Anibal Sanchez did everything in his power to get the Detroit Tigers a win in Game 1 of the ALCS. Sanchez finished his outing with six innings pitched of no-hit ball.
Jim Leyland pulled Sanchez before the bottom of the seventh inning. His pitch count was already at 116 pitches, and since Detroit was leading 1-0 going into the inning, Leyland didn't want to take any chances. He opted to bring out Al Alburquerque and hand it over to his bullpen.
With the move, the Tigers manager made history, via the Detroit Free Press.
No pitcher has ever exited a post-season game while throwing a no-hitter in the sixth inning or later. #tigers2013— Freep Tigers (@freeptigers) October 13, 2013
Sanchez finished with 12 strikeouts and six walks, via MLB on FOX.
BREAKING: Anibal Sanchez's night is over. He pitched 6 no-hit innings with 12 Ks but walked 6 and threw 116 pitches. #postseason— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 13, 2013
Those 12 strikeouts are the most against the Red Sox in postseason history, via ESPN Stats and Info.
Anibal Sanchez's 12 K are the most by any pitcher against the Red Sox in postseason history.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 13, 2013
What pushed the pitch count up so much for Sanchez was his six walks. While he was working the Boston hitters very well, he was having a bit of trouble with his control. Fifty of his 116 pitches were balls. He still remains in good company, though, via CBS Sports's Danny Knobler.
Only other pitcher with 6 walks, 12 K's in a postseason game: Walter Johnson in 1924 World Series. And it took him 12 innings.— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) October 13, 2013
The Tigers took the lead in the top of the sixth after Jhonny Peralta singled to center, which allowed Miguel Cabrera to score.
Sanchez is no stranger to a no-hitter. He threw one with the then-Florida Marlins in 2006. Should he have gone the full nine innings, it would have been just the third no-no in postseason history. Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in the 1956 World Series, and Roy Halladay had one in Game 1 of the 2010 ALDS.