With Gio Gonzalez finishing his start with seven walks and one hit allowed, and his teammate Tyler Moore taking him off the hook for the loss with a late-game, two-out, two-run pinch-hit single, Sunday's Nationals-Cardinals tilt in St. Louis had some of the same elements that made the fourth game of the 1947 World Series one of the more memorable postseason contests in baseball history.
On that day at Ebbets Field, Yankees right-hander Bill Bevens opened the bottom of the ninth inning having issued eight walks and no hits. He was holding onto a 2-1 lead. A fly ball, a walk, a popout, a steal and an intentional walk had the tying run at second, the winning run at first, and pinch-hitter Cookie Lavagetto the only remaining obstacle between Bevens and the first no-hitter in World Series history. Instead, Lavagetto doubled into right, both runners scored, and Bevens was instantly and improbably tagged for a one-hit loss.
On Sunday in St. Louis, the Nationals rallied for two runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Cardinals, 3-2, in the Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
Moore produced the go-ahead runs for the Nationals on his pinch-hit, two-run single in the eighth inning. Moore is one of nine players in postseason history to turn a deficit into a lead with a base hit as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning or later. The full list:
1947 World Series, Game 4: The Dodgers' Lavagetto doubles in two runs in the bottom of the ninth to give Brooklyn a 3-2 walk-off win over the Yankees.
1972 AL Championship Series, Game 1: Oakland's Gonzalo Marquez singles in the bottom of the 11th, and two runs score to give the Athletics a 3-2 victory over the Tigers.
1979 World Series, Game 4: Baltimore's Terry Crowley doubles in two runs in the top of the eighth to give the Orioles a 7-6 lead. The O's go on to beat the Pirates, 9-6.
1985 World Series, Game 6: The Royals' Dane Iorg singles in two runs in the bottom of the ninth to give Kansas City a 2-1 walk-off win over the Cardinals.
1988 World Series, Game 1: Kirk Gibson hits a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Dodgers a 5-4 win over the Athletics.
1992 NLCS, Game 7: Atlanta's Francisco Cabrera singles in two runs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves a 3-2 walk-off win over the Pirates that wins the pennant.
1992 World Series, Game 2: Ed Sprague, Jr. hits a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the Blue Jays a 5-4 lead over the Braves. Toronto wins the game, 5-4.
2010 NLDS, Game 3: Eric Hinske hits a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to give the Braves a 2-1 lead over the Giants. Atlanta loses the game, 3-2.
2012 NLDS, Game 1: Moore hits a two-run single in the top of the eighth to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead over the Cardinals.
On Sunday, Adam Wainwright (10 K's) became the fourth different Cardinals pitcher to collect at least 10 strikeouts in a postseason game. Wainwright joined:
Pete Alexander -- 10 K's in Game 2 of the 1926 World Series.
Mort Cooper -- 12 K's in Game 5 of the 1944 World Series.
Bob Gibson -- 13 K's in Game 5 of the 1964 World Series; 10 K's in Game 1 of the '67 World Series; 10 K's in Game 7 of the '67 World Series; 17 K's in Game 1 of the '68 World Series; 10 K's in Game 4 of the '68 World Series.
Bronson Arroyo (seven innings, one hit, 4 K's, one walk) and two relievers combined on a two-hitter as the Reds blanked the Giants, 9-0, to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Pitchers with 7-plus scoreless innings and no more than one hit allowed in postseason game
1956 WS G5
2010 NLDS G1
1945 WS G3
1967 WS G2
2000 NLDS G4
2000 ALCS G4
1995 WS G6
1997 ALCS G6
2004 NLCS G5
1999 WS G2
2004 NLCS G5
2012 NLDS G2
This game marked the fourth time in their postseason history the Reds pitching staff finished a game with two or fewer hits allowed. In Game 4 of the 1972 NLCS, Ross Grimsley allowed two hits in a complete game, 7-1 victory over the Pirates. In Game 6 of the 1990 NLCS, Danny Jackson, Norm Charlton and Randy Myers allowed one hit in a 2-1, pennant-clinching victory over Pittsburgh. In Game 4 of the 1990 World Series, Jose Rijo and Myers combined for a two-hitter in a 2-1 win over the Athletics that completed the sweep.
With his line Sunday, Arroyo became the 12th pitcher to finish a postseason start with at least seven scoreless innings and no more than one hit allowed.
Brandon Phillips went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI, giving the Reds leadoff hitter five hits (three for extra bases) and four RBIs in the first two games of the series. Phillips is the first Reds player since Dave Concepcion in 1979 to open the postseason with consecutive multihit games.
In a contest that saw Oakland surrender three different leads on Sunday, the Tigers scored the game's final run on a walk-off sacrifice fly and defeated the Athletics, 5-4.
Don Kelly's ninth-inning sac fly was the ninth game-ending sacrifice fly in postseason history. The full list:
1911 World Series, Game 5: Fred Merkle in the 10th inning (New York Giants).
1912 World Series, Game 8*: Larry Gardner in the 10th inning (Red Sox).
1971 World Series, Game 6: Brooks Robinson in the 10th inning (Orioles).
1980 NLCS, Game 3: Denny Walling in the 11th inning (Astros).
1991 World Series, Game 4: Jerry Willard in the ninth inning (Braves).
2004 ALDS, Game 2: Hideki Matsui in the 12th inning (Yankees).
2008 ALCS, Game 2: B.J. Upton in the 11th inning (Rays).
2010 ALCS, Game 4: Juan Uribe in the ninth inning (Giants).
2012 ALDS, Game 2: Kelly in the ninth inning (Tigers).
*Ended World Series
Yoenis Cespedes became the seventh Athletics player with a pair of hits and a pair of steals in a postseason game. He joined Eddie Collins (Game 2 and Game 5 of the 1910 World Series), Bert Campaneris (Game 2 of the 1972 ALCS), Rickey Henderson (Game 2 of the 1989 ALCS), Willie Wilson (Game 3 of the 1992 ALCS) and Johnny Damon (Game 1 of the 2001 ALDS).
The Yankees defeated Baltimore, 7-2, on Sunday, spoiling the Orioles' first postseason game in Baltimore since Game 6 of the 1997 ALCS.
Ichiro Suzuki, playing in his first postseason affair since Game 5 of the 2001 ALCS with Seattle, went 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
Dating back to 2001, Suzuki has reached safely in all 11 of his postseason games. The longest such streak to begin a postseason career is 25 games, by Boog Powell.
CC Sabathia allowed two runs in 8 2/3 innings and picked up the win to improve to 5-0 in eight career Division Series appearances.
Sabathia's five victories in the Division Series tie him with Greg Maddux and David Wells for the third most, behind the seven victories from John Smoltz and Andy Pettitte.