After a couple of rounds of the batters grabbing most of the headlines in the 2011 postseason, the pitching duel has happily reentered the equation.
Thursday night, Texas' Colby Lewis (6 2/3 innings, one run) and St. Louis' Jaime Garcia (seven innings, no runs) paired up for something that had been done only six other times in the 90 World Series Game 2's going back to 1920 -- both starters pitched well enough to record a game score (an equation used to measure a pitcher's dominance) of at least 64. Before this game, the most recent occurrence took place in 1969, when a pair of lefties traded a whole lot of zeroes in what turned out to be, like last night, a 2-1 win for the team that was down a game in the Series.
Back in 1969, the Orioles' Dave McNally took a tough-luck loss after allowing two runs on six hits in a complete-game effort that yielded a game score of 71. But on that day, that score and that effort was not quite good enough to keep up with the Mets' Jerry Koosman, who allowed one run on two hits in 8 2/3 innings for a score of 77 and the win.
2011 WORLD SERIES GAME 2
The Rangers used a two-run rally in the top of the ninth to turn a 1-0 deficit into an eventual 2-1 victory. With the win, the Series is tied at one game apiece.
Before the Rangers' victory Thursday night, the last time a team had won a World Series game in which it had been shut out for the first eight innings was in 2001. In Game 5 that year, the Yankees scored two in the bottom of the ninth to tie the D-backs at 2-2, then won it in the bottom of the 12th.
The first run of Thursday's game came in the bottom of the seventh inning. This was the first World Series contest since Game 5 in 2010 during which both teams were scoreless through the first six. In that game, the Giants tallied three runs in the top of the seventh and the Rangers countered with one in the bottom of the frame. Before last year, no World Series game had remained scoreless through six frames since Game 4 in 2005, when the White Sox broke a scoreless tie with a run in the top of the eighth against the Astros.
Thursday's game marked the 43rd in World Series history to end with a 2-1 score. The most recent 2-1 World Series game came in 2007, when the Red Sox topped the Rockies in Game 2. The last time a team took a 1-0 lead into the ninth only to see its opponent score two in that frame to win the game, 2-1, was in Game 6 in 1985, when the Royals scored two in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Cardinals.
Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, whose single started the winning rally in the ninth, went 2-for-3 in the game. It was the third straight multihit game for Kinsler, and his fifth of the 2011 postseason.
The longest streak of multihit games in a single postseason is five -- a total shared by seven players: Sam Rice (1925), Pepper Martin ('31), Amos Otis ('80), Marty Barrett ('86), Ken Griffey, Jr. ('95), Mark Lemke ('96) and Kevin Youkilis (2007).
Kinsler is the 23rd second baseman to have at least five multihit games in a postseason. Barrett had the most (nine in 1986), and is followed by Craig Biggio and his seven in 2005.
The Rangers' two runs came on a pair of sacrifice flies. This marked the first time a team won a World Series game in which its scoring came solely from sacrifice flies. It has happened twice in the National League Championship Series.
In Game 3 of the 1980 NLCS, the Astros' Denny Walling drove in the only run of the game in the bottom of the 11th with a sacrifice fly to score Rafael Landestoy, against the Phillies. In Game 6 of the '87 NLCS, Jose Oquendo's second-inning sacrifice fly brought home Tony Pena for the game's only run in a 1-0 victory for the Cardinals over the Giants.
Clutch in a pinch
The Cardinals' only run came from the bat of pinch-hitter Allen Craig, whose RBI single in the bottom of the seventh drove in David Freese.
Pinch-Hitters with Multiple RBI Hits in A World Series
Craig is the first pinch-hitter to have a pair of RBI hits in the same World Series since Jay Johnstone in 1981, and the first pinch-hitter to collect an RBI on a hit in back-to-back games in the World Series since Dusty Rhodes in '54.
With a single in the seventh, Freese extended his hitting streak to 12 games. It's tied for the fourth-longest postseason hitting streak since 1995, behind only Marquis Grissom (14 straight in '95), Manny Ramirez (14 straight in 2004) and Lemke (13 straight in 1996).
Garcia went the first seven for the Cardinals, allowing three hits with seven strikeouts in his scoreless outing. The start produced a game score of 77.
Garcia is the seventh pitcher in World Series history to finish a start with at least seven shutout innings and fail to record a decision, and the first since Brandon Backe tossed seven scoreless in Game 4 in 2005.
Garcia's game score of 77 was the second highest in a World Series game for a pitcher who did not factor in a decision. The high mark of 83 was recorded by the Tigers' Bill Donovan when Detroit and Chicago ended Game 1 of the 1907 World Series in a 3-3 tie. In that start, Donovan went 12 innings, allowed three runs (one earned) on 10 hits, struck out 12 and walked three.
Before Garcia's 77 on Thursday, the highest game score for a pitcher without a decision in a game that ended with a winner and loser was 75, by George Earnshaw in Game 5 in 1930 and Curt Schilling in Game 4 in 2001.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.