Shane Victorino was one of three Red Sox with a strikeout hat-trick and one of the many hitters unhappy with umpire Joe West's generous strike zone.
Game 1 of the ALCS was epic in the truest sense of the word. Not only was it a pitchers duel between two of the AL's top starters, the nearly four-hour contest featured a slew of strikeouts, a near no-hitter and the extension of an alltime record that will be harder and harder to top.
Here are some of the more curious numbers that came out of an October classic:
- 17 Red Sox struck out by Tigers pitchers Anibal Sanchez, Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras, Drew Smyly and Joaquin Benoit. That’s just two fewer than the postseason record of 19 in a game set on October 17, 1999 by eight mets pitchers against Braves hitters at Shea Stadium.
- 4 Red Sox struck out in the first inning, the first quartet of teammates to strikeout in a postseason inning since Cubs starter Orval Overall punched out Detroit's Charley O'Leary, Ty Cobb, Claude Rossman (who reached base via a wild pitch), and Germany Schaefer in the first inning of Game 5 of the 1908 World Series.
- 3 Nine inning postseason games that saw one team strike out at least 17 times. That Braves-Mets game lasted 15 innings. The only other teams to fan 17 in a regulation-length contest were the ‘98 Astros—who were K’d 16 times against Padres starter Kevin Brown and once versus Trevor Hoffman in Game 1 of the 1998 NLDS— and the ‘68 Tigers who were steamrolled by Bob Gibson for 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of the Fall Classic.
- 3 games in which Red Sox starters pitched at least six innings and allowed just one run and were saddled with a loss: Mickey Harris pitched seven innings of one-run ball against but lost to the Cardinals in the ‘46 World Series; Bret Saberhagen allowed one run in six innings in a 9-2 loss to the Yankees in the 1999 ALCS. Jon Lester gave up the only run of the game in 6 ⅓ innings against the Tigers in last night’s loss.
- 3 ALCS games that ended as one-hitters: Last nights 1-0 Tigers win joined the Yankees 5-0 Yankees win over the Mariners behind a complete game one hitter by Roger Clemens on October 14, 2000. Then there was the oddest of them all, when the A’s beat the Orioles 2-1 on only one hit but nine walks against Baltimore pitchers Mike Cuellar and Ross Grimsley on October 9, 1974.
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He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrateds 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.
Now living in Marblehead, hes focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.