Game 2012 Playoffs.9: Yankees at Tigers

ALCS, Tigers 3, Yankees 0.

One more ho hum brilliant Justin Verlander performance, and the Tigers have the champagne on ice ready to celebrate their 2nd world series appearance in the Leyland/Dombrowski era, and at home again.

Not that there aren’t plans to keep the bubbly for another day if necessary: with CC Sabathia on the mound, the Tigers aren’t thinking the  ALCS is over.  Sabathia is coming off of a Verlander-like 4-hit complete game win in his last outing against the Orioles, the Tigers have struggled against lefties (especially Fielder with his wan .739 OPS against lefty starters), and it’s hard to sweep any series against anyone, much less a playoff series against the Yankees.

And Nature is furrowing her brows upon the party; rain may end up postponing the event.

Still, broom sales in the Motor City have been brisk.

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Verlander wasn’t the only hero last night.  Delmon Young continues to be a pain in the Bronx, hitting hitting his 5th career home run in 8 career playoff games against the Yankees.  And he even added a dig at Yankee stadium after the game: “I knew I hit it hard enough, but we weren’t in Yankee Stadium, so I had to wait an extra 30 feet for it to land.” (Jason Beck twitter).

And Phil “Not the Closer” Coke recorded his 2nd consecutive postseason save (who is the last Tiger pitcher to do that?). Not that he didn’t have a bit of trouble, but his strikeout of Ibanez made up for it.

In the words of Mr. Coke himself, “I kind of felt like I might have gone a little unconscious as soon as I posted it up and let it go.”

More fun with Coke, the Disgruntled Former Employee of the Yankees here.

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So, we here at DTW don’t have to be as careful as the Tiger players, and can indulge in such things as figuring out who we would want to face in the World Series.  I haven’t spent the time (yet) to work out what the best matchup is, and am split on the non-rational aspects of the question:  I lived in Giants territory for a long time, and have many Giants-fan friends, and yet a rematch of 2006 seems awfully appealing.

What do the rest of you think?

Stat of the Day: Delmon Young vs NY in 2011 playoffs: .316, 1.170 OPS, 3 HR.  Delmon Young vs NY in 2012 playoffs: .308, 1.203 OPS, 2 HR. Should the Tigers sign Young for next season in case they play the Yankees again?

His lifetime postseason numbers: 2.39, .817 OPS. He’s hardly Mr. October…it’s just the Yankees.

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Gerald Laird. Gerald Laird? Yes, Gerald Laird. In 28 PAs against CC Sabathia, Laird has hit .417, been on base at a .500 rate, and has hit a HR and 2 doubles, for a tidy 1.125 OPS.  Picking up Laird was one of the better minor moves of the offseason, and it would be nice to see him get back-to-back World Series rings.

Today’s CC Riding Lineup

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Omar Infante 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta SS
  7. Andy Dirks LF
  8. Avisail Garcia RF
  9. Gerald Laird C

70 thoughts on “Game 2012 Playoffs.9: Yankees at Tigers”

  1. now somebody has to tell idiot Lamont: “the idea is to SCORE RUNS!! a more STUPID 3B coach I’ve never seen…..should’ve been 3-1 last night EASILY. and this isn’t the first time……the guy’s a friggin’ moron and should never coach again……..now that I’ve had my rant, let’s go Tiges and finish these bastards off!!!

  2. Rain Delay booooooo……………..

    Anyone else score WS tickets today? If the good guys win this CS I’ll be at game 3 in sec 218!

  3. A rematch of 2006 would be great…if the Tigers win. Revenge is so sweet!

    On the other hand, St. Louis is a tough team and beating them is no easy chore. Their hitters can work a count and don’t give up without fighting (far cry from these broken Yankees). How many times have they been down to their last strike and still managed to survive? With the Tiger bullpen’s—how should we say it?—flair for the dramatic, a Detroit-St. Louis matchup might be a recipe for supreme heartbreak.

    I’m not as familiar with Giants but they seem more vulnerable to running out of gas than the Cardinals. I guess I would summarize my feeling about potential World Series matchups this way; I think it’s more likely that the Tigers would beat the Giants but I think a matchup with the Cardinals could provide a much better, legendary (though possibly heartbreaking) World Series. Personally, I’d rather see the Tigers win than play a classic so I’m quietly hoping the Giants are the opponent.

    Go get’em Tigers!

    1. He and Demitri are from my hometown Vicksburg. Delmon grew up and California but has lots of family here. A postseason hero!

  4. CABRERA & PERALTA….Who’s your Tiger! The bats finally explode and on Crooked Cap!

      1. Just let me say, I know Perrysburg very well, and I will be spending Thanksgiving there with family and friends. (aka Tom in Lakeland).

  5. The domination has been breathtaking.

    Other than the 4 runs Valverde gave up in game 1, it’s been total domination. Do the Yanks even have the will left to manage a hit today? Wow!

  6. Do you recall Cabrera’s 2nd at bat when CC thru the first pitch right down the pipe? Apparently Miguel remembered that and was ready in his third at bat!

  7. A few more runs here would be nice, since I have a feeling Benoit and Valverde are going to pitch at some point.

  8. I have never seen a team dominate a series like the Tigers did the Yankees. (Except for fat guy in bullpen). Seriously impressive. I wish they didn’t have to sit around for days.

  9. Unless Garcia crashes and burns between now and opening day ’13, I think we have a new RF, at least on a part-time basis.

    1. Of course! How can you go from postseason to the minors? Glad to have him there….well said!

      1. Unless he has a really bad Spring and they use the “play every day” rationale. Still, there is so much more upside with him than say Raburn, Kelly and maybe even Boesch (I’ve just about given up on him too), that I’d rather see him struggle with the Tigers than have one of those other guys in the lineup.

  10. Before the playoffs began, if anyone would have suggested that Cano would have gone 3 for 40 up to this point, I would have called them crazy. Baseball can be a funny game.

  11. With the exception of one inning out of the 39 played, the Yankees bats were virtually silent. I expect some major changes will happen in NY very soon. I wonder if Girardi gets the axe.

    1. Just the way I always have dreamed that the Tigers would handle the Yankees!!! Sweet!!!!

  12. Congratulations Jim Leyland and Detroit Tigers. Glad to have been born a Tigers fan 70 years ago. Now time for another World Series Win. Bless you boys.

      1. When I told my brother in April that I was adopting the Tigers this season, he looked at me funny. (traditionally Dodger/Mariner fan) He texted me a month or so later and said you sure ? ( It was a bumpy ride!!) but I now feel so proud to be with you all. Going to the SERIES, HOW SWEET IT IS !

  13. I remember well St.Louis Beating us in 2006 world series and calling the revenge for 1968 well i want St. Louis to beat SF so we can get that revenge back.

    1. I read a saber article a couple of months ago where the writer claimed that the Tiger’s defensive problems were more around the outfield than the infield. However, one must admit that pulling Raburn from 2B (as well as LF), replaced by Infante, and an improvement of play by Cabrera at 3B helped the infield defense as well. Also, in regards to Scherzer, he cut back on giving up those 3-run homers when he started to strike out too many.

  14. The sweep in one thing (and a good one), a sweep where the Yankees were never ahead even once in the entire series is devastatingly dominant. How much the scale slides toward Tiger strength and Yankee weakness is hard to determine.

    1. The team that capitalizes on the other’s weakness is the stronger one.

      I don’t think there’s a team in baseball, hot or cold, that could have beaten the starting pitching (and most of the relief as well) the Tigers had in the ALCS (not to mention the ALDS). Overall, the Yankees were thoroughly outplayed by a better team, much like the Tigers were in the 2006 WS. I’m sure their fans feel cheated, like we did in 2006.

  15. The Yankees have never beaten the Tigers in a postseason match. Detroit is now 3-for-3 in postseason series with the Yankees (10-3).

    1. That’s a delicious fact. Is there even another team in the AL that the Yankees haven’t beaten in the postseason?

      1. The anti-Tiger matchup they have had is with the Minnesota Twins…they have won 4-for-4, 12-2 overall. Someone was really happy when the Twins won that game 163…

      2. Well, they have never played Chicago, Tampa Bay, or Toronto. But Detroit is the only team they have played and never beaten.

  16. As much as I dislike Capt Mumbles and his quirky decisions…..I have to give him his due…other than the ValVerde mess he has been right on since the playoffs started. Pushing the right buttons and for the most part who to play …..and most importantly putting a pretty good batting order together…..congrats.Jim..w

    1. Agreed. Definitely a different JL was managing the team in the playoffs compared to the regular season. Whoever the current doppelganger is, hopefully he remains at the helm through the WS.

    2. “Nothing succeeds like success”. Congrats to JL…and yes, ‘winning’ has a way of absolving past shortcomings.

      As difficult it is to get to this point, i hope this team recognizes this rare opportunity and finishes the job against STL or SF.

      “Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits.” &
      “Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa.” –Casey Stengel

  17. Isn’t it amazing that the National media is too busy making excuses on why the Yankees lost the ALCS instead of giving the Tigers any credit? Perhaps a good story lead would be the outcome of the trade of Curtis Granderson for Max Scherzer and Austin Jackson? Look at what Max and Austin did in Game 4 compared to Curtis. Great job Tigers!!!

    1. The Tigers win that deal just on a one-for-one Jackson/Granderson trade.

      The Yankees are THE marquee baseball franchise in the WORLD. Such entities just aren’t supposed to lose, ever (think: too big to fail.) So it is a big deal when the Gotham Goliath gets knocked down by the Detroit David (or any other David for that matter.) The reality is that the current playoff system makes is very unlikely that there will be any shoe-in-to-repeat entrants to the WS. In the old 8/10 team per league days, when it was just the best AL team vs. the best NL team, “dynasties” could occur. The Yankees had the longest running one under the old system. That era is gone, probably forever. You could say that baseball (and pro sports in general) have been democratized. Instead of having the same absolute “ruler” year after year, the top dog gets thrown over every year or so.

      1. Nice comments Vince. Like most, I have a soft place in my heart for Curtis. However playing in the NYC pressure cooker isn’t good for most and it hurts me to see Grandy having to deal with that tripe. I’d rather see him in a better situation such as an Oriole or Royal that could better bring the best of his fielding and hitting talents to the forefront for the good of the club.

        1. It might just be that CG is better suited as a platoon player. In 2011 he actually hit lefties pretty good, but before that and again this year, he has for the most part flailed away against them. It’s probably too far into his career to expect any shift in that tendency. As SN$ notes below, Yankee Stadium has been good to him as far as the long ball goes (26 of 43 there this year), but he’d never get those totals hitting in 81 home games in any other ballpark. I’m sure that short porch in RF encourages him to pull, but that also likely works against his general hitting ability. It may be that a change of scene would restore some balance.

    1. the Yankees will pick-up the $13M team option (doubtful they’d just let him become a FA)…after that, they’ll either trade him or keep him… and that decision may not come until the FA market has shaken out. Unless they make a splash (Hamilton?) in the FA market or get a tremendous trade offer, it will be tough for them to trade away a pretty good OF (& model citizen) who’s hit over 40 HR’s two yrs in a row.

      Yankee stadium has been very good to Grandy’s power numbers (41 HRs in ’11, 43 in ’12 – 26 in Yankee stadium) – he’s likely not going to hit those numbers in most other parks.

  18. Get this: http://www.detroitnews.com/art.....eries-prep

    Not a bad idea to keep them in game form, provided they take it seriously. In 2006 I had a suspicion that the sitting around and congratulating themselves for 5 days was a big contributing factor in the embarrassment that ensued in the WS. I’m hoping the Cardinals polish off SF easily tonight so they can potentially sit around and congratulate themselves for a few days before Wednesday’s WS start.

    1. On the other hand, it would be nice to burn Carpenter in the latter part of a potential drawn out series with the Giants so he is not available for game one. If it goes six or seven games, the Tigers have the rotation advantage.

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