What do they say about good pitching? That it stops good hitting?

On Saturday night — in the postseason spotlight no less — good pitching by the Tigers nearly no-hit good hitting.

In fact it came within two outs of doing so — with Daniel Nava's one-out single in the bottom of the ninth off Joaquin Benoit the only blemish in the bid.

Benoit regrouped however to strand the potential tying run at second with the Tigers' 17th strikeout of a 1-0 victory over the mighty Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.

Starter Anibal Sanchez shouldered most of the load in the near-no-hitter with six hitless innings but the bullpen foursome that followed — Al Alburquerque Jose Veras Drew Smyly and Benoit — picked up where Sanchez left off.

And almost kept the no-hitter intact.

It wouldn't have been the prettiest of gems because of Sanchez’s six walks.

But because it would have been the first no-hitter ever thrown in a League Championship Series and just the third no-hitter ever thrown in the postseason — the others being Don Larsen’s perfect game for the Yankees in 1956 and Roy Halladay’s no-hitter for the Phillies in a 2010 National League Division Series game — it would have gone down as one of the most memorable.

Ah but it didn't happen — and with a runner on first and one out in the ninth the Tigers had bigger fish to fry in just nailing down the victory.

One run was enough to do that though.

The Tigers scored their run on a Jhonny Peralta single in the sixth. But to nearly no-hit the Sox who led the A.L. in runs scored slugging total bases and extra-base hits during the regular season?

Again almost.

But not quite.

Sanchez with his 12 K's in six innings was brilliant. Wild but brilliant — victimized only by his pitch count.

Despite not allowing a hit however he exited after six innings because erratic control hiked his pitch count to 116.

There was no more triumphant moment for him than in the sixth which ended with the bases loaded on a swinging third strike by Boston’s Stephen Drew.

Sanchez was done at that point. He knew there was a good job/sit down handshake waiting for him at the dugout from manager Jim Leyland but the Sox struck out twice in the seventh against Al Alburquerque as well.

Basically the Tigers tied them in knots the entire game — or else the Sox wouldn’t have had so many checked swings. Or as many strikes that they tried to sell to the umpires as balls.