After the unusual situation created by the Game 1 washout, the Tigers and Yankees left New York tied at one game apiece and without a day off between Games 2 and 3. Aces Justin Verlander of Detroit and CC Sabathia of New York will start Game 3 tonight after taking the mound for the brief false start last Friday.
The Tigers are certainly a confident team with Verlander on the hill, as they should be having gone 25-9 in his 34 starts this season, 11-3 at home. But in his two starts this season against New York way back on March 31 and May 2, Verlander lasted just six innings in each start, giving up three earned runs in each and not factoring in the decision of either game, both Detroit losses.
Tigers supporters will love to tell you that Verlander can stifle the heart of the Yankees’ batting order. Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano have combined to hit .154 (8-52) off Verlander in their careers.
Sabathia opposed Verlander in the Opening Day start at New York, and also gave up three runs (two earned) over six innings. Like Verlander, Sabathia did not factor in the decision. The beefy lefthander did, however, take the loss in a 4-2 Detroit win in May. Over seven innings Sabathia gave up 10 hits and four runs in taking the loss.
Having said all that, both these teams have adjusted, re-adjusted and made multiple roster and lineup changes since those early season encounters.
Earlier in his career, Verlander may have been affected by the pressure of the postseason, but not in 2011. Verlander and the Tigers will win the game tonight and move on to secure a spot in the ALCS. After Max Scherzer’s performance in Game 2 for Detroit, it appears that the Yankees do not have enough starting pitching to hang with the Tigers.
Will the Tampa Bay Rays or St. Louis Cardinals make the postseason?
--By Josh Kipnis
With October right around the corner, who are the most feared teams in the MLB? Surprising to most, the Yankees and the Phillies aren’t at the top of my list. In fact, the two hottest teams might not even make the playoffs.
The Colorado starter may or may not be dealt by Sunday's MLB trade deadline
Sources indicate that the Colorado Rockies are switching into selling mode as the Major League Baseball trade deadline approaches, particularly with starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
Sources tell Fox's Ken Rosenthal that several teams are lining up as suitors, including the Tigers, Yankees, Reds, Red Sox, and Indians. Still, the Rockies are not considered desperate to move Jimenez, and are negotiating hard for the right price.
Derek Jeter has joined an elite group, earning his 3,000th hit on Saturday against Tampa Bay pitcher David Price. Jeter becomes the first Yankee to reach the exclusive group, reaching this milestone on a home run in the third inning.