Mood Music - Du Hast by Rammstein
In a game full of strangeness and oddity, the Detroit Tigers took game two of the ALDS from the New York Yankees, moving the series to Detroit in a 1-1 tie. Falling behind early, the Yankees window for a comeback became narrower and narrower, and when they did make it interesting in the ninth inning, it wasn't quite enough.
The Tigers held on to win 5-3, with a huge Game Three matchup between Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia looming. Game notes after the jump:
- Yankees starting pitcher Freddy Garcia won't get credit for a great line: 5.1 IP - 4R/3ER - 6 H - 0 BB - 6 K, but really did pitch a good game. He got ten groundball outs and six strikeouts, but was victimized by some bad luck and shoddy defense. And Miguel Cabrera. He's good.
- Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer took a no hitter into the sixth inning, striking out five and using his big fastball (up to 97.9 MPH). The Yankees were able to draw four walks and drive up Scherzer's pitch count, knocking him out of the game before he recorded an out in the 7th inning, but couldn't find any grass in the outfield for most of the game.
- Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez left quite a lot to be desired. It's only one game and they both had a few good swings, but just about every fastball was beating them. Throw in Jeter butchering a routine ground ball to begin a Tigers rally and this game won't be on anyone's Yankeeography.
- Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson shook off some playoff doldrums with home runs to right field. Jorge Posada reached base three times, including a triple. John Sterling could not have predicted this.
- Why use Luis Ayala when David Robertson, Mariano Rivera, and Rafael Soriano have thrown a combined three pitches since Tuesday?
- Jose Valverde made things very interesting in the ninth inning. Staked a four run lead, the Yankees scored two runs before getting the tying run on first base for Robinson Cano. After fouling off some hittable fastballs, Cano bounced out to second base, ending the game.
- In his only plate appearance, Andruw Jones hit a rocket to the right field corner that could have easily been a two run double, but pinch runner/defensive replacement Don Kelly got a good jump and tracked it down. A few inches here or there could have really made the difference for the Yankees, with this play and a Victor Martinez RBI single (that was a few inches from an inning ending double play) coming to mind.
- But, then again, there was that Avila play. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Curtis Granderson popped up behind the plate. Catcher Alex Avila ran towards the Tigers dugout to make the catch for the final out of the game, but slipped on the wet ground, allowing the ball to fall.