NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Jose Valverde #46 and Alex Avila #13 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate their 3-2 win against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Power Hitting, Power Pitching Guide Tigers To Game 5 Win In New York

Back-to-back homers put the Tigers up early, and the arms held on, as the Tigers eliminated the Yankees on their own home field. Detroit will face Texas in the ALCS.

  • Live
26 Total Updates since October 6, 2011
  • Updates 20
  • Articles 6
  • All Updates 26

Yankees vs. Tigers: Jorge Posada Faces Uncertain Future Following ALDS Elimination

Thursday night may have been the end of Jorge Posada's career in pinstripes, if his postgame demeanor is any indication. Following the New York Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers, Posada was overcome with emotion in the clubhouse, wiping away tears while speaking to reporters.

It's unclear whether the Yankees will keep Posada, who will be a free agent after the season, though he has said he wants to be back if the team will have him. After Thursday's game, though, it felt like goodbye, with Posada thanking the fans and team during his postgame interview before walking away with tears in his eyes.

Manager Joe Girardi left the question about what's next for Posada open-ended, as well.

"He was awesome," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who also got emotional when talking about Posada. "He's had a tremendous career and I'm sure he's going to play, and I don't know what's to happen."

Posada was 2-for-4 with two singles in the Yankees' Game 5 loss to the Tigers. He was solid throughout the ALDS, but with the Yankees looking to rearrange their lineup and rotate Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, among others, in the designated hitter spot, there may be no room for Posada in 2012.

For more on the Yankees' Game 5 loss, head over to Baseball Nation's StoryStream.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers, Game 5: Live-Blog Quotes And Highlights

The New York Yankees returned home for an elimination game on Thursday, facing the Detroit Tigers with a spot in the ALCS on the line. A date with the Texas Rangers hung in the balance, and Thursday's matchup provided plenty of drama, with the Tigers taking the early lead, then hanging on by the slimmest of margins to advance with a 3-2 win.

Here are a few of the highlights from the Baseball Nation live-blog.

As Rob Neyer noted, Thursday was also a painful anniversary for the Tigers. Two years ago, Detroit completed a collapse by falling to the Minnesota Twins in a one-game playoff -- in extra innings, no less.

In recent memory, the toughest Tiger loss happened exactly two years ago today.

In 2009, the Tigers owned a seven-game lead in the American League Central in early September. But then the Twins got hot, and at the conclusion of the schedule the two clubs both were 86-76. So on the 6th of October, they played a one-game playoff for the division title.

So the Tigers had a chance to turn to a sad anniversary into a happy day, facing Ivan Nova in a decisive Game 5 at Yankee Stadium. Nova retired the first Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera in the first inning, but there was one small problem with the start to his outing.

In between, he allowed back-to-back solo home runs. But if were successful 50% of the time as a hitter, everybody would be sooooo quick to praise him. You people are so glass-half-empty.

With back-to-back solo shots from Don Kelly and Delmon Young, the Yankees suddenly found themselves in a 2-0 hole before even stepping to the plate. Not exactly the start manager Joe Girardi was hoping for.

On the other side of the field, the Tigers sent Doug Fister to the mound in Game 5. Fister's journey is an interesting one, as Jeff Sullivan described.

Those were a lot of numbers. Here's the quick summary: between 2008 and 2009, Doug Fister stopped walking people. Between 2010 and 2011, Doug Fister started striking people out. That's an extraordinary development curve, and that's how Fister went from being a non-prospect to being a guy in whom the Tigers have a lot of confidence in their biggest game of the season.

As Doug Fister found his groove early, Joe Girardi tinkered. He tinkered a lot, in fact, playing matchups and going to his bullpen repeatedly early on. First it was Phil Hughes, then Girardi began to play matchups, and everyone weighed in with an opinion.

