If it seems like the Yankees have done this sort of thing before, it’s because they have.
The Elias Sports Bureau confirmed for us that the Game 1 win over the Rangers marked the third time in Yankees postseason history that they’ve come back from five runs or more down to win a postseason game. Not surprisingly, those three comebacks are the most such comebacks in major league history.
Most Comebacks from 5+ Down
In fact, if you look back at games just between the Yankees and the Rangers, this one was a near clone from one played on August 11th, when the Yankees rallied from five runs down to win. The winning hit in both games was by the same hitter – Marcus Thames, who came through an inning earlier this time around, getting the go-ahead tally in the eighth instead of the ninth.
What else did we glean from this game?
NOTES TO REMEMBER
FROM ELIAS: The Rangers fell to 0-7 at home in postseason play, the most losses by a team at home in postseason before it earned its first win. It was the first time they lost any game in which they led by at least four runs in the eighth inning or later since 2008.
CC Sabathia had his shortest start of the season, allowed a home run on a curveball for the first time all year, and became the first Yankees pitcher to allow five-or-more runs while pitching four or fewer innings in a postseason opener since Mike Mussina in 2001.
ODD NOTE OF THE NIGHT
Darren O'Day took the loss despite facing only one batter.
In postseason history, that's only happened seven other times, most recently to Kelly Wunsch of the White Sox in the 2000 ALDS. Possibly the most memorable one is Kirby Puckett's walk-off homer against Charlie Leibrandt to send the '91 World Series to a seventh game.
Additionally, five of the eight losses have been to the Yankees, the most recent before this one being by Mike Remlinger of the 1999 Braves.
HITTER OF THE NIGHT
Robinson Cano (NYY): 3-4, HR, 2 RBI
As has been the case for most of the 2010 campaign, Cano came up big for the Yankees. He got the Yanks on the board with a seventh-inning homer off a C.J. Wilson slider - one of two sliders Cano saw on the evening. The fact that Cano saw few sliders - and that he crushed one - should come as no surprise.
Cano has now hit 11 of his 30 home runs this season (regular season and playoffs) off the slider, compared to 12 off the fastball.
Combining the regular season and playoffs, Cano is hitting .337 against the slider and .331 off the fastball.
Cano was 2-for-3 off the heater Friday night.
His three hits were all deemed to be "well-hit" by Inside Edge.
HOW THE RANGERS PITCHERS COLLAPSED
In innings 1-through-7, C.J. Wilson controlled the Yankees - especially with his fastball. Yanks hitters were 2-for-16 (.125) against the heater and only two balls were deemed "well-hit" by Inside Edge.
In the eighth inning, the Yanks adjusted against Wilson and the FOUR Rangers relievers - especially against the fastball. Of the 44 pitches in the frame, 34 were fastballs. The Yanks were 4-for-6 (.667) against the heater and four balls were deemed "well-hit".