Sunday, October 2, 2011

Scherzer Keeps Yankees Offense Below Their Max

It was an ugly day in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and I'm not talking about the two hard downpours of rain that took place during Yankees rallies. Detroit Tigers start Max Scherzer no-hit the Yankees for 5.1 innings and shut down the Yankees big guns in a 5-3 Tigers win. The victory evened the series at a game apiece with Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia squaring off in Game 3 Monday night in Detroit.

Detroit jumped on former Tiger Freddy Garcia for a pair of runs to set the tone for the game. Magglio Ordonez reached on a one out single, the first of three hits he had on the day, and two batters later Miguel Cabrera smacked an opposite field home run.

The Yankees had a chance to come right back in the bottom of the inning when Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez drew two out walks. But Mark Teixeira continued his struggles against right-handers this season (.773 OPS vs. 967 from the right side) and popped up to end the inning. Scherzer retired the next 11 hitters until he walked Jorge Posada with one out in the 5th.

Scherzer than hit Russell Martin in the left hand to put two aboard with one out, but bounced back and retired Brett Gardner on a soft liner to third and and Derek Jeter on a bounce out. Garcia, meanwhile, settled down after Cabrera's home run.

The 12-game winner allowed just a single through the next four innings until the Tigers took advantage of a Jeter error to build some insurance in the 6th. Speedy Austin Jackson hit a soft grounder to short that Jeter played well, but threw into the dirt to allow the lead off man to reach. Ordonez then followed with his third single of the day to chase Jackson to third with no one out.Garcia struck out Delmon Young, but gave up back to back RBI singles to Cabrera and Victor Martinez to put the Yankees in a 4-0 hole and brought Girardi out of the dugout to go to call on the bullpen.

The Yankees finally knocked Scherzer from the game in the 7th when Posada led off with a single and Swisher reached safely on a walk. But the Tigers bullpen and a sudden torrential rain impeded the Yankees progress. Set up man Joaquin Benoit, a free agent bust in the first half before he returned to his 2010 form in the second half, stranded both runners. He retired Martin on a fly out and struck out pinch-hitter Eric Chavez. Then with the rain at it's hardest, Jeter struck out to end the threat.

Curtis Granderson finally got the Yankees on the board an inning later when he ripped a home run into the right field seats, but the Tigers answered right back with a crucial run in the 9th. Joe Girardi, for reasons unknown, went to Luis Ayala for the second straight night despite the game being "just" a three run difference. Rafael Soriano or David Robertson would have been more likely to put up a zero on the scoreboard.

Instead, Ayala hit light hitting Brandon Inge, who moved to second on a sac bunt and scored on a single by Don Kelly for a 5-1 Tigers' advantage. The Yankees hadn't hit all day, but that run proved to be a back breaker when they attempted a comeback in the 9th against closer Jose Valverde.

Swisher greeted him with a home run to right and Jorge Posada followed, improbably, with a triple. Valverde then walked Martin to bring the tying run to the plate. Andruw Jones, who had replaced Gardner in the top of the 8th, ripped a shot to right that Kelly snared for a sac fly and suddenly the Yankees were down two. The rains returned again in time for Jeter and he struck out once again. Down to their final out, Granderson walked to set up a show down between Valverde and Cano. The Tigers closer, who recorded a perfect 49-49 in save attempts during the regular season, won out this time around when Cano grounded out to second to end the game.


The Yankees fans did a horrible job when Alex Rodriguez was booed in the 8th inning after he popped out. I am not a fan who says you don't boo your players, but Rodriguez is playing on one leg and with a bad thumb, and deserves better from the fickle fans. That being said, Joe Girardi needs to move Rodriguez down in the lineup. Other teams see what he's like right now and his name alone will not protect Cano in the lineup.

A.J. Burnett will start Game 4 against Rick Porcello with the Yankees either up or down two games to one.

No comments:

Post a Comment