I usually agree with Cliff Corcoran, but agree more usually with Dave Cameron, including this time. Why wouldn't Girardi use every pitcher at his disposal to stay close? He's got the luxury of playing early-inning matchups because he's got CC Sabathia in the bullpen, ready for (presumably) two or three innings of work. You play matchups early, then Sabathia, then Soriano and Robertson and Rivera late.

We later learned Nova had a forearm injury, prompting Girardi's decision to pull him early. As Jeff Sullivan explains, the injury forced Girardi's hand, but it's not like he wasn't prepared to yank Nova anyway.

Now, it's important to note that Girardi had Phil Hughes warming up in the top of the second, presumably before he knew that Nova hurt. Maybe Nova didn't hurt yet. So it's not like Girardi wasn't prepared to pull Nova in the early going if he continued to struggle. But he came out after a scoreless second, and now we know it wasn't because Girardi is an avid reader of FanGraphs. It's because his pitcher had an injury.

Meanwhile, Doug Fister continued to roll, or at least keep himself out of trouble, until the fifth inning, when Robinson Cano took a 2-2 slider and deposited it in the upper deck in right. Suddenly the Tigers' 3-0 lead became a 3-1 lead, and the Yankees began to crawl back into the game.

Fister gave way to Max Scherzer, who shut down the Yankees in the sixth. In the seventh, Young made the final out of the inning with a pop-up, then stayed in the dugout with some kind of injury. Grant Brisbee put on his rhyming shoes and hazarded a guess about the extent of Young's injury.

No word on what it could be, but Young did make the last out of the previous half-inning. It was a pop-up, so he wasn't exactly burning down the line. I'm not a doctor, but I do have a metric crap-ton of student loans, so I feel pretty qualified in guessing that it was a freak tweak of the ol' oblique.

Joaquin Benoit took over for the Tigers with one on and one out in the bottom of the seventh. He promptly gave up a hit, then another and faced a bases loaded situation. The tension in the stadium was palpable and the sequence of events went as follows.

Alex Rodriguez. A moment in time.

A number of moments, actually. It took a while, but Benoit eventually struck out Rodriguez on a sharp change-up.

Two outs. Bases still loaded. Mark Teixeira. Another moment.

Okay, another number of moments, but ultimately Teixeira drew a walk to plate Jeter and draw the Yankees within one run.

Still two outs. Bases still loaded. Nick Swisher.

Who Benoit struck out on a high fastball.

At that point, the Tigers still held a 3-2 lead with six outs to go. Benoit made it through the eight with the lead still in tact, despite a long fly ball by Derek Jeter, and the Yankees were three outs from elimination. Jose Valverde came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth, and did so with little drama, putting away the Yankees as the Tigers advanced to the ALCS with a 3-2 win.

For more on the game, read Rob Neyer's recap and check out the rest of the live-blog.

Continue

ALDS Game 5: Tigers Top Yankees 3-2, Advance To ALCS

Doug Fister and three relievers held the Yankees to only two runs despite 10 hits and three walks, and the Tigers beat the Yankees 3-2 and advanced to the American League Championship Series.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Joaquin Benoit Survives, And We Go To The Ninth

After getting out of a dangerous situation in the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers entered the eighth clinging to a 3-2 lead. In from the bullpen came David Robertson, and David Robertson did what David Robertson usually does - he got outs, and got them easily. He worked a perfect inning through Detroit's 4-5-6, getting Miguel Cabrera to strike out, Victor Martinez to pop out, and Brandon Inge to ground out.

Down we went to the bottom half, and Joaquin Benoit returned to the mound for the Tigers despite having thrown a number of stressful pitches the inning before. Of course, at this point, every pitch is a stressful pitch, no matter the circumstance.

And Benoit was good. Jorge Posada grounded out in an 0-2 count, and then Russell Martin was left frozen by a 3-2 slider. Brett Gardner slapped a two-out single the other way to give the Yankees some life, and that brought the singles-hitting Derek Jeter to the plate with a running threat aboard, but on the first pitch - with Gardner running - Jeter hit a routine fly out to right to end the inning.

