Justin Verlander's Clutch Moments
ALDS Game 2: Verlander wouldn't factor into the decision, as it took him 117 pitches to complete seven innings. He tied a postseason career high with 11 strikeouts.
ALDS Game 5: The former AL MVP was even more efficient this time and could've finished off the Oakland Athletics on his own if necessary. He stunned O.co Coliseum by maintaining a perfect game into the sixth inning and finished with this gorgeous stat line: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K (111 pitches).
- ALCS Game 3: Mike Napoli's solo home run made all the difference in a terrific pitcher's duel at Comerica Park. So far, it is the only extra-base hit that Verlander has allowed in this entire postseason.
In terms of Game Score, Verlander has three of the six best games by any starting pitcher in the 2013 postseason, according to Baseball-Reference.com (subscription required). Not too shabby for someone who looked like Detroit's No. 3 option for much of the summer.
With the St. Louis Cardinals in a must-win scenario entering Game 4 of the NLDS, Michael Wacha carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning. His only mistake was allowing a solo home run to Pedro Alvarez. The rookie right-hander lasted 7.1 innings and tallied nine strikeouts.
One run of support was enough the next time Wacha took the mound. He silenced the Los Angeles Dodgers through 6.2 scoreless frames, holding them to an 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The 22-year-old was most impressive in the sixth inning (courtesy of MLB.com), striking out Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe with the bases loaded to preserve a slim lead.
Wacha only had nine major league starts prior to this postseason. You wouldn't know it from the tremendous composure he shows on the mound in high-leverage situations.
According to MLB.com, his .125 batting average against during the playoffs is tied for the best among all pitchers.
Clayton Kershaw's postseason numbers for the Dodgers have been absolutely filthy: 0.47 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 10.89 K/9 in 19.0 IP. He's just been betrayed by questionable defense and negligible run support.
The likely NL Cy Young Award winner volunteered to start Game 4 of the NLDS on three days' rest to ensure that the series never returned to Atlanta. He lasted six innings without allowing an earned run.
Adam Wainwright annihilated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLDS opener, and his masterpiece in the winner-take-all Game 5 has been the only complete game by a starting pitcher in these playoffs.
The veteran right-hander was nearly as effective in Game 3 of the League Championship Series, surrendering only two runs to the Dodgers in Chavez Ravine. Too bad he didn't receive any run support.
After 23 postseason innings, Wainwright boasts an insane ratio of 20 strikeouts to only one walk.