Tigers Complete Sweep of Yankees, Headed to World Series
Bronx Bombers never regained composure after losing Derek Jeter
The Detroit Tigers are headed to the World Series after easily handling the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, sweeping the Bronx Bombers 4-0. The Tigers came out swinging on Thursday afternoon following Wednesday night’s rain-out of ALCS Game 4, and they put up 6 runs off Yankees’ ace CC Sabathia including a towering home run by Tigers’ shortstop Jhonny Peralta that sealed the deal in the fourth inning. The Tigers got to Sabathia early, scoring in the bottom of the first on two-out single by Delmon Young that plated Omar Infante to give them the early 1-0 lead. In all, the Tigers hammered Sabathia for 6 runs on 11 hits in just 3 2/3 innings worth of work before the Yankees turned to Cody Eppley to stop the bleeding.
Detroit countered with right hander Max Sherzer who was lights-out for the ball club from the very first pitch. Sherzer got Ichiro Suzuki to pop out to third baseman Miguel Cabrera to start the game and then retired Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano via strike-out to set the tone of the afternoon. Sherzer fanned two in the second, one in the third and two-each in the fourth and fifth innings before finally giving up his first hit to Edward Nunez to lead off the top of the sixth inning.
The Yankees finally slowed Detroit’s offense in the sixth as Joba Chamberlain retired Young and Peralta to start the inning, but the Tigers made things interesting when after an Andy Dirks single and a ground-rule double by Avisail Garcia put two-on with two-out and brought Girard Laird to the plate. Chamberlain kept his cool however, and Laird grounded out to first baseman Teixeira to end the inning.
In the seventh, the Tigers’ reliever Octavio Dotel allowed a lead-off walk to pinch hitter Jayson Nix which led to Joe Girardi sending Curtis Granderson to the plate as a pinch hitter to try to get something going. Granderson had been benched for the game, as had Alex Rodriguez; however both men were used in the game to try to get a spark going in the Yankees’ offense. Granderson failed to deliver though, and struck out to give Dotel his first out of the inning. He wasted no time mowing down Brett Gardner for out number two, and popping Eduardo Nunez out to center to send the Detroit fans into a frenzy as they headed into the seventh inning stretch at Comerica Park.
The Tigers’ official victory party started in the bottom of the 7 th as Austin Jackson took reliever Derek Lowe’s second pitch of the game well over the left field wall to give the Tigers a commanding 7-1 lead, and effectively closed the door on any possibility of a Yankees come-back. Peralta uncorked the champagne with his second shot of the night over the left field wall to give them an 8-1 lead and left the Yankees looking helpless on the steps of their dugout. Phil Coke took the hill for the Tigers for the top of the 9 th inning, and made short work of things, retiring Teixeira and Rodriguez via grounders to Peralta to leave things up to Jayson Nix to save things for the Yankees. To the chants of “sweep…. sweep!” echoing throughout Comerica Park, Coke popped Nix up to first baseman Prince Fielder, and for the 11 th time in franchise history, the Detroit Tigers were headed to the World Series.
The Tigers now await the winner of the Cardinals/Giants series which currently sees St. Louis up 2-1 over the Giants. The Yankees will return home and think about what might have been had Derek Jeter remained healthy for the series and Alex Rodriguez’s bat had not become extinct for their entire playoff run. The Tigers will start their ace, Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the World Series against the winner of the NLCS.
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