Fascinating facts from Saturday's games
While the record books will show that Ivan Nova surpassed Pedro Martinez on Saturday for the longest relief appearance in a Division Series game, it's hard to imagine how any relief appearance in this first round of the postseason -- before or since -- could match Martinez's Game 5 in 1999 for dominance and electricity.
Coming on in relief in the bottom of the fourth inning in Cleveland on Oct. 11, 1999, and facing an Indians lineup that had just produced eight runs on seven hits in the first three frames, entering in the middle of a raucous game that stood tied at 8-8, and beset by an aching back that had threatened to make him a non-factor as the Red Sox tried to win its first postseason series since the 1986 American League Championship Series, Martinez added to his ever-growing legend with six innings of no-run, no-hit ball.
The Indians' run-scoring carousel was set to an immediate halt, Boston took the lead with three runs in the seventh and the Division Series had its gold standard in place for all subsequent relief pitchers to challenge.
The Yankees defeated the Tigers, 9-3, to capture the first game of their Division Series matchup.
New York improved to 11-6 all-time in the first game of a Division Series, and has won three straight openers. The last time the Yankees beat the Tigers in a Division Series Game 1 (2006), they went on to lose the next three games. In the previous 10 series in which the Yankees captured Game 1, New York went on to win five and lose five.
The nine runs tied a Yankees high for Game 1 of a Division Series. In 1995, they beat the Mariners, 9-6.
Robinson Cano went 3-for-5 with six RBIs in the game. Cano doubled twice and hit a grand slam. The eight total bases tied Cano with Alex Rodriguez (2004, Game 2), for the fourth most by a Yankees player in a Division Series game. Derek Jeter had 10 (also against Detroit) in Game 1 in 2006, Bernie Williams had nine in Game 3 in 1995, and Williams then matched that nine in Game 4 in 1996.
The eight total bases were tied for the fourth most ever by a second baseman in the Division Series. Todd Walker had the most, with 10 in Game 1 in 2003. Next, Jeff Kent had nine in Game 3 in 1997, and Kaz Matsui matched those nine in Game 2 in 2007. Luis Alicea had eight in Game 1 in 1995, Edgardo Alfonzo had eight in Game 1 in 1999, and Kent had eight in Game 3 in 2006.
Cano's six RBIs were the most for a second baseman in a Division Series game. The most for a player at any position in the Division Series is seven -- a total shared by a trio of Red Sox (Mo Vaughn, John Valentin and Troy O'Leary) and the Mariners' Edgar Martinez. The six tied Cano with Williams (Game 1, 1999) for the most by a Yankees player in this round.
Cano's three extra-base hits marked the 16th time a player had that many in a Division Series game, with the most recent occurrence authored by the Rays' Evan Longoria in Game 4 in 2010. Cano is the second Yankees player to have three extra-base hits in a Division Series game, following Jeter (two doubles and a home run) in Game 1 against the Tigers in 2006.
Cano's slam was the 19th in Division Series play, the eighth in the ALDS and the 11th in Yankees postseason history. Before Cano's slam, the most recent for these three categories:
The first slam in the Division Series since Shane Victorino hit one for the Phillies in Game 1 in 2008
The first in the ALDS since the Angels' Vladimir Guerrero hit one in Game 3 in 2004
The first for the Yankees in the postseason since Ricky Ledee hit one in Game 4 of the 1999 ALCS
Jeter went 2-for-5 with three runs scored. He has played in 57 Division Series games and has collected at least two hits in 25 of them. He has hit safely in 47 of the 57 games.
Jeter ranks first all-time in Division Series games played (57), runs scored (40) and hits (80).
Nova allowed two runs on four hits and four walks in his 6 1/3 relief innings. Nova was the 32nd pitcher in postseason history to pitch at least 6 1/3 innings in relief. He surpassed the high innings-mark for a relief appearance in a Division Series game, held by Martinez (six innings) in Game 5 in 1999.
