Detroit Tigers Win Game 2 Of ALDS, Beat Yankees 5-3
Max Scherzer gave the Tigers the pitching lift that they needed on the front end of today's American Leauge Divisional Series game with the Yankees in New York. Scherzer was a little wild, but held the Bronx Bombers hitless through the first 5 innings. Miguel Cabrera reached out and poked an outside pitch over the ridiculously short right field fence at Yankee Stadium for a two-run homer in the first inning.
Cabrera would knock in another run in the 6th where the Tigers scored twice to up their lead to 4-0. Reliever Joaquin Benoit would give up the shutout in the 7th when former Tiger Curtis Granderson put one in the right field seats. After that, Benoit would settle down and give the Tigers two innings of relief without allowing any more damage. Meanwhile, the Tigers would add an insurance run in the top of the 9th when Brandon Inge was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After Ramon Santiago bunted him to 2nd, Don Kelly got a huge hit to drive home Inge with Detroit's 5th run.
Closer Jose Valverde would pack the bottom of the 9th with plenty of drama (as usual). Entering the game with a 5-1 lead, Valverde promptly gave up a home run to Nick Swisher and the game was suddenly 5-2 with nobody out. Jorge Posada then tripled for the Yankees. Valverde proceeded to walk Russell Martin to bring the tying run to the plate with nobody out. The next hitter, Adruw Jones lined out to right field to make the first out of the inning, but it also drove home Posada and the score was 5-3. The rains that have plagued this series so far seemed to intensify in the 9th, raising the possibility that slippery conditions might alter the outcome. Through a downpour, Valverde managed to strike out Derek Jeter for the second out of the 9th. That brought Curtis Granderson to the plate as the potential tying run against his former team. Granderson hit a foul popup that headed toward the dugout on the 3rd base side and catcher Alex Avila circled under it for what should have been the last out. Avila then slipped and fell down on the plastic on-deck circle and what should have been the final out landed harmlessly on the ground. Granderson had new life and worked Valverde for a walk. The tying runs were on base and MVP candidate Robinson Cano was up to bat. Cano knocked in six runs in last night's game. This was starting to look like a nightmare come true. The rains kept falling and luck would finally shine on the Tigers as Cano hit an easy grounder to Santiago at 2nd who promptly threw him out to end the game. The American League Divisional Series is now tied at a game apiece.
The Tigers and Yankees will play Game 3 tomorrow night at Comerica Park in Detroit. Justin Verlander will start against Yankee ace C.C. Sabathia. 8:30 pm start. Every game is huge in a best-of-five series. Tomorrow's might be the biggest.