Written By: S Holmes | www.stonesdetroit.com
Game one of the American League Championship Series may have been short on runs but not on excitement. I’m certain that my blood pressure jumped up a few notches, even my cat started looking nervous during the ninth inning. The Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff put forth another stellar performance and collectively shutout the powerful bats of the Boston Red Sox.
Anibal Sanchez took the mound for the Detroit Tigers, looking to pick up a game one win over Boston. He came out of the game in the sixth inning with six walks, 12 strikeouts and zero hits. Yes, zero hits. His numbers were beyond impressive but his first inning was historical. Four of his 12 strikeouts came in the first inning. He fanned Jacoby Ellsbury to start the inning off. Thanks to a pass ball, Shane Victorino was able to make it down to first base after striking out swinging. Sanchez went on to Strike out David Ortiz who went down looking and Mike Napoli for his third and fourth Ks of the inning. He is only the second pitcher in Major League history to strike out four batters in one inning in post season baseball. The first was Cubs pitcher, Orval Overall. He pulled it off in 1908.
Sanchez came off the mound at the end of the sixth, he had thrown 116 pitches. Due to his elevated pitch count, Al Alburquerque entered the game in the seventh inning. He threw a quick three up, three down and contributed two strikeouts of his own.
Jose Veras was brought in to the game in the bottom of the eighth. He made quick work of Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia to add two more strikeouts to the team’s total.
Joaquin Benoit closed out the game in the ninth. He struck out Mike Napoli for the 17th strikeout of the game. Daniel Nava, Boston’s left fielder, wielded the first hit of the game for the Red Sox with a line drive to center field. Benoit retired the next two batters giving Detroit a one game lead over the Red Sox.
The Tigers’ offense produced ten hits Saturday night but left 12 runners on base. Their only run came when Jhonny Peralta scored Miguel Cabrera with a base hit to center field in the sixth inning.
Austin Jackson continued his post season struggles going one for five with two strikeouts. Torii Hunter also went a meager one for five.
Max Scherzer (2.90) will face Clay Buchholz (1.74) in game two of the series on Sunday night. First pitch is scheduled for 8:00 PM ET.
*Photo By: Kelley L. Cox US PRESSWIRE