ALDS Game 1: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: Despite the prevailing wisdom that the Yankees will win the series, MLB decided to still actually play the games. Tonight it will be Nate Robertson taking on Chien Ming Wang.

The Tigers will face Wang for the 3rd time this year. They’ve had very little success posting a 250/327/273 line with all of 1 extra base hit (a double by Curtis Granderson). Wang doesn’t strike out many batters, not even Tigers, but he does force hitters to beat the ball into the ground. The high ground ball rate of course limits homer potential and Wang has allowed only 12 gopher balls. For a team that relies on the long ball this isn’t a great match-up.

Nate Robertson started twice against the Yankees. The first meeting Nate allowed 2 runs over 7 innings, and then 4 more in the last inning and 2/3. In the last meeting he only surrendered 2 runs but lost to Chien Ming Wang. For the season Yankee hitters are knocking him around at a 312/366/438 clip.

Tiger Lineup

CF Granderson
2B Polanco
1B Casey
RF Ordonez
SS Guillen
C Rodriguez
LF Monroe
DH Thames
3B Inge

Yankees Lineup

CF Damon
SS Jeter
RF Abreu
1B Sheffield
DH Giambi
3B Rodriguez
LF Matsui
C Posada
2B Cano

Game Time 8:19

Go Get ’em Tigers!

POSTGAME: Maybe I’m delusional, but this game seemed much closer than the score. A comebacker Robertson can’t field cleanly, a ground ball just under the glove of Placido Polanco, and this game is a lot closer. But such is baseball. The Tigers battled back and continued to get men on base but moral victories don’t get you very far in the playoffs.

What’s disappointing is that Wang was as hittable as he gets and the Tigers got into the Yankees bullpen early enough to make things interesting. But to no avail.

101 thoughts on “ALDS Game 1: Tigers at Yankees”

  1. Despite the prevailing wisdom that the Yankees will win the series, MLB decided to still actually play the games.

    Hey, I thought we weren’t allowed to be snarky anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I walked all the way across campus to find some gum for gum time…and they didn’t have any left. Guess I wasn’t the first to think of that one.

  3. Ok… I’m going to post here a few times.

    Before the game. I DO NOT have high expectations, but do have alot of HOPE. I know they will play hard. Hopefully they are loose.


  4. This game : Watch for Brandon Inge, and some amazing effort. It’s my personal opinion that he thinks he’s mostly responsible for Sunday’s loss. All the liners down the third base line, the error in the eighth that put the Royals ahead, the grand slam hooking foul and the ensuing strikeout.

    He’s out to prove something today, as is every other member of thel lineup.

  5. What a dream. Tigers get to beat the Yankees first. I’ve been waiting for this moment since 1984……ahhhh….

  6. 1st Inning:

    Robertson looked good. I was sure he would walk Shef to get to a lefty, but made him hit his pitch.

    Is there another team on the field with the Yanks?? Wouldn’t know if from Buck and Know-it-all

    I got a hugh grin in the middle of the inning thinking about how cool this is. Let’s enjoy this.


  7. Well, I like the hit-and-run. It didn’t work (which sucked), but I like the aggressiveness. Wang doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, Pudge is a pretty good contact hitter, and you go for two runs quickly. That said, I sure wish it had worked.

  8. 2nd Inning Summary:

    I have no problem with the hit and run. There would of been a DP in there somewhere.

    Pudge needs to lay off that strike 3.


  9. Hey guys, just got back from selling my wifes car, Was listening to the BOGUS homer Yankee station and hoping we could cash in on those last two.


  10. Well maybe they will be just mad enough now to get their act together and play decent ball. Its not over yet, we have hit this guy we just need to stop the bleeding

  11. 3rd inning summary:

    I HATE the Yankees. Polanco’s DP turned the whole momentum. We are just not producing in clutch situations.

    Now, the only problem I have with the bottom of the 3rd is that Robertson struck Derek Jeter out TWICE. Why did the ump refuse to ring up the chosen one? I get so sick of Jeter as JC talk.

    Did I mention I hate the Yankees. Always have, always will!!!!


  12. I really would like to get up here and get a bunch back and shove it right back down their throats. I really dont want us to go 1 2 3. We need hits and good play here.

  13. Its interesting the diffeerence between maybe 2 or 3 to 5 than 0-5. I know its obvious but when your only a couple behind it feels as though you can chip away, down five is tough, but we need to keep the faith and get what we can when we can, its still 9 innings

  14. Leyland just needs to let our guys see if they can string some hits together, maybe throw a few walks in there, and stop trying to manage so tightly. All of his hurry-up plays have failed – and they’re going to, against the Yankees. We don’t have Ty Cobb anymore.

