MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Phillips leads Reds in Game 1

MLB Notebook: Phillips leads Reds in Game 1

MLB Notebook: Phillips leads Reds in Game 1
Rickey Henderson -- the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history -- made all 59 of his postseason starts in left field. Henderson never had a three-hit, three-RBI game from the leadoff spot in the postseason, but five other left fielders were able to accomplish this feat.

Those five -- Patsy Dougherty, Lou Brock, Dan Gladden, Craig Biggio and Johnny Damon -- combined to tie left field with second base for the most representatives in the group of leadoff hitters with at least three hits and three RBIs in a postseason contest. Holding down the spots at second base were Davey Lopes, Jose Offerman, Dustin Pedroia, Kaz Matsui and the newest member of the group, Reds second sacker Brandon Phillips.

NLDS: Reds-Giants
Phillips went 3-for-5 with three RBIs from the leadoff spot Saturday, as the Reds upended the Giants, 5-2, in Game 1 of the National League Division series.

Phillips was the 19th player to have a three-hit, three-RBI line while batting first, and the first to do it since Pedroia in Game 7 of the 2007 American League Championship Series. For all postseason Game 1's, Phillips was the first leadoff hitter to have a three-hit, three-RBI game.

• After losing starter Johnny Cueto to an injury after just eight pitches, the Reds got 8 2/3 innings of seven-hit, two-run relief. The game marked the 31st time in postseason history in which a team's starter pitched no more than one-third of an inning. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, eight of those 31 teams emerged victorious.

• The Reds' victory snapped a seven-game postseason losing streak dating back to Game 1 of the 1995 NL Championship Series. The Reds were outscored by the Braves ('95) and Phillies (2010), 32-9, during their seven-game losing streak.

• The Reds' victory moved the team to 9-11 all-time in postseason Game 1's. The Giants' loss pushed their all-time Game 1 record to 19-10.

• Jay Bruce doubled and homered, becoming the first Reds outfielder since Billy Hatcher in Game 2 of the 1990 World Series to have at least two extra-base hits in a postseason game. Hatcher had a pair of doubles and a triple in that contest.

• Giants catcher Buster Posey homered in a 2-for-5 night. With his home run in Game 4 of the 2010 World Series also part of his postseason resume, Posey is one of three Giants catchers with multiple postseason homers. The other two are Frank Snyder and Benito Santiago, with two apiece.

ALDS: Tigers-A's
Justin Verlander allowed a leadoff home run to Coco Crisp, but finished his start having allowed just one run on three hits and four walks while fanning 11 in seven innings to lead the Tigers to a 3-1 win over the Athletics.

Verlander was the 13th pitcher to strike out at least 11 in a Division Series game, and the sixth to do it in a Game 1. He joined Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to have multiple Division Series performances of at least 11 K's. Across all postseason series, Verlander is one of nine pitchers to have multiple outings of at least 11 strikeouts. The others: Johnson (four), Josh Beckett (two), Kevin Brown (two), Bob Gibson (two), Cliff Lee (two), Jim Palmer (two), Tom Seaver (two) and John Smoltz (two).

Dominant in Division Series
Pitchers with at least 11 strikeouts in a Division Series game
Pitcher Series Game K's Decision
Kevin Brown 1998 NLDS 1 16 W
Tim Lincecum 2010 NLDS 1 14 W
Randy Johnson 1997 ALDS 4 13 L
Charles Nagy 1996 ALDS 4 12 ND
John Smoltz 1997 NLDS 3 11 W
Sterling Hitchcock 1998 NLDS 4 11 W
Randy Johnson 1999 NLDS 1 11 L
Bartolo Colon 1999 ALDS 1 11 ND
Kerry Wood 2003 NLDS 1 11 W
Jonathan Sanchez 2010 NLDS 3 11 ND
Cliff Lee 2010 ALDS 5 11 W
Justin Verlander 2011 ALDS 3 11 W
Justin Verlander 2012 ALDS 1 11 W
Verlander was the fifth Tigers pitcher to start and win a Game 1. Bobo Newsom recorded the win in Game 1 of the 1940 World Series, Jack Morris picked up wins in the first games of the ALCS and World Series in '84, and in 2006, Nate Robertson recorded the win in Game 1 of the ALCS.

• Joe Coleman holds the Tigers' record for K's in a postseason game with 14 in Game 3 of the 1972 ALCS. Bill Donovan fanned 12 Cubs in a 12-inning tie in Game 1 of the '07 World Series. No Tigers pitcher other than Verlander has fanned exactly 11.

• Crisp's leadoff home run was the 13th in Division Series history. With the Athletics' loss, teams are now 9-4 in Division Series games when they get a leadoff home run. Crisp's leadoff home run (the 43rd in postseason history) was the seventh to come in a Game 1 of a postseason series. The first six: Don Buford (1969 World Series), Bob Dernier ('84 NLCS), Brady Anderson ('96 ALDS, '97 ALCS), Damon (2007 ALDS), and Pedroia (2007 World Series).

• Crisp was the fourth Athletics player to hit a leadoff homer in a postseason game, following Bert Campaneris (1973 ALCS, Game 2), Henderson (1989 World Series, Game 4) and Ray Durham (2002 ALDS, Game 3).

• The Tigers have played in three Division Series (2006, '11, '12), with Saturday's Game 1 being the first they had won. The Athletics have played in seven Division Series and are now 5-2 in Game 1s.

• The A's had four rookies in the starting lineup -- left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, third baseman Josh Donaldson, catcher Derek Norris and right-hander Jarrod Parker. According to Oakland's press notes, those four matched the most for a postseason game. In 2007, the D-backs had four rookies in the starting lineup in Game 3 of the NLDS and in Games 3 and 4 of the NLCS. As noted in the notes, Bob Melvin, current manager of the Athletics, was the D-backs' manager in '07.

• This is the third time the Tigers and Athletics have met in a postseason series. In 1972, the two clubs matched up in the ALCS, with the Athletics needing all five games to win the pennant. In the 2006 ALCS, the Tigers swept the A's in four straight to capture the flag.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.