Posted October 13, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Yankees
Lose the no-hitter, win the game.
That's a trade Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers were happy to make to take the lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL championship series.
Sanchez and four relievers came within two outs of the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, striking out 17 to beat Boston 1-0 in the series opener on Saturday night.
''I wasn't worried about a no-hitter,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ''Would have been nice. There were several guys involved. But it worked out well for us.''
Sanchez struck out 12 - including a record-tying four in the first inning - but also walked a season-high six and was pulled after six innings and 116 pitches. Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras, Drew Smyly and Benoit stretched the no-hitter through eight innings.
With one out in the ninth, Daniel Nava lined a single to center field off Joaquin Benoit to end Detroit's bid for the third postseason no-hitter ever.
Stephen Drew flied out to right and, with the potential tying run on second, Xander Bogaerts hit a game-ending popout to shortstop that put the Tigers ahead in the best-of-seven series. Boston's Clay Buchholz will face major league wins leader Max Scherzer in Game 2 on Sunday night.
Jhonny Peralta had an RBI single off Jon Lester in the sixth for the game's only run. Peralta, who missed most of August and September while serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug rules, was taunted with chants of ''Steroids!'' and ''User!'' as he looped a single to center to bring home Miguel Cabrera.
It was a day for pitching in the playoffs - St. Louis beat the Dodgers 1-0 in the second game of the NLCS, marking the first time in postseason history two games ended by that score on one day.
''That tells you the quality of pitching in the postseason,'' Leyland said. ''We've got to do a lot better with our opportunities, but in this one we were able to hold on.''
The majors' highest-scoring team during the regular season, the Red Sox were shut out at Fenway Park in the postseason for the first time in 95 years.
The AL's regular-season ERA champion, Sanchez loaded the bases in the sixth on three walks. But he struck out Stephen Drew to end the inning, coming off the mound with a celebratory arm pump and high leg kick.
Alburquerque pitched a perfect seventh, Veras got two outs and Smyly retired David Ortiz on a harmless fly ball to center to end the eighth. Drew kept the score close for Boston in the bottom of the eighth, racing into shallow center field to make a juggling, over-the-shoulder catch on Prince Fielder's looper with runners on second and third.
Benoit struck out Mike Napoli to start the ninth before Nava singled to end the no-hit bid.
''Whether it was Sanchez or every guy they brought out of the bullpen, it was power stuff,'' Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ''To chase a very good starter after six innings, I thought we succeeded in that right. We're down a run. That game is still very much in the balance with every time we come to the plate. ... We achieved what we set out to do and that was to get in the bullpen in the middle innings. And, unfortunately, it didn't work out.''
In all, Lester gave up six hits and a walk, striking out four in 6 1-3 innings.
Two nights after Justin Verlander took a no-hit bid into the seventh to finish off Oakland in the AL division series, Sanchez had a similar effort against the Red Sox. His four strikeouts in the first inning - thanks to a third-strike wild pitch to Shane Victorino - tied the major league record for a postseason game set by the Cubs' Orval Overall in the 1908 World Series.
It's the first time in baseball postseason history a team has had back-to-back games in which its starting pitcher had a no-hitter through five innings.
On a brisk night with the wind blowing in from center, the Tigers got the only run they needed in the sixth after Cabrera drew a one-out walk and moved to second when Fielder was hit by a pitch. Victor Martinez hit a sharp grounder to short for the force at second, but he beat the relay throw to first by inches to keep the inning alive.
Peralta then knocked a 2-2 pitch to center to score Cabrera from third.
Detroit threatened when Martinez doubled to lead off the fifth, but he was caught off second base on Omar Infante's sharp grounder to first. Alex Avila singled, and Infante took third when Victorino bobbled the ball in right.
On Jose Iglesias' grounder, third baseman Will Middlebrooks threw the ball home to retire the lead runner. Austin Jackson flied out to right, ending the inning.
NOTES: Don Larsen threw a perfect game for the New York Yankees against Brooklyn in the 1956 World Series, and Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter for Philadelphia in the 2010 NL division series. ... The Red Sox were shut out for only the second time in 78 postseason games at Fenway Park, the first since losing to the Chicago Cubs 3-0 in Game 5 of the 1918 World Series. ... No Tigers pitcher had ever struck out four batters in an inning before, regular season or postseason. ... Victorino's stolen base in the first gave the Red Sox seven in the postseason, tying a franchise record set in 2004. ... The Red Sox sent Sanchez to the Florida Marlins in the deal that brought Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett to Boston after the 2005 season. He was traded to Detroit last season. ... It was Lester's fourth Game 1 start, surpassing Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez and Beckett for most in franchise history. ... The 17 strikeouts by Tigers pitchers tie the record for a nine-inning postseason game. It happened twice before. ... It was only Boston's second shutout in 78 postseason home games, according to STATS. The other was in the 1918 World Series, when the Cubs beat them 3-0 in Game 5.
