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Blog Entry

See-saw ALDS comes down to Game 5

Posted on: October 6, 2011 7:55 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 7:07 pm
 


By Matt Snyder


You want to talk about momentum? Go ahead. It's proven incorrect through most the Tigers-Yankees ALDS.

The national narrative has constantly shifted in this series. After Game 1 was suspended, the Yankees had the advantage because Justin Verlander would only get one start. After Game 1 finished, the Yankees had the advantage. After Game 2, the Tigers had the edge as they were going home with a split. After Game 3, the Tigers had the series in the bag, because there was no way A.J. Burnett would pitch well. But he did. And now the Yankees have the advantage, as they head home with the momentum. Right? So goes the narrative.

This Game 5, like the entire series, is a complete toss up. Drawing conclusions based upon what we've seen in the first four games would be folly, because you can throw everything out the window. It's Game 5. Anything can happen. And it's great theater involving pretty opposite cities.

We've got a team that hadn't won a division since 1987 against a team that has won its division 12 times in the past 16 seasons, but it's also blue collar against white collar. It's East Coast against the Midwest. Wall Street against the auto industry.

And it all comes down to one game. Let's size it up.

Game 5: Tigers at Yankees, 8:07 p.m. ET, Yankee Stadium, TBS

LINEUPS

Tigers Yankees
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Austin Jackson CF 1 Derek Jeter SS
2 Don Kelly 3B 2 Curtis Granderson CF
3 Delmon Young LF 3 Robinson Cano 2B
4 Miguel Cabrera 1B 4 Alex Rodriguez 3B
5 Victor Martinez DH 5 Mark Teixeira 1B
6 Magglio Ordonez RF 6 Nick Swisher RF
7 Alex Avila C 7 Jorge Posada DH
8 Jhonny Peralta SS 8 Russell Martin C
9 Ramon Santiago 2B 9 Brett Gardner LF
  Doug Fister RHP   Ivan Nova RHP


PITCHING MATCHUPS

Nova vs. Tigers: He completely shut the Tigers down in the continuation of Game 1 through six innings, but faltered after that. Still, he now has one postseason outing under his belt and got some confidence out of it. The big stage won't phase him one iota Thursday night. As far as the hitters, we have a very small sample from which to judge. Not one Tigers hitter has more than six plate appearances against Nova. Victor Martinez has reached base four of the six times he's faced Nova. The only other thing that stands out is Nova's faced 38 Tigers batters in his career and has not allowed a single extra-base hit.

Fister vs. Yankees: He actually settled in for a short span in Game 1, but the final line looks ugly because he had a rough last inning and Al Alburquerque gave up a grand slam -- three runs of which were charged to Fister. I know some of the stat crowd would freak out to hear this, but it's possible Fister had some nerves last time out, too. He'd never pitched in the playoffs and he had to take the hill on the biggest stage of all. Now that he has one outing under his belt, it's possible he gets back into a groove. In a small sample, several Yankees hit Fister well, though. Derek Jeter is 5-for-13 (.385). Mark Teixeira is hitting .364 with a 1.273 OPS against Fister. Robinson Cano is 3-for-8 with two doubles. Overall, the Yankees are hitting .310 off Fister, but no player has faced him more than 13 times.

NOTES
New York-Detroit ALDS
  • The last time the Yankees won a deciding game (meaning a Game 5 in the ALDS or a Game 7 in the ALCS or World Series) was the Aaron Boone home run game. Seriously. In the 2003 ALCS, the Yankees won Game 7. Since then, they've either not needed to go the full series to beat someone, or lost a decisive game. They lost the 2004 ALCS to the Red Sox in seven. They lost the ALDS three games to two to the Angels in 2005. Otherwise they haven't played a series all the way to the final game.
  • This doesn't have anything to do with many of the current players, but it's still interesting: The only other time these two franchises met in the postseason, the Tigers beat the Yankees 3-1 in the 2006 ALDS. 
  • I'll again point out that Teixeira has an abysmal playoff track record. A-Rod gets showered with boos, but Teixeira is hitting .203 with an embarrassing .314 slugging percentage in 30 career postseason games. And his only hit since Game 1 in this series was a dribbler down the third-base line that Wilson Betemit thought would go foul.
  • Brett Gardner is 5-for-13 with a double, three runs scored and five RBI in this series.
  • Alex Avila is 0-for-12 this series after a brilliant regular season.
  • The Yankees have had the same batting order all five games, but the Tigers have had a different lineup in each of the five games.
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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 6:50 am
This comment has been removed.

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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 10:57 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:55 pm
 

See-saw ALDS comes down to Game 5

Successful i personally shown it rrnternet site, might possibly be likely to lesemarke the idea so we could find persistently.



Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:08 am
 

See-saw ALDS comes down to Game 5

Yankees will win in a laugher.

Really...don't quit your day job!! $200 million salary and no World Series...proceless. I guess there are things that can still not be bought


Isnt it great!  Another Yankee slappy who calls it wrong.



Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 11:48 pm
 

See-saw ALDS comes down to Game 5

Yankees will win in a laugher.

Really...don't quit your day job!! $200 million salary and no World Series...proceless. I guess there are things that can still not be bought



Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 8:14 pm
 

See-saw ALDS comes down to Game 5

Yankees suck...they are old and waaaay too cocky...living off the past. The Tigers are going to do to the Yankees what the Ravens did to the Jets!!



Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2011 8:12 pm
 

See-saw ALDS comes down to Game 5

I guess back to back homers wasnt in Nova's game plan.  Nice start for the Tigers.



Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 7:42 pm
 

See-saw ALDS comes down to Game 5

If ever there was a team assembled and prepared for a pressure situation like this it's the Yankees. They will rally around Ivan Nova and if they can get six innings out of him and have a lead they will have a rested Soriano/Robertson?Rivera to close it out.  These are the Yankees and they rise to the occasion on this big stage better than anyone, bet against them and they'll prove you wrong.




Since: May 3, 2007
Posted on: October 6, 2011 7:28 pm
 

See-saw ALDS comes down to Game 5

I agree with you CanesFins429. Detroit had this series in hand, but fell on their faces again Burnett. Now the payback by the Yankees is not going to be pretty for the Tigers. I am still befuddled by Fister pitching. Why? With all that is at stake, that doesn't make a bit of sense. Looks like Detroit is saying "game 5 is yours New York, good luck in round 2 against the Rangers."



Since: May 3, 2007
Posted on: October 6, 2011 7:00 pm
 

See-saw ALDS comes down to Game 5

Not going to happen draper, the Yankees are going to destroy Detroit tonight. Count on it.


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