Originally written on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/22/14
As most of the baseball world speculates why the New York Yankees are failing on a stage where they're accustomed to succeeding, perhaps it's time for the experts take a look at what the Detroit Tigers are doing right. The Tigers lead the American League Championship Series two games to none after Sunday's 3-0 Game 2 victory because their starting pitching has been better. It was true in the Tigers' AL Division Series victory over the Oakland A's, and it remains true now. The numbers don't lie. In seven posteseason games, Tigers starters Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer have a combined 0.94 ERA. They have allowed just five earned runs in 48 innings, and haven't given up an earned run in the last 28 23 innings dating back to Game 3 of the ALDS in Oakland. Still, it hasn't been an easy playoffs for the Tigers because their offense hasn't been lighting up opposing pitchers. The usual M.O. has been to watch the pitchers duel, score late and then hold on for dear life. Closer Jose Valverde ruined that in Game 1 Saturday night, when the Tigers had to roar back to win 6-4 in 12 innings, but that didn't negate Fister's scoreless 6 13 innings. On Sunday, it was Sanchez's turn. He didn't allow a run over seven innings and gave up just three hits, striking out seven and walking three, before turning the ball over to a suddenly lights-out Phil Coke. Sanchez needed to be good because Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda matched him pitch for pitch, holding the Tigers hitless through five innings. "I thought both starting pitchers were absolutely terrific," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I haven't seen that much of Kuroda. I thought he was terrific. Sanchez was matching him inning for inning. "He (Sanchez) was terrific. This is a tough place to pitch with a tough lineup and a short porch and a whole bunch of left-hand hitters. It's not easy. That was quite a feat." Although Yankee Stadium, with its tight dimensions, is a difficult place for pitchers, Sanchez was able to keep the Yankees off-balance, which kept the fans quiet -- except when they were booing struggling hitters like Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and former Tiger Curtis Granderson. "I think Sanchez did a great job of holding them down and keeping us in the ballgame," Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson said. "I think that had a lot to do with it. It took us a while to get going but we were able to get something going and he kept it going." Sanchez, 28, is a fairly quiet person who just seems to go about his business. But when he struck out Jayson Nix to end the seventh, he pumped his fist and showed more emotion than he had during his entire time as a Tiger. "He was definitely pumped up," Jackson said. "We feed off that. We like to see that from the pitcher. "When he's up there, pumped up about what he's doing, that definitely gives us some motivation on the offensive side." Frustrated Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected when second base umpire Jeff Nelson missed a call, calling Omar Infante safe when he was clearly out, knows that his hitters are going to have to do a better job against Detroit's starters. "We know what they're doing to us," Girardi said. "You gotta make the adjustments. They're not going to put it on a tee for us. We know that, and we're more than capable of scoring runs. "We've done it a number of times this year. We have to make some adjustments." Easier said than done for the Yankees, who face Verlander in Game 3. He's 2-0 with an 0.56 ERA in the postseason so far, including a complete-game gem in Game 5 of the ALDS. "Every win is really important right now," Sanchez told TBS on the field after the game. "We need to keep winning and try to make the World Series as soon as we can. I know the Yankees are a very good team. "We can't give them any chance for tying the series." If Sanchez and the rest of the Tigers keep pitching the way they have so far, the Yankees coming back to tie the series seems unlikely.
1 Comment:
  • It is typical media coverage when any sporting event involves one of New York's finest. Of course if the Yankees are getting their hind ends handed to them it must be because they are "upset" or some other illogical reason. It couldn't be that the Detroit Tigers have the absolute Best Starting Rotation in Major League Baseball. It also couldn't be because they have the Best Starting Pitcher in baseball, Justin Verlander and reigning MVP and Cy Young award winner. Possibly it is because the Tigers have Miguel Cabrera the First Triple Crown Winner in the last FORTY FIVE years, and the best hitter in baseball. Or that they have Prince Fielder hitting behind Cabrera in the Cleanup spot, who also had 30 home runs and over 100 RBIs. No it must be because the Yankees don't feel inspired??? On a side Note, the Tigers have to dump Benoit and ValVerde. Their poor performances ruin great games thrown by their starters, ruin the game for the fans, and cause discord on the team! Yeah, and it is time for Leyland to Retire!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.