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ALCS Game 3 lineups: No Alex Rodriguez, no Nick Swisher

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
Comerica Park, hours before Game 3 of the ALCS.

DETROIT -- In keeping with how the 2012 ALCS has unfolded to date, Tigers manager Jim Leyland wrote out a very familiar lineup, while his Yankees counterpart seems to be searching for something he's yet to find.

Your Game 3 lineups from Comerica Park ...

Tigers

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Quentin Berry, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, DH
6. Andy Dirks, RF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Omar Infante, 2B
Justin Verlander, P

Yankees

1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Ichiro, Suzuki, RF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Raul Ibanez, DH
6. Russell Martin, C
7. Eric Chavez, 3B
8. Curtis Granderson, CF
9. Eduardo Nunez, SS
Phil Hughes, P

Obviously, the news is that Chavez is in for the struggling Alex Rodriguez at third base and that Brett Gardner is making his first start of the postseason, which means no Nick Swisher.

The other elephant in the tactical room is the Detroit closer situation. As detailed in this space, Jose Valverde struggling mightily this postseason, and that's put the pressure on Leyland to come up with alternative solutions. "I don't know how it's going to play out," said of the prospect of a Game-3 save situation. "I'm going to look at their lineup, see how it's going and go from there."

Although Leyland said Valverde is "part of the equation," the implication is that match-ups and platoon considerations will drive the decision. When you don't have a reliable, shutdown closer on the roster, that's the best approach.

Weather? Worth monitoring, as CBS Detroit forecasts temps in the low 50s by game time and a possibility of showers.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and"like" us on Facebook.

 
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