Special to ESPN.com
CRISP STARTS SERIES OFF WITH A BANG
From Elias: Coco Crisp hit Justin Verlander's fourth pitch for a home run in Oakland's loss against Detroit in Game 1 of the ALDS. It was the seventh first-inning leadoff home run in a series opener in postseason history. Don Buford did it for the Orioles against the Mets in the 1969 World Series, Bob Dernier did it for the Cubs against the Padres in the 1984 NLCS, Brady Anderson did it twice, both for Baltimore against Cleveland (1996 ALDS and 1997 ALCS), Johnny Damon for the Yankees against Cleveland in the 2007 ALDS and Dustin Pedroia for Boston against Colorado in the 2007 World Series.
Verlander allowed four first-inning leadoff home runs in 33 starts in 2012, matching the number he allowed in 199 career starts entering this season.
CY VS. ROOKIE
From Elias: Game 1 of the 2012 ALDS between the Tigers and Athletics featured the 2011 American League Cy Young Award winner in Justin Verlander against rookie Jarrod Parker. It was the seventh game in postseason history in which one team started a defending Cy Young Award winner and the other team started a rookie. The last such game was Game 6 of the 2006 NLCS between the Cardinals (Chris Carpenter won the 2005 N.L. Cy Young) and the Mets (rookie John Maine). Carpenter and Maine hooked up in Game 2 of that series as well.
VERLANDER FIVE STRAIGHT PUNCHOUTS
From Elias: Justin Verlander struck out five straight Athletics batters spanning the sixth and seventh inning. That was the longest such streak in a postseason game for any pitcher in Tigers history. The previous record of four was done three times: Joe Coleman in Game 3 of the 1972 ALCS against the Athletics, Milt Wilcox in Game 3 of the 1984 ALCS against the Royals and Justin Verlander in Game 3 of the 2011 ALDS against the Yankees.
Verlander struck out 11 batters in seven innings of work. The last pitcher to have that many strikeouts while pitching no more than seven innings in a postseason game was John Smoltz in Game 4 of the 1999 World Series against the Yankees. Smoltz also had 11 strikeouts in seven innings in that game.
ONE AND DONE FOR CUETO
From Elias: Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto left due to injury after facing only one batter in Game 1 of the NLDS series between the Reds and Giants. That's the fewest batters faced for any starting pitcher in a postseason game in major league history. The previous record for such a thing was two batters faced by Washington's Curly Ogden, who started Game 7 of the 1924 World Series against the New York Giants. Ogden struck out Freddie Lindstrom to open the game, and then walked Frankie Frisch. Washington manager Bucky Harris then lifted Ogden for George Mogridge. It turns out Harris started Ogden, a righthander, in hopes that Giants manager John McGraw would start Bill Terry, who was having a tough time against left-handed pitching. Harris would then bring in the lefty, Mogridge to pitch the rest of the game. Harris had intended for Ogden to face only one batter in the game.
The Senators wound up winning the game in 12 innings, and with it, the World Series.
PHILLIPS CARRIES REDS
From Elias: Brandon Phillips had three hits and knocked in three runs in the Reds' win over the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. Phillips is the third Reds player to get at least three hits and three RBIs in a postseason game since runs batted in became an official statistic in 1920. Tony Perez did it in Game 2 of the 1975 NLCS against the Pirates (3 hits, 3 RBI) and Mariano Duncan did it in Game 3 of the 1990 NLCS, also against the Pirates (3 hits, 4 RBI)
CAIN GOES FROM PERFECT TO THE POSTSEASON
From Elias: Matt Cain started Game 1 for the Giants just a few months after pitching a perfect game against the Astros. Cain is the fifth pitcher to appear in a postseason game after throwing a perfect game earlier that season. The first three were Sandy Koufax in 1965, David Wells in 1998 and David Cone in 1999. The fourth, Roy Halladay, followed up his 2010 perfecto by no-hitting the Reds in Game 1 of the Division Series.
BAKER TAKES ON OLD TEAM
From Elias: Reds manager Dusty Baker takes on a team, the Giants, that he managed to a World Series in 2002. Baker is the third person to manage a postseason series against a franchise he'd previously led to the World Series. Joe McCarthy managed the Yankees to sweeps of the Cubs in the 1932 and 1938 Fall Classics, and Billy Martin's A's were swept in three games by the Yankees in the 1981 ALCS.
TRIBE HIRES A CHAMP
From Elias: The Indians hired Terry Francona as their manager. It's the first time in franchise history that the Indians hired a skipper who had already won a World Series as a manager.