ALCS Game 6 tidbits
Sox have history on their side; Rays continue to bash homers
Not then, not now: The Red Sox came into Saturday having never lost a Game 6 in the American League Championship Series, posting wins in all four that they'd experienced to this point. Last season, J.D. Drew's first-inning grand slam off Cleveland righty Fausto Carmona catapulted the Red Sox to a 12-2 win over the Indians; Curt Schilling pitched his "Bloody Sock" game to beat the Yankees in 2004; Boston scored five runs in the final three innings against New York in '03 to win, 9-6; and the Sox pounded 16 hits to beat the Angels, 10-4, in 1986.
Six-pack of comebacks: The Red Sox have done this before, as the mantra goes within Boston's clubhouse. They would know, having rallied from 3-1 to even the series and then winning it all in seven games. But they're not alone. Six teams have done so, though the Red Sox are the only franchise to rally from multiple 3-1 deficits (1986, 2004, '07) to win an LCS. The only other team to do it in the ALCS was the 1985 Royals.
Red Sox in Game 6s
|With a win Saturday vs. the Rays, the Red Sox are 8-0 in Game 6s when they are trailing 3-2 in a best-of-seven or best-of-nine postseason series.|
|1903||WS||Pittsburgh||Won||Won in 8|
|1967||WS||St. Louis||Won||Lost in 7|
|1975||WS||Cincinnati||Won||Lost in 7|
|1986||ALCS||California||Won||Won in 7|
|2003||ALCS||New York||Won||Lost in 7|
|2004||ALCS||New York||Won||Won in 7|
|2007||ALCS||Cleveland||Won||Won in 7|
Sox for three: Winning three games in a row is not foreign for Boston. Fifteen times during the regular season, the Sox won at least three consecutive games; they had one winning streak of seven, two streaks of five, three streaks of four and nine streaks of three.
Exception to the rule: Among the seven teams to record wins in Games 5 and 6 when trailing, 3-1, only once has a club not advanced to the World Series. The 1992 Braves built a 3-1 lead before losing Game 5 in Pittsburgh and then falling in Game 6 at home. In Game 7, Sid Bream scored the winning run on Francisco Cabrera's ninth-inning single to send Atlanta to its second successive World Series.
This is new: Red Sox starter Josh Beckett gave up just one home run in 30 postseason innings last year, entrenching himself as Boston's unquestioned playoff ace. But he has given up seven in 14 1/3 innings this season, including B.J. Upton's solo shot in the first inning of Game 6.
New kids on the block: With Upton's first-inning blast off Beckett, the Rays' center fielder has seven home runs in his first postseason, and he combines with rookie Evan Longoria for 13 long balls in the playoffs. The 13 combined homers are tied for second-most all-time among teammates in the postseason, only to Rich Aurilia and Barry Bonds of the 2002 Giants, who hit 14.
Upton, Upton and away: Upton's seven postseason home runs are tied for the second-most hit by a single player in the postseason. Bonds (2002 Giants) and Carlos Beltran ('04 Astros) hold the record with eight, while Upton is tied with Troy Glaus ('02 Angels) for second place.
Bad odds: Of the 82 batters whom Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon has faced in postseason play, only 16 have reached base via a hit or walk.
Living on the long ball: The Rays have hit 20 home runs through their first nine postseason games. That's the most home runs in Major League history by a team participating in its first postseason. The Rays' 14 ALCS home runs surpassed the record of 12 long balls hit by the Red Sox in the 2003 ALCS against the Yankees, and it's the fifth time a team has reached at least 10 homers in the ALCS.
Most homers in first playoff appearance
Tarp's off: More fans packed Tropicana Field for Game 6 than the first two ALCS contests, with paid attendance reaching 40,947. Why? The tarps in the upper deck were lifted, permitting the Rays to open up 5,762 more seats for these games. The Rays had originally not planned to sell those seats unless they were in the World Series, but they were convinced by fan demand for the sold-out games.
Regular visitors: The Red Sox have made five trips to Tropicana Field in 2008, faring 1-8 in the regular season before splitting the first two games of the ALCS. The most road games the Red Sox have played against a team in one season is 14, having done so in 2003 against the Yankees -- 10 in the regular season and four in the ALCS.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.