Of course, it wasn't a routine fly out in Yankee Stadium. Because this is Yankee Stadium, the modest fly carried all the way to the track. Jeter came close to putting his team in the lead. But that would've been an embarrassing home run. Now Jeter has been spared the embarrassment. Everybody wins!

To the ninth we - oh, while I was typing this, the Tigers went down 1-2-3 again, this time against a bat-ruining Mariano Rivera. To the bottom of the ninth we go! Jose Valverde time!

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Big Threat Nets Just One Run For Yanks

Once, you can maybe get away with.

But leaving the bases loaded twice without scoring, in a close game for all the Division Series marbles?

We'll not see that tonight. 

After pitching a scoreless sixth, Detroit's Max Scherzer came out in the seventh for his second inning of relief. He struck out Brett Gardner and got Derek Jeter to hit a weak grounder to shortstop ... but so weak that Jeter beat Jhonny Peralta's throw to first base by a step.

Though Scherzer seemed to be cruising, Jim Leyland went back to his bullpen, this time for right-hander Joaquin Benoit. The Yankees had switch-hitting Curtis Granderson and lefty Robinson Cano coming up, and Benoit's been fantastic against left-handed hitters this season.

Granderson lined a single into right field, Jeter stopping at second. Cano hit another weak grounder toward shortstop ... far too weak for Peralta to field, and Benoit seemed to misjudge the ball, which skittered passed him for a cheap single.

Bases loaded.

Alex Rodriguez. A moment in time.

A number of moments, actually. It took a while, but Benoit eventually struck out Rodriguez on a sharp change-up.

Two outs. Bases still loaded. Mark Teixeira. Another moment.

Okay, another number of moments, but ultimately Teixeira drew a walk to plate Jeter and draw the Yankees within one run.

Still two outs. Bases still loaded. Nick Swisher.

Who Benoit struck out on a high fastball.

We're into the eighth inning, and now it's Tigers 3, Yankees 2.

And with Benoit laboring in the seventh, you wonder who's going to pitch the eighth for Detroit. Where's Justin Verlander when you need him?

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Delmon Young Leaves With Injury

There was a delay before the bottom of the seventh inning, and after a while, Ryan Raburn emerged from the dugout to take left field. The TBS cameras then cut to Delmon Young, who was wincing and in obvious pain. He was attended by a trainer, and he went down the steps to the dugout.

No word on what it could be, but Young did make the last out of the previous half-inning. It was a pop-up, so he wasn't exactly burning down the line. I'm not a doctor, but I do have a metric crap-ton of student loans, so I feel pretty qualified in guessing that it was a freak tweak of the ol' oblique. 

It probably would have been a good idea to get Young off the field regardless, as he fields like Pete Incaviglia duct-taped to Bengie Molina, so it's probably not a big deal for this game. But Young has hit well for the Tigers in the ALDS, so they could miss him if he's hurt for the ALCS.

If the Tigers hold on, of course ...

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Max Scherzer Shuts 'Em Down In Sixth

Despite having allowed just one run through five innings, Doug Fister was removed and replaced by Max Scherzer to begin the sixth. Scherzer was the starter Jim Leyland was willing to make available in relief, instead of Justin Verlander.

Well, when the Yankees went to CC Sabathia out of the bullpen, he immediately allowed a run. Scherzer did not. He nearly did very quickly when Mark Teixeira led off with a deep fly to center, but Austin Jackson flagged it down on the track, the crowd volume dying along with the baseball.

Up next was Nick Swisher, who bounced into a harmless ground out. Jorge Posada attempted to start a rally with a two-out single pulled by Brandon Inge at third base, and that brought Russell Martin as the tying run, but Martin swung through a 1-2 changeup with just one of the very worst swings that you'll see. Inning over, job well done by Scherzer.

Off to the seventh, with the Tigers still up 3-1. Joe Girardi is sitting on David Robertson and Mariano Rivera, who could come in and shut this down, so the Tigers bullpen still has a lot of big outs to record. Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke have been throwing.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Scherzer In To Pitch The 6th

We live in a different world.

