The Orioles played in 17 postseason series from 1966-97. In the second games of those series, the O's were a fairly wonderful 12-5 -- a .706 winning percentage. In three of those games, their starter was someone making his first-ever postseason appearance.
Beginning with the Game 2 of the 1966 World Series, moving through Game 2 of the 1979 American League Championship Series and concluding with Game 2 of the 1983 ALCS, Jim Palmer, Mike Flanagan and Mike Boddicker -- pitching postseason baseball for the very first time in their respective careers -- combined to throw 25 innings and allowed 15 hits and four earned runs (1.44 ERA), struck out 22 against seven walks, and walked away with a check in each of their personal win columns.
Three Game 2s featuring three postseason debuts, and at the end of the day, three victories -- an impressive legacy brought to new life by the work of Orioles southpaw Wei-Yin Chen on Monday night.
The Orioles got 2 2/3 innings of one-hit, no-run relief from their bullpen and defeated the Yankees, 3-2, to even their Division Series at one game apiece.
Starters to win in first postseason opportunity in Browns/Orioles History
1944 WS, G1
9 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 5 K, 4 BB
1944 WS, G3
9 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 10 K, 2 BB
1966 WS, G2
9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 6 K, 3 BB
1966 WS, G3
9 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB
1979 LCS, G2
7 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 K, 1 BB
1979 LCS, G4
9 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 4 K, 1 BB
1983 LCS, G2
9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 14 K, 3 BB
2012 DS, G2
6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 3 K, 1 BB
The work from the relievers helped Chen to victory in his first postseason start. Chen, who allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings, was the eighth pitcher in Browns/Orioles franchise history to start and win his postseason debut.
The 3-2 victory marked the first one-run win for the Orioles in the postseason since Game 4 of the 1996 Division Series. The franchise is 15-18 in one-run affairs in the postseason. During the regular season, the Orioles established a new all-time best winning percentage by finishing 29-9 (.763) in one-run games.
Andy Pettitte (7 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, loss) made his 16th start in a Game 2 -- the most ever, ahead of the 11 by Tom Glavine, the seven by David Cone, and the six by Catfish Hunter. Pettitte had last taken a loss in a Game 2 start in the 2001 World Series against Arizona.
Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-5, extending his streak of reaching safely to all 12 postseason games he's played. That's the 22nd-longest postseason streak from the beginning of a career. The others with 12-game streaks: John Milner, Devon White, Kenny Lofton, Robin Ventura, Darin Erstad, David Eckstein and Nelson Cruz.
Robinson Cano went 1-for-3 with an RBI double in his 44th career postseason game. The RBI gave Cano 32 in those first 44 games, tying him with Albert Pujols for the eighth-most in postseason history. Those with more RBIs through their first 44 postseason games: Bernie Williams (36), Lou Gehrig* (35), Lance Berkman (35), David Ortiz (35), Babe Ruth* (33), Fred McGriff (33) and Ryan Howard (33).
*Gehrig played in a total of 34 career postseason games, while Ruth played in 41.
The Cardinals piled up 13 hits (with eight going for extra bases) and cruised to a 12-4 victory, evening their best-of-five series with the Nationals at one game apiece.
The 13 hits matched the second-highest total ever produced by a Cardinals team in an NLDS game. The club's high mark is 14 hits, set in Game 1 of the 2002 series against the Diamondbacks. The NLDS record for hits in a game is 17, by the Astros in Game 5 in 2004.
The Cardinals' eight extra-base hits are the most ever for the club in any postseason game, and tied a high mark for an NLDS. The other NL clubs to have eight in a Division Series contest: 2005 Astros (Game 3), 2005 Braves (Game 4) and 2007 Rockies (Game 2).
Carlos Beltran homered twice and drove in three runs for St. Louis.
Cardinals with two or more homers in a postseason game
1982 WS, G3
2-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs
1996 LCS, G3
2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs
2004 DS, G1
2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs
2004 LCS, G2
2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs
2011 WS, G3
5-for-6, 4 runs, 6 RBIs
2012 DS, G2
2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs
Beltran's two blasts gave him three multi-homer games in postseason play -- the most ever by a switch-hitter, and tied for the second-most ever. The switch-hitters with two are Mickey Mantle, Chipper Jones and Bernie Williams. Babe Ruth had four multi-homer games in the World Series and Manny Ramirez had three in his postseason career.
Beltran has 13 career postseason home runs, tying him with Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Jayson Werth and Jim Edmonds for the 11th-highest total in history. Beltran's 13 have come in 25 postseason contests -- the most ever at that point for any player.
Beltran has two career multi-homer games in Division Series, with the other coming as a member of the Astros in Game 5 in 2004. He joins Eric Karros, Chipper Jones, Manny Ramirez and Bernie Williams as the only players to have two multi-home run games in Division Series play. Beltran is the sixth Cardinals player with a multi-homer game in the postseason.
Overall, the Cardinals hit four home runs in the game, tied for the team's second-highest total in a postseason contest. Game 1 of the 2004 NLDS saw them hit five, and they also hit four in Game 2 of the 2004 NLCS and Game 3 of the 2011 World Series.
Playing in his 18th career postseason game, Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig went 3-for-5, doubled, homered and drove in a run. Craig has five home runs and eight extra-base hits in 50 career postseason at-bats. He is also the 98th player in postseason history to fall a triple shy of the cycle; there has never been a cycle in the playoffs.
In the fifth inning, Washington's Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche hit back-to-back home runs, marking the first time in Expos/Nationals history the club has hit two home runs in a postseason game.
With the victory, the Cardinals improved to 22-16 all-time in postseason Game 2s, including a 9-1 record in Division Series play.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.