It only took 28 hours to complete, but the Yankees blew the Tigers out, 9-3 in Game 1 of the ALDS. After the rain chased CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander last night, Ivan Nova and Doug Fister took the ball. The two righties battled before Robinson Cano got to Fister in the fifth with an RBI double. Cano would follow up with a grand slammer an inning later, giving the Bombers a 8-1 lead. Nova proved he could handle the big stage as the Yanks take a 1-0 lead in this best of five series.
1. Robinson, Robinson, Robinson: Three extra base hits. Six RBIs. The dude was on fire tonight! I questioned Girardi’s decision to switch Cano and Teix in the order, but it clearly paid dividends tonight. After barely missing a home run in the fifth inning, Cano made sure he didn’t miss again. His sixth inning Granny was a thing of beauty; an arching, majestic moon shot in the right field seats. Does he see another strike in this series? Probably not, but rejoice in knowing that CanOctober has officially begun.
2. Nover: He had four walks and was charged with three runs, but he gave the Yankees everything they could have hoped for. He got ahead of hitters, induced ground balls, and even struck out five. He picked up his first of many post season wins. Welcome to the big time, Nover.
1. Posada’s Base Running: It’ll probably go overlooked, but Posada had an ATROCIOUS base running mistake in the second inning. Posada was on third, one out, with Gardy up. Gardy hit a grounder to third with the third baseman up. Posada broke and was chased down in a rundown. Mistakes can’t happen like that moving forward.
2. 9th Inning: As Nova’s pitch count increased, his control declined. He gave up a few hits in the ninth before giving way to Luis Ayala. Ayala gave up two hits (two runs) before Girardi brought in Mo. Mo K’ed Wilson Betemit on three pitches. Good night, da lights.
I hate using Mo in non-save opportunities, but the Yankees had to have this one. With no days off until Game 5, the Yankees need to be careful with usage. D-Rob and Soriano weren’t used, so that was good.
Great play by the Captain in the fifth inning to nail the runner at the plate. Even better tag by Russell.
Huge, clutch base knock by Mr. Gardner in the sixth inning. With two outs and two in scoring position, Garnder delivered a base hit. That took a ton of pressure off the offense.
It’s always good to win the first game. The Yanks defended their home turf and took care of business. With Sabathia and Verlander slid back to Game 3, the Yankees need to have Game 2.
Sunday, 3:07 PM: Max Scherzer (15-9, 4.43 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia (12-8, 3.61 ERA)
2011 Regular Season:
Scherzer vs. NYY (2-0, 4.15 ERA)
Garcia vs. DET (0-1, 5.14 ERA)