Before a single out was recorded in that best-of-five series, the Tigers had a lead over the Royals. It would turn out to be a recurring theme over the course of the next few days. The Tigers expanded their Game 1 lead to five after 6 1/2 innings, and won going away, 8-1.
In Game 2, Detroit again sped out to a lead in the top of the first and was up, 3-0, after three innings. The Royals tied things at 3-3 in the eighth, but the Tigers won the game, 5-3, in 11 innings.
After a day off, the two clubs resumed action in Detroit, and once again the Tigers claimed the first lead of the day, getting a run on a groundout in the bottom of the second. Milt Wilcox and Willie Hernandez did the rest, combining for a three-hit shutout, and the Tigers not only had a sweep, they also had the claim of not trailing at any point in the series.
The 1984 Detroit club was the first LCS team to accomplish that feat, and no subsequent team had matched it until the current incarnation of the Tigers went 38 innings without ever trailing vs. the Yankees in the 2012 ALCS.
American League Championship Series: Tigers vs. Yankees
The Tigers defeated the Yankees, 8-1, on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep and capture their 11th AL pennant. Detroit also went to the World Series in 1907-09, '34-'35, '40, '45, '68, '84 and 2006.
The series sweep represented the first for a team against the Yankees since the Royals beat New York in three straight to win the 1980 ALCS. In between, the Yankees had played 36 series.
The series sweep was the 19th in LCS play, but just the sixth since the format of the series was changed to a best-of-seven for the 1985 season. The others since '85 to sweep: the '88 and '90 Athletics (against the Red Sox), the '95 Braves (against the Reds), the 2006 Tigers (against the Athletics) and the '07 Rockies (against the D-backs).
Max Scherzer picked up the win, allowing two hits and a run in 5 2/3 innings while striking out 10.
Scherzer was the 17th pitcher to reach double digits in strikeouts in a postseason clincher. The first pitcher to do it was the Cubs' Orval Overall, in Game 5 of the 1908 World Series against Detroit. Before Scherzer, the most recent pitcher to do it was the Tigers' Justin Verlander in Game 5 of the 2012 AL Division Series. Other pitchers to have at least 10 K's in the clinching game of an LCS: Jim Palmer (12 K's in Game 3 of the 1970 ALCS), John Candelaria (14 strikeouts in Game 3 of the '75 National League Championship Series) and Mike Mussina (10 K's in Game 6 of the '97 ALCS).
Scherzer became just the second postseason pitcher to reach double digits in strikeouts in a stint that lasted fewer than six innings. In Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS, Adam Wainwright fanned 10 in 5 2/3 innings.
Players with multiple homers in an LCS clincher
|Reggie Jackson||1971 ALCS, GM 3||2|
|Steve Garvey||1974 NLCS, GM 4||2|
|Adam Kennedy||2002 ALCS, GM 5||3|
|Jason Giambi||2003 ALCS, GM 7||2|
|Johnny Damon||2004 ALCS, GM 7||2|
|Magglio Ordonez||2006 ALCS, GM 4||2|
|Jayson Werth||2009 NLCS, GM 5||2|
|Miguel Cabrera||2011 ALCS, GM 6||2|
|Jhonny Peralta||2012 ALCS, GM 4||2|
Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-5 with a two-run home run, extending his hitting streak in LCS play to 17 games -- the longest in history -- and his postseason on-base streak to 20 games. The 20-game on-base streak is the 11th longest in postseason history.
Jhonny Peralta hit a pair of home runs for Detroit. He was the 28th player in history to homer at least twice in a clinching game. The first to do it was Boston's Harry Hooper in Game 5 of the 1915 World Series, while the most recent player had been Cabrera in Game 6 of the 2011 ALCS. Peralta was the first shortstop to do it, and the ninth player to do it in an LCS.
Peralta was the fifth shortstop to hit two home runs in a postseason game. The others: Boston's Rico Petrocelli (1967 World Series, Game 6), Trammell ('84 World Series, Game 4), the Giants' Rich Aurilia (2002 NLCS, Game 2), and the Cubs' Alex Gonzalez (2003 NLCS, Game 2).
The Tigers' victory gave manager Jim Leyland his third pennant, following flags won as the Marlins' manager in 1997 and the Tigers' skipper in 2006. He is the third Detroit manager to win multiple pennants, joining Hughie Jennings (1907-09) and Mickey Cochrane (1934-35).
National League Championship Series: Cardinals vs. Giants
The Cardinals got seven innings of one-run ball from Wainwright, had three players drive in two runs apiece and defeated the Giants, 8-3. The Cardinals lead the series, 3-1.
With Jon Jay, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina each driving in two runs, the Cardinals had at least three players with two RBIs for the 18th time in a nine-inning postseason game. In Game 1 of the 2002 NLDS, they had five players with a pair and defeated the D-backs, 12-2. The other 17 times, they had three players with multiple RBIs.
Thursday's game marked the first time that Wainwright came away with a decision in four postseason starts. With the victory, he is the 38th pitcher in Cardinals history to record a postseason win as a starter.
The Giants' Marco Scutaro went 2-for-4 with a double, extending his streak of multihit games to four. That streak is the longest for a Giants player since Will Clark had four consecutive multihit games in the 1989 postseason, and tied Scutaro with Clark, Bill Terry (1933-36) and Jo-Jo Moore ('36-37) for the longest in Giants history.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.