Time/Place: 8:00 p.m., Yankee Stadium
Tickets: Check for availability from TiqIQ
SB Nation Blog: Pinstriped Bible
Pettitte made 12 starts this season after coming out of retirement, racking up the best ERA, WHIP, and strikeout-to-walk ratio since his stellar 2005 season as a member of the Houston Astros. Of course, this was only in 75 innings, and Pettitte didn't come back to pitch in the regular season. Pettitte has 19 career playoff victories -- which is more than seven current MLB franchises, by the way -- and pitched seven solid innings in a Game 2
victory loss to the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS. He has been able to hold Miguel Cabrera in check (4-for-20 career vs. Pettitte), but Delmon Young and Jhonny Peralta have both hung big offensive numbers on the lefty.
Fister's only start against the Yankees this season -- a 6 1/3 inning, two earned run outing -- came in a 4-3 Tigers loss on August 9th at Comerica Park. His last appearance at Yankee Stadium? Game 5 of the 2011 ALDS, in which he gave up one earned run in five innings of work. The Tigers would like to see Fister be much more efficient tonight though; he threw 92 pitches in the aforementioned start last October. His other start against the Yankees in last year's series was a less-than-impressive 4 2/3 inning outing in which he allowed six runs on seven hits.
Pettitte's postseason numbers are intimidating, but the Tigers' secondary hitters have had success against him in the past. Of course, if I say something along the lines of "the Tigers will score runs," then Pettitte will throw seven shutout innings. I'm more concerned with Fister's ability to get deep into the game. He will need to spot his curveball well -- something he hasn't done as consistently this year as he did during the second half of 2011 -- to keep the Yankees from sitting on his fastball. If we see the bullpen before the 6th inning, things are not going well.
The Yankees take Game 1 behind an excellent outing from Pettitte.