Detroit's Doug Fister has pitched well for five innings. He did get into that bases-loaded jam in the fourth, and in the fifth he lost his shutout when Robinson Cano homered.

Still, when Fister left the mound after the fifth inning, he'd given up only one run and his team led 3-1.

Nevertheless, Fister's evening is over. Jim Leyland, perhaps figuring the Yankees got some pretty good swings in the fourth and fifth and hey, Doug Fister, is going to his bullpen in the sixth. And look, it's Max Scherzer!

As you'll recall, Scherzer started Game 2 for the Tigers and pitched six shutout innings before giving way to the bullpen. You can bet that Leyland recalls that.

But while Scherzer dazzled the Yankees just a few days ago, he wasn't exactly a Cy Young candidate during the season. The Tigers are up two runs and that's better than the negative alternatives. But there's still a lot of scary baseball left, if you're rooting for guys in grey.

Heading into the bottom of the sixth, it's still Tigers 3, Yankees 1.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Robinson Cano Home Run Gets Hosts On Board

Robinson Cano is teetering on the edge of being overrated, at least by national journalists, but the man is a hell of a baseball player, and in the bottom of the fifth, he finally got the Yankees into this game.

You'll remember that the Yankees left the bases loaded in the fourth, and that the Tigers added a run in the top of the fifth. Each of those were pretty demoralizing from New York's perspective. Then in the bottom of the fifth, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson started off with consecutive outs.

Up came Cano, and he injected a little energy into this thing. In a 2-2 count, Doug Fister threw Cano a low inside slider, and Cano turned on it, yanking it into the upper deck down the right field line.

The Yankees scored just that one run in the inning and still trail by two - the same margin they were facing several minutes earlier - but it's something, and this thing still has a long way to go. Plus, with David Robertson and Mariano Rivera available, the Yankees can have confidence that the Tigers probably won't do too much more damage.

Fister has thrown 92 pitches, and Joaquin Benoit has been warming. It won't be long before Jim Leyland goes to his bullpen.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: CC Sabathia In, Tigers Get Another Run

I guess there's a chance that when CC Sabathia was in high school, he came in as a reliever in some important game. In American Legion, maybe he pitched the last five innings of a championship game, even though he'd pitched the day before. Maybe.

What we do know, though, is that for the past 13 years -- his entire professional career -- Sabathia hadn't appeared in relief until tonight. Not when he was a 17-year-old in the Appalachian League, and not when he was breaking into the majors with the Indians.

Joe Girardi brought Sabathia in as the fourth pitcher of the night, following Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, and Boone Logan. It didn't go quite as planned. Austin Jackson led off with a bloop double down the left-field line, and after two strikeouts and an intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez drove Jackson in with a single up the middle.

Sabathia then got Magglio Ordonez to end the inning, but if the idea was for Sabathia to completely shut down the Tigers for a few innings, it didn't quite work.

Continue

Ivan Nova Left The Game With Forearm Tightness

What the headline says. Ivan Nova left the game after two innings with forearm tightness. There were a lot of people praising Joe Girardi for his aggressive bullpen strategy - and, in turn, a lot of people criticizing him - but with this new information, it seems that Girardi was forced into doing what he did. He didn't really have much of a choice.

Now, it's important to note that Girardi had Phil Hughes warming up in the top of the second, presumably before he knew that Nova hurt. Maybe Nova didn't hurt yet. So it's not like Girardi wasn't prepared to pull Nova in the early going if he continued to struggle. But he came out after a scoreless second, and now we know it wasn't because Girardi is an avid reader of FanGraphs. It's because his pitcher had an injury.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Doug Fister Escapes Ultra-Jam In Fourth

Joe Girardi has long since gone to his bullpen, having yanked Ivan Nova after just two innings of work. Phil Hughes was good, and then Boone Logan was good, and now, for the fifth inning, we're going to see CC Sabathia. Starter CC Sabathia, making the first relief appearance of his professional career. Girardi is pulling out all of the stops, whatever that means.

