Stats & Info: Orlando Hernandez
AP Photo/Mike Carlson
Coly Lewis is 4-0 in five career postseason starts over the last two postseasons. Only four other pitchers to debut in the last 80 years have gone 5-0 in their first six postseason starts.
The Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers play Game 3 of the ALCS Tuesday night, with the Rangers leading the series 2-0. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, entering this year, teams up 2-0 in a best-of-seven postseason series have won 58 of the 71 series.
Inside the Series
Texas has won seven of its last nine road postseason games overall, and has won each of its last three Game 3’s. All-time, the Rangers are 6-2 in LCS games. Detroit has won seven of its last eight Game 3’s and in LCS Game 3’s, they are 4-0 (all four of those games were at home, too). Overall, the Tigers have won six of their last eight home postseason games.
On the Mound
Colby Lewis is scheduled to start for the Rangers. Lewis is 4-0 in five starts over the last two postseasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, among pitchers to debut in the last 80 years, only four – Juan Guzman, Livan Hernandez, Orlando Hernandez and Cliff Lee – have gone 5-0 over their first six career starts in the postseason.
Lewis has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his first five career postseason starts. That’s tied for the second-longest streak to begin a postseason career, behind only the six starts of Sandy Koufax.
Against Detroit, Lewis is 2-2 with a 7.48 in six games (five starts) in his career. However, Lewis struggled with the Tigers this season, going 0-1 with a 15.95 ERA in two starts. One player Lewis has struggled with, especially this year, is Alex Avila, who is hitting .333 (3-for-9) in his career against the righty. Two of Avila’s three hits against Lewis are home runs, with both coming this season.
For Detroit, Doug Fister takes the mound for his second career postseason start. In his first start (Game 5 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees), Fister allowed only one earned run in five innings. Fister is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in two starts against the Rangers this season.
Players to Watch
The Rangers bullpen has not allowed a run in the ALCS so far. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Texas’s relievers combined for 12⅔ scoreless innings in its first two games against Detroit. No team has ever combined for more relief innings in the first two games of a postseason series without allowing a run. The previous best mark for a team’s bullpen had been the 1984 San Diego Padres, whose relievers pitched 12⅓ innings in the first two games of the 1984 World Series, which coincidentally was also against the Tigers.
For Detroit, Austin Jackson has struggled to begin his postseason career, striking out 14 times in 25 career at-bats. The only players with more K’s in their first 25 career at-bats are Reggie Sanders (17) and Darryl Strawberry (15).
Willie Davis was able to extend his hitting streak to a club-record 30 games in a meeting with the Mets on Sept. 2, 1969. But later in the game, after a call of “In comes Valentine!” from Los Angeles Dodgers radio voice Vin Scully on a two-run single by Andy Kosco, Mets reliever Tug McGraw struck Davis out with the tying run on third base to end a 5-4 Mets victory, one of many amazing wins for the eventual champs. Davis upped his streak to 31 the next day, a number that still stands as the Dodgers' top mark.
Ethier will get a chance to better Davis at Citi Field, with Jonathon Niese the first moundsman in his way.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ethier will be the fifth hitter to bring a hit streak of 29 or more games into a meeting with the Mets, along with Davis, Pete Rose, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. Rose was able to set the NL record for a hitting streak by hitting in his 37th, 38th and 39th straight games against the Mets in 1978. (The streak would stretch to 44 games before ending.)
Rollins reached 33 games with hits in three straight games against the Mets late in 2005. The one hitter the Mets stymied was his teammate, Utley, who had his 35-gamer snuffed on Aug. 4, 2006 by Orlando Hernandez, Darren Oliver and Pedro Feliciano.
Ethier will have to defy his history against the Mets. His. 147 batting average is the third-worst of any position player with 100 at-bats against them, trailing Jerry Turner (.129) and Clint Barmes (.140).
To see how Ethier and his streak could fare against the Mets starters that are lined up for their weekend series, check this out.
• Lee won his sixth straight decision as a starter to begin his postseason career, tied for third-most all-time with Lefty Gomez. The record is eight by Orlando Hernandez.
• Lee had the fourth CG win on the road in a winner-takes-all game in the last 40 years, and the first since John Smoltz for the 1991 Atlanta Braves.
• Lee became the sixth starting pitcher to win two road games in a single postseason series, allowing one run or fewer in each. The last was Roy Oswalt for the 2005 Houston Astros in the NLCS.
• Lee's 21 strikeouts are the third-most in a single series for an AL pitcher since 1920.
• Lee threw his fifth postseason game with seven or more IP and no walks, which ties Christy Mathewson for the second-most ever. Greg Maddux has the record with seven such games.
