Friday, September 30, 2011

MLB Postseason Day 1 - Running Diary - Part II

All right, I've ordered some pizza so we're ready to go for Round 2 where Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers will take on CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees. Let's hope this game's a little better than what we saw in the earlier game. With these two guys on the hill, who combined for 43 wins during the regular season, I don't think that'll be an issue. So here we go!

7:36 PM - Let's take a look at the starting lineups

For the Tigers

Austin Jackson CF - .249, 10 HRs, 45 RBIs, 22 SBs
Magglio Ordonez RF - .255, 5 HRs, 32 RBIs, 2 SBs
Delmon Young LF - .268, 12 HRs, 64 RBIs, 1 SB
Miguel Cabrera 1B - .344, 30 HRs, 105 RBIs, 2 SBs
Victor Martinez DH - .330, 12 HRs, 103 RBIs, 1 SB
Alex Avila C - .295, 19 HRs, 82 RBIs, 3 SBs
Ryan Raburn 2B - .256, 14 HRs, 49 RBIs, 1 SB
Jhonny Peralta SS - .299, 21 HRs, 86 RBIs, 0 SBs
Brandon Inge 3B - .197, 3 HRs, 23 RBIs, 1 SB

For the Yankees

Derek Jeter SS - .297, 6 HRs, 61 RBIs, 16 SBs
Curtis Granderson CF - .262, 41 HRs, 119 RBIs, 25 SBs
Robinson Cano 2B - .302, 28 HRs, 118 RBIs, 8 SBs
Alex Rodriguez 3B - .276, 16 HRs, 62 RBIs, 4 SBs
Mark Teixeira 1B - .248, 39 HRs, 111 RBIs, 4 SBs
Nick Swisher RF - .260, 23 HRs, 85 RBIs, 2 SBs
Jorge Posada DH - .235, 14 HRs, 44 RBIs, 0 SBs
Russell Martin C - .237, 18 HRs, 65 RBIs, 8 SBs
Brett Gardner LF - .259, 7 HRs, 36 RBIs, 49 SBs

7:38 PM - Sabathia takes care of Jackson on just three pitches. The big guy from Vallejo, California off to a good start.

7:39 PM - Ordonez throws a slider in the dirt that Ordonez chases and that's two strikeouts in as many hitters for the Tigers. Probably too early to be talking about this, but Sabathia's season high for strikeouts in a single game is 14 against the Mariners on July 26th.

7:41 PM - Here it comes, THERE IT GOES! Delmon Young, the former Twin - who I actually saw play when my brother and I took an April trip to Minneapolis - hits one just beyond the outstretched glove of Nick Swisher out in right field, and it's 1-0 Tigers. With Justin Verlander on the hill, that might just be enough. Young's Twins were eliminated by the Yankees the past two years. And not just eliminated, swept. So Young's still looking for his first postseason win against New York. This was his first playoff home run in 7 games though.

7:44 PM - Cabrera grounds out weakly to Jeter and we'll get our first look at the 24-game winner Verlander. If you want my opinion, this guy should be the AL's Cy Young Award winner AND their MVP.

7:48 PM - Verlander strikes out Jeter on a pitch in the dirt, but the slider gets away from Avila and Jeter just beats the throw. That'll bring up Granderson, the former Tiger, and the AL's leader in runs scored (136), and runs batted in (119).

7:51 PM - And Granderson works a walk. Not good. So there's 2 on and nobody out for the heart of the Yankees lineup. It'll start with Robinson Cano, this year's Home Run Derby Champion.

7:53 PM - Not good defense there from Miguel Cabrera. Cano chops one to first, and instead of going to second for the force, he looks like he has trouble getting a handle on the ball and instead takes the out at first. Yeah, it's an out which is important, but it puts Verlander in a tough spot.

7:55 PM - A-Rod chops one to Inge and Jeter going on contact is able to score as the Tigers take the out at first. So that ties the game up at one. Kind of surprised to see A-Rod hitting cleanup tonight considering he only hit 16 home runs this year. But then again, he did what he was supposed to do and drove in a run. So what do I know?

7:57 PM - And it's starting to rain in New York.

7:58 PM - And Verlander loses Teixeira after getting ahead of him 0 and 2, but Swisher chases the first pitch and rolls one to second. 25 pitches in the first inning for JV and the Yankees push across a run without the benefit of a base hit.

8:04 PM - Sabathia gets Avila to chase a breaking ball out of the zone for strikeout number 3. It's raining pretty good right now, we'll see how long this goes.

8:06 PM - Ryan Raburn getting the start at second base tonight for the Tigers, was one of 4 second basemen to start at least 20 games for Detroit this year. Raburn hit .383 in September though and as a result gets the nod for Game 1. It doesn't matter here though as he strikes out and ends the second. 4 strikeouts for Sabathia now.

8:10 PM - And now we're in a rain delay. At least the pizza's here though. Mmmmmmmmmm.

8:25 PM - Still raining, good interview with Ripken and Jeter though. Apparently we're waiting on a window of no rain. We'll see what happens.

8:40 PM - The tarp is off the field. That has to be a good sign, right?

8:47 PM - Yeah, this looks promising...

8:49 PM - And it looks like the tarp is back on the field. And so we wait some more...

9:05 PM - Things do not look good right now. What a mess for both teams as their aces were both on the hill when the rain started, and now if the game is delayed much longer or postponed, they've essentially been wasted. And honestly I don't know who this hurts more. Verlander has been everything to the Tigers, but it's not like the Yankees deck is stacked with starting pitching either. What a disappointing way for this whole Sabathia - Verlander matchup to go down...

9:23 PM - Well, that's it for the night. Tonight's game has been postponed to tomorrow where they'll pick things up in the bottom of the second, and tomorrow's game will be played on Sunday. What a bummer. And now it will be really interesting to see how these two teams handle their pitching the rest of the way. I guess we'll see what happens. Anyhow, thus ends the running diary for now.

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