Well that was something. The Detroit Tigers entered the ninth inning up 4-0 on the New York Yankees, but a collapse from the Jose Valverde formerly known as “closer” would erase that with an erratic 28-pitch outing while his manager left him out there to rot. The Tigers would pick up the lead once again in the 12th inning with some help from some Eric Byrnes-esque clowning in the outfield by Nick Swisher and a successful assassination attempt on the Derek Jeter’s left ankle. Terrible news for the Yankees. Terrible news for baseball.
No, this post-game recap will not attempt to make much sense of anything that happened tonight. It was an evening into the early morning affair in which human garbage specimen Delmon Young would emerge the hero from, thus none of this makes any logical sense anyway.
Game One was highlighted by a strong outing from Doug Fister, who started off the night in a highly un-Fister like manner by walking three batters in the first inning. Fister would regain his control, but only after taking a line drive off his right wrist in the bottom of the second. Things were going swell for the Tigers up until the point that Valverde surrendered a leadoff single to Russell Martin, followed by a two-run shot off the bat of Ichiro, then whiffs of Jeter and Robinson Cano. Papa Grande ultimately lost his job, unless Jim Leyland is crazy enough to let him pitch in a high leverage situation again (Ed. note: Leyland may be crazy enough to allow this), after walking Mark Teixeira and giving up another two-run shot to RAUL IBANEZ.
Young, who had earlier driven in a run on a single and put the Tigers up by three with a solo shot in the eighth, drove in Miguel Cabrera for the go ahead run in the 12th. Tigers take the ALCS opener by a final of 6-4.
The official word on Jeter is a fractured ankle and he will be out for the remainder of the playoffs. That’s devastating news for the Yankees, who will have to run with Jayson Nix (or Eduardo Nunez once he can be added to the roster) at short in his absence.
Young set a new Tigers postseason home run record. The previous statement is entirely true.
Win Expectancy Graph
The Most Important Play of the Game
It could have been Doug Fister getting Curtis Granderson and Martin on back-to-back swinging strikeouts with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning. It could have been Delmon Young lifting a ball over the wall to give the Tigers that third run that would have held off a late surge from Ichiro. It could have been Raul Ibanez brining the game to a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the ninth.
I suppose we’ll award the most important play of the game to Delmon Young for his 12th inning double that plated Cabrera. Delmon Young the hero. It hurts just typing that.
Chyron Fail of the night: TBS Drops a Willie Mayes
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.
By WPA, Raul Ibanez walks away with the Shamsky Award for Game One. 2-for-5, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 RBI
Tweets of the Game
Prince Fielder sweats butter.
— J.R. O’Grady (@BronXoo) October 14, 2012
Jeter leading the other stranded baserunners to the dugout like a captain.
— Matt Sussman (@suss2hyphens) October 14, 2012
Austin Jackson is the only active player, both of whose names are state capitals. Probably.
— Carson Cistulli (@cistulli) October 14, 2012
Maybe we should try crushing a ball against Jose’s wrist.
— Phil Coke’s Brain (@PhilCokesBrain) October 14, 2012
Joey Votto isn’t playing anymore. RT @mikeaxisa: Derek Lowe is not the pitcher I would have brought in to face the best hitter on the planet
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) October 14, 2012
TBS stands for Treasure Bruce Springsteen
— Jeff Sullivan (@LookoutLanding) October 14, 2012
— Jeffrey Ware (@JerseyTigerFan) October 14, 2012
Ichrio can homer whenever he wants to some of the time.
— Jay Jaffe (@jay_jaffe) October 14, 2012
Valverde should never pitch for Detroit again.
— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) October 14, 2012
The Aggravating Thing The Manager Did
Where do we start? Oh yes, we start with Leyland leaving Jose Valverde out there with no semblance of his former self in sight. It’s really a wonder that the Tigers pulled off a win tonight while leaving their best reliever, Al Alburquerque sitting idle in the bullpen all night. Methinks we’ll get a look at Alburquerque in some high leverage situations moving forward. Then again, maybe we won’t.
Hat-tip to Joe Girardi here, too. Girardi taxed the shit out of his bullpen with Hiroki Kuroda set to go on short rest Sunday afternoon. We haven’t mentioned the removal of Alex Rodriguez from the game, which was completely ok, but man… what a tire fire.
The Three Stars
1. Delmon Young: Ugh.
2. Doug Fister: It’s remarkable that Fister, who was shaky to start the night, even came back out for the third inning after taking a come backer off of his throwing paw. Look at what he made Granderson look like later:
3. Raul Ibanez: Its now three home runs in the ninth inning or later for the 40-year old.