2013 Postseason Stats: 3-0, 21 IP, 0.43 ERA, .114 BAA, 22/4 K/BB (3 GS)
Michael Wacha entered the postseason coming off the best month of his big league career. In September, the 22-year-old right-hander posted a 1.72 ERA and .198 opponent batting average over five starts, and came within one out of a no-hitter in his final start of the regular season against the Washington Nationals.
Starting Game 4 of the NLDS against the Pirates and needing a win to avoid elimination, Wacha allowed one run on one hit and two walks with nine strikeouts over 7.1 impressive frames before surrendering a solo home run to Pedro Alvarez.
Moved up in the postseason rotation to start Game 2 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, Wacha was dominating yet again with five hits allowed, one walk and eight strikeouts over 6.2 scoreless innings. The 22-year-old outdueled Clayton Kershaw in the Cardinals' 1-0 victory.
Starting Game 6 of the NLCS as the series moved back to St. Louis, the rookie shut out the Dodgers—and Kershaw, again—for the second time in the past week, allowing only two hits and a walk with five strikeouts over seven stellar innings.
Between both starts in the series, Wacha was 2-0 with 13 strikeouts in 13.2 scoreless innings. Needless to say, it wasn’t a shocker when he was named as the NLCS MVP, becoming the second rookie pitcher in baseball history to win the award.
Scheduled to start Game 2 of the World Series at Fenway Park on Thursday, Wacha will face a Boston offense that struggled against the right-handed changeup during the regular season, as noted by my colleague and MLB Lead Writer Zach Rymer.
It’s obviously not a guarantee that the right-hander will carve up the Red Sox as he did the Pirates and Dodgers in previous series. However, I’ve also said that after each of his postseason starts.