Posted on: October 7, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 4:02 pm

Ivan Nova strained his forearm in Game 5

By Matt Snyder

Tigers eliminate Yankees
Yankees starter Ivan Nova was pulled from Game 5 of the ALDS after just two innings of work by manager Joe Girardi. At the time, it appeared Girardi might have had a very quick hook -- though we did mention an injury was possible -- and Girardi revealed as much in an in-game interview. Friday, Nova had an MRI on his throwing arm and it revealed a Grade 1 flexor strain in his right forearm (Pinstripe Posts).

The injury will fully heal in the offseason and Nova will be ready to once again be a member of the Yankees starting rotation in 2012.

Nova, 24, had a solid rookie season for the Yankees in 2011. He went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He also picked up the victory in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Tigers.

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Posted on: October 7, 2011 1:55 pm

ALDS Game 5 earns big ratings for TBS

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Thursday night's Game 5 of the American League division series was the highest-rated LDS game since moving to cable and the highest-rated overall since 2005. The Tigers' 3-2 victory over the Yankees was viewed by 9,720,000 viewers and a 6.2 rating, according to a release from TBS.

Detroit averaged a rating of 27.6 and New York an 18.3 rating, as TBS with the highest-rated cable network on Thursday and third overall. 

The network is televising both NLDS games tonight, starting with Arizona at Milwaukee at 5 p.m. ET and St. Louis at Philadelphia at 8:30 p.m. ET. The NLCS will stay on TBS, while the ALDS between the Tigers and Rangers will be telecast on Fox.

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Posted on: October 7, 2011 2:54 am

Eye on Photos: Tigers take down Yankees in ALDS

By Matt Snyder

The Detroit Tigers have advanced to the ALCS by beating the New York Yankees, three games to two. Let's take a look at the series that was, in pictures.

Click on any photo below to enlarge.

Just three batters into Game 1, we have our first homer, this one courtesy of Delmon Young. (Getty Images)
The story of Game 1 was the weather, as play had to be suspended after just one and a half innings. (Getty Images)
A nice relay from Curtis Granderson to Derek Jeter to Russell Martin cut down Alex Avila at home in Game 1. (Getty Images)
Robinson Cano was pretty popular after his grand slam in Game 1. (Getty Images)
In the continuation of Game 1, Ivan Nova continually threw sinkers in the dirt that bounced up and eventually wounded the home-plate umpire. (Getty Images)
Nova was huge for the Yankees in Game 1. (Getty Images)
Max Scherzer was huge for the Tigers in Game 2. (Getty Images)
Miguel Cabrera's opposite-field shot gave the Tigers the lead for good in Game 2. (Getty Images)
In the battle of aces in Game 3, CC Sabathia faltered and left early. (Getty Images)
Delmon Young is congratulated for hitting a go-ahead home run in Game 3. It may have been the biggest hit in the series. (Getty Images)
Justin Verlander may not have been at his best, but he got the job done in Game 3. (Getty Images)
Yes, Jose Valverde likes to celebrate. (Getty Images)
Derek Jeter hit up the fountain of youth and showed off some range in Game 4. (Getty Images)
Curtis Granderson made an incredible catch in the left-center gap in Game 4. (Getty Images)
A.J. Burnett was a punchline before Game 4. After it, he was the man who saved the Yankees' season. (Getty Images)
As Robinson Cano piled up a nine-RBI series, the only one who shut him up was teammate Eduardo Nunez. (Getty Images)
Unheralded Don Kelly got the scoring started in Game 5 for the Tigers ... and they never looked back. (Getty Images)
A-Rod is left at home plate wondering what went wrong. (Getty Images)
Mark Teixeira sums up the feelings of Yankees fans everywhere after the bases are left loaded for the second time in Game 5. (Getty Images)
Cano completes the "Walk of Shame." (Getty Images)
Magglio Ordonez shows off some creative head gear after the series victory. (Getty Images)
An action photo of Band-Aid Gate. (U.S. Presswire)

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Posted on: October 7, 2011 1:18 am
Edited on: October 7, 2011 12:40 pm

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

By Matt Snyder

Jim Leyland's tinkering. Leyland was roundly mocked on Twitter for his choice in the two-hole of the batting order throughout the series. He used a different lineup five different times in five games while Yankees manager Joe Girardi kept the same lineup throughout the entire ALDS. And look at the Tigers' three wins. Magglio Ordonez was 3-for-3 with a run scored in Game 2. Ramon Santiago was 2-for-4 with two huge RBI in a Game 3 victory and Thursday night in Game 5, Don Kelly opened the scoring in the first inning with a solo home run. Give Leyland credit for pushing the right buttons, specifically with who he batted second, but generally throughout the entire series.

The Tigers' back-end duo of Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde wasn't perfect in the series. Valverde made Game 2 interesting with a bad ninth and Benoit walked in a run Thursday night, even if it was an inherited runner. Still, the Tigers blew zero leads with either pitcher on the mound and the duo was a major reason for the series victory. Benoit in particular had to work out of some pretty rough spots, both in Game 2 and in Game 5. His stuff is nasty and he came up with big strikeouts when he had to have them. Valverde was shaky in his first two outings, but was anything but that in Game 5, with a one-run lead and the season on the line.

Justin Verlander struck out 11 batters and was masterful at times in his lone real start of the series: Game 3. He also gave up six hits, three walks and four earned runs. He did gather the victory, as he outpitched Yankees ace CC Sabathia. And we have to point out the Yankees do have a pretty damn good offense, too. It's just that this was a "C" effort for Verlander considering his body of work. You don't expect him to go out and give up four runs in a must-win game. He wasn't at his best, he was just good enough. That's a C-effort in my book. Probably in his, too. I also fully expect an A-effort in Game 1 against the Rangers.

We're going with Mother Nature/Major League Baseball here. Game 1 was ruined by rain. We have absolutely no way of knowing how the series would have gone -- and, remember, I predicted the Tigers in five anyway, so this is no excuse for the Yankees' loss -- but we were deprived of the real series. If MLB moved the start time earlier or didn't start Game 1 at all last Friday, we'd have seen both Verlander and Yankees ace CC Sabathia make two full starts in the series. Instead, each was wasted in a rain-suspended Game 1 and could only turn around to make one more start. On the other hand, the weather reports aren't always predictable, so this was a tough call. Bottom line, we got screwed a bit, and there's nowhere else to place the blame than with whoever you believe controls the weather in New York City.

Yankees 4-5-6 hitters. Alex Rodriguez is a big scapegoat for many. He has been for years. In Game 5, he struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning and then ended the series with a strikeout in the ninth. The boos showered down upon him several times at home. Nick Swisher also struck out with the bases loaded in Game 5, and his was to end the inning. Combined, A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and Swisher went 9-for-55 (.164) with five RBI in the entire series. A-Rod was the worst, going 2-for-18 (.111), but all three of these guys were bad. If you want to know how bad, here's another illustration: The only two runs Robinson Cano scored all series were on his own home runs. He was left on base seven times.

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Posted on: October 7, 2011 12:31 am

Delmon Young thrives with protection in ALDS

By Matt Snyder

Delmon Young had just four home runs in 325 plate appearances for the Twins before being traded in August. He was waiver-wire fodder at the time. The Tigers picked him up and immediately started batting him third, even as many in the baseball world scratched their heads over the placement. But with Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez behind him, Young would hit eight home runs in just 168 at-bats after the trade in the regular season. And in the ALDS win over the Yankees, Young was a star.

In the five ALDS games, Young hit .316 with three home runs four RBI and he even walked as many times as he struck out. That's an insane movement from a guy who has struck out 514 times and walked just 125 in his career in the regular season.

Tigers 3, Yankees 2
Conventional wisdom says that a manager should hit his best hitter third. That would easily be Caberera on the Tigers. And I believe the majority of the managers in the bigs would bat Cabrera third and Martinez cleanup. Young would probably hit somewhere from fifth to seventh for most guys. Instead, what Leyland has done with Young is noticed he's managing a guy who swings the bat too much and rarely takes pitches. In his sixth major-league season, Young isn't likely to break that habit, so instead, Leyland put him in position to see more strikes. No one wants to pitch to Cabrera and Martinez with men on base, so Young is seeing strikes. And he's making pitchers pay for them.

Now, the question turns to Young's status. He left Game 5 with an injured oblique and that is bad news. The Tigers will be crossing their fingers it's a very mild oblique issue, because he could be lost for the postseason if it's a significant strain. Evan Longoria of the Rays missed a month with an oblique strain earlier this season, for example.

If Young is healthy enough to play, he'll remain in the three-hole, with that nice protection behind him. And if he continues to see strikes, he'll continue to produce for the Tigers. Even if he's not a conventional three-hole hitter.

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Posted on: October 6, 2011 11:47 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 3:02 am

Tigers eliminate Yankees, head to ALCS

By Matt Snyder

Hero: Doug Fister needed to step up for the Tigers with ace Justin Verlander unavailable and he gave the Tigers five strong innings. It wasn't an elite performance by any stretch, but he held down a powerful Yankees offense, only allowing one run -- a Robinson Cano solo homer. The Tigers acquired Fister in a late-July trade and he proved a solid No. 2 starter down the stretch. He did so again Thursday night. This was definitely a team effort, as several Tigers were worthy of consideration. Fister gets the nod by a nose.

Tigers 3, Yankees 2
Goat: This was a collective effort by the offense, so we'll just give it to everyone. Cano hit a solo homer and the other run scored was walked in. Otherwise, it was a team effort in leaving guys on base. They had 10 hits and three walks, but only two runs. The worst instance was in the fourth inning, when the Yankees had the bases loaded and one out, yet failed to score. Also, in the bottom of the seventh, they had bases loaded, one out with their cleanup hitter coming up. A run was walked in, sure, but they still only got one run in a situation where they could have easily scored two to four. The game hung in balance in either of those situations and the Yankees simply didn't get the job done.

Turning point: Don Kelly and Delmon Young hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning and the Tigers had a lead before the Yankees ever batted. They would never relinquish the lead. So if there was any feeling the Yankees had the advantage as they headed home, it was out the window within three batters.

It was over when ... Tigers closer Jose Valverde struck out Alex Rodriguez to end the game. This thing was in doubt the entire game until the final out was secured.

Next: The Yankees' season is over. The Tigers will head to Texas to square off against the Rangers, where a Verlander vs. C.J. Wilson matchup in Game 1 of the ALCS awaits.

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Posted on: October 6, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 10:13 pm

Bryce Harper rooting for Yankees on Twitter

By Matt Snyder

Bryce Harper was the top overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft ... for the Washigton Nationals. He reached Double-A in the Nats system this year and could be in the majors as soon as next season. He'll certainly be there by 2013 and is a major part of a bright future for Washington. He's also a bit polarizing, as many fans don't seem to like him for whatever the reason. For those, the following two tweets aren't likely to gain Harper any more fans. During Thursday night's ALDS Game 5 between the Yankees and the the Tigers, Harper -- again, a member of the Nationals -- was openly rooting for the Yankees. Or maybe just CC Sabathia?

This just doesn't seem like the thing he should be letting the public -- including his teammates, coaches and Nationals fans -- see. Harper is a professional baseball player in the Washington Nationals system. He can openly root for a major-league team if he wants, as long as it's the Nationals. Just saying he loves the Nats wasn't enough. He shouldn't be rooting for anyone else. Period.

UPDATE: That didn't take long. The first two tweets have been deleted by Harper. Evidently he realized his error or someone else told him to delete them.

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Posted on: October 6, 2011 8:53 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 9:47 pm

Girardi yanks Nova after two innings

By Matt Snyder

New York-Detroit ALDS
After two innings and 31 pitches, Ivan Nova's night was done in Game 5 of the ALDS between the Tigers and the Yankees. Nova did allow back-to-back home runs in the first inning to Don Kelly and Delmon Young -- which marked the first time in postseason history the Tigers went deep in back-to-back fashion -- and coughed up a leadoff double in the second inning. But after that he induced two groundouts and struck out Ramon Santiago to end the inning.

Unless Nova was injured, that's an awfully quick hook for a starting pitcher on normal rest, but Girardi did say it was "all hands on deck" Thursday night. If Nova's not injured, Girardi simply didn't like what he saw and elected to get Nova out of the game (UPATE: Girardi said during an on-camera interview that Nova was "tightening up." So that's why he was pulled). Phil Hughes took over and worked around a Young single for a scoreless third inning to keep the score 2-0 Detroit.

UPDATE: With one out in the fourth, Hughes allowed a single and Girardi removed him in favor of Boone Logan. Evidently, Girardi's plan is to use many different pitches in small doses.

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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