The New York Yankees are down to their last loss of the season, and they’ll fight for everything that they can scratch together on Thursday afternoon following Wednesday’s rain out when they try to stave off elimination against the Detroit Tigers.
The Yankees sure as heck aren’t hitting, as they have scored just one run in their last two games. The bullpen has to be exhausted after throwing another five frames on Wednesday. A-Rod has just one hit in this series and has been benched, the same could be said about Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano only just got his first hit of the series yesterday in another dismal 1-for-4 effort. That means that CC Sabathia is going to really need to bring it tonight and likely need to go the distance to keep his team’s season alive. To say that Sabathia is a horse is a tremendous understatement. He threw a complete game and allowed just one run in Game 5 of the ALDS, and that marked his fifth straight game pitching at least eight innings. He allowed no more than two runs in any of those games and struck out at least seven in all of them as well. If there’s a man that can right the ship in this series all by himself, this is the man that can do the trick.
Max Scherzer is one of the few pitchers that are throwing this time of year that only has one start in the playoffs under his belt in the campaign. He threw Game 4 of the ALDS seven days ago and did well, allowing just one unearned runs in 5.1 innings, striking out eight and walking just one. However, thanks to a rally by the Oakland Athletics, he got a no-decision in a 4-3 loss. Scherzer has been one of the most consistent arms that Manager Jim Leyland has had to rely upon this year, and he has to think that his righty can match wits with Sabathia when push comes to shove. The possibility is there that Scherzer will have a long wait between his next two starts as well, as he might end up throwing Game 2 of the World Series or Game 3 or 4, depending upon how long it takes for the Tigers to presumably close out the Bronx Bombers. This is a crucial spot to make sure that the rest of the team gets to rest up some before the Fall Classic.
As great as Sabathia is, and as much as we think that he is going to pitch the full game, we just don’t know if that’s going to be enough. Scherzer is capable of some remarkable things, and the Detroit bullpen, as bad as it has been, is still rested having basically taken two full days off from having to pitch. Expect this to be a classic that perhaps goes to extras, and in the end, someone for the Tigers will flash the big stick that wins this series. Detroit 2 – New York 1