10/17/12 5:01 PM ET
Pitching has dominated the 2012 postseason
By Tracy Ringolsby / MLB.com
This postseason, however, has been about pitching.
Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander is at center stage with his 3-0 record and 0.74 ERA.
Verlander, however, is the leader of the band, not a one-man show.
Through Tuesday's games, the pitchers in the first three games of the American League Championship Series and first two games of the National League Championship Series had a combined 2.87 ERA, which would rank as the ninth-lowest combined ERA in the LCS, which began in 1969.
The lowest LCS ERA was 2.35 in 1983, followed by 2.55 in 1972, 2.63 in 1995 and 2.66 in 1974.
Verlander's 0.74 ERA is the 12th lowest for a pitcher with at least three starts in a postseason. There have been four starting pitchers who made at least three starts in a postseason and compiled a 0.00 ERA: Christy Mathewson (1905 Giants), Waite Hoyt ('21 Yankees), Kenny Rogers (2006 Tigers) and Matt Cain ('10 Giants).
Verlander has won three games already this postseason. Randy Johnson (2001 D-backs) and Francisco Rodriguez ('02 Angels) share the postseason record of five wins. They both, however, suffered a loss.
There are 14 additional pitchers who won four games in a single postseason, including four who also suffered a loss: Burt Hooton (1981 Dodgers), Orel Hershiser ('95 Indians), John Smoltz ('96 Braves) and Tim Lincecum (2010 Giants).
Detroit has a 1.50 ERA through the first three games of the ALCS. Impressive, but far from the most dominating LCS effort. Baltimore had a 0.49 ERA in the 1983 ALCS, and Cincinnati had a 0.96 ERA in the '70 NLCS.
Baltimore's 1.80 ERA in 1974 is the lowest for an LCS loser. The Orioles lost four of five games that year to Oakland. Pittsburgh's 2.57 ERA in '91 was the lowest for an LCS loser since the event was expanded to a best-of-seven format in '85.
Verlander is one of five pitchers to strike out 25 or more batters while pitching fewer than 25 innings in a single postseason. He has 25 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. The Dodgers' Sandy Koufax struck out 29 in 24 innings in 1965, the Dodgers' Tim Belcher struck out 26 in 24 innings in '88, the Padres' Sterling Hitchcock struck out 32 in 22 innings in '98, and the Giants' Jason Schmidt struck out 27 in 23 1/3 innings in 2002.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.