Oct. 7, 2013
Major league baseball's postseason has a distinct black & gold tint to it so far this October.
All four Commodores alive in MLB's postseason were first round picks out of Vanderbilt led by David Price as the top overall pick in 2007, Pedro Alvarez as the second overall pick in 2008, Mike Minor as the No. 7 pick in 2009 and Sonny Gray as the No. 18 pick.
The quartet is showing why they were top picks in this Black & Gold postseason.
Pedro Alvarez - Pittsburgh Pirates
In his first career postseason and the Pirates' first season since 1992, Alvarez has driven in five runs, scored three and accounted for eight of the Pirates' 19 runs (42%) in the postseason. Against St. Louis in the National League Division Series, he has two home runs, a double and a go-ahead RBI in Game 3.
"Every time he goes to the plate, you're expecting a homer or a big swing or something big out of him," Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes said. "And he's answered."
Mike Minor - Atlanta Braves
In his first career postseason appearance he evened the Braves' series with Los Angeles, earning the win with 6.1 innings allowing one run on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts. In the win he became just the fourth Braves pitcher in the last 50 seasons to win his postseason debut, joining Kevin Millwood, John Smoltz and Steve Avery.
"He's maturing as a pitcher," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I thought he was terrific, I really did."
Sonny Gray - Oakland A's
Gray went toe-to-toe with 2011 AL MVP and AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander on Saturday night scattering four hits over eight scoreless innings with nine strikeouts. The duo combined to become the first pair of starting pitchers to record at least nine strikeouts and allow no runs.
"Sonny did one heck of a job," Verlander said.
David Price - Tampa Bay Rays
In his first start since pitching Tampa Bay into the playoffs with a complete game against Texas, Price was pinned with the loss at Boston on Saturday. His start against the Red Sox marked his ninth postseason appearance and fourth start for the Rays since 2008.
"He wanted it as much as he wanted oxygen," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Price's performance at Texas. "He just wanted to win that game and he wanted to be the guy."
MLB's Black & Gold Postseason by the numbers
Three of the eight MLB Playoff games over the weekend were started by Vanderbilt pitchers with Minor, Gray and Price going to the hill.
On back-to-back nights in their respective series, Minor and Gray combined to allow one run on 12 hits with three walks and 14 strikeouts to even the series for their teams.
Against St. Louis in the NLDS, Alvarez is 4-for-10 and has reached base in half of his plate appearances coming into today's Game 4 in Pittsburgh.
Gray's Scoreless Start
Alvarez's Game-Winning RBI Single
Minor's Tremendous Performance
Price's Complete-Game Victory