|Max Scherzer is the latest Tigers starter to dominate the Yankees. (Getty Images)|
The story of Game 4 was the story of the ALCS: Detroit starting pitching utterly dominating New York Yankees bats. Max Scherzer did the heavy lifting as the Tigers completed the sweep and claimed the pennant.
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Hero: Max Scherzer. Detroit starters entered Game 4 having allowed only one run in the ALCS, and they left Game 4 having given up just two runs. Scherzer carried a no-hitter into the sixth and struck out 10 despite not getting the inside calls at various points. Oh, and don't worry, fans of Jhonny Peralta: praise for his efforts is forthcoming.
Goat: CC Sabathia simply didn't have it. His velocity was down, and he struggled with his location all day. The Tigers stranded a number of runners in the early innings, which allowed Sabathia to dodge the killing blow ... for a while. But then in the fourth the Detroit bats worked him over. In the last Yankees game of 2012, Sabathia authored this unpleasant line: 3 2/3 IP, 6 R, 11 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 2 HR. In that brief amount of time, the Tigers played him for 93 pitches. The Yankees fared poorly in the field and at the plate, but Sabathia buried them.
Turning point: When the Tigers pushed across a second (and eventual winning) run in the fourth -- largely the result of a pretty awful defensive inning by the Yankees -- it gave Scherzer and a rested Detroit bullpen some valuable breathing room. Said breathing room would expand shortly thereafter.
It was over when: By the end of the fourth inning -- when the Tigers hung four on the board and chased Sabathia -- Detroit's chances of winning the game (and, by extension, the ALCS) increased to 96.4% per FanGraphs. In other words, the game and the Yankees' season were done at that point.
Next: The Tigers advance to the World Series for the 11th time in franchise history. They'll take on either the Cardinals or Giants and host Games 3, 4 and, if necessary 5. The hang-dog Yankees, meantime, begin what will surely be a compelling offseason.