But Jim Leyland hasn't gone to the bullpen. He's stuck with Doug Fister. And through four innings, Fister has kept the Yankees off the board. In the bottom of the fourth, though, he played with hot fire.

Alex Rodriguez led off with a walk - Fister doesn't walk a lot of guys - and two batters later, Nick Swisher singled to right. Jorge Posada followed with a single to shallow center, and though Rodriguez held up at third, the Yankees at that point had the sacks loaded with just one down.

Up came Russell Martin, looking to even the score, or even put the Yankees in front. He couldn't, as he popped up a fastball to first.

That brought Brett Gardner to the plate as the Yankees' big hope, and unlike Martin, he managed to work a 3-1 count. He fouled off the next pitch, and then with the count full, he popped up a fastball to third.

Two crucial, rally-killing pop-ups. People have talked about the Tigers' missed opportunities so far, but the Yankees just blew a big one, so they're still down two. That said, they have at least elevated Fister's pitch count to the point where he's unlikely to finish the sixth, so we're going to see a lot of the Tiger bullpen. You'll recall the Tiger bullpen was kind of godawful on Tuesday.

Continue

Is Girardi Playing Matchups Too Early?

Upon the introduction of Boone Logan Boone -- the Yankees' third pitcher -- in the fourth inning of this game, I found this in my Twitter feed:

Okay, this is absurd. Coffee Joe at his worst. Playing matchups in the fourth inning. I don't care if it's a double-elimination game.
Oct 07 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Which I found particularly amusing when this rolled in, scant seconds later:

Girardi is handling this exactly right.
Oct 07 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

 

I usually agree with Cliff Corcoran, but agree more usually with Dave Cameron, including this time. Why wouldn't Girardi use every pitcher at his disposal to stay close? He's got the luxury of playing early-inning matchups because he's got CC Sabathia in the bullpen, ready for (presumably) two or three innings of work. You play matchups early, then Sabathia, then Soriano and Robertson and Rivera late.

Do you know what team ERAs would look like, if managers used seven or eight pitchers in every game? Lower than they are now, probably. Sure, there's always a chance that somebody's going to blow up. But if you have enough pitchers to run every inning like it's the seventh, why not do it?

Anyway, it's Tigers 2, Yankees 0 after four innings, and here's Sabathia in the fifth, for the first relief outing in his whole glorious career ...

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Joe Girardi Playing Bullpen Roulette

Ivan Nova gave up two home runs in the first inning. That's bad.

But he got out of the second inning without giving up a run. That's good!

But Phil Hughes was already warmed up, and if he didn't get in the game, Joe Girardi was scared he was going to lose the reliever for the game. That's bad.

But Hughes came into the game and struck out the first two hitters he faced. That's good!

But Boone Logan came into the game, and he contains potassium benzoate.

...

That's bad.

Or, heck, I don't know. Maybe it's good. We're sort of in uncharted water with how Girardi's using his bullpen here -- he's essentially playing match-up baseball in the early innings. But through two innings of bullpen work, the Yankees haven't allowed another run. That counts for something, and if Girardi gets the Yankees through this elimination game by deftly managing a cadre of middle relievers, he'll deserve most of the praise he gets.

Just so we're clear, here's who is left:

Cory Wade
Rafael Soriano
CC Sabathia
David Robertson
Mariano Rivera
Luis Ayala

Sabathia for three, and Rivera for two. Sounds good to me.

Continue

Tigers Looking For Happy Anniversary Of Unhappy Game

If you're making a list of the toughest losses in Detroit Tigers history, you have to start with the winner-take-all postseason games:

Game 7 in the 1909 World Series
Game 7 in the 1934 World Series
Game 7 in the 1940 World Series
Game 5 in the 1972 American League Championship Series

Most Tigers fans don't remember any of those games, except perhaps the '72 loss to Oakland.

In recent memory, the toughest Tiger loss happened exactly two years ago today.

In 2009, the Tigers owned a seven-game lead in the American League Central in early September. But then the Twins got hot, and at the conclusion of the schedule the two clubs both were 86-76. So on the 6th of October, they played a one-game playoff for the division title.

Though mired in a controversy about his condition the previous weekend, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the third, and the Tigers led 3-0 early. The Twins fought back for the lead, but Magglio Ordonez's solo shot in the eighth made the score 4-4. Brandon Inge RBI double in the 10th pushed Detroit ahead by a run, but Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney gave the run back in the bottom of the 10th; only a thrilling line-drive double play kept the Twins from winning then.

In the top of the 12th, the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs but couldn't score. And in the bottom of the 12th, the Twins finally pushed the winning across the plate and headed to their Division Series date with the Yankees (which they lost, as usual).

The pain from that game will never go away completely. But beating the New York Yankees would certainly salve the wound a little. Or maybe a lot.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Phil Hughes Replaces Ivan Nova In Third

We told you in the top of the second inning that Phil Hughes started throwing in the Yankees bullpen after Magglio Ordonez hit a double off Ivan Nova. Now in the top of the third, Hughes has made an early entrance into the game.

Oh, but between those, the Yankees went and didn't score against Doug Fister again. Mark Teixeira hit a one-out automatic double to right-center to put a runner in scoring position, but Fister induced a Nick Swisher groundout, and then froze Jorge Posada to escape the modest jam.

That's what took us to the third, and that's when we found out that Nova was finished, having thrown just 31 pitches over two innings with two homers allowed. On the one hand, it's a very hasty hook on Joe Girardi's part, given how much Nova did for the team during the season. But on the other hand, Girardi has a rested bullpen, and ERA be damned, Nova just isn't that great. Girardi's relievers are just as good, if not better, so this is an aggressive managerial move I can get behind.

2-0 Tigers in the third. One wonders if we'll see CC Sabathia sometime soon. One wonders if the Yankees will score. The Yankees will probably score, but for most of the innings Fister has pitched against them in this series, they've looked pretty feeble.

Continue

Phil Hughes Readies But Nova Escapes Second Inning

It's still Tigers 2, Yankees 0 after Yankees starter Ivan Nova escaped a modest second-inning jam.

Magglio Ordoñez led off with a double down the left-field line, and Joe Girardi instructed Phil Hughes to start warming up in the bullpen; obviously, with a stocked and rested bullpen and the season on the line, Girardi will have little patience with his rookie starting pitcher.

But Nova retired Alex Avila on a grounder to second, Jhonny Peralta on a sharp grounder to third, and No. 9 hitter Ramon Santiago on a swinging strikeout with Ordoñez standing on third base.

Meanwhile, Detroit's Doug Fister takes the mound again for the Tigers in the bottom of the second inning. In the first, he made the Yankees' top three hitters look something like Little Leaguers, and this game could, from the perspectives of the two teams, hardly have gotten off to a more disparate start.

Continue

So Here's The Thing About Doug Fister

Yes, it's weird that Doug Fister is taking the hill in Yankee Stadium for a decisive Game 5. Yes, it's weird that he's doing so as a Tiger after beginning the season as a Mariner.

But Fister also has a weird personal history. He was drafted in the seventh round in 2006. He wasn't considered much of a prospect. In double-A in 2008, he walked 3.0 batters per nine innings.

Then, the next season in triple-A, he walked 0.9 batters per nine innings. He did that while maintaining his strikeout rate. All of a sudden, he was a somebody.

In 2010, he carried that control over to the major leagues, where he pitched out of the Mariners' rotation. He wasn't great, because he didn't miss a lot of bats, but he avoided enough free passes to succeed. He struck out 4.9 batters per nine innings.

Then, in 2011, he struck out 6.1 batters per nine innings. While slightly reducing his walks. His strikeout-to-walk ratio shot up from 2.9 to 3.9.

