The New York Yankees, on the brink of elimination Tuesday in game 4 of the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, found a way to win. Their 10-1 rout forced a game 5 Thursday in the Bronx.
One could argue that the game was already won in the bottom of the first inning when centerfielder Curtis Granderson made a diving catch with the bases loaded. Even A.J. Burnett, who pitched that game and made Yankees fans a little nervous right out of the gate, said that the Bombers don't get the win without Granderson's help.
But, for all the defensive talk about Granderson, he will unfortunately not be in the lineup to use his big bat according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. The heart of the lineup-Cano, Teixeira, and A-Rod-will have to bring most of the firepower, A-Rod especially. Rodriguez is batting a dismal .146 in the postseason so far. If he doesn't hit well Thursday, the boos are going to rain down and he will be a big part of the blame for the Yankees going home.
Rookie right-hander Ivan Nova, who shut down the Tigers in game 1, will start against Doug Fister. Both came on as relievers Saturday after Game 1 began Friday night but was halted after 1½ innings. Nova, who only gave up two earned runs in a 9-3 victory, should have the advantage at home.
I don't usually get nervous, Nova said after the Yankees demolition of the Tigers in Game 4 on Tuesday night. I just have fun.
The Yankees' top bullpen relievers will be available to have Nova's back, along with CC Sabathia to boot. Rafael Soriano, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera have thrown just over 4 innings of baseball thus far in the series.
But, let's not count the Tigers out either. They still have their premier hitter in Miguel Cabrera and very good hitters in Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta. They've tied the Yankees up to game 5 and can close it out in the blink of an eye with Jose Valverde if the game is close.
However, bottom line is the Yankees are at home, have the better pitcher going and, most importantly, have the bullpen plus CC Sabathia ready to go if things go south.
Yankees win 7-4.