Friday, September 30, 2011
Rays get Moore pitching, take Game 1
Rookie Matt Moore -- 22 years old and making just his second career major-league start -- threw seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, and the Tampa Bay Rays took Game 1 of the ALDS from the Texas Rangers 9-0.
At 22 years, 104 days, Moore is the youngest American League starting pitcher to throw at least seven scoreless innings in a postseason win since Bret Saberhagen's shutout in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series.
Moore passed Vida Blue (1971 Athletics) as the youngest pitcher in AL history to start his team's first postseason game and became the least experienced starting pitcher in MLB postseason history (one career regular season start). He’s the youngest starting pitcher to win his team's first game of a postseason series, passing Gary Nolan of the 1970 Reds.
It’s the most runs scored in a Game 1 postseason shutout since the 1984 Chicago Cubs beat the San Diego Padres 13-0 in the NLCS. Johnny Damon got the scoring started with a second-inning home run, the 10th of his postseason career. He broke a tie with Barry Bonds (among others) and tied such notables as Lou Gehrig, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench and George Brett.
Kelly Shoppach added two homers and five RBI, just the second catcher to ever put up a line like that in postseason history -- the other was Bench in the 1976 World Series at Yankee Stadium. It's the 22nd time a player has had two HR and 5 RBI in a postseason game -- others on the list include Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Kirk Gibson and Ryan Howard.
His second home run, which came in the fifth inning, went 432 feet -- just three feet farther than his first of the night. It’s the longest home run of the season for Shoppach and the longest that C.J. Wilson allowed this year.
Wilson set a Rangers postseason team record with eight runs allowed and falls to 1-3 in his postseason career. The Rangers, who set a Live Ball Era record for slugging percentage in the month of September, matched their season-low for hits in a game (two against the Twins on June 12) and their fewest hits in any postseason game (two in Game 1 of 1999 ALDS).
Looking ahead, teams that win Game 1 of an LDS have won the series 47 of 64 times in the wild-card era (since 1995).