Those were a lot of numbers. Here's the quick summary: between 2008 and 2009, Doug Fister stopped walking people. Between 2010 and 2011, Doug Fister started striking people out. That's an extraordinary development curve, and that's how Fister went from being a non-prospect to being a guy in whom the Tigers have a lot of confidence in their biggest game of the season.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Back-To-Back Homers Put Detroit Up 2-0

Ivan Nova started Game 5 of the ALDS by making Austin Jackson look silly, striking him out on four pitches. For the second out of Game 5, Nova made Miguel Cabrera look awful, striking him out on three pitches. Imagine that, a rookie chewing up an MVP candidate and spitting him out.

In between, he allowed back-to-back solo home runs. But if were successful 50% of the time as a hitter, everybody would be sooooo quick to praise him. You people are so glass-half-empty.

The first home run was to Don Kelly, who hit a hanging curve ball down the right-field line to get the Tigers on the board. The very next pitch was to Delmon Young, and it was a hanging slider. Hanging doesn't quite do it justice. It was like a Mark Grace cutter, just hovering over the plate at 81.

Young had two options: He could take the first pitch, thus breaking his blood oath with the bearded man who game him his talent, or he could swing at the pitch, and send it a long, long ways.

He chose the latter, drove the pitch over the left-field wall, and gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the first, Doug Fister threw nine pitches to get three quick outs. There's no such thing as momentum, but the Tigers have it.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers: Non-Keys To The Game 5 Showdown

Thursday night, Doug Fister and the Detroit Tigers face Ivan Nova and the New York Yankees, and they'll fight for all the marbles. Here are things each team doesn't need to do in order to win and advance.

Continue

Yankees Lineup For Game 5 Includes No Surprises

Manager Joe Girardi of the Yankees has posted this lineup for Game 5 against the TigersDoug Fister:

1. Derek Jeter – R – SS
2. Curtis Granderson – L – CF
3. Robinson Cano – L – 2B
4. Alex Rodriguez – R – 3B
5. Mark Teixeira – S – 1B
6. Nick Swisher – S – RF
7. Jorge Posada – S – DH
8. Russell Martin – R – C
9. Brett Gardner – L – LF

Well. How utterly boring and predictable. It’s the same lineup the Yankees have used in the other four games of this series. Interestingly enough, this wasn’t a lineup used during the regular season — not once. Teixeira batted third 129 times this year; Cano hit in that spot in just seven games. Cano batted fifth 107 times, while Teixeira hit there just once — in game 161; Girardi had to mix and match due to various injuries.

He’s gotten them this far. Who’s to say this won’t work?

Continue

Tigers Lineup For Game 5 Includes A Surprise

Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who has managed in the major leagues for 20 seasons and is in his seventh postseason, has a surprise for us in his lineup for Game 5 against the Yankees:

1. Austin Jackson – R – CF
2. Don Kelly – L – 3B
3. Delmon Young – R – LF
4. Miguel Cabrera – R – 1B
5. Victor Martinez – S – DH
6. Magglio Ordonez – R – RF
7. Alex Avila – L – C
8. Jhonny Peralta – R – SS
9. Ramon Santiago – S – 2B

Don Kelly is starting at third base and batting second. Kelly, originally drafted as a shortstop, played quite a bit of short and third in the minors, but has been primarily an outfielder in the majors. He did start 41 games at third base this season, but just six of those were in the Tigers’ last 38 games.

Leyland has also scattered several left-handed and switch-hitters through the lineup that will face Ivan Nova. Ryan Raburn and Wilson Betemit won’t start, but in Leyland’s platoon system both have a pretty good chance of getting in the game.

Continue

Yankees vs. Tigers, ALDS Game 5 Preview: Time, TV Schedule, Lineups And More

The New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers play the deciding game in their American League divisional series on Thursday. Doug Fister and Ivan Nova make their first postseason starts working as spot starters in the rain-delayed Game 1.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.