Yankee Stadium—The Yanks now have their work cut out for them after being shut out by the Tigers, 3-0, to fall to 0-2 in the ALCS. The two teams will now travel to Detroit to play games three and four and, if necessary, game five. If the Yankees fail to win two of the three, their season will end. If they manage the near impossible task on the road, the two clubs will return to the Bronx to play game seven in Yankee Stadium next Saturday night.
As most of the post-season contests in which the Yankees have played this year, the starting pitchers easily handled the opposing hitters they faced. Hiroki Kuroda pitched with short rest, three days between starts, for the first time in his career in the majors.
The hurler from Japan must not have found the effort too taxing as he retired the first 15 Tiger batters. He fanned seven of the first nine he faced. Jhonny Peralta’s single to lead off the sixth ended Kuroda’s bid for a perfect game and no-hitter.
The first run of the game was scored in the top of the seventh. Quinton Berry doubled and crossed the plate after a single to right by Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera.
After striking out two batters to begin the eighth, four straight singles and a walk led to two runs. Kuroda left the game after 7.2 innings with 11 K’s and five hits. Although all three runs scored were allotted to Kuroda, relief pitchers Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain each yielded a single that drove in a run.
Starter Anibal Sanchez and those who followed him to the mound collectively kept the Yanks scoreless. The righty gave up three scattered hits in seven frames. Mark Teixeira doubled with two out in the first. Nick Swisher singled with two gone in the second. Raúl Ibañez led off the fourth with a single.
The only other base hit for the Yanks was a single with two out in the ninth.
Detroit’s veteran skipper Jim Leyland commented on the two starters, “I think that both starting pitchers were absolutely terrific.”
According to the batting of the Yanks in the post-season, the name Bronx Bombers is outdated. Although Alex Rodriguez has received the brunt of the jeers from the fans in attendance for obtaining 3 hits in 23 at bats including 12 strikeouts without a run batted in the first seven post-season games, he is not alone in lack of success.
Robinson Cano has 2 hits in 32 at bats. He has been without a hit in his last 26 at bats, a single post-season record. Nick Swisher has 4 hits in 26 at bats. In 26 at bats, Curtis Granderson has hit safely on three times. He has fanned 13 times. Russell Martin has hit safely 5 times in 26 ay bats. Eric Chavez has yet to get a hit in 11 times at bat.
The Yanks and Tigers will move to Comerica Park in Detroit for the next two or three games, depending on whether or not the Tigers can sweep the series. The difficulty will be intensified by the absence of Yankees captain Derek Jeter. The injured shortstop was batting .333 in the 2012 post-season.
To make matters worse, Tiger ace Justin Verlander will start in game #3 against Phil Hughes.