Cole Hamels taking on the Rays' Scott Kazmir.

Hamels has been virtually unhittable in the 2008 postseason, thanks to a changeup that has befuddled opposing hitters. Kazmir has been erratic recently, but his most recent start, in Game 5 of the ALCS, was solid -- six shutout innings against the Red Sox.

Most wins by a Phillies pitcher in postseason
Cole Hamels 2008 3
Steve Carlton 1980 3
Brett Myers 2008 2
Mitch Williams 1993 2
Steve Carlton 1983 2

Scott Kazmir at home in 2008
Regular season Postseason
W-L 8-2 1-0
ERA 2.90 6.52
IP-K 77 2/3-80 9 2/3-6

Starting pitchers under 25 to win WS game (since 1998)
Team Year Game
Jon Lester 2007 Game 4
Josh Beckett 2003 Game 6
John Lackey 2002 Game 7
Hamels, Kazmir: Age 24

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TIME WHO'S ON?
1 a.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk, Steve Phillips, Eric Young, Peter Gammons, Buster Olney, Fernando Vina

BBTN MINUTE: WORLD SERIES GAME 1 PREVIEW

STAT OF THE DAY

Inside Edge Phillies closer Brad Lidge features a slider that is among the nastiest pitches in baseball. Not only was it the most swung-and-missed pitch in the game this season, but when hitters ended their at-bat by chasing Lidge's slider out of the strike zone, they did not record a single hit.

David Price, Tampa Bay's rising star, also has a pitch that hitters have yet to hit when chasing it out of the zone. Here are the impressive numbers against Lidge's slider and Price's fastball when hitters chase either one out of the strike zone:

vs. out-of-zone pitches
Lidge's slider Price's fastball
Miss pct. of swings 75.6 pct. 47.1 pct.
BA .000 (0-for-66) .000 (0-for-10)

THIS DATE IN POSTSEASON HISTORY: OCT. 22

1920: Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were indicted for "throwing" the 1919 World Series. Although considered heavy favorites to win the Series, the White Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds in eight games.

1972: The Oakland A's defeated the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 to win their first World Series since the franchise's move to California. Gene Tenace, named the MVP of the Series, drove in two of Oakland's runs. Future Hall of Famer Jim "Catfish" Hunter earned the W in relief.

1975: The Cincinnati Reds finished off what some consider the greatest World Series ever by beating the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in Game 7. Future Hall of Famer Joe Morgan drove in the winning run in the ninth inning.

1986: Gary Carter blasted a pair of home runs to lead New York to a 6-2 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Game 4 of the World Series.

2000: In Game 2, the Yankees extended their World Series winning streak to 14 consecutive games, defeating the Mets 6-5 in a game in which Roger Clemens fired a piece of a bat in Mike Piazza's direction along the first-base line.