Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Game 1: Yankees 8 Tigers 4

The Tigers lost their first playoff game in 19 years tonight 8-4 to the Yankees. It's late and I assume most of you saw the game so I'll just give some quick thoughts:
  • First, I enjoyed the game. It was really exciting to finally see the Tigers in a playoff game. I never felt they were out of it until Mariano Rivera came in to pitch the 9th.
  • I'm trying to stay optimistic but the Yankees line-up is amazing. It's literally an all-star line-up from top to bottom, perhaps the best line-up in the history of the game when all are healthy. They are an incredibly well disciplined team. It seems like they never swing at a bad pitch and when you give them something to hit they hit a line drive. It's quite a contrast to the free swinging Tigers.
  • Nate Robertson was hit hard and may have been left in too long. I think Leyland was hoping he could get through the 6th before going to the big boys in the bullpen. He can't bring in Joel Zumaya for multiple innings every game especially when they are behind. I'm pretty sure we'll see Zoom pitch 2 and maybe even more tomorrow regardless of the score. Robertson gave up 7 runs on 12 hits though. It's tough to bring in the middle relievers against such a tough line-up but I expected Leyland to bring in Jason Grilli or somebody quicker than he did.
  • With Rivera available for no more than one inning per game this series, the Yankee bullpen is very vulnerable and I was really hoping the Tigers could get to it before the 9th. I was surprised and happy to see Chien-Ming Wang removed in the 7th after just 93 pitches and after retiring 6 in a row. I was even more pleased to see Curtis Granderson greet Mike Myers with a home run. Nice performance by Granderson tonight. Magglio Ordonez came up as the potential tying run in the same inning but flied out to center.
  • Pudge Rodriguez looked very bad tonight. He swung and missed on a hit and run in the 2nd and ended up going a very weak 0 for 4. They need better than that from him in this series.
  • Derek Jeter will be regarded as a saint by the media after this one but I have to admit he put on a great show - 5 for 5 with a homer and 2 doubles.
  • Game 2 will feature Mike Mussina and Justin Verlander and I think we can count of Joel Zumaya pitching a couple of innings as well. Hopefully, the two power pitchers will have better luck than Robetrtson did today.


  1. I thought Torre could've gone with Wang a little longer than he did. I was hoping that going to the bullpen would prove to be a mistake. I really thought that with all the balls Farnsworth was throwing, the Tigers might really be able to get something going.

    I watched at a bar down the street from my place. I must have looked a bit dejected after the final out. A guy across the bar said to me, "Hey, it's only Game One" and lifted his beer up in salute. Yeah, it's only Game One.

    I'm approaching the series with the attitude that I'm still going to root like hell for them, but I'm going to take it all in stride. I'm not expecting anything at all from the Tigers (because we're watching the Tigers that finished 19-31, not the Tigers that started 76-36).

    They've already let me down by not sealing the deal on the division title, so what's the worst that can happen? Maybe they've got enough going for them that the adage "anything can happen in the postseason" could still hold true.

  2. Jeter may be regarded as a saint by the media, but no one will talk about the fact that no umpire will ever ring him up on a called third strike. Robertson got hosed on 2 balls right over the middle half of the plate. Jeter knows he will never get a strike 3 called against him. Its the zenith of arrogance! He gets rung up in the third and its a different ballgame...well its a different game if Robertson fields that tapper back to the mound as well...Beans!!!!

  3. It's got to be the Verlander/Zumaya show tonight. This is there best chance, and an opportunity make the Yankees hitters uncomfortable if that's possible.

  4. I agree Verlander/Zumaya is their best chance providing, of course, that Verlander has his good stuff tonight. I think the power guys have a better chance at stopping the Yankees than the finesse guys.


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