MLB PLAYOFFS NOTEBOOK: Postseason history littered with 1-0 classics
DETROIT — When the Boston Red Sox beat Detroit on Tuesday in Game 3 of the AL championship series, it was the fourth 1-0 game of these playoffs.
The last time there were that many in one postseason was in 1991.
The drama of a 1-0 game is unique — one swing can change the result at any time. In the postseason, that tension is magnified.
Here’s a look back at a few of the most famous 1-0 postseason games in baseball history:
GAME SEVENS: Jack Morris pitched all 10 innings for Minnesota in the seventh game of the 1991 World Series against Atlanta. Gene Larkin’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th finally gave the Twins the victory at the Metrodome.
The 1962 World Series also ended with a 1-0 score in Game 7. Ralph Terry went the distance for the Yankees against San Francisco — two years after he allowed Bill Mazeroski’s series-winning homer — and the Yankees withstood a ninth-inning rally by the Giants. Willie McCovey lined out with runners on second and third to end it.
JETER’S FLIP: With the Yankees facing elimination in Game 3 of the 2001 AL division series, New York right fielder Shane Spencer missed the cutoff man on a hit by Terrence Long. That’s when shortstop Derek Jeter seemingly came out of nowhere to grab the overthrow near the first base line and make a backhanded flip home to get Oakland’s Jeremy Giambi at the plate.
The Yankees went on to win the game 1-0 and the series in five.
JUST BARELY ENOUGH: Cleveland won the 1997 ALCS over Baltimore despite hitting .193 with 62 strikeouts in six games. Tony Fernandez homered in the top of the 11th for the only run of Game 6, giving the Indians the pennant.
It was an agonizing loss for the Orioles, who outhit Cleveland 10-3 in the finale but left 14 men on base. Baltimore’s Mike Mussina pitched eight innings of one-hit ball and struck out 10 that day.
DUELING ACES: The 102-win Phillies had to like their chances going into the decisive Game 5 of the NLDS against St. Louis in 2011 — especially with star right-hander Roy Halladay on the mound.
Halladay allowed only one run in eight innings, but that was enough to end Philadelphia’s season. Chris Carpenter threw a three-hit shutout for the Cardinals.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: The 1921 World Series was an all-New York affair, played under a best-of-nine format. The Giants edged the Yankees 1-0 in Game 8 to wrap up the title. Art Nehf edged Waite Hoyt in the finale — with both pitchers going the distance.
It wasn’t the only low-scoring game of that series. The teams combined for five hits in Game 2, which the Yankees won 3-0.