MLB Notebook: Red Sox grind out ALDS victory
Boston wins playoff game without getting extra-base hit for first time since 1986
After Boston put together a pair of walks and a pair of outs in the third inning of the sixth game of the 1918 World Series, left fielder George Whiteman connected on an offering from the Cubs' Lefty Tyler and sent a liner to right -- a drive that was misplayed for an error, producing two runs.
Those two runs held up for Boston, as the Red Sox captured the 1918 Fall Classic despite collecting only five singles in Game 6. In addition to giving the franchise its fifth World Series title, this game would also mark the most recent time -- until Game 4 of the 2013 American League Division Series on Tuesday -- that Boston would clinch a postseason series without the benefit of an extra-base hit.
2013 ALDS: Red Sox at Rays, Game 4
• Down, 1-0, in the top of the seventh, the Red Sox rallied for two runs in the frame and went on to defeat the Rays, 3-1. With the victory, Boston advanced to the AL Championship Series for the first time since falling to the Rays in the 2008 ALCS.
The Red Sox were limited to six singles in the win. Boston, which has led its league in extra-base hits in more seasons (2013 made it 31) than any other franchise, improved to 5-6 all-time in the postseason when not having any extra-base hits. The club's most recent win in this circumstance had occurred in Game 1 of the 1986 World Series, when it managed five singles in a 1-0 victory vs. the Mets.
Boston's batting line was unusual beyond the lack of extra-base hits. The Red Sox also became the first team to have a postseason game with at least 10 strikeouts, at least eight walks and no extra-base hits.
The Rays only managed one extra-base hit in the loss, with Yunel Escobar doubling in the sixth inning. The most recent all-AL postseason game to feature no extra-base hits by either team took place in Game 3 of the 1984 ALCS, when the Tigers defeated the Royals, 1-0.
• Jacoby Ellsbury stole his fourth base of the series and went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. For the series, Ellsbury was 9-for-18 with seven runs scored.
The nine hits were the second most for a Red Sox player in a Division Series, following Mike Stanley's 10 in 1999. Ellsbury's seven runs tied him with Jason Varitek ('99) for the most in a Division Series for the Red Sox. The overall record is nine, shared by Ken Griffey Jr. ('95) and Carlos Beltran (2004).
The four steals were the most for a Red Sox player in a Division Series. The most for any player in this round is six, by Rickey Henderson in 1999.
• The Rays used nine pitchers -- the most in a nine-inning game in postseason history. In the Mets' 15-inning win against the Braves in Game 5 of the 1999 National League Championship Series, New York used nine; in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series, the White Sox used nine in their 14-inning win over the Astros.
• Jake Peavy (5 2/3 innings) and three relievers combined for 10 strikeouts and no walks. The Red Sox -- who have played 156 postseason games -- had one previous contest with at least 10 K's and no walks: Game 1 of the 1998 ALDS against the Indians, when Pedro Martinez and Jim Corsi combined to fan 10.
• Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow fanned four of the six batters he faced in a scoreless stint that lasted 1 2/3 innings. In his 419 career regular-season outings, Breslow had collected four K's once -- on June 4, 2010, when he fanned that many in 1 2/3 innings, facing five batters.
• Shane Victorino had an RBI single and also reached twice via a hit-by-pitch. Victorino was plunked four times overall, setting a new Division Series record. The previous high mark had been two.
2013 ALDS: A's at Tigers, Game 4
• The Tigers defeated the Athletics 8-6, forcing a Game 5 to be played in Oakland.
The Athletics are 4-6 in winner-take-all games, and they have not emerged victorious in one since Game 7 of the 1973 World Series. Since that victory, the A's have dropped five straight, including a loss to the Tigers (at home) in Game 5 of the 2012 ALDS.
The Tigers are 4-4 in winner-take-all games, and they have won their past two. Both of those two wins came on the road in a Game 5 of the ALDS -- in 2011 at Yankee Stadium and last season in Oakland.
• Batting first, Oakland's Coco Crisp went 4-for-5 with a triple, three runs scored and an RBI. Crisp was the fifth leadoff hitter in postseason history to have a four-hit, three-run game, joining Don Buford (1969 ALCS, Game 3), Mickey Rivers ('76 ALCS, Game 5), Terry Puhl ('80 NLCS, Game 5) and Juan Pierre (2003 NLDS, Game 2). Along with Crisp's performance, Puhl's also came in a loss.
Crisp was the 40th leadoff hitter to score at least three runs in a postseason game, and in those cases, losing is a bit more uncommon. In those 40 games, the sparkplug's team went 34-6.
Crisp has now reached safely at least three times in three of the four ALDS games (three walks in Game 1 and three hits in Game 3). He is the 23rd player to have at least three such games in a Division Series, and the first A's player to do it. Only one player has reached safely at least three times in all five games: Edgar Martinez in 1995. Only one player has done it in exactly four: Bernie Williams in '95.
Crisp was the second Athletics player to have back-to-back three-hit games in one postseason, joining Carney Lansford in Games 1 and 2 of the 1990 ALCS.
• The third Tigers pitcher of the day -- Joaquin Benoit -- fanned Seth Smith to end the game, marking only the fifth strikeout for Tigers hurlers. Entering this contest, Detroit's pitchers had notched 41 K's in the series. With the five Tuesday, the Tigers are nine shy of tying the 2010 Rangers for the most strikeouts in a Division Series.
• After pinch-hitting in Game 1 and not playing in Game 2, left fielder Jhonny Peralta has put together back-to-back productive games, with a two-hit, three-RBI effort on Tuesday after delivering two RBIs in Game 3. Peralta, whose three-run homer in the fifth inning tied Game 4, is the ninth Tigers player to have consecutive multi-RBI games in one postseason, and the only one to do it twice (he also did it in 2012). The others: Ty Cobb (1909), Al Kaline, Norm Cash and Jim Northrup ('68), Curtis Granderson and Sean Casey (2006) and Miguel Cabrera (in '11).
• Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-4 and has reached base safely in 28 straight postseason games -- the longest streak in history. Chase Utley produced the second longest (27 games), followed by Boog Powell (25), Beltran and Carlos Ruiz (24) and Lou Gehrig and Lance Berkman (23).
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.