It took two days to finish the first game of the playoffs versus the Yankees and it was not worth the wait. The Tigers lost to the Yankees 9-3 in a game with few highlights for the Tigers. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano accounted for the run differential with a six-RBI night.
Right-hander Doug Fister took over in the second inning for ace Justin Verlander who had pitched the first inning of the game last night. Fister was not as bad as his pitching line (six runs in 4 2/3 innings) indicated, but he made a couple of mistakes and paid for it. The biggest mistake was probably the hanging curve he threw to Brett Gardner with two on , two outs and two strikes in the sixth inning. Gardner's two-run single made the score 4-1 and opened the floodgates to a six-run inning.
The biggest blow of the sixth inning was a grand slam by Cano off reliever Al Albuquerque. Albuquerque had allowed just two inherited runners to score all year, but he matched that total on just one pitch in the playoffs. So, two of our most trusted pitchers had rough nights.
Delmon Young hit a solo homer off Yankees ace CC Sabathia last night in the first, but tonight the the offense was non-existent until they scored two in the ninth. Rookie Ivan Nova pitched six scoreless two-hit innings before tiring in the ninth. The Tigers scored two in the ninth and then loaded the bases forcing the Yankees to bring in Mariano Rivera. That looked like a positive given that there will be four games in four days. However, Rivera struck out Wislon Betemit on three pitches, so it may not have much effect.
Fister versus Nova looked like a pretty good match-up for the Tigers. It didn't turn out that way. Tomorrow, it will be Max Scherzer versus Freddy Garcia in a crucial game two. If the Tigers lose, they'll be one game from elimination. If they win, they'll be tied one to one as the series moves to Comerica.