It's all tied up coming back to Detroit. The Tigers must have made a call to Dr. Venkman, because the ghosts of Yankee Stadium had no effect on them today. The old adage of great pitching beats great hitting held true today. Verlander pitched like a grizzled vet. He had problems with finding the strike zone at times, but fought his way out of every jam he was in. All the while hitting 100 mph on the radar gun more frequently than any regular season game than I recall. His only mistake was a fastball to Johnny Damon that landed in the upper deck. Verlander came back, stopped the bleeding, and kept another big inning for happening for the Yankees. Then the bullpen shut it down allowing only one hit after Verlander left. While on the offensive side of things Marcus Thames seems to have made this series a personal vendetta against the organization that had him in the minors so many years. I'd be pissed too if I had to spend that much time in Columbus. Guillen is playing like a team MVP should, and Curtis Granderson seems to have snapped out of his post all-star nose dive as well. All in all the Tigers leave New York with 20 hits in the two games against the Yankees best two pitchers. The biggest thing is that they never showed fear. Trailing by two they just kept chipping away and played like the team that was 40 games about .500 at one point this year. Now, instead of being for staving off elimination as previously thought, the home games for the Tigers could help them advance to the second round. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. This was just one game, putting everything is back to square one. It's now a best of three game series with Detroit having home field advantage. The Tigers have to go out and play just as well here, if not better, than they played in Detroit. It's nerve racking, exhilarating, and sometimes painful to watch. But playoff baseball is something that has been sorely missed, and something that Detroit would love to get accustomed too.
Game 2 Hero: Todd Jones, and the rest of the bullpen. (0 runs, 1 hit, 4 k) A Todd Jones appearance is defined by his ability to throw strikes. After Matsui reached, the next three batter were sent down in order all after falling behind to first pitch strikes. Jones took all the abuse for a few bad games earlier this year. His gets my kudos for slamming the door in a huge game today.
Goat: It would be so easy to single out A-Rod, so why fight the urge. 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts and stranding 3 men on base will not win you any favors in Kansas City, let alone New York.
No live blog for Game 3, I will be there in the flesh. Recap late tomorrow night unless I get sloshed.