BOSTON — The 12 strikeouts by Detroit RHP Anibal Sanchez in the AL Championship Series opener Saturday night were the most by a pitcher before he allowed a hit in a postseason game, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
The previous record was held by Dodgers LHP Sandy Koufax, who struck out 10 Yankees before Elston Howard hit a two-out single in the fifth inning of the first game of the 1963 World Series.
Sanchez's four strikeouts in the first inning — the extra came because of a third-strike wild pitch to Red Sox RF Shane Victorino — made him the second pitcher to fan four in a postseason inning. Tigers legend Ty Cobb was one of four batters fanned by Orval Overall of the 1908 Cubs in the first inning of Game 5 of the World Series. Sanchez is the first Tigers pitcher to strike out four in an inning, regular season or playoffs.
Detroit's 1-0 win was the first time the Red Sox had been shut out at home in the postseason since the Cubs' Hippo Vaughn beat Sad Sam Jones 3-0 in Game 5 of the 1918 World Series.
The one hit was a low for the Red Sox in 157 postseason games. The 17 strikeouts for Boston batters tied the postseason record for a nine-inning game, set by the Tigers vs. Cardinals RHP Bob Gibson in the 1968 World Series opener and matched by the Astros in the first game of the 1998 NL Division Series against the Padres.
PLUNKED AGAIN: Victorino was hit by a pitch in Game 2 of the ALCS on Sunday, the ninth time he has been hit in his postseason career, tying Alex Rodriguez's record. Victorino was hit by a fastball from Tigers RHP Max Scherzer in the first inning, Victorino's fifth HBP this postseason, which sets a record for one postseason, ESPN Stats and Info said.
RELIEVER RECOVERING: Tigers RHP Bruce Rondon, who has pitched once since Sept. 2 because of tenderness in his throwing elbow, began a throwing program this weekend at the team's spring complex in Lakeland and might be available if Detroit advances.
END FOR ACE?: The agent for Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter told the Boston Globe the former Cy Young Award winner will retire this offseason. Carpenter, 38, is recovering from a sixth major arm surgery and did not pitch this season. Carpenter "may have an opportunity to work for the Cardinals organization," Bob LaMonte told the newspaper.