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ALDS Game 1: Yankees 9, Tigers 3

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Who's the hero of this game?

Was it Gritty Gutty Brett Gardner, whose 6th inning 2-RBI single gave the Yankees breathing room?

Was it Robbie Cano, whose 5th inning hit broke the 1-1 tie left over from last night, and whose grand slam blew the game wide open?

I pick Ivan Nova, who pitched the game of his life. 6.1 innings, 8 baserunners, 5 strikeouts.

Before the season started, I didn't think Nova could cut it as a major league starter. I didn't think he was good enough to be a Yankee. I didn't think he had enough control, I didn't think he had enough stuff, I didn't think he was good enough.

I was wrong.

I'm sorry, Ivan Nova, that I was so wrong about you. I'm sorry I worried that you could outpitch Doug Fister, whose name still makes me laugh.

I don't buy into the "True Yankee" nonsense, but I do believe in earning your pinstripes. They're all yours. You earned them.

Comment of the Game: a text from my brother as Ayala enters the game: "I can't take Ayala right now."