Game 52 Preview: Yankees at Tigers

May 26, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

New York Yankees (27-23) at Detroit Tigers (24-27)

Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation Blog: Pinstripe Alley

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: CC Sabathia (6-2, 3.66 ERA) vs. Casey Crosby (first Major League start)

The Oakland A's had Sabathia on the ropes in his last start, but stranded 5 runners in the first three innings. They scored two runs, but could have had much more with a timely base hit or two (sound familiar?). Sabathia went into cruise control from there, allowing just two more base runners in the next four innings en route to a 9-2 Yankees win. He wasn't at his best, but his command was much improved. In his two starts prior to this one, he had walked 9 batters in a combined 13 innings. He's gone at least 6 innings in every start this season. He's like a boss from an early 1990s video game; it takes forever to finally get rid of him and by the time you do, you're too depleted to do anything worthwhile afterward.

As for Crosby? Well, I have a huge test today (in fact, I'll already be done by the time you read this), so I'm going to take the lazy route and defer to my colleagues.

First, Al:

[The] 23 year old Casey Crosby has 9 starts with Mud Hens in 2012, posting a 4-2 record with 4.26 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 43 H, 28 R, 24 ER, 4 HR, and a 57K/26BB ratio in 50.2 innings. Crosby was hit hard early on, but his last 2 starts have been a vast improvement. He tossed 8 innings, allowing only 5 hits and 2 runs on May 20th. On May 29th, Crosby went 7 innings, with 4 hits and 3 runs.

Then, Patrick/Tigerdog:

Crosby is a 23-year-old, 6-foot-5, 200-pound efty with a fastball that sits in the mid to low 90s that he can dial up to the high 90s. He also features a curve ball, slider and change that have major league potential. In high school, Crosby was All-Area, All-Region, All-Conference, and All-State in 2007, and was named the Gatorade Illinois player of the year.

Outlook

Last night's game was a big win for the Tigers, providing them with some momentum heading into what could be a crucial 6-game homestand before starting interleague play. However, if you thought the proverbial hill to climb in last night's game was bad, tonight's is a mountain. I don't like the idea of a lefty with iffy command facing the Yankees in his first Major League start. Thankfully, it worked out the first time around this season, but I'm a bit afraid to double down here. The offense might have to win this one.

Prediction

Miguel Cabrera homers and the offense knocks out Sabathia in less than 6 innings.

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