MLB Notebook: ALCS Game 5, NLCS Game 4
Before being acquired by the Tigers on Aug. 15, Delmon Young had played in 84 games with the Twins, had homered four times in over 300 trips to the plate and owned a ratio of one home run for every 76.25 at-bats.
Then, in 40 regular season games with Detroit, that ratio perked up significantly to one home run every 21 at-bats (eight in 168). That upswing has been even more pronounced in the postseason, where Young has accumulated 30 at-bats and powered out five home runs.
All told, he has hit 13 home runs in his 198 at-bats with the Tigers in 2011, meaning that for the past two months, Young has been hitting homers at a rate of one for every 15.23 at-bats. That figure, coincidentally, is the same rate Jimmie Foxx produced in his career.
Young homered twice and Justin Verlander picked up his second win of this year's playoffs, as the Tigers beat the Rangers, 7-5. Texas leads the series, 3-2.
Verlander struck out eight in 7 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits. The eight strikeouts tied Verlander with Milt Wilcox (Game 3, 1984) for the second most by a Tigers pitcher in an American League Championship Game. Joe Coleman, with 14 in Game 3 of the 1972 ALCS, holds the high mark.
Young's two-homer night game him five in this year's postseason. The total of five in a single postseason ties Young with Craig Monroe (2006) for the most by a Tigers player.
Young is the fourth Detroit player to hit two home runs in a postseason game, joining Alan Trammell (1984 World Series Game 4), Kirk Gibson (1984 World Series Game 5) and Magglio Ordonez (2006 ALCS Game 4).
Young's two home runs led a four-homer Tigers attack -- Alex Avila and Ryan Raburn were responsible for the other two. Those four set a new Detroit record for a postseason game, and tied the overall ALCS record. The Tigers' previous high of three had been accomplished four times, most recently in Game 3 of this year's ALCS. The ALCS record of four had been accomplished 12 previous times, most recently by the Rangers in Game 4 in 2010.
The Rangers' Nelson Cruz hit his fifth home run of the series, setting a new LCS record. Ten players had hit four homers in League Championship Series play, most recently Josh Hamilton and Robinson Cano in the 2010 ALCS.
Cruz's fifth home run of this series gave him 11 in his 25-game postseason career. Those 11 tie him with Carlos Beltran for the most in postseason history through 25 games. Lou Gehrig, Duke Snider and Troy Glaus are tied for the third most, with nine through each of their first 25 postseason games.
Cruz is the fifth player to have five home runs in a single postseason series. Reggie Jackson (1977) and Chase Utley (2009) each had five in a World Series, and Ken Griffey, Jr. (1995) and Juan Gonzalez ('96) did it in a Division Series.
Cruz's two-run home run gave him 11 RBIs in this ALCS. That total ties Cruz with David Ortiz (2004) and B.J. Upton ('08) for the most in a single LCS.
Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-2 with two walks, doubled, scored a run and had one RBI. Cabrera has reached base safely at least twice in each of his past five games.
That streak ties him with Barney McCosky (1940) and Monroe (2006) for the second longest in Tigers postseason history. Placido Polanco had a six-game streak of reaching at least twice in the '06 postseason.
Randy Wolf allowed two runs in seven innings, and Jerry Hairston, Jr. had a pair of doubles with a run and an RBI, as the Brewers beat the Cardinals 4-2. The series is tied at two games apiece.
The victory snapped the Brewers' eight-game losing streak on the road in the postseason. Their previous road playoff victory before had come in Game 1 of the 1982 World Series against the Cardinals.
Wolf, who had owned a 9.00 ERA in three previous career postseason starts, picked up his first playoff win. He had been the active leader for the most regular season starts without a postseason victory. Ted Lilly, with 318 regular season starts and a 0-2 record in five postseason appearances, is the new active leader.
Ryan Braun went 2-for-5 with an RBI and is batting .471 in the 2011 playoffs.
Braun, who is a career .420 hitter in 13 postseason games (nine in 2011 and four in 2008), has eight multihit games in this span. Those eight tie him with seven others for the third most in postseason history. Frank "Home Run" Baker and Marty Barrett are the all-time leaders, with nine such efforts in their first 13 playoff games.
Jerry Hairston, Jr.
With his 2-for-4 game, Hairston is batting .375 (12-for-32) this postseason, and he is second on the Brewers with five doubles.
Crew doubling up
Milwaukee's five doubles in Thursday's game (two by Hairston, one each from Wolf, Prince Fielder and Nyjer Morgan) tied a team playoff record that had been set in Game 1 of the current NLCS. The Brewers previously set a new franchise high for doubles in a postseason game in Game 4 of this year's NLDS.
Before this season, the most doubles the Brewers had collected in a postseason game was three (1982 World Series Game 2). The all-time postseason record for most two-base hits by a team in a single game is eight, shared by the 1906 White Sox (World Series Game 5), '25 Pirates (World Series Game 7), 2004 Yankees (ALCS Game 3) and '07 Red Sox (World Series Game 1). The NLCS record is six, shared by the 1976 Phillies (Game 3), '93 Phillies (Game 1), '99 Braves (Game 5) and 2000 Mets (Game 4).
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.