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Tag:Yankees
Posted on: October 4, 2011 9:56 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 2:49 am
 

Huge early play: Granderson's catch



By Matt Snyder


We're a few innings in at this point, but it's hard to shake the fallout of Curtis Granderson's first-inning catch. With the bases loaded, Tigers right fielder Don Kelly hit a rocket to dead center field. Granderson at first came in on the ball before realizing it was going to go over his head. He then made an outstanding leaping catch to end the inning.

Considering Kelly can fly, Granderson didn't land on his feet and that the runners were all moving on contact -- there were two outs -- it most certainly would have been an inside-the-park grand slam if Granderson hadn't made the grab. So it would have been a 4-0 lead for the Tigers in the first inning, with fickle A.J. Burnett on the hill and Comerica Park would have been rocking. Essentially, there's an argument to be made that the series was over if Granderson doesn't make that catch.

Instead, it's 2-1 Yankees after four innings and Burnett hasn't been awful (4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K).

It's far from over, but Granderson's recovery could well be the play that saved the season for the Yankees.



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Posted on: October 4, 2011 3:27 pm
 

ALDS Game 4: All about A.J.



By Matt Snyder


Yankees at Tigers, 8:37 p.m. ET, Comerica Park, TBS

LINEUPS

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

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Burnett vs. Tigers: Command has been an issue the past two seasons for Burnett, that's no secret. He led the majors in wild pitches in 2011 while missing enough spots to allow a hit per inning. His 5.15 ERA is a by-product of that. The Yankees were 16-16 in his starts this season and 81-49 when someone else started, so yeah, the negative press Burnett has gotten is with good reason. In two starts against the Tigers this season, however, Burnett wasn't half bad. He was 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings. That certainly isn't great, but the Yankees would love six innings of two or three runs from Burnett in Game 4. His career numbers against Detroit are bad, though. In eight career starts against the Tigers, Burnett has a 6.33 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He's started in Comerica Park four times and it was ugly -- 7.17 ERA, eight walks, five hit-by-pitch and three home runs in 21 1/3 innings. Amazingly, current Tigers don't hit Burnett very well. They are hitting a combined .239 against him. Miguel Cabrera is just 3-for-14 (.214), Victor Martinez is 7-for-27 (.259) and Delmon Young is 3-for-15 (.200).

Porcello vs. Yankees: He faced the Yankees one time this season, going seven innings and getting the win after allowing eight hits and two earned runs. In his career, though, he's 2-2 with a 5.56 ERA and 1.54 WHIP against the Yankees. Also, Porcello has been much worse at home this season than on the road. He's got a 5.64 home ERA, compared to a 4.00 road ERA. In terms of individual matchups, it's an incredibly small sample (no one has faced him more than 12 times), but Nick Swisher (1.017 OPS), Robinson Cano (.455 average) and Jorge Posada (.899 OPS) have handled him very well. On the flip-side, Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter are a combined 2-for-28 off Porcello.

NOTES
New York-Detroit ALDS
  • All we've heard and read Tuesday is that the Yankees' season rests on the feeble shoulders of Burnett. Rightfully so, but don't discount the fact that the Yankees have a very capable offense and manager Joe Girardi is going to have a quick hook with his embattled starter. And Burnett isn't exactly facing Justin Verlander here, as Porcello can be roughed up. I wouldn't want to count on Burnett, either, but this game is by no means a done deal for Detroit. 
  • Booing A-Rod is obviously the popular thing to do, but he's not the only one with playoff issues. Nick Swisher has a career .170 postseason batting average. Mark Teixeira has a career .316 postseason slugging percentage, which is brutal even for a non-power hitter. And Russell Martin is just 1-for-9 this ALDS.
  • In the past two games, Tigers closer Jose Valverde has thrown 53 pitches and allowed four walks, a triple, a home run and two runs. There's no question manager Jim Leyland will use him again Tuesday night if he gets the chance, but the door is wide open for him to blow his first save of 2011.
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Posted on: October 4, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2011 2:18 pm
 

Video: Faux-trailer for 'Too Much Moneyball'

By Matt Snyder

By now, surely all baseball fans -- or anyone who watches TV, really -- knows there's a movie about baseball in theaters now called "Moneyball." It stars Brad Pitt as A's general manager Billy Beane trying to put a competitive team on the field with a low payroll.

Well, Jest.com came out with an utterly hilarious spoof trailer, called "Too Much Moneyball," about the big-spending Yankees.

In case you haven't seen the movie or need a refresher, here's the trailer for the real "Moneyball."



Now, check out the spoof.



Hat-tip: Big League Stew

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Posted on: October 4, 2011 12:33 am
Edited on: October 4, 2011 12:22 pm
 

Valverde still getting it done, for now



By Matt Snyder


Tigers closer Jose Valverde led the majors with 49 saves this season. He had zero blown saves. If you simply look at those numbers and nothing more, it might seem the Tigers have absolutely nothing to worry about when heading into the ninth inning. From that point of view, they have the best closer in the majors. And it's true he hasn't blown any saves thus far in 2011.

But we're talking about an erratic pitcher in terms of how he pitches on a day-to-day basis and Tigers fans would likely admit as much. He's been on the verge of blowing saves several times and he nearly blew the game each of the Tigers' two wins in the ALDS (note: Game 2 wasn't a save opportunity, but he still almost blew the game).

New York-Detroit, Game 3
Sunday, it took Valverde 34 pitches to end the game. He allowed two hits, two walks and two earned runs. He ended up having to face Robinson Cano, who represented the go-ahead run, to end the game. Cano grounded out. Disaster averted.

Monday, it took Valverde 19 pitches to nail it down. He walked two and one of his first two outs was a warning-track fly out by Russell Martin that would have been in the seats in Yankee Stadium. But it was in Comerica, so he was still safe. With two outs, after walking Brett Gardner, Valverde then faced Derek Jeter with runners on first and second and a one-run lead. And the runner on first was Gardner, one of the fastest men in baseball. Valverde struck Jeter out. Disaster averted again.

So, once again, we're left with the two sides of the argument. On one side, he hasn't blown anything, so Valverde is simply getting the job done. On the other, he's just dodging far too many bullets for even his biggest fans to blindly believe that his success will continue at this rate.

Don't get me wrong. Valverde is definitely a good closer. It's just that he plays with fire far too often, and eventually he's going to get burned. It might be Game 4 of the ALDS, it might be Game 3 of the ALCS or it might just be Game 7 of the World Series. Then again, it might even be sometime next season. Maybe he can eke his way by for nine more Tigers wins, but Valverde cannot continue to put himself in the kind of trouble he has in the past two games and expect to always get out of it. Eventually, it's going to catch up with him. The entire city of Detroit just has to hope the inevitable is delayed until 2012.

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Yankees-Tigers series | 2011 playoffs

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Posted on: October 4, 2011 12:06 am
 

Leyland's lineup tinkering pays off in Game 3

By Matt Snyder

Ramon Santiago only started the game batting second 16 times for the Tigers this season. He only hit .260 with a .311 on-base percentage, limited power and no stolen bases in the regular season. And here he was, Monday night, slotted second in the Tigers' batting order against big Yankees ace, CC Sabathia.

One of the reasons given by manager Jim Leyland for the move was that Santiago is a good bunter.

In the bottom of the third inning, Santiago came to bat with runners on first and second, no one out, and Delmon Young, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez being the three hitters behind him. Obviously, he was called upon to bunt. He failed on that front. With two strikes, however, Santiago swung away and gathered an RBI single, getting the Tigers on the board and cutting the Yankees lead to 2-1.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Santiago came to bat with a runner on second and the score tied at two. He sent a drive deep to left-center field that nearly left the yard. It resulted in a go-ahead RBI double.

The Tigers never trailed again, even though they did need to break a tie again -- and did, on Delmon Young's eighth-inning home run.

Young's home run was huge, as was Justin Verlander settling in for a dominant stretch in the middle of the game, but Leyland tinkering with the lineup and putting Santiago in the two-hole turned out to be a winning move.

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Yankees-Tigers series2011 playoffs

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 9:36 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 9:44 pm
 

Remember me? Granderson gives Yankees early lead



By Matt Snyder


Curtis Granderson was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2002 and came up through the system. He played the first six years of his career for the Tigers. Monday night, he gave the Yankees an early 2-0 lead in quite impressive fashion.

After Derek Jeter led off the game with single up the middle, Granderson turned a triple-digit Justin Verlander fastball into an RBI triple to deep center. Granderson then showed his wheels by scoring on an Alex Rodriguez ground out to shortstop -- even though the Tigers had the infield pulled in. Just like that, it was 2-0 Yankees on a night where runs were expected to be at a premium.

There's a long way to go, especially with neither pitcher looking dominant -- CC Sabathia had four walks through two innings -- but two runs could be paramount in this type of pitching matchup. And, again, the pitch Granderson smashed to center was 100 miles per hour. (UPDATE: Right on cue, the Tigers tied it, 2-2, within minutes of this posting. Where's our pitcher's duel?)

Click here to follow along live on CBSSports.com's GameTracker

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Yankees-Tigers series2011 playoffs

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 5:55 pm
 

Leyland: Yankees video paints Tigers as JV

New York-Detroit ALDS
By Matt Snyder

As noted in Danny Knobler's column after the Tigers' Game 2 victory over the Yankees in the ALDS, closer Jose Valverde said the series was over. No, he didn't insinuate or imply anything. He flat out said, "it's over." With the series tied 1-1 and the Yankees rolling out CC Sabathia Monday night against Justin Verlander, it's a bit curious. But hey, Valverde isn't shy and I have no problem whatsoever with confidence.

When asked about Valverde's proclamation Monday night, Tigers manager Jim Leyland turned the tables and let his feelings be known about the Yankees' pre-game video intro at home. Via NJ.com:
“First of all, I don't think I saw anything about guarantee. That's number one. I do think he said -- I think when you read all the stories about it, he admitted it was tongue in cheek when he said it.

Second of all, I didn't take offense to the video at Yankee Stadium when they were talking about the World Series, like we were the junior varsity and they were getting ready for the World Series. I didn't take offense to that at all. In fact, I thought it was great. That's what they should be talking about. I don't really think that.

I don't believe in this stuff. I would hate to think the New York Yankees or the Detroit Tigers need any bulletin board stuff to get fired up this time of year. I would take that with a grain of salt. I didn't see anything about a guarantee.”
I couldn't agree more with the last paragraph. I've long wondered by such a huge deal is made about words leading up to big games. Unless someone crosses a line -- racial, family taunts, etc. -- it's pretty irrelevant. When playing in the playoffs, there's no extra motivation needed.

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Posted on: October 3, 2011 4:29 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 4:32 pm
 

ALDS Game 3: CC vs. Verlander, Part Deux



By Matt Snyder


Yankees at Tigers, 8:37 p.m. ET, Comerica Park, TBS

LINEUPS

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

We were supposed to get CC vs. Verlander Friday and weather took it away from us after just nine outs. Monday night, it's time again. Hopefully we're treated to clear skies throughout (and the weather report says there's a chance of rain, but the chances get higher later in the night).

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Sabathia vs. Tigers: Sabathia was 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA and 1.65 WHIP two regular-season starts against the Tigers. In his career, Sabathia has faced the Tigers 32 times -- remember, he played in the AL Central for a long time -- going 15-12 with a 4.54 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Of course, we have to remember, this includes numbers from the early 2000s, when the Tigers' lineup didn't even resemble what it is now. In 14 career starts in Comerica Park, Sabathia is 7-5 with a 4.30 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.

Verlander vs. Yankees: He only faced them twice this season, but it wasn't his best line. He had a 4.50 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 12 regular-season innings. He also allowed a run against them in his only inning Friday night. The good news for Tigers fans? Verlander is utterly dominant at home. He's 57-23 with a 3.24 ERA in his career at home, but this season he was 10-3 with a 2.37 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 16 home starts. Then again, he was just as dominant on the road this season.

NOTES
New York-Detroit ALDS
  • We wrote Sunday that Miguel Cabrera owned Freddy Garcia and the Tigers' first baseman came through with a huge game. Monday, the numbers point to more of the same. Cabrera is hitting .529 with two home runs, 11 RBI and a 1.506 OPS in 23 career plate appearances against Sabathia. In turn, expect CC to be pretty careful with Miggy.
  • Jeter is past his prime as an elite leadoff hitter, but his history against Verlander looks good. He's hitting .345 with a .441 on-base percentage in 34 career plate appearances against the Tigers' ace. Swisher, Teixeira, A-Rod, Cano and Granderson are all hitting under .200 against Verlander, though.
  • The Tigers won the regular season series 4-3, having outscored the Yankees 36-33. Add in the two playoff games and the Yankees have outscored the Tigers 45-44, but the Tigers have won five games.
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com