    We can hit five doubles in a row too. It’s just not looking so good in this game.

  15. 4th Inning Summary:

    Did I mention I hate the Yankees.

    My 11-yr old gave me some perspective, “It’s only the 4th inning Daddy”. Out of the mouths of Babes.

    Nate needs to give us 6 here as the bullpen is shot after Sunday.

    You know we can b*tch about the 220m payroll, but Cano, Wang Chung, and Milky all came from their organization in the last 2 years.

    Did I mention I hate the Yankees!!!


  16. Pete and Joey C where are you guys? Its not like you two to sit on your hands. Do we need to start a Neifi discusion.

    BTW it 5-2

  17. Of all the first pitches for Magglio to lay off…

    Now Nate has to get the team back in the dugout quickly.

  18. Sigh! I had to move to Wyoming just as the Tigers get to the playoffs. Rather than turn the sound down and listening to Dan and Jimmy, I have to put up with Tim (ugh!) Carver.

    Anyway nice to see them start to claw back into the game.

  19. Pushing that 4th across wouldhave been great, but HUGE here for Nate to retire the side w/o giving any back.

  20. What’s the reverse jinx? Saying we’re going to lose?

    The last five games we were in until the 9th…we just never managed to make anything of it. Think about that now – we can do it in the playoffs. We can win.

  21. 5th Inning Summary:

    My 11-yr old is singing “eye of the tiger” from Survivor. (We heard it on the Radio Yesterday).

    Nice hitting by the Kittys. We need a good AB by Pudge coming up.


  22. “Wang isnโ€™t keeping the ball down that well. This is as hittable as he gets. ”

    This is what make the 2nd inning hit-and-run so frustrating. As it turns out, we could have put up a big number vs. Wang early.

  23. 6th Inning Summary:

    That hurt.

    I think we will be down 1-0. ABOSLUTELY need Verlander to come up huge tommorrow night.

    Did I mention that I hate the Yankees!!


  24. “. . . but Cano, Wang Chung, and Milky all came from their organization in the last 2 years.”

    Sort of like Granderson, Zumaya, and Verlander all came from our organization in the last 2 years. We just don’t have Damon, Abreu, Giambi, Sheffield, and A-Rod to go with them.

    The Yankees are evil.

  25. It’s unfortunate that the Tigers return to the playoffs didn’t also knock Tim McCarver out of the booth.

    Talk about analysis for idiots.

    All right Grandy!

  26. “Fights off that one just to stay alive…” about Granderson’s hitting of Myers. And I thought – they have no idea how much power he has right there. Next pitch – HOME RUN. That’s why I like the Tigers.

  27. 7th Inning Summary:

    The Sand Man is coming (Rivera) so we need to make hay this inning coming up. We need at least 2 to get within striking distance.

    Nice pitching by Walker.

    Maggs might have been a little overly agressive, but he has had a nice game including a nice grab in RF. He has grown on me as a player this year. Now that he is healthy, he plays a pretty decent RF.

    Daughter has went to bed, wife is watching Nip/Tuck. So I have peace once again.


  28. I know we’re down by 3, but does anyone else feel like we are this close (holds thumb and index finger one inch apart) from being tied or ahead or am I crazy?

  29. 8th Inning Summary:


    The Chosen one should be only 4-5 as Robertson struck him out twice in the 5 run albatross.

    What if we had gone after Abreu? Did we? He may not have gone to Motown?

    Hopefully Verlander will earn a split tommorrow.

    I also hate McCellen’s delay call of strikes. I almost threw aomething through the TV then realized he did call strike 3 on Damon. Call the Damn game, we are not here to watch you buddy!


  30. And to top that, Steve, we had seven extra base hits; they had four. If you had given me those stats this afternoon, I’d have said there was a 90% chance we win.

  31. Well I am disappointed as hell we lost (even though I knew it would be tough) but I was glad to see we fought back and made a game of it for a while. 4 runs is enough to win alot of postseason games but looks like our pitching woes continue. JV on extra rest tomorrow, hope he comes through big.

  32. Final Summary:

    The 3rd inning 5 spot killed us. It started out with a 40 foot hit then Jeter ripping strike 5.

    After that I think Nate lost his composure, which he rarely does. The next 3 guys killed the ball. He did settle down nicely though.

    It is nice to have a rested Zoom-Zoom, Rodney, and Jonsie tommorrow night.

