Monday, October 3, 2011

ALDS Moves to Detroit

Today, the American League Division Series matchup between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers moves to Comerica Park in Detroit. What have we learned from Games 1 & 2 and what can we expect for Games 3 & 4?

Game 1 & Game 2 Summary:
Game 1 of this series ended up being suspended due to rain Friday night.  CC Sabathia pitched two innings, allowing a solo home run to Delmon Young. Justin Verlander threw one inning and allowed one run, courtesy of two walks and a groudout. When the game resumed Saturday night, Ivan Nova picked up where Sabathia left off, not allowing any runs until the Tigers scratched two across in the ninth inning. Doug Fister was effective until a six-run 6th inning, capped off by a Robinson Cano grand slam.

In Game 2 Sunday, Max Scherzer was virtually untouchable while Magglio Ordonez (3 for 3) and Miguel Cabrera (3 for 4, HR, 3 RBI) provided the offense for the Tigers. Yankees starter Freddy Garcia was done in by shoddy defense, poor base running and the Yankees inability to make noise with runners on base. It did get interesting in the ninth, but Jose Valverde induced a game ending groud out to second by Cano with the tying runners on base.

Game 1 & Game 2 Statistical Notes:
  • Alex Rodgriguez and Mark Teixeira are a combined 1 for 15 in the series
  • The Yankees are a combined 2 for 19 with runners in scoring position (RISP)
  • The Tigers are 7 for 17 with RISP
  • Both teams are batting .239 for the series
  • Tigers relievers have allowed 5 ER in 5 1/3 IP (not including Fister as a reliever)
Games 3 & 4 Expectations:
Verlander and Sabathia will battle deep into Game Three. With no chance of using them for the rest of the series, both managers will let their horses leave it out on the field tonight. It will be interesting to see how their "side sessions" on Friday impact tonight's performance. Expect a slugfest in Game 4 with Rick Porcello (4.72 ERA, .292 BA against) and A.J. Burnett (5.15 ERA) taking the hill. The Yankees hope to do a much better job with RISP and Yankees pitching needs to contain the Tigers hitters in the same situations. Rodriguez needs to provide some offense or Cano will see less and less pitches in crucial situations for the remainder of the series. Yankees batters will try to wear down Verlander and hope to get into Tigers bullpen which has thus far been unable to keep the Yankees off the board. Verlander will work to contain his energy by not overthowing in the early innings which has been an issue in his most recent outings against the Yankees.

Stats courtesy of MLB.com

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