Yankees Turn to Their Stopper in Game 4

October 18, 2012 – Game 4 of the ALCS is finally underway — after it was postponed due to inclement weather last night.

The Yankees will try to stave of elimination on a beautiful afternoon in Detroit. The sun is out, and the game-time temperature was 59 degrees.

There’s a gusty wind blowing toward the outfield, and for a Yankees lineup that has struggled to drive the ball this postseason, maybe the tailwind will give them the boost they need.

I think the Yankees will also get a lift from what they were able to do in the ninth inning of Game 3. Although the Yankees didn’t complete the comeback, they brought the game to within one run after only mustering two hits (singles by Ichiro) off of Justin Verlander through the first eight innings.

Eduardo Nunez led off the inning and hit a solo home run, which essentially chased the game’s best pitcher from the game.

After the game, Verlander spoke about Nunez’ gritty approach, which culminated with the blast to left field.

“Nunez put together one of the best at-bats I’ve ever seen,” Verlander said. “He really impressed me, especially considering the situation his team was in.”

After Verlander left the game, the Yankees collected two singles off of Phil Coke, which put the ace’s gem in serious jeopardy.

How will that rally carry over to today?

It will give the Yankees hitters some much-needed confidence at a time when everyone with a voice or with a pen is counting them out. The Yankees proved again on Tuesday night that they are a battle-tested team, and that they are not going to fall without a fight. That will have an impact on both teams today.

More than the all of that, I like the Yankees chances in Game 4 because CC Sabathia is on mound. For his entire tenure in New York, Sabathia has been the team’s stopper. Since 2009, Sabathia has collected more wins following his team’s loosing steaks than any other Yankee. Sabathia is 7-1 in his postseason career with Yankees. He has struck out 75 batters in those games while only walking 27, and his 3.03 ERA speaks for itself.

–Alfred Santasiere III

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