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MLB Notebook: Freese raking into elite company

Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig played in 34 World Series games, covering seven Fall Classics. In those 34 games -- which saw New York claim 27 wins and assemble six titles -- Gehrig compiled an awe-inspiring .361/.477/.731/1.208 slash line while collecting 21 extra-base hits and driving in 35 runs.

Condensing the work a little bit, the end of the 1936 World Series brought Gehrig's career in the postseason to a total of 25 games. In those 25 contests, the Yankees went 19-6 while Gehrig batted .386 with a .495 on-base percentage, .818 slugging percentage, 18 extra-base hits and 32 RBIs.

Cardinals third baseman David Freese has now played 25 postseason games of his own, and while the team and individual numbers don't quite reach all the levels produced by Gehrig and the Yankees, they look fairly awe-inspiring on their own. In these 25 contests, St. Louis is 16-9, and Freese is holding a .386/.450/.739/1.189 line with 18 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs.

National League Championship Series: Cardinals vs. Giants
Freese and Carlos Beltran each hit two-run home runs Sunday as the Cardinals defeated the Giants, 6-4, in Game 1 of the NLCS.

Freese's homer gave him 18 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs in 25 postseason games. The 18 extra-base hits through his first 25 games tied Freese with Gehrig for the second most ever. Nelson Cruz had 19, while George Brett and Carlos Beltran each had 17.

The 25 RBIs in that span also tied Freese with Scott Spiezio for the second most all time, behind Gehrig's 32. Ryan Howard and Hideki Matsui each had 24. Freese has driven in a run in 12 postseason contests, with the Cardinals winning 10 of those games.

Players with 8+ homers in LCS
Player HRs PA HR%
M. Ramirez 13 215 6.05
A. Pujols 10 135 7.41
G. Brett 9 115 7.83
B. Williams 9 189 4.76
S. Garvey 8 95 8.42
N. Cruz 8 48 16.67
C. Beltran 8 67 11.94

Beltran's night at the plate gave him 14 home runs, 21 extra-base hits, 25 RBIs and a .370/.481/.824 line in 29 career postseason games. In 15 career LCS games, Beltran has hit eight home runs, tied for the fifth most in LCS history.

For his postseason career and among players with a minimum of 40 plate appearances, Beltran owns the highest slugging percentage, the highest OPS and the fourth-highest on-base percentage. He is also tied for the ninth-most postseason home runs.

• The Cardinals improved to 5-6 in LCS Game 1s. In each of its previous two LCS appearances (2006 and '11), St. Louis lost Game 1. The last time the Cardinals won a Game 1 and went on to win the series was '04.

• With Sunday's loss, the Giants fell to 4-2 in LCS Game 1s. The defeat broke a three-game winning streak in those games, with San Francisco having won in 1989, 2002 and '10. Before Sunday, the Giants last lost an LCS Game 1 in 1987 -- to the Cardinals.

• Madison Bumgarner allowed six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, striking out two and walking one. That line worked out to a Game Score of 22 (50 is average), and gives Giants starters an average Game Score of 42.5 in their six postseason starts this year. In their 15 postseason games in 2010, Giants starters had an average Game Score of 62.6.

• Six St. Louis relievers combined for a line that saw them allow two hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 scoreless innings. In the 2012 postseason, the Cardinals bullpen owns a 1.80 ERA in 30 innings.

• The Giants fell to 0-3 at home this postseason. The club has been outscored, 20-6, and outhomered, 5-1, at AT&T Park.

American League Championship Series: Tigers vs. Yankees
Anibal Sanchez (seven innings, three hits) and Phil Coke (two innings) combined on a four-hit shutout with 10 K's and three walks Sunday to lead the Tigers to a 3-0 win over the Yankees for a 2-0 advantage in the ALCS.

The team shutout was the second of the postseason for the Tigers, following Justin Verlander's four-hitter in Game 5 of the AL Division Series vs. the A's. The shutout was the eighth in Tigers postseason history, preceded by Game 4 of the 1909 World Series, Game 5 of the 1940 World Series, Game 3 of the 1972 ALCS, Game 3 of the 1984 ALCS, Game 3 of the 2006 ALDS and Game 3 of the '06 ALCS.

The Yankees have played 75 LCS games, with the Tigers being the third team to shut them out. In Game 1 of the 2000 ALCS, the Mariners' Freddy Garcia combined with three relievers on a six-hit shutout, and in Game 3 of the 2010 ALCS, the Rangers' Cliff Lee and Neftali Feliz combined on a two-hit shutout.

• Hiroki Kuroda fanned 11 with no walks in the losing effort for the Yankees. Kuroda is the second pitcher in LCS history to reach at least 11 K's and not issue a walk. In Game 1 of the 1973 NLCS, Tom Seaver struck out 13 Reds but took the loss.

Kuroda is the fifth pitcher in postseason history to strike out at least 11 without issuing a free pass. In addition to Kuroda and Seaver, Don Newcombe (Game 1 of the 1949 World Series -- 11 K's, loss), Sterling Hitchcock (Game 4 of the 1998 NLDS -- 11 K's, win) and Cliff Lee (Game 5 of the 2010 ALDS -- 11 K's, win) also accomplished the feat.

• Tigers starting pitchers have thrown 48 innings in seven playoff starts, allowing a combined five earned runs for a 0.94 ERA. They have yielded a total of one unearned run over their past four starts, spanning 27 2/3 innings.

• Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday. The third baseman has reached safely in 18 straight postseason games, matching Hank Greenberg for the longest streak in Tigers history.

In Greenberg's run, he owned a .328/.423/.627/1.050 line, with 22 hits (four doubles, two triples and four home runs) and nine walks. Cabrera owns a .302/.443/.587/1.030 line, with 19 hits (six doubles and four home runs) and 15 walks.

Carlos Beltran, Miguel Cabrera, David Freese, Hiroki Kuroda