After playing into the wee hours of the night on Saturday, the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers are going to be back at it on Sunday in an afternoon game, as Game 2 of the ALCS kicks off.
Detroit knows that it dodged a major bullet to take the 1-0 series lead in this one, and when push comes to shove, the fact that Game 1 went to extra innings might really play into its hands. The Yanks had to burn a ton of pitchers, and the Tigers still have the same series lead. The problem though, comes in the bullpen. Jose Valverde just has to be taken out of the closer’s role, knowing that he has now blown two games in the past four days. This one on Saturday came with a four run lead. It’s going to be Anibal Sanchez hurling for the Tigers on Sunday. Sanchez didn’t pitch all that poorly against the Oakland A’s in his one playoff start, as he allowed two runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work. He ended up being the tough luck loser at the end though, and he is going to hope for some more help from his team in this one.
The Yankees are in some big time trouble right now. The only pitcher that was realistically available that didn’t pitch was Joba Chamberlain, and the fact that David Phelps had to come into the game took the discussion as to the Game 2 pitcher out of the equation. We now know that Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia are going to have to both pitch on three days of rest in Games 3 and 4. Kuroda is the first up, and he is going to be hoping for as good of a performance as he had against the Baltimore Orioles. He threw 105 pitches and threw 8.1 innings of work, allowing five hits and two runs, both of which came on solo homers. The whole left side of the infield is in flux right now for the Bronx Bombers as well. Derek Jeter broke his ankle in the decisive 12th inning last night, and he is out for the rest of the season. Could Alex Rodriguez replace him? A-Rod has been in and out of the lineup as he slumps through the playoffs, but he is going to have to be counted upon now.
The Yankees just feel like the whole season fell apart in the 12th inning last night. Now with Kuroda pitching on short rest and a tired bullpen without many great options, there is just no reason for the Bronx Bombers to be favored. Detroit 10 – New York 4