Around the Major Leagues: Postseason Week 3

All the news from around MLB as the stage is set for the 2013 World Series – a 2004 rematch between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.

The 2013 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox will officially get under way on Wednesday evening in Boston. Here is how the two teams got there:

National League Championship Series

Game 1: St. Louis 3, LA Dodgers 2
Game 2: St. Louis 1, LA Dodgers 0
Game 3: LA Dodgers 3, St. Louis 0
Game 4: LA Dodgers 2, St. Louis 4
Game 5: LA Dodgers 6, St. Louis 4
Game 6: St. Louis 9, LA Dodgers 0

NLCS Facts & Figures
Rookie Michael Wacha followed up his scoreless performance for the Cardinals in Game 2 with seven innings of shutout ball in St. Louis' series-clinching 9-0 victory over the Dodgers on Friday. Wacha is the first rookie to record two scoreless starts in a single postseason series in major-league history.

In that same game, Carlos Beltran went 3-for-4, including two hits with runners in scoring position (scoring two runs as a result). Beltran, 36, is now hitting .440 (11-for-25) with runners in scoring position in his career in the playoffs. That is the highest batting average for any player with at least 25 at-bats in that situation in major-league postseason history, just ahead of Miguel Cabrera (.429).

Beltran became a post-season legend in 2004 due to his unbelievable performance with the Houston Astros, when he hit eight home runs, drove in 14 and scored 21 runs in 12 games. Despite playing in nine different playoff series over four seasons in his career, this will be Beltran's first World Series appearance.

You can call it bad luck or you can call it karma. Either way, Yasiel Puig's season ended on a sour note. Puig's astounding rookie season finished with two errors in right field and an 0-for-3 night with two strikeouts at the plate in the Dodgers' 9-0 loss to the Cardinals on Friday. Puig became the first player in major-league history to commit two errors and go hitless at the plate with multiple strikeouts in a game in which his team was eliminated from the postseason.

American League Championship Series

Game 1: Boston 0, Detroit 1
Game 2: Boston 6 , Detroit 5
Game 3: Detroit 0, Boston 1
Game 4: Detroit 7, Boston 3
Game 5: Detroit 3, Boston 4
Game 6: Boston 5, Detroit 2

ALCS Facts & Figures
Shane Victorino is the first player in major-league history to hit a game-winning grand slam in the seventh inning or later to clinch a postseason series. The bomb marked the second time in the 2013 ALCS that the Red Sox hit a lead-changing grand slam while trailing in the seventh inning or later.

David Ortiz hit one in the eighth inning of Game 2, tying the game at five. There have been only three other slams of that kind in postseason history: Ron Cey (1977 Dodgers, vs. Phillies in NLCS), Vladimir Guerrero (2004 Angels, at Red Sox in ALDS) and Paul Konerko (2005 White Sox, vs. Astros in World Series).

Max Scherzer was slammed with the loss after the Tigers were eliminated in Game 6 of the ALCS, just one night after the Cardinals defeated Clayton Kershaw to knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs. Scherzer is a leading candidate to win the American League Cy Young Award this season and Kershaw is the top candidate for the Cy Young in the National League.

That presents an interesting situation.

Since 1999, the only pitcher to lose a postseason elimination game in a year that he was eventually named as a Cy Young Award winner was Roger Clemens with Houston. Clemens was the losing pitcher in Game 7 of the 2004 NLCS against St. Louis. But before Clemens, five other pitchers lost elimination games in the League Championship Series in years in which they won that award: Steve Carlton (1977 with the Phillies), Rick Sutcliffe (1984 with the Cubs), Greg Maddux (1993 with the Braves), Randy Johnson (1995 with the Mariners) and Tom Glavine (1998 with the Braves).

John Lopiano can be reached at Follow John on Twitter: @johnlopiano.

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