<
>

That never happened ... until the postseason

The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years ... but that wasn’t the only improbable occurrence of the postseason. Here are some of the things that happened in the postseason but never in the 2016 regular season -- if ever before.

Wild-card round

Blue Jays bullpen holds Orioles hitless (AL wild-card)

The AL wild-card game turned into a battle of the bullpens, one in which the Orioles' best pitcher (Zach Britton) never appeared. It was the Blue Jays bullpen that fared best, throwing five hitless innings, the most hitless innings of relief it threw in a game all season.

Jeurys Familia allows a go-ahead HR (NL wild-card)

Jeurys Familia allowed one home run in 77⅔ innings this season. But in the ninth inning of a scoreless game against the Giants, he allowed a game-winning home run to Conor Gillaspie. Familia had not allowed a go-ahead home run since Sept. 23, 2015, to Mets nemesis Freddie Freeman.

ALDS

Roberto Perez scores two runs (ALDS Game 1)

Roberto Perez played in 61 games during the regular season, but he never scored more than one run in a game. He scored two in the Indians’ win over the Red Sox in Game 1.

Lonnie Chisenhall hits HR vs. LHP (ALDS Game 2)

Lonnie Chisenhall hit all eight of his home runs in the 2016 regular season against right-handed pitching. He had no home runs in 46 at-bats against lefties. But he homered off David Price in the second inning of a Game 2 win for the Indians.

Yu Darvish allows four HRs (ALDS Game 2)

Yu Darvish’s career high for home runs allowed in a regular-season game is three, which he has done twice. But in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Blue Jays, he allowed four home runs. He had never allowed three at home, let alone four.

Roberto Osuna records a five-out save (ALDS Game 2)

Roberto Osuna did not have a five-out save among his 36 saves in the 2016 regular season (he had one in 2015). But when the Blue Jays needed him for five outs against the Rangers, he came through. This was just the beginning for lengthy relief efforts this postseason.

NLDS

Cubs win 1-0 (NLDS Game 1)

The Cubs won Game 1 of the NLDS against the Giants 1-0. They were 0-12 when they scored only one run in games during the regular season.

Jake Arrieta homers vs. Bumgarner (NLDS Game 3)

Madison Bumgarner had never allowed a home run to a pitcher until Game 3 of the NLDS, when Jake Arrieta took him deep. Arrieta is no slouch with the bat. He hit .262 with two homers in the 2016 regular season.

Clayton Kershaw records a save (NLDS Game 5)

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw recorded the final two outs for a save in the deciding Game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals. He had one career professional save: in 2006 in the Gulf Coast League. His catcher that day was the pitcher who appeared before him in the NLDS game, Kenley Jansen.

The opposing team that day was the Gulf Coast Nationals, the counterpart of the MLB team he saved against. The GCL Nationals were managed by Bob Henley, the third-base coach for these Nationals. Henley had a tough game; he had a questionable send that resulted in Jayson Werth being thrown out at the plate by a considerable margin with the Nationals ahead 1-0 in the sixth inning.

NLCS

The Cubs face the minimum (Game 6)

Every year from 2006 to 2015, there was at least one nine-inning game in which a team faced exactly the minimum number of hitters (27). There was no such game during the 2016 regular season, but there was one in the postseason: Game 6 of the NLCS, which put winning pitcher Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs into the World Series for the first time since 1945.

ALCS

Andrew Miller records five K's in relief ... twice (Games 1 and 2)

The Elias Sports Bureau chimes in with this: Andrew Miller became the first pitcher in modern major league history (since 1900) to record at least five strikeouts in two innings or fewer in relief appearances on consecutive days. Miller's performances in Games 1 and 2 of the series set the tone for the Indians, who got 8 1/3 innings of relief in their Game 3 win en route to the World Series.

World Series

Roberto Perez hits two home runs (Game 1)

Perez went yard twice in Game 1 of the World Series in a win for the Indians. Perez hit only three home runs all season and had never had a multi-home-run game in his three-year career. He is the fifth catcher to hit two in a World Series game and the first since Hall of Famer Gary Carter for the 1986 Mets.

Justin Grimm induces bases-loaded GIDP (Game 3)

Game 3 was a nail-biter and scoreless in the fifth inning, when Joe Maddon pulled Kyle Hendricks for Justin Grimm with the bases loaded and one out. The move was an odd one, but the finish was fairy tale in nature for Grimm, who escaped by getting Francisco Lindor to hit into a double play. It was the first double play Grimm had induced in 56 innings all season and the first double play he had induced with the bases loaded in his career. The ending was an unhappy one for the Cubs, though, as they lost 1-0.

Aroldis Chapman records an eight-out save (Game 5)

Aroldis Chapman recorded the final eight outs to earn the save in Game 5 and send the series back to Cleveland. It marked the longest appearance of his 401 career appearances.

Addison Russell records six RBIs (Game 6)

This one’s a little bit of a cheat, as Addison Russell has played only two major league seasons. But he never had more than four RBIs in a game until Game 6 of the World Series, in which he tied the Fall Classic record with six RBIs.

Andrew Miller and Cody Allen pitch together in a loss (Game 7)

The Indians obtained Miller to give themselves a super bullpen with him and Cody Allen closing games. That held through August, September and October. The Indians were 23-0 in games in which both Miller and Allen pitched … until they lost Game 7 of the World Series.

Mike Montgomery records a save (Game 7)

Mike Montgomery pitched in relief 52 times from the start of the 2016 regular season to the end of Game 6 of the World Series, and none of those appearances came in a save situation. Nor had he gotten a save in his 14 relief appearances in the minors and the Arizona Fall League. So of course, in this nutty postseason, it was Montgomery who finished things off and gave the Cubs their first title since 1908 by inducing a ground out from Michael Martinez of the Indians.

Compiled by Mark Simon and Sarah Langs