Despite their 1-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS, the Detroit Tigers stretch of dominant postseason starting pitching continued with Justin Verlander finding several new ways to enter or rewrite the history books. Check out these five interesting facts about his performance, including the record he now exclusively owns.
1. First pitcher in MLB history to record 10 or more strikeouts in six postseason games
Verlander struck out 10 over eight innings, raising his career total to 108 in 95 1/3 postseason innings. He's also struck out at least 10 in each of his three postseason outings this year, which helped put him in even more elite company.
2. Only second pitcher to strikeout 10 or more while allowing one or fewer runs in three consecutive postseason games
Only Cliff Lee during the 2010 postseason has matched that level of dominance. Lee was a part of the Texas Rangers that postseason and accomplished the feat against the Tampa Bay Rays (Games 1 and 5) in the ALDS and New York Yankees (Game 3) in the ALCS.
3. Tied single-game postseason record by striking out six consecutive batters
In the second and third innings, Verlander struck out Mike Napoli, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew, Will Middlebrooks and Jacoby Ellsbury consecutively. And to make the feat a bit more impressive, he did it around a 17-minute delay due to a power outage that followed the top of the second. Verlander himself waited nearly 25 minutes between final pitch and first warm up in the third.
If it seems nothing can deter the top three in Detroit's rotation right now, it's because that's the truth.
Verlander continued a streak started by himself in ALDS Game 5 by carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Only a Jonny Gomes infield single prevented it from becoming the fourth straight Tigers no-hit bid to reach the sixth. That is unheard-of territory at any point during the season, but especially during the postseason. In fact, it had never happened two games in a row until this remarkable run by Detroit.
5. His personal scoreless innings streak was snapped at 34 1/3
The scoreless streak dates back to his final two starts in the regular season and sat at 21 1/3 innings in the postseason. Mike Napoli snapped it with a home run on Verlander's 100th pitch of the game. And wouldn't you know, Verlander is tagged with the loss because Detroit's offense couldn't muster anything against John Lackey and three Red Sox relievers. It's a cruel game sometimes, and it will only get worse for Detroit if they can't figure out how to manufacture three or four runs in Game 4.
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