Welcome back to the Bronx… Tigers!
What happened to having the celebration in Detroit — 100 percent this past Tuesday night?
Well, I guess that the Tigers had to cancel the big party after getting waxed 10-1 by the New York Yankees, forcing them to come back to the Bronx to play the Yankees in the eleventh hour, ALDS Game 5.
The Yankees had their backs against the wall on Tuesday night in Comerica Park being down 1-2 in games.
Then AJ Burnett pitched a six-inning gem, at the same time the Yankee bats woke-up and the Tigers got a nice whiff of reality to realize the ALDS was not over just yet.
So, the Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the hill in the winner takes all ALDS Game 5; and the Tigers will counter with Doug Fister…. making it a rematch from last Saturday’s ALDS Game 1, Part 2.
Coming in relief after CC Sabathia’s start got rain out, Nova threw six+ scoreless innings of no hit baseball against the Tigers powerful bats. This 24 year-old seems to not get phased by situations, and the Yankees hope he remains calm and collected, but you can be sure that Yankee fans will be rocking at the Stadium particularly hard this time.
Fister took the loss, lasting just under five innings, giving up seven hits, six earned runs but struck out six Yankee hitters. This guy can without a doubt throw strikes, and at moments dominated over the Yankees line-up.
Fister has good control over the strike zone, as he doesn’t walk batters much, just two Yankees last Saturday. This might be Fister’s biggest problem too, as batters can hit him because he is easy to figure out. Even before he met the Yankees last weekend, he never has much success against them in the past but the stats are scarce, so it is hard to judge just yet.
BIGGEST FACTOR IN GAME 5:
This will come down to a battle of the bullpens, but realize that the bullpens include everybody with an arm.
And don’t believe Tigers skipper Jim Leyland statement that ace Justin Verlander will not be available for Game 5. Unless Verlander is secretly injured, there is no rhyme, nor reason that Leyland would give up going to the ALCS to keep the AL’s best pitcher on the bench.
The Yankees would even make Girardi or bench coach Tony Pena catch if it meant moving forward in the postseason; so expect to see Sabathia if things get wild. Otherwise the Yankees have the best relievers in the game, and Girardi had no need for Robertson and Rivera in Game 4, so they are both well rested.
You also have to presume that with teams that are offensively stacked, like the Yankees and Tigers are, that the bats will be hitting, especially in a batter friendly confine like Yankee Stadium.
Nothing is guaranteed as anything can happen, but with the Tigers having just faced Nova you can bet that they will capitalize off it. In my opinion, Miguel Cabrera is the best natural hitter in baseball (along with Pujols and Cano) and he can carry an entire team with his bat.
As for the Yankees, they already damaged Fister. And it looks like Fister will have to deal with A-rod and Tex, who both seemed to be getting comfortable again in Detroit. Those two were a non-factor through the first three games, so get ready for the Yankees to be that much harder to control.
Unlike the previous four games, the outcome here declares the winner and the loser, as there are no more chances left in the ALDS. In a sense it makes the first four games almost disappear.
So, who will go to ALCS to face the Texas Rangers?
The Yankees are at home, but the Tigers won in the Bronx last Sunday.
Still, they lost with Fister on the bump, and the Yankees have consistently won when Nova starts all season.
This is tough to call, so I am going with my gut and the fact that I honestly believe the Yankees are the abler ball club.
New York Yankees win ALDS Game 5, with a score of 8-4 over the Detroit Tigers.
- Fister, Nova learning the postseason ropes (mlb.mlb.com)
- Leyland keeps Tigers calm heading into Game 5 (canada.com)
- Yankees-Tigers: Aces On Deck Predictions Part 2 (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Tigers’ Fister seeks redemption after Game 1 flop (nypost.com)
- Justin Verlander unavailable, CC Sabathia a possibility for Game 5 (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- 2011 ALDS: Game 1 (Take 2) | Yankees vs. Tigers (yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com)
- Tiger’s Verlander not available for decisive Game Five (reuters.com)
- Game 5: Fister-Nova Finale Not Exactly How They Write Them Up In Hollywood (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Fister vs. Nova unlikely matchup for Tigers-Yankees finale (theglobeandmail.com)