As St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha threw seven shutout innings at the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out five, he not only helped eliminate the Dodgers, he put his name in the record books as well.
Among Wacha’s milestones, according to the Elias Sports Bureau:
- The right-hander became the first rookie to record two scoreless starts in a single postseason series in major-league history.
- Wacha, who turned 22 on July 1, is the second youngest NLCS MVP winner ever after the Braves’ Steve Avery in 1991 (21.5 years old).
- Wacha became the first rookie to start and win an NLCS clinching game since the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.
- He is the third rookie starter ever to win two games in the NLCS, joining Tim Wakefield (1992 Pirates) and Tim Belcher (1988 Dodgers).
- Wacha is the third rookie to win the LCS MVP award, joining Livan Hernandez (1997 Marlins) and Mike Boddicker (1983 Orioles).
Not bad for a young man who:
- Was pitching in college 16 months ago.
- Was starting in Triple-A as recently as August 4.
- Had made just nine major-league starts prior to the post-season.