The longest relief appearance in postseason history was 8 1/3 innings, thrown by the New York Giants' Jesse Barnes in Game 6 of the 1921 World Series.
The Rangers scored seven runs over a three-inning span and held on to defeat the Rays, 8-6. With the victory, Texas evened its series with Tampa Bay at one game apiece.
Since the beginning of last year's playoffs, this marked the seventh game between the two teams in Division Series play, and the first that was won by the home team.
This Rangers' victory in Texas snapped the club's seven-game losing streak at home in the Division Series. This streak dated back to a loss in Game 3 in 1996.
The Rangers' ALDS home-game losing streak of seven was the second longest for this round -- Minnesota has lost nine consecutive home games in this first round of the playoffs. The win also represented the Rangers' first home victory in this round after dropping their first seven.
Rangers catcher Mike Napoli went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs in the victory. During the season, the Rangers were 34-10 when Napoli drove in a run.
Overall this season, Napoli averaged .66 RBIs per game played. He was one of five Rangers to play in at least 100 games and have that high of an average -- no other team in the Majors had more than three players do this. Adrian Beltre led the Rangers (and Majors') with at .85 RBIs per game, and was followed (on the team) by Josh Hamilton (.78), Nelson Cruz (.70), Michael Young (.67) and Napoli.
Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. In 11 career Division Series games, Upton has nine extra-base hits, including five doubles, one triple, three homers.
The Rangers' Ian Kinsler went 2-for-5 with two RBIs. In seven career games in the Division Series, Kinsler owns a .385 batting average (10-for-26) and a .769 slugging percentage with 20 total bases.
Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo struck out nine in eight innings of four-hit, one-run ball and got the win as the Brewers beat the D-backs, 4-1.
Gallardo's nine strikeouts matched Don Sutton's high mark for the franchise in the playoffs. In Game 3 of the 1982 ALCS, Sutton struck out nine Angels in a 5-3 victory.
Gallardo's start produced a game score (an equation used to measure of a pitcher's dominance) of 78 -- the second highest for a Brewers pitcher in the franchise's postseason history. In Game 1 of the 1982 World Series, Mike Caldwell threw a three-hit shutout with three strikeouts and a walk, good for game score of 83.
Dating back to Gallardo's regular season start on Sept. 11, the right-hander has made four starts, pitched 28 1/3 innings and struck out 45 while surrendering four walks.
Batting third and fourth in the Milwaukee lineup, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder combined for five of the Brewers' eight hits, three of team's four extra-base hits and three of the club's four runs scored.
Fielder, with a double and a two-run home run, became the first Brewers player with two extra-base hits in a postseason game since Robin Yount doubled and homered as part of a four-hit game in Game 5 of the 1982 World Series.
On the strength of 14 hits, the Phillies defeated the Cardinals, 11-6. The 14 hits tied a Phillies postseason record, accomplished three previous times: 1980 NLCS, Game 2; 1980 World Series, Game 3; 1993 World Series, Game 4. This game marked the first of the four that Philadelphia won.
The 14 hits also tied for the most for the first game of a Division Series. The Cardinals collected 14 hits against the D-backs in 2002, the Yankees had 14 against the Tigers in 2006, and the Indians had 14 against the Yankees in 2007.
The Phillies have won four straight Division Series openers. Over those four games, they outscored their opponents (Brewers, Rockies, Reds, Cardinals), 23-8.
Batting fifth, Shane Victorino went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. In 15 career NLDS games, Victorino owns a .333 batting average and a .579 slugging percentage.
The Phillies Nos. 1-6 hitters (Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Hunter Pence, Ryan Howard, Victorino and Raul Ibanez) combined for 13 hits, all 11 of the club's runs, and all 11 of the team's RBIs.
The Cardinals' Lance Berkman, playing in his 14th career Division Series game, went 1-for-4 with a three-run home run. In his 14 DS games, Berkman is a .339 hitter, owns a .607 slugging percentage and has four home runs and 13 RBIs.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.