The New York Yankees took the first game of their 3 game weekend series with the Detroit Tigers, 9-4. CC Sabathia went 7 innings for the win, moving to 7-2 on the season. Making his major league debut, 23 year old Casey Crosby took the loss. Curtis Granderson had 3 hits for the Yankees, including a grand slam. Delmon Young and Quintin Berry led the Tigers' offense with 3 hits apiece, Ramon Santiago adding a solo home run.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the their half of the 1st. Berry, playing in Comerica Park for the first time, smoked a fly ball over the head of Granderson, cruising into 3rd base standing up. Danny Worth brought Berry home with a line single to right, giving the Tigers an early 1-0 lead. It was their last lead of the night.
The Tigers' headaches started in the 2nd inning. The Yankees scored 5 times, much in thanks to Crosby's wildness (something which has long been his Achilles heel). The rookie walked 4 batters in the inning, all ultimately scoring.The first run crossed the plate when Derek Jeter drew a 2 out walk. It was a borderline call, but when it's Jeter at the plate, he gets the call over a raw rookie every single time. Doesn't make it right, but it's a fact of baseball life.
The other 4 runs crossed the plate on Granderson's no-doubt grand slam to right. What had been a tight 1-1 game suddenly turned into a 5-1 deficit on one swing of a former Tigers' bat.
Santiago's "sneaky power" finally reared its head with a lead off home run in the 3rd, his first of the season. Berry continued his pursuit of the cycle, his liner finding the gap in left center for a stand up double. Berry would score on Prince Singler's...uh, I mean, Prince Fielder's single to center, making it a 5-3 game. The Tigers would go on to load the bases, but as has become the norm, squandered the opportunity. Brennan Boesch struck out to end the threat, waving at a pair of Sabathia pitches outside of the strike zone. Boesch's at bat lowered the Tigers' batting average with the bases load to .111 on the season.
Crosby was still on the mound entering the 4th. With 1 out, 222 hitting Jayson Nix doubled down the right field line. .225 hitting Chris Stewart followed with a single through a drawn in infield to give the Yankees a 6-3 lead. Thus ended Crosby's MLB debut.
Crosby' lasted only 3 1/3 innings, allowing 4 hits, 6 runs (all earned), 4 walks and 3 strike outs. It took one bad inning to ruin his night (and that of his family as well, who were a FSD fixture for 3 innings). Luis Marte took over, and proceeded to throw 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
The Tigers threatened again in the 6th, only to come up snake eyes. They loaded the bases on singles by Delmon Young and Gerald Laird. But the Tigers remain snake bit by injury, as Laird came up lame after diving into 1st base to beat out his infield single (which replays showed to be the incorrect call, the Tigers catching a rare break). Laird limped off with what appeared to be bad hamstring, Don Kelly replacing him. But after all the drama, Boesch popped up to short left and Omir Santos grounded into the Tigers' second double play of the game.
Brayan Villarreal took over the Marte in the 8th, striking out the first 2 Yankees he faced. But what started off be an easy inning turned into a 35 pitch marathon. As has been his M.O., things quickly fell apart for VillerreaL Nick Swisher walked (those GOD DAMN WALKS again), scoring from 1st on Andruw Jones' double down the 3rd base line, easily beating Young's throw. The insurance run gave the Yankees a 7-3 lead.
To their credit, the Tigers didn't roll over and play dead. With Cody Eppley taking over for Sabathia, Miguel Cabrera doubled. to open the inning. Out went Epply, in came Boone Logan. With 1 out, Young singled for his 3rd hit of the game, Cabrera advancing to 3rd. Out went Logan, in came Cory Wade. Jim Leyland counted Joe Girardi's pitching change by pinch hitting Jhonny Peralta for Kelly. Peralta came through with a sac fly to plate Cabrera, bringing the Tigers to within 3 at 7-4.. But Boesch's rough game continued, ending the inning by lining out to left.
In the 9th, the Yankees crushed all hope of a Tigers comeback. taking 9-4 lead. After striking out 3 times, Alex Rodriguez got his revenge, sending Octavio Dotel's hanging breaking ball into the bullpen in left.
The Tigers kicked up their heels in the bottom of the 9th. Yankees' reliever Clay Rapada loaded the bases with 1 out, forcing Girardi to use his 6th pitcher of the game, closer Rafael Soriano, to quell the uprising. Which he did quite easily, Cabrera grounding into a 5-4-3 double play on a 1-0 count, the 3rd of the evening for the Tigers. Game over, man. Game over.
The loss dropped the Tigers to 4 games under .500 at 24-28, 5 1/2 games back of the Chicago White Sox.
What more is there to say about this underachieving, under-performing, under everything Tigers team? A depressing season gets one game worse.