Justin Verlander struck out 22 batters in his two starts to set a Division Series record, which was previously 21 by Cliff Lee (2010 ALDS) and Kevin Brown (1998 NLDS). Verlander had previously pitched in two elimination games in his career, Game 5 of the 2006 World Series and Game 5 of the 2011 AL Championship Series. In those games, he went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA, winning last year against the Rangers. Verlander finished the series with a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings, which is the sixth-best mark for qualifying pitchers since Division Series play began in 1995. After giving up a leadoff homer to Coco Crisp in Game 1, Verlander didn't surrender another run in two starts and only allowed three baserunners to reach second.
The Tigers committed only one error in the series. They finished the regular season with 99 errors. The A's committed three and gave up three unearned runs. A's hitters struck out 50 times in the ALDS, which is a team record for a postseason series. The previous record was 42, which came in the 1974 World Series against Los Angeles. A's pitchers struck out 39 batters while walking only seven during the series. Yoenis Cespedes' double in the first inning gave him a seven-game hitting streak to end his rookie season, and he registered a hit in 22 of his last 24 games. He tied an A's record with a hit in his first five postseason games, and he was also the only player on either team to record a hit in each game of the series. No A's pitcher had thrown two wild pitches in the same inning this year until Jarrod Parker did so in the third inning. The first wild pitch moved Omar Infante into scoring position, and the second brought home Austin Jackson. Parker held Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hitless in 11 at-bats in his two ALDS starts. The sluggers went 9-for-41 in the series. The Tigers' three stolen bases in Game 5 tied the team's postseason record, which was accomplished three times previously, last time in Game 3 of 1984 ALCS against the Royals. Darrell Evans, Marty Castillo and Kirk Gibson stole bases off Charlie Leibrandt in that game, according to baseball-reference.com. Josh Reddick's 10 strikeouts are the second-most in a Division Series and trail only the Mariners' Bret Boone's 11 in 2001. Reddick's 151 strikeouts in the regular season were 10th-most in the AL.
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.