• Lee's Game Score of 82 made it the fifth game this postseason of 80 or better. That ties an all-time record for a single postseason, set in 1967 (when there were five in a seven-game World Series) and tied in 1997.
• That Game Score is tied for fourth-best by a starting pitcher in a winner-takes-all postseason game. Sandy Koufax (1965 Los Angeles Dodgers), Jack Morris (1991 Minnesota Twins) and Ralph Terry (1962 New York Yankees) were the only three with a higher Game Score and they all did it in Game 7 of the World Series.
• There were four complete games in the LDS in which the pitcher allowed one run or fewer, the most since the 1986 LCS also had four.
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU:
• The Rangers became the first team in MLB history to score twice from second base on infield outs in a postseason game. The last teams to do it even once was the Baltimore Orioles in Game 5 of the 1970 World Series in the Cincinnati Reds. Before Tuesday, the Rays had never allowed it to happen once in any game, regular season or postseason.
• During the regular season there were three instances of a runner scoring from second base on an infield out.
• Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz both hit three home runs in the series, becoming the second pair of teammates in major league history to hit three HR apiece in a postseason series of five-or-fewer-games. The other pair was Babe Ruth (three HR, all in one game) and Lou Gehrig (four HR) in the Yankees four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1928 World Series.
Extra impressive for the rookie is that he rebounded to such a strong effort after a shaky start. He threw 34 pitches in the 1st inning, which are the 2nd-most for him in one inning in his young career (He threw 37, also in the 1st inning, on July 3 vs the Mets).
Strasburg has struck out five or more batters and allowed three or fewer earned runs in all eight starts this season. He's tied with Fernando Valenzuela for the second most consecutive starts with 5+ K AND 3 or fewer ER to start a career since 1920.
He leaned on his strongest pitch on Friday night, throwing 69.5% of his fastballs for strikes, which was his best percentage in his last 4 starts. But he also caught the Florida Marlins off-guard early in the count. 41.7% of his first pitches were curveballs, which happens to be more than double his previous high in a start.
That balance of cheese and off-speed seemed to have Florida's hitters off balance all game long. Inside Edge tells us that Strasburg threw 37% of his pitches at the inside of the plate (32% before Friday). That may have opened up the outside of the dish. Hitters were 2-14 (.143) with 6 strikeouts against him on pitches middle and away.
So what can stop this kid? Keep an eye at his inning count this season. Strasburg will be limited to 160 innings in 2010. With six innings pitched Friday, Strasburg is now up to 104 this season (55.1 in the minors, 48.2 with the Nationals).
Johan Santana gave up 10 runs in a game.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner was rocked at Citizens Bank Park, surrendering four home runs over 3.2 innings in an 11-5 loss to the Phillies. Here are some of the nuggets from his performance:
* Santana is the first Mets pitcher to allow 10 runs and 4 HR in the same outing.
* He is the 10th Mets starting pitcher to allow 10 runs in a game and the first since Orlando Hernandez allowed 11 runs on August 15, 2006, in Philly.
* Only two other pitchers since 2005 have allowed 10 runs and 4 HR in the same game: Gio Gonzalez (11 runs, 4 HR) vs. Twins on July 20, 2009 and Jason Marquis (13 runs, 4 HR) vs. White Sox on June 21, 2006.
* Ryan Howard and Chase Utley each hit their fourth career homer off Santana. Only Magglio Ordonez has hit more (five).
And here is why Santana lost:
* Didn't finish off hitters: Santana went to two-strike counts in 11 plate appearances and five Phillies reached base (4 hits, 1 BB). Three of the Phillies' four home runs came with Santana ahead in the count.
* Hittable fastball: Phillies hitters tattooed Santana's heater, going 5-11 with four extra-base hits and three home runs. Opponents are batting .301 and slugging .521 against Santana's fastball this season, both the worst of his career since 2007.
In Baltimore, the Orioles finished off a sweep of the Red Sox with a 3-2 win in 10 innings. It was the O's first THREE-GAME sweep of the Red Sox at home since 1974 (four-game sweep in 1998). After winning only four of their first 22 games, the Orioles took some of their frustration out on the visitors from Boston.
With Joe Mauer sidelined with a bruised heel, the Twins called up rookie catcher Wilson Ramos. Ramos didn't waste any time before contributing. The rookie collected four hits in his major league debut, helping Minnesota to an 8-3 win at Cleveland.
The Elias Sports Bureau tells us Ramos is the 21st player and first catcher in the modern era (since 1900) to record four hits in his MLB debut. The last player with four hits in his MLB debut was Derrick Gibson for the Rockies on Sept. 8, 1998 vs. the Marlins. The only Twin to do so was Kirby Puckett on May 8, 1984, vs. the Angels.