Michael Wacha held L.A. to two hits over 7 innings, leading the Cards into the World Series with his second win of the NLCS and third in this postseason (totals 21 IP, one run, 8 hits, 4 walks, 21 strikeouts). St. Louis pitchers allowed just three baserunners, matching the fewest in a series clincher. (The Mets’ Bobby Jones one-hit the Giants in the his third win in the 2000 NLDS.) They faced 29 batters, one off the clincher record set by Atlanta in the 1996 NLCS, game 7.
Wacha is the third-youngest starter to win three games in one postseason, after Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and Jaret Wright (1997), who each made five starts. Wacha could become the youngest with four wins in a postseason, and the 15th overall; none has won five.
With Carlos Martinez (age 21) pitching the 8th and Trevor Rosenthal (23) the 9th, it’s the first time that three pitchers age 23 or younger appeared for one team in a series clincher. The 1979 Reds used three young pitchers (out of six) in losing the NLCS finale to Pittsburgh. Martinez and Rosenthal also pitched in Wacha’s other two starts, comprising three out of the seven postseason team-games with three age 23 or younger; no team has ever used more, and no other team has used three since the 1991 Braves.
Two scoreless wins in one series, by a starter:
- LDS: None.
- LCS: Mike Hampton, 2000 (one shutout, total 16 IP); Steve Avery, 1991 (16.1 IP); Wacha, 2013 (13.2 IP).
- WS: 3 shutouts — Christy Mathewson, 1905; 2 shutouts — Bill Dinneen, 1903; Lew Burdette, 1957; Whitey Ford, 1960; Sandy Koufax, 1965; 1 shutout — Lon Warneke, 1935 (total 15 IP); Whitey Ford, 1961 (total 14 IP).
Starters with at least three wins in a postseason that totaled one run or less:
- Mathewson, 1905 (27 IP, no runs, 13 hits, one walk).
- Kenny Rogers, 2006 (23 IP, no runs, 9 hits, 7 walks).
- Michael Wacha, 2013 (21 IP, one run, 8 hits, 4 walks).
Wacha’s three postseason wins match his regular-season total. I’ll guess that hasn’t been done before; anyone care to check?
Before tonight, three of the four biggest shutouts in LCS finales went against the Cardinals:
- 1996 NLCS, Braves 15, Cards 0: Atlanta wins game 7 at home behind Tom Glavine, knocking out Donovan Osborne with 6 in the 1st.
- 2012 NLCS, Giants 9, Cards 0: S.F. wins game 7 at home behind Matt Cain, blitzing Kyle Lohse and Joe Kelly with 7 runs in the first 3 innings.
- 1979 ALCS, Orioles 8, Angels 0: Baltimore wins in Anaheim, taking the series by 3-1 with a CG by Scott McGregor.
- 2000 NLCS, Mets 7, Cards 0: N.Y. wins game 5 at home, 7-0, with a 3-hitter by Mike Hampton.