Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez needed 26 pitches to escape a first-inning jam in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Red Sox. The right-hander had allowed two runners on a strikeout wild pitch and a walk, but used an array of fastballs, change-ups, and sliders to work his way out of trouble.
In fact, Sanchez recorded four strikeouts in the inning, getting Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off the frame. He then got Shane Victorino to wave at strike three, but the ball skipped past catcher Alex Avila, allowing Victorino to reach safely. With runners on first and second, Sanchez got David Ortiz to strike out on consecutive check-swing strikes, then Mike Napoli to end the inning.
Sanchez is the second pitcher in baseball history to record four strikeouts in an inning during post-season play, joining Orval Overall who accomplished the feat with the Cubs in 1908.
The last time the Cubs were in the World Series was 1945, two years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. As such, until Tuesday night, the Cubs never had a black player play for them in the World Series.
Dexter Fowler changed that, leading off the ballgame at Progressive Field against the Indians. Fowler was made aware of this fact three days ago by Rany Jazayerli of The Ringer:
Fowler, in that at-bat, went ahead in the count 2-1 but ended up striking out looking on a Corey Kluber sinker.
Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz was of limited utility during the postseason as he began experiencing soreness in his left forearm near the end of the 2016 season. There was some thought that he might need offseason surgery but Pomeranz was examined by doctors who determined that he does not need any surgery, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said:
He has seen the doctor, the doctor looked at him. I can’t really disclose totally everything that was done, but the doctor said no surgical procedure and the doctor feels he will be ready for next spring training for us.
Pomeranz, 27, finished the 2016 regular season with an aggregate 3.32 ERA and a 186/65 K/BB ratio in 170 2/3 innings between the Padres and Red Sox. He operated out of the bullpen during the playoffs, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox acquired Pomeranz in a trade with the Padres in July. It was a trade that earned Padres GM A.J. Preller a 30-day suspension from Major League Baseball, as he reportedly kept two sets of medical records in order to deceive trade partners.