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Marty’s Musings: drama in Toronto

Win-or-go-home situations abound; it's been quite a week in MLB

Division Series - Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Three Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Marty's Musings', my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball and looking forward to this week’s key matchups. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the previous week in MLB and previewing some of this week's key matchups, identifying numbers that are generally not found in a standard box score.

In this week’s edition, we take a look at the Orioles and Mets quick departure from the playoffs, and prepare for what could end up being an epic Blue Jays run.

Wild Card Round

Giants v. Mets

21- Swings and misses by Giants hitters against Noah Syndergaard, who went seven innings and struck out ten for the Mets last Wednesday night. Of the 20 whiffs, 13 came via the two-seamer while the other seven were generated on off-speed offerings. Syndergaard did not give up any runs, but the Mets never got it rolling on offense.

23/0 - Innings pitched and runs allowed by Madison Bumgarner in sudden-death postseason games. He is up against it again on Monday as the Cubs have a 2-0 series lead going into game three by the Bay. Bumgarner’s three postseason shutouts is one shy of Christy Mathewson’s record of four; he is tied with Whitey Ford, Josh Beckett, and Mordecai ‘Three-Finger’ Brown.

1991 - The last time two starting pitchers both threw at least seven scoreless innings in a winner-take-all game. The John Smoltz/Jack Morris deadlock happened in the ‘91 World Series.

11 - Consecutive playoff rounds won by the San Francisco Giants who moved their way to the LDS to play the Cubs…and now sit on the brink of elimination. They hand the ball over to Bumgarner, who will go up against Jake Arrieta on Monday night.

96 - Mile-per-hour fastball thrown by Jeurys Familia which Conor Gillaspie hit for a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning. It is the hardest thrown ball Gillespie hit for a home run since 2013.

Orioles v. Blue Jays

0 - Batters faced by O’s reliever Zach Britton. It’s been written over and over but there’s no denying that Buck Showalter will replay that decision in his head throughout this offseason. The Baltimore skipper instead opted to use Brad Brach, Darren O’Day, Brian Duensing, and Ubaldo Jimenez in their highest-leverage innings of 2016.

4 - Hits for the Orioles through 11 innings in Toronto. Say what you want about Showalter’s bullpen usage, the O’s simply could not hit the Jays pitchers. Marcus Stroman went six innings and basically made only one mistake ---- a two-run homer to Mark Trumbo. The bullpen combo of Cecil / Biagini / Grilli / Osuna / Liriano worked a total of five hitless innings, with the only runner getting aboard via a Cecil walk.

League Divisional Series

85 - Marco Estrada’s game score in an 8.1-inning, one-run/no-walk, six-strikeout ALDS Game One. The Jays came out swinging and blew the doors off the Rangers, who lost 10-1.

3.1 - Innings pitched by Cole Hamels on the other side of that 10-1 loss. Hamels was atrocious and allowed seven runs (six earned) in fewer than four innings. By the time Jeff Bannister called his bullpen the game looked to be effectively over.

0 - Plate appearances with a runner second or third base for Toronto in their Game Two win over Texas.

1 - The Blue Jays are the only team in MLB history to win two playoff rounds via extra-inning walk-offs in the same postseason. It’s a lot of qualifiers, but man, does it make for fun baseball!

3 - Home runs allowed by Rick Porcello in the third inning of a painful Game One for Boston. The three homers are the most allowed ever in one inning of an LDS and propelled the Tribe to an easy victory.

104 / 408 - MPH and feet of a towering Anthony Benintendi home run. The Indians got the best of Boston despite some firepower of their own. Game One was the first postseason game in history in which both teams hit at least three home runs AND struck out a dozen or more times. Now that’s a 2016 fun fact if I’ve ever heard one!

2007 - The last time a shortstop hit two dingers in an LDS before Corey Seager did it in Game One of the Dodgers/Nationals series. Stephen Drew did it in 2007 and Nomar Garciaparra did it in 1998 (Nomar hit three homers).

There is plenty to watch this week with the Indians and Cubs looking for a series sweep. Things can turn on a dime, and the Red Sox and Giants are by no means finished.

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano