Bronx, NY—The ALDS is tied ay one game each as Detroit topped the Yanks, 5-3 in game two on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
The Tigers reached the scoreboard first with two runs in the top of the first frame. Magglio Ordonez singles and was driven in by Miguel Cabrera’s homer to right. Anyone familiar with the Detroit batting statistics against Yankees starter Freddy Garcia would not have been surprised by that inning’s events.
Ordonez had a .320 batting average (16 for 50) against Garcia and Cabrera was batting a strong .391 (9 for 23 with three homers). Both concluded the contest with three hits and identical ALDS batting marks of .429. Interestingly, Ordonez, Cabrera and Garcia are natives of Venezuela.
The next runs in the game were scored in the Detroit sixth. An error by Derek Jeter followed by singles by Ordonez, Cabrera and Victor Martinez, also a native of Venezuela led to two additional runs. Detroit scored its final run in the ninth.
The Yanks did not get their first base hit off Detroit starter Max Scherzer until one out in the sixth. Robinson Cano dropped a single in front of the left fielder. Scherzer was lifted in the seventh after walking Nick Swisher and giving up a single to Jorge Posada. Reliever Joaquin Benoit retired the next three batters, two by strikeout, to prevent a run from scoring.
Both managers were quite impressed by the mound performance of the 27 year old Detroit right hander. Yankee manager Joe Girardi commented, “Scherzer was really stingy. He had great movement on his fastball and on his change-up.” Detroit’s experienced skipper Jim Leyland enthused, “he was terrific against a great lineup. He was locked in; he was determined.”
Scherzer explained his pre-game feelings as well as his ability to adjust during the contest, “I had confidence that I would pitch well today. I was actually able to come out very clam.”
Scherzer walked two batters and threw 27 pitches in the first. He told reporters that his normal working manner was more amped than the way he began the game. Thus, he needed to make changes, “I picked up my tempo and started to execute my fastball. I made the adjustment from a mental level.”
The starter was asked if he was aware he was throwing a no-hitter and if it adversely affected him, He replied, “I was aware of it. There was no pressure to keep it going.”
Statistics mavens were not surprised that Scherzer easily handled the Yanks. The win he earned raised his won/loss mark against New York to 4-0 in four starts. He has given up six earned runs in 25 innings for an ERA of 2.40.
The Yanks used power to score one run in the eighth and two in the ninth. Curtis Granderson led off the eighth with a solo homer.
Nick Swisher hit the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth into the right field stands to score the second Yankees run. Jorge Posada, the next batter, tripled deep to left. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Andruw Jones.
The two teams travel to Detroit as the series continues at Comerica Park on Monday night and Tuesday. If the series is tied at two games each, the fifth and final game will be played at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.