Thursday, October 13, 2011
Nelson Cruz adds to postseason resume
By Richard Durrett
Nelson Cruz's eighth-inning shot off Justin Verlander put him in a tie for 16th place on the all-time postseason home run list.
DETROIT -- Nelson Cruz's two-run homer in the eighth inning of Game 5 put him in a class by himself as the only player to hit five home runs in the same League Championship Series -- in either league. And the series isn't over yet.
Cruz is batting .333 (6-for-18) with five homers and 11 RBIs in the first five games of the ALCS. His 11 RBIs are tied with David Ortiz (2004) and B.J. Upton (2008) for the most in a single LCS. His 11 career postseason homers are already tied for 16th all-time in big league history. Among players with at least 75 postseason at-bats, Cruz's 8.45 at-bat per homer ratio is the second-best all-time behind Carlos Beltran (7.45).
His ALCS includes the walk-off grand slam in Game 2 in the 11th inning and the three-run home run in the 11th in Game 4.
"He's gifted in all parts of the game," teammate David Murphy said. "He can hit, can hit for average, he can run, he can throw. It's just a matter of consistency for him. He's dialed in right now and he's as scary as it gets when he's locked in. He hits homers at a rate like this. If I were an opposing pitcher, I'd be scared to death to face him right now."
Some more Cruz numbers from ESPN Stats & Information:
Most HR in Single Series
MLB postseason history:
Nelson Cruz, Texas
Chase Utley, Philadelhia
'09 World Series
Juan Gonzalez, Texas
Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle
Reggie Jackson, Yankees
'77 World Series
* Cruz has never hit five home runs in a five-game span in the regular season.
* His homers this series:
-- Walk-off grand slam in Game 2.
-- 3-run shot in T11 in Game 4.
-- 2-run homer in Game 5.
-- Solo homers in Game 1 and Game 2.
* He is the first player in history to hit for the home-run cycle within the same postseason series. Paul Konerko (2005) is the only other player to ever do it in a single postseason.