ALCS tidbits: Game 4
Rays waste no time getting to Wakefield with home runs
Not what he expected: When Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield walked off the mound in the third inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday night, he left having surrendered three home runs, hit by Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria and Willy Aybar. That marked the most home runs that Wakefield has allowed in any of his 11 postseason starts and matched the total from his previous five postseason outings combined, spanning 20 innings.
Experienced arm: At 42 years and 73 days old, Wakefield became the oldest pitcher in history to start an ALCS game. Wakefield eclipsed Kenny Rogers, who started Game 3 of the 2006 ALCS for the Detroit Tigers at 41 years and 337 days old. But Wakefield still has some catching up to do on Phillies left-hander Jamie Moyer, who became the oldest pitcher to start an LCS game on Sunday at 45 years and 321 days old. Wakefield was also the second-oldest Red Sox pitcher to start a postseason game -- David Wells was 42 years and 138 days in Game 2 of the 2005 AL Division Series against the White Sox.
Long ball party: The Rays and Red Sox have combined to hit 15 home runs through the first four games of the series, marking the 16th time out of the 39 ALCS that the two teams have combined to hit 10 or more home runs. This is the third consecutive ALCS to feature at least 10 home runs.
Three for No. 3: Longoria's three consecutive games with a home run tied an ALCS record set by Bernie Williams of the Yankees in Games 3-5 of the 2001 ALCS against the Mariners. The LCS record for consecutive games with a home run is four, held by Gary Matthews, Jeffrey Leonard and Carlos Beltran.
Starting early: When Pena and Longoria each hit a home run in the first inning of Game 4, it was the first time in ALCS history that a team had connected for two first-inning home runs.
More on homers: Aybar's home run off Wakefield in the third inning gave the Rays 16 home runs through their first eight postseason games -- the first contests in franchise history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tampa Bay has tied a Major League lead for home runs by a club in its first postseason appearance, sharing the record with the 1995 Mariners.
Turning it on: After the Red Sox, paced by Daisuke Matsuzaka, shut the Rays out in Game 1 of the ALCS at Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay has poured it on. The Rays scored nine runs in both Game 2 and Game 3 and totaled 29 runs through the next 23 innings after Jonathan Papelbon's save at Tropicana Field in Game 1. The nine-plus runs in three straight games were a first for a club appearing in its inaugural postseason, and Tampa Bay became the first team in LCS history to score nine runs in three consecutive games during one LCS. The Rays are the fourth team in postseason history to score nine runs or more in three straight games, joining the Yankees in 1998 (ALCS Game 6, World Series Games 1 and 2), the Red Sox in 1999 (ALDS Games 3-5) and the Red Sox again in 2007 (ALCS Games 6 and 7; World Series Game 1).
Putting them away: With their win in Game 4, the Rays improved to 38-0 in 2008 when establishing a lead of five or more runs.
Evan Longoria's playoff stats
Wrong kind of history: The 13 runs allowed by the Red Sox in Game 4 were tied for the third most the club has allowed in the postseason in its history. Boston surrendered 13 runs in an 11-inning Game 2 of the 2007 ALCS against Cleveland. The last time the Red Sox allowed 13 runs in a nine-inning postseason game was in Game 1 of the 2005 ALDS, a 14-2 loss to the White Sox. The highest total of runs Boston has allowed in a postseason game was 19, which came in a 19-8 loss to the Yankees in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS.
Mighty 'mates: Longoria and Upton have combined to hit 10 home runs this postseason, extending their record of the most home runs by a pair of teammates under the age of 25. The previous high was six, set by the Mets' Darryl Strawberry and Lenny Dykstra in 1986. According to SABR, the 10 combined home runs rank fourth all-time among teammates in the postseason.
Crawford's hitting clinic: Carl Crawford went 5-for-5 with two singles, two doubles and a triple in Game 4. The five hits matches an LCS record, pulling Crawford even with the Orioles' Paul Blair, who had five hits in Game 3 of the 1969 ALCS, and the Yankees' Hideki Matsui, who collected five hits in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS. The five hits tied Crawford's career high for hits in a game, matching his five-hit performance on May 24, 2006, against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Career night: Aybar set a career high with five RBIs in Game 4, surpassing his previous high of four, set on Aug. 10 against the Mariners in Seattle. The five RBIs tied for the second most collected in one ALCS game, and Aybar's five-RBI game was the 10th in history. Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew knocked in five runs in Game 6 of the 2007 ALCS, and Dustin Pedroia had five RBIs in Game 7 of that series. Johnny Damon holds the ALCS record for RBIs in one game with his six-RBI performance in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. In addition, the four hits collected by Aybar in Game 4 tied his career high, set on July 30, 2006, against the Mets.
Worst back-to-back Sox losses in 2008
Welcome to the show: With his third-inning home run off Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine, Red Sox backup catcher Kevin Cash became the third Red Sox player to homer in his first postseason at-bat. The others were Jose Santiago, who went deep in Game 1 of the 1967 World Series against the Cardinals, and Todd Walker, who homered in Game 1 of the 2003 ALDS against the Athletics.
Wake up: Wakefield was taken out of Game 4 after just 2 2/3 innings, making his outing the shortest postseason start by a Red Sox pitcher since Bronson Arroyo lasted two innings in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees. In his past four postseason starts, dating back to Game 1 of the 2004 World Series, Wakefield is 0-3 with a 10.47 ERA. In 16 1/3 innings, he has allowed 20 hits and 19 earned runs, along with with six home runs, 10 walks and 15 strikeouts.
Aki's streak ends: Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura went 0-for-4 in Game 4, snapping his seven-game postseason hitting streak. With his walk in the sixth inning, Iwamura has reached base safely in each of the Rays' eight postseason games.
Glove love: The Rays' defense has been stellar this postseason, which has helped the club's cause a great deal. When Longoria was charged with a double-error on Jason Bay's ground ball in the second inning, it marked the first two errors committed by Tampa Bay in 65 1/3 innings of postseason play to that point.
Most homers in first playoff appearance
After tonight: Since 1985, the ALCS has produced three four-game sweeps, but in the other 19 series, the winner of Game 4 has progressed to the World Series 14 times. The exceptions came in 2007, when Cleveland lost in seven games to Boston; 2003, when Boston lost in seven games to New York; 1993, when Chicago lost in six games to Toronto; 1986, when California lost in seven games to Boston; and 1985, when Toronto lost in seven games to Kansas City.
Three-bagger: David Ortiz's seventh-inning triple may have snapped a 0-for-12 skid for the Red Sox slugger, good news for Boston, but it was also one of 10 at-bats already in the first four games of the ALCS in which Big Papi had come to the plate with no one on. Bay has picked up the slack somewhat by collecting three two-out RBIs in the ALCS, but the rest of the Red Sox have none.
Catching up to Mo: Mike Timlin's appearance in Tuesday's game was his 25th LCS appearance, tying him with Mariano Rivera for the all-time lead. Timlin has now pitched in a club-record 28 postseason games for Boston.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.