The Tigers won in Yankee Stadium, and many (younger) