October 2, 2011 – Through the first seven innings of today’s ALDS Game 2, the Yankees had little success against Detroit pitching.
Curtis Granderson led off the eighth inning with a home run to cut the Tigers’ lead to 4-1. And after Detroit scored a run in the top of the ninth, the Yankees did what they do better than any team in the game — they rallied. Nick Swisher hit a leadoff home run in the ninth, and Jorge Posada (pictured below) hit the first postseason triple of his life. A sac fly off the bat of Andruw Jones scored Posada to make the score 5-3, but the Yankees couldn’t keep the rally going.
Even though the outcome didn’t fall in the Yankees favor, they battled hard against Jose Valverde, the Tigers closer who was 49 for 49 in save opportunities this season. That will go a long way in this series.
Now, the ALDS moves to Detroit, where Game 3 will be played tomorrow. The pitching matchup in that game will feature two of the best in CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander.
Verlander won 24 games this season, and he will be pitching in front of the home crowd. Those factors favor the Tigers in what will be a pivotal game, but Sabathia is 5-1 in his postseason career, and he is 4-0 in ALDS games. Verlander has not had as many chances in October, but his record stands at 1-2.
Sabathia has been as good as anyone in the game on the road, and I expect that tomorrow will be no different. The series is tied at one game a piece, and the Yankees will need Sabathia to put them back on top in Game 3.
I will be traveling to Detroit with the team, and I will be reporting from Comerica Park prior to tomorrow’s game.
–Alfred Santasiere III