The Narrative: The New York Yankees are better than the Detroit Tigers, and they will sacrifice their best starter for your best starter every day of the week and twice on Sundays to come out on top.
It took something like 28 hours to complete, not including the five hours spent between the top and bottom halves of the seventh inning, but the New York Yankees triumphed over the Detroit Tigers 9-3.
While certainly not dominant, Ivan Nova’s six plus almost scoreless innings of one run, four hit, four walk, five strikeout ball in relief of C.C. Sabathia’s two inning start from yesterday gave the lineup more than enough rope to tie on runs, including a grand slam off the bat of Robinson Cano in the sixth inning.
Anatomy Of A Base Running Mistake
When play resumed after the day long rain delay in the bottom of the second, Jorge Posada led off with a single. A Russell Martin double moved Posada to third, but when the next batter, Brett Gardner, grounded the ball to Brandon Inge, the former Yankees catcher took off from third far too quickly and Inge charged right at him.
Even though by charging at the base runner, Inge left Posada the option of returning to third base, the New York designated hitter froze for a second and then began slowly moving home where he was tagged out. Likewise, the normally alert Martin stayed close to second and couldn’t move up on Posada’s blunder.
The next two batters struck out, and runs were not meant to be.
It was only slightly better than this base running flub from the past:
The Most Important Play Of The Game
Brett Gardner’s two out single in the sixth inning scored two runs and put the Yankees up 4-1. The hit to right field increased the probability of New York winning by 15.4%. However, the real play of the game would be Joe Girardi pencilling in Robinson Cano into the lineup. The Yankees second baseman knocked in of the Yankees runs.
The Biggest Disappointment Of The Game
With the Tigers threatening in the fifth inning, Jhonny Peralta singled to center field. Catcher Alex Avila attempted to go from second all the way home, but a throw from Curtis Granderson to Derek Jeter was then relayed right to Russell Martin who tagged Avila and somehow managed to hang on to the ball. It was far and away the most exciting play of the game and represented three stellar defensive plays.
The Shamsky Award
Named after Art Shamsky, who single handedly increased the Cincinnati Reds’ chances of winning by 150.3% in a losing effort during a game in 1966, The Shamsky Award is given to the player on the losing team who contributes the most to them winning.
Delmon Young hit a solo home run for the Tigers in the first inning of the game, which seems like such a long time ago. The solo shot means that Young contributed more to a Tigers victory than any one else on the team.
The Aggravating Thing That The Managers Did
If I was a manager would I really want to ensure that Magglio Ordonez had the second most at bats of any player on my team in a playoff game? No. No, I would not.
The Statistics You Won’t Believe
Of the five Yankees pitchers who tossed more than 100 innings this year, no one got more run support than Ivan Nova.
Only three pitchers this year had better run support than Nova — Tim Wakefield, Derek Holland and John Lackey.
Carefully Selected Quote Cliche Of The Game
From Baseball Prospectus, tonight I’ll go with Robinson Cano’s perspective:
I wasn’t looking for the pitch at all, but he just threw it over the plate and I put a good swing on it. They left a couple of pitches over the plate and I took advantage of them.
Stray Observations Of The Game
I think the Detroit Tigers are in a lot of trouble. Seriously, this team is built to win right now, and they’re not nearly good enough to do that.
Guilty pleasure: Just between you and me, there aren’t a lot of players on the New York Yankees that I hate. If this team were to face the Phillies in the World Series, I’d probably find myself cheering for them.
It amazes me how quickly Russell Martin has become a prototypical New York Yankees player.
Brett Gardner is very, very fast.
I love how Mariano Rivera was brought in at the end and he just rolls his eyes and strikes a guy out on three pitches without the least bit of anything resembling effort.