BEST OF MAXIM
It's been a record-setting year for Anibal Sanchez.
Sanchez broke Mickey Lolich's record for most strikeouts in a game when he recorded 17 strikeouts against the Atlanta Braves in April, beating Lolich's 16.
On Saturday night in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, Sanchez did something no other Tigers' pitcher had ever done.
Sanchez struck out four...
Anibal Sanchez In His Boston Organization DaysSo, now we know. It will be the Tabbys From Motown who invade Fenway Park for the American League Championship Series. While the Red Sox were 3-4 this year against Detroit, they outscored the Central Division Champs, 43-35—including a 20-4 blistering in the final tilt. The Tigers will send former Red Sox prospect Anibal Sanchez to the...
Game One of the 2013 ALCS was a classic. The Detroit Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 in a contest that featured more than its fair share of drama. It also featured plenty of strikeouts and a near no-hitter. The game ended after midnight, with 322 pitches having been thrown.
Jim Leyland said something interesting about the Red Sox offense on Friday. There was a grain of truth to...
Even though I knew going into the ALCS that the Tigers’ pitching was gonna be tough, I didn’t expect the Sox to get shut down with extreme prejudice and embarrassed in front of the Fenway crowd with someone not named Verlander or Scherzer on the mound. But Anibal Sanchez kept the Sox tied in knots, no-hitting us through six before turning it over to a bullpen that kept us hitless...
It was a chilly night in Boston, as Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers faced the Boston Red Sox and Jon Lester in game one of the American League Championship Series.
It was strike-out galore as both pitchers brought their ace-stuff tonight combining for 16 strike-outs. Anibal Sanchez made some history, as he became just the second pitcher to strike out four batters in one postseason...
BOSTON (AP) -- Anibal Sanchez and four Detroit Tigers relievers came within two outs of the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, striking out 17 to beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 Saturday night in the AL championship series opener.
Boston was hitless until Daniel Nava had a soft, clean single to center field off Joaquin Benoit with one out in the ninth.
Stephen Drew followed...
(credit to Detroit News for the image. Note to Detroit News – we’re not making any money off of this. Still, if you want us to take it down, just post here and we will)
3-2, 8 more to go.
Look, I’m happy to be here.
It’s better than the alternative.
But champagne parties seems a little excessive for one playoff series win. That I can think of, baseball is the only sport...
Since their first game against each other in 1901, the Tigers and Red Sox have matched up during the regular season over 1,900 times. On Saturday, October 12, 2013, after 112 years of history, the Tigers and Red Sox squared off in the postseason for the first time ever ... at the majestic Fenway Park, which opened in 1912.
And so it's only fitting an epic 1-0 Tigers win...
It's easy to envision the Detroit Tigers winning the American League Championship Series. Heck, if right-handers Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander pitch to their abilities, the series might not even be close.
Much has been made of the Boston Red Sox's transformation in character, and the Sox are indeed a tough-minded group. But the Tigers possess similar...
The game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers took thirteen innings to reach a bottom line in favor of the Cardinals. Don Mattingly is getting clobbered with criticism for moves he made during the game. To be honest, some of them were lame. But then again, it is fairly unlucky when none of them worked. But yeah, a lot of those moves were based on old baseball...
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers have done the math.
They have home-field advantage in a best-of-five series for the American League pennant, and they have Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer pitching in four of the five games. Those are the starters who just set a major-league record by taking no-hitters into the sixth inning of three straight postseason games.
The Red Sox and Tigers gave us baseball's second 1-0 game of the day in Game 1 of the ALCS, following the Cardinals' victory by that score over the Dodgers earlier Saturday. With its win, Detroit takes a 1-0 lead in the series. However, the Red Sox and Tigers may have one-upped their National League counterparts in terms of drama.
Anibal Sanchez and four Detroit relievers...
The Red Sox will face an interesting dynamic in the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers in the next two weeks . They will face Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, the two aces of the Detroit Tigers, in 4 of the games and Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister, two pitchers that have had limited success against the Red Sox in the past, in the other 3. If you break the series down into two...
If there’s a story of the two League Championship Series so far, it’s dominant pitching. Saturday was the first time in baseball history that there were two 1-0 playoff games on the same day, thanks to Michael Wacha, Anibal Sanchez, and friends. Just last night, Max Scherzer became yet another Tigers starter to take a no-hitter deep into a game, at least before David Ortiz ruined...