Game 2012 Playoffs.7: Tigers at Yankees

by Coleman on October 14, 2012 · 60 comments

in 2012 Season,Game Post,Playoffs

Post image for Game 2012 Playoffs.7: Tigers at Yankees

ALCS, Tigers 1, Yankees 0.

Well, that was certainly exhausting, and it seems so soon to pick it up and do it all over again.  And I’m just speaking of the fans; imagine how draining that was for the participants.

Well, the big topic of last night’s game among many, is the potato in the room, which can no longer be ignored. Despite all of the “who could have predicted this” commentary last night on the TV broadcast, those of us who have been following the Tigers could have, and did predict that Valverde in the 9th was trouble.

In the past, Leyland has always supported his closer, closed ranks, and said, hey this is our guy.  When an exhausted and bleary-eyed Leyland said in the post-game interview that he needs to talk to his staff before he would comment on the closer situation, you knew this time was different.

Apparently the Tigers are going to go with a bullpen by committee approach for now. Although he still refers to Valverde as his closer. Although he won’t be closing today. In other words, we’ll have to watch and see. Valverde isn’t going away just yet (“Jose Valverde is sitll a huge part of this team”), but it is unclear what his role will be from here on out.

The Valverde implosion was so dramatic that is easy to forget that once again Joaquin Benoit was hit and hit hard (Austin Jackson with the save!), and it would not be hard to imagine Leyland going to Benoit in the 9th inning, so don’t put away the antacids just yet (although I am predicting Alburquerque for today).

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And don’t let the 9th inning meltdown distract from what was one more brilliant starting performance by Detroit, and a good showing by most of the bullpen. In fact Tiger pitching held the Yankees scoreless for 11 total innings yesterday.  Doug Fister fought through a string of bases-loaded situations, fought off a line on his pitching wrist, and came up with just enough strikeouts to blank the Yankees over 6 1/3 hard-fought, gutsy innings. (In fact when Fister escaped three bases-loaded jams he became the first to do that to the Yankees in their 375-game postseason history, in case you’re keeping track).

Benoit was scary, but Phil Coke may have had his best outing of the season, Octavio Dotel was solid after the Valverde meltdown (and may be the closer-in-waiting), and young Drew Smyly showed that he was up to the big stage, calmly putting down the Yankee lefties.  So all-in-all, the Tiger pitching, as predicted, has been the key to Tiger success in this series.

Today they hand the ball to Anibal, who has a short and inglorious history facing the Yankees: 7 runs over 7-plus innings in a 12-8 loss on Aug. 8.

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From the Yankee perspective of course, the Tiger bullpen implosion pales in comparison with losing Derek Jeter, whose season is finished after fracturing his ankle fielding a Peralta gounder. Jeter will be replaced by Jayson Nix, who hit .243 with 4 HRs and a .690 OPS.  What may be irreplacable is Jeter’s leadership, and expect even more attention to focus on Alex Rodriguez in the wake of Jeter’s loss.

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Stat of the Day: The Tigers are 1-0 this postseason when billfer comments on DTW.

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera has faced Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda 9 times, with 2 HRs and an OPS of 1.667.

Today’s Stealing-Home-Field-Advantage Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Quintin Berry LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Andy Dirks LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Alex Avila C
  9. Omar Infante 2B
 
 

{ 60 comments }

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi October 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm

That is the second first inning play that have kept the Yankees in check. Well done Peralta and Sanchez!

Snydes October 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm

It’s crazy that the Yankees can’t fill their stadium for the ALCS – looks like there are a lot of empty seats today, too.

Smoking Loon October 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Nice inning by Sanchez. I hope the Tiger hitters start to figure out Kuroda the 2nd time though.

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi October 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Agree…let’s get into the depleted Yankee bullpen!

Smoking Loon October 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

The other side of the coin of great Tigers starting pitching has been how the Tigers have hit opposition starters so far. Not too good, as far as I can tell.

Smoking Loon October 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Wow. Kuroda perfect through five. Who’da thunk?

Perfect game. Perfect game. Perfect game. (Jinx effect.)

Coleman October 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Jinx of the day!

Kevin in Dallas October 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm

The Yankees lineup used to paralyze me with fear. Even with Jeter it’s not that frightening. How did they win so many games this year? Experience?

Smoking Loon October 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm

It still paralyzes me. It’s the big name effect, I think.

Still hanging in there by the grace of Sanchez. Get a hit, someone.

Smoking Loon October 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

OK, thanks, Jhonny. Now someone else get a hit.

jud October 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Basically with 1,2and 3 run home runs

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi October 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Jhonny…you magnificant shortstop!!!

Smoking Loon October 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Sigh of relief. Way to recover from your own goof, Anibal. Nothing wrong with his pitching. Is he good for 8, so they can bring in… um…

jud October 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

How about Peralta on the post season….for all the crap, me especially, we throw his way he has been solid…O and especially on D

Smoking Loon October 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm

This is the inning! And I do mean the TOP half. I think.

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi October 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Good call Loon! QB on 2nd with the Big Guys coming to bat!

jud October 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Ball 6 prince!!!!

jud October 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Any run is a big run!!!

Coleman October 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Delmon tried his best to hit into the GIDP.

jud October 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Lets steal this and get outta town!!!!

jud October 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Lets sign Sanchez for 2013

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi October 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I believe we have him for five years!

Kevin in Dallas October 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm

He’s a FA, but I’m sure we’ll resign him.

StorminNorman October 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm

his price tag has gone up considerably over the past month, but he’s a great fit for this staff/team

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi October 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Great job Sanchez!!! Nix takes four strikes. Your Parents are in the Stadium and must be very proud of your performance. We are!

Snydes October 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Fantastic outing by Anibal. Guessing we’ll see someone from the pen next inning? Top of the order/lefty coming up and 4th time through the order. The question is who? Coke?

Kevin in Dallas October 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Bravo Sanchez. 8th inning is gonna be a grind.

jud October 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Let the real game begin..!!

stephen October 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Well that was a complete gift. I guess it’s the Fat Boys year.

jud October 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Garcia again and again and again!!!

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi October 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Jim Price’s Tiger two-out magic! Go Cabby!!!

stephen October 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Not two out magic when runs scored after guy was out by a yard. It’s called pure luck.

Snydes October 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Everyone put Jeff Nelson on your Christmas card lists…

Kevin in Dallas October 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm

This has been a tough week for Girardi. His dad passed away a few days ago.

Tom in Lakeland October 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Nice to see you back, Stephen. Which team are/ were you really rooting for?

stephen October 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Good one. I realize you live in the company town of Lakeland so you probably thought he was safe.

jud October 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Who is your guess for the 9th?

Vince in MN October 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Coke to pitch to Ibanez, then AlAl. NY then PH 2 LH bats for Martin and ARod.

Kevin in Dallas October 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Coke has been awesome in the playoffs. That’s 3.2 innings, 1 hit, 2 BB.

jud October 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Let the real game begin! !…..

jud October 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Raise your hand if you thought this weekend would go down like this??…..I didn’t think so…..me either…….

PHToy in HK October 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Wow!

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi October 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm

PHIL COKE!!! Great job. Better than your Game 5 1 1/3 inning performance that took us back to Texas.

Snydes October 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Wow. Incredible pitching from all but our back end on a huge stage. Never thought we’d be coming home up 2…

Vince in MN October 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm

I guess Coke has been saving his good pitches all season for the playoffs v his old team.

Closer by committee looks OK to me.

Mr.Valverde will be the important player who keeps the bullpen seats warm for the relief pitchers on the staff.

stephen October 14, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Coke is it.

Jim Eggers October 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Going to crack a diet COKE in honor of the big lefty! Six wins to the big prize! Too Soon?

Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi October 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm

That right! We matched last year’s playoff wins. Six to go!

jud October 14, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Hey Yankees quit cryin about the calls…….you scored ZERO RUNS

StorminNorman October 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Apparently Coke and Peralta have been saving their best for the playoffs.

Oustanding win/pitching today, i suspect NYY may move up Sabathia’s start to Tues… Current forecast looks like no rain in DET for Tues & Wed…50s and 60s temps. Since its a 2-3-2 series, DET needs to win 2 of the 3 games in DET… do not press the luck returning to NY

travisfrymanfan October 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Jeffrey Maier,Texeira walked with the third strike. Nix SO with 4 strikes

Smoking Loon October 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I think of going on to win Game 1 in 12 as a greater positive than the blown save was a negative. If the Tigers make it to the WS as they should, Valverde has a clean slate again. Easier to see if you imagine being his teammate or his manager.

Of greater concern is the Tigers’ hitting. Lots of luck in run-scoring going on all post-season. They struck out 13 times today. Kuroda was more dominant than Sanchez. Level of confidence from the past 7 games: When Cabrera is up with 2 men on or better, I dare hope for no more than a single. When Fielder or Young are up in the same situation, I expect them to fall behind in the count quickly and then strike out.

Verlander is at the top of his game, but this isn’t the A’s, and I certainly hope the Tigers will lighten the weight on his shoulders by scoring early for a change. The slumping Yankees need to be kicked when they’re down, or else they’re going to get back up again. I think it’ll be up to the Tiger hitters to deliver that kick, hopefully as early as Game 3.

Jim Eggers October 15, 2012 at 1:08 am

could not agree more, good reality check…

Vince October 15, 2012 at 8:41 am

We need more blown saves then for the big bump it gives to the team. And it looks like we will be getting a shot at them soon as Leyland quickly cycles back to his addictive dependence on his programmed bullpen strategy. Notice how he uses “we have to get him going” in two consecutive sentences:

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121014/SPORTS0104/210140359/1129/SPORTS0104/Jim-Leyland-stands-behind-beleaguered-Tigers-closer-Jose-Valverde

It’s time to pick up the needle and move it to another groove.

Coleman October 15, 2012 at 11:29 am

Here is my plan: Verlander pitches a complete game victory tomorrow. Then on Wednesday, Leyland tries to get Valverde going, and he blows the game. Then on Thursday, Leyland gives him another day off before he tries to get him going again, and we close out the series.

Smoking Loon October 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Not bad. I like the plan, but I propose a twist. Make Valverde the opener instead of closer. He’ll pitch the 1st, give up 4 charity runs. Given the incentive of being down 4, the Tigers go crazy at the plate as Verlander cruises through the final 8. The Yankees, spirits broken, oversleep on Wednesday and forfeit Game 4.

StorminNorman$ October 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Unless you have amnesia, DET fans should be far from ‘very confident’ in this series… ‘cautiously optimistic’, at best should be the mindset. This DET team has never opted for the easy path this year.

So far in the playoffs, DET has been mediocre at the plate and their ‘hits’ are finding holes, whereas NYY’s are finding gloves (typically Peralta’s)… as you know, this phenomenon can reverse quickly.

T Smith October 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm

+1

StorminNorman$ October 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Incredible stat from this year’s playoffs, thus far:

DET Starters: in 47 2/3 innings have given up a total of 5 ER
Valverde: in 2 1/3 innings, the Spud has given up 7 ER
Benoit: in 3 1/3 innings, 2 ER
All other DET relievers: 11.1 innings pitched 0 ER given up.

To be clear, all DET pitchers with the exception of Valverde & Benoit have given up a total of 5 ER over 59 innings – while Valverde & Benoit have given up 9 ER over 5 2/3 IN. Draw your own conclusions.

Smoking Loon October 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Incredible pitching. I like what Verlander said about good pitching being contagious.

The real eye-opener for me in those stats was the “All other DET relievers” part. Wow. OK, put me down for “closer by committee.”

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