Friday, October 7, 2011

Tigers eliminate Yankees 3-2!

By Kshell

The baseball playoffs have been terrific so far with three of the four series going the full distance. Today saw the Detroit Tigers eliminate the team with the highest payroll the New York Yankees in five games by a score of 3-2. The Tigers were led by back to back homeruns in the first inning and never looked back. For the first time in playoff history you saw two pitchers making their first career playoff start in an elimination game. Remember Doug Fister and Ian Nova came out of the bullpen in game due to the rain. This game would quickly turn into the power of the bullpens as both teams starting pitching didn't last very long as the leash in a game of this magnitude is so short.

In the first inning the Tigers gave Doug Fister early run support. The second batter of the game Don Kelly belted a home run to deep right field to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The following batter Delmon Young jacked the ball to deep left field giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the first. Nova who had been so terrific in game one was down 2-0 in the games first seven pitches. For Doug Fister the first three innings were pretty easy for him then came the fourth inning where Fister would have to escape the jam.

In the fourth inning Fister walked Alex Rodriguez, after recording an out gave up a base hit. Fister allowed a single to Jorge Posada to shallow centerfield but that couldn't score Rodriguez from second base. Fister was in a bases loaded one out jam and it had appeared he was in for a big inning like in game one. This is when Fister buckled down as Russell Martin popped up to shallow right field. Then Fister would have Brett Gardner fly out in foul territory leaving the inning allowing zero runs. That was a big opportunity lost for the Yankees who had several chances this game.

The Tigers did their best to add to their 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning. Facing the Yankees third pitcher of the game already who happen to be C.C.Sabathia is when the Tigers scored their final run of the game. Former Yankees top prospect Austin Jackson legged out a double to begin the inning. Sabathia like most aces struck out the next two batters then intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera. Victor Martinez singled in Jackson to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. In the bottom half of the inning the Yankees would finally score a run. After Fister recorded two quick  outs he gave up a homerun to deep right field to Robinson Cano to cut the lead to 3-1. For Fister that would be his final inning as he allowed one run in five innings of work. He did his job unlike game one which was give the Tigers a terrific outing. For the Tigers there was plenty of big moments left in this playoff clinching game. The Yankees weren't about to go away that easily as they trailed 3-1 and were behind the eight ball as Ian Nova lasted only two innings allowing two runs.

Earlier in the day Jim Leyland announced he was not going to pitch Justin Verlander on two days rest no matter what. Well in the seventh inning that thinking almost left Leyland up for a ton of second guessing. The bottom of the seventh began with a strikeout then  Derek Jeter recording a "Jeter special" which was a clutch single to start a rally. That is when Leyland would pull Max Scherzer the game two starter for Joaquin Benoit. Benoit gave up a single to Curtis Granderson then an infield single to Robinson Cano as he misplayed the ball. Benoit with the Tigers clinging to a 3-1 lead saw Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez at the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Benoit who mixed his pitches well that whole at bat struck out Rodriguez for a big second out. Benoit then walked Mark Teixeira which cut the lead to 3-2 and the bases were still loaded. Benoit was facing Nick Swisher who homered off of him in game two. Benoit struck out Swisher for the biggest strikeout of his life. The Yankees left the bases loaded for the second time this game as the Tigers remained in the lead 3-2. For the Yankees time was running out as they were down to their final six outs. In the eighth inning after recording two quick outs Benoit gave up a base hit to Gardner which set up Jeter. Jeter hit the ball opposite field to deep right field only to see the ball caught at the wall. That would have been a go ahead homerun instead the Yankees were trailing 3-2 entering the ninth inning.

The ninth inning came with the Yankees sending up the heart of the order against Jose Valverde. Valverde guaranteed a Tigers series win and was perfect in save situations recording 49 for 49 saves. Valverde retired Granderson who flied out to shallow left field for out number one. Then came up Cano who torched the Tigers for six RBI's in game one which Valverde got him to fly out to centerfield. The Yankees season would come down to Rodriguez who has been a lighting rod  for past Yankees playoff failures. Valverde would finish off Rodriguez awful night with a strikeout to finish off the Yankees. For Rodriguez that would be his third strikeout of the game as he hit just .111 for the series. For the Tigers they are moving on the American League Championship series to take on the Texas Rangers.

For the Tigers they received a big outing from former Mariners pitcher Doug Fister. Fister who rebounded from his awful game one outing went five innings, allowing five hits, walking two, allowing just one run while striking out five batters. The Tigers unsung hero was Benoit who pitched 1.2 innings, allowed three hits, one walk but struck out three as he allowed zero runs in relief. Delmon Young was huge for the Tigers going two for four with a big homerun as was Kelly who hit a homerun. For the Yankees who left 20 men on base this was a tough loss. The Yankees saw their bullpen pitching seven innings allowing only one run. The damage had already been done though in the first inning.

In conclusion, the Detroit Tigers by not pitching Justin Verlander will have him available for game one of the ALCS. The Tigers will be going to the defending American League Champs house for the first two games so rain shouldn't be a factor there. The Tigers a team I picked to make the ALCS in the preseason have the right ingredients to go all the way. The Tigers finished off the evil empire when everyone in America was rooting for them. For the second straight year the Mariners have traded away a pitcher who won a clinching game five in that very same year. The Tigers finished off the Yankees is just the start to a great postseason as we have two do or die games tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment