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.
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.
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