    Tommorrow night we get the split, then sweep at home ๐Ÿ˜‰



  33. Well, to be honest, I came away from the game feeling not too badly. Yes, it sucks that we lost. But I agree with Billfer (and several of the other posts) that the game was a lot closer than the box score would indicate.

    The Tigers had some tough breaks. The double-steal in the second inning was a gaffe. And yes, in a couple of key at-bats, Nate Robertson had a couple of strikeouts that were not called.

    The Yankees also caught a couple of big breaks. I don’t know if people remember this, but Jeter’s double in that inning would have been a double play if Guillen hadn’t shaded toward the middle to cover the bag. If that one play goes differently, we’re looking at a very different ballgame.

    What’s even more encouraging is that everybody contributed today. Granderson hit well; Polanco had a couple of good swings (including a great hit the opposite way), despite apparently being in some degree of pain; Casey had a pair of solid hits; Ordonez hit well; Monroe tagged one, of course; and Inge was as scrappy as ever.

    Of course, they didn’t put it all together in a big inning. But they did all of this against a good pitcher. (Wang wasn’t at his best, but he wasn’t bad, either.) What’s more, I think we have the heart of our rotation coming up. I’ll take Kenny Rogers or Jeremy Bonderman over Corey Lidle and Jaret Wright anytime.

  34. That 3rd inning Jeter at-bat should become infamous. I wonder if its possible (on the Internet, or wherever) to crop a strike zone up on the replay (like they do on Fox) and replay that at-bat? How do you not call two of those pitches strikes?

    This is a tough loss, but I really don’t think it’s a lopsided victory for the Yanks, despite the score. We caught a very bad break in the 3rd inning. If we catch Jeter looking (as he definately was out–and I’m not just saying that as a Tiger fan), we are talking maybe a 4-3 Tiger victory here. That whole infamous at bat sparked the 5 run rally for the Yanks. I would really LOVE to see that bat with a strike zone cropped on the screen. Two of those pitches were right down Broadway, so to speak. I truly think replays with a strike zone would humiliate the ump, or at the very least, demonstrate he is perhaps really just vying for the “Jeter for MVP” campaign.

  35. Yeah, it sure did seem like the ump thought the pitch was a ball as long as Jeter didn’t swing. That’s a little too much, isn’t it? Also, I have to tag Pudge for his not-so-great at-battage in this game. He goes 2 for 4 or something, and we’re that much closer to winning this game.

    I’m actually really excited now about the Tigers’ chances – before the game it seemed like there was no way we’d get any offence against Wang – the 19 game winner. Of course, it’s not hard to win 19 games when your team likes to light up things to the tune of 15 runs a game. Here’s some other thing – The Royals scored 9 runs in 2 of their games to beat us, while we kept the Yankees to just 8. Best team/worst team? Weird.

    Verlander takes the hill tomorrow, and he’s one of the pitchers we haven’t seen take a dive in the last week or so. I think we win this one. And on Thursday, I’m optimistic about taking on Johnson who has A HERNIATED DISK!!! Yeah. The next two games should be easier than tonight’s was.

  36. Here’s how it is folks, the Tigers shot themselves in the foot tonight. Stop swinging at every first pitch.
    Give mistakes to the Yankees and you’ll get burned.
    Stop swinging at every first pitch.
    The game could have gone another direction.
    Stop swinging at every first pitch.
    Gradenerson needs to take out the double play with a harder slide.
    Stop swinging at every first pitch.
    Any fan of baseball can tell you that Jeter is the man.
    Stop swinging at every first pitch.
    Keep your head up, tomorrow is a must win and if we can pull it out ,we have an injured Unit next.

  37. Funny..and I thought Granderson would be a big problem in the lineup. Thank you Pudge for proving me wrong with your 0 for 4, 4 LOB performance.

    It was nice to see our bats make some noise. If we don’t screw the pooch in the 3rd this was a totally different ballgame.

  38. Not the best game, but not a poor one either. The team fought it out. I think at the very least they managed to work the playoff jitters off and given themselves some confidence that they can indeed take the Yanquis.

    Apart from Pudge, the hitters did a good job adjusting to pitches from Wang. I am a bit supprised that Guillen especially wasnt more agressive on the bases for how much he was on and given Posada’s arm. I agree that Robertson got frazzled after that Damon bouncer that got by him. On the whole, not a terrible outing for him, but NY certainly took advantage of his weak moments.

    The thing that scared me the most was Polanco’s dive near the end. I cringed watching him go down on that left shoulder. Worse watching him next half of the inning warm up on deck and gingerly swing with that left arm grimacing the whole way. Lets hope he’s still healthy enough to play.

    Now it’s Verlander’s turn to really step up and shut things down. I like his chances on long rest and playoff energy. Mussina is beatable, and Tigs have a statistical advantage on him being primarily right handed batters. We need to take this game.

  39. Just got back from the Stadium. Out of the 10,000 people I saw/came in contact with, I saw three Tigers hats. Kind of discouraging. Anyhow…

    I’m not as encouraged by this game as a lot of others. Like another poster mentioned, we had 12 hits and 7 for extra bases… what’re the odds we’re going to do that again this series? I think it’s less a case of us getting the bats going and more a case of us squandering an opportunity here. We had a winnable game but we didn’t get the pitching tonight out of Robertson and that’s what we hang our hat on.

    Granderson looked good from the first pitch tonight, also very nearly threw out that runner at third in the late innings – usually when he goes, the team goes. Maggs and Inge were both lively tonight too. But Pudge was the limiting factor, not sure why he struggled so much when everyone else was seeing Wang well. He swings and misses at more pitches than just about anyone in baseball I think.

    I was wondering if anyone thought Casey should have made more of a play on Abreu’s 2-run single in the 6th. It looked like he was a lot closer to the ball than Polanco, but he went straight for the bag. That was the ballgame right there.

    Let’s hope we get a huge game out of JV and the bullpen tomorrow night. We need it.

  40. I am still really salty about that wild card, we should be division titles.

    That ground ball that got by Polanco in the 7th, anyone think that if that was Neifi at second, he would have got it?

  41. From the begining of the Fox coverage, I felt good. Leyland’s sound bite in the beginning was great. To parapharase, “Some people think we don’t belong here. Only three teams in all of baseball had better records than we did. We’re not apologizing for anything.”

    Gave me goosebumps.

    Have to say that the two jerks, Buck and McCarver, gave it to us lightly with the critiques. But, of course, what are they going to say? “Turn your channel, America. This is a blowout.”

    Anyway, we got this far. We can’t give up on the boys until the last out.

    Go Tigers!!!!!

  42. Late to the party…family in from out of town.

    Dudes, I have to say that I agree with Billfer. This game felt winable all the way through. We even got someone on base versus Mariano, and I really thought someone might connect against him.

    Here’s my prediction–and sorry if someone already made it:

    Justin comes in tomorrow all kinds of juiced up. He brings the 98 MPH stuff he featured early in the season, hits corners and commands all three pitches. He holds the Yanks to less than three, the bullpen gives up on and the Tigers bats knock in five.

    We come home tied a game a piece.

    Go Tigers!

    And yes that pitch to Jeter was definitely a strike and for some reason the ump thought that he needed help.

    Dirtbag McClellan.

  43. I just reread that post and I can’t believe that I thought someone else might be rolling with that kind of optimism.

    I’m a little drunk and it’s 3:00 AM.

    That’s a disclaimer. In other words, don’t hit the bookie with any bets based on that prediction.

  44. I just reread that post and I canโ€™t believe that I thought someone else might be rolling with that kind of optimism.

    LOL, Joey, I’m just glad to hear that kind of optimism from you. Weren’t you doubting their right to be in the playoffs a few days ago?

    This was certainly a winnable game. I’m not saying they “should have” or “deserved to”, but they were in this game. Ho Chi Min (Yes, I know that’s not his name. No, I’m not racist, I’m just venting against NYY) had our number all year and we put some runs up on the board against him. I look forward to bigger and better things in the coming days.

    BTW, a WWJ staffer interviewed me after the game. Be sure to tune in for my intoxicated and mostly useless comment in the morning.

  45. the tigers have lost seven of eight, gone 19-32, are down 0-1, and face perhaps the most formidable lineup ever, and some of you are still optimistic. pass the dutchie on the right hand side! i need some of that good stuff.

  46. As I said after the last Game Vs. the O. (Camden Yards when had bases loaded and 0 out and no runs scored). This team can’t seem to drive anybody in when they need to. We should have had a 2 run lead going into the 4th.

    I love Pudge but this team is going as far as he, Guillen and Maggilo can take it. 0 for 4 was just pathetic.

    It has been a great year, and I’m trying to enjoy this for what it is worth and not get my hopes up. I hope Verlander enjoyed his rest and mows down the Yanks tonight.

  47. Jeff M,

    I gotta hear that clip! Get that thing posted.

    I know the optimism from me is out of character, but I really was kinda heartened by that game last night. We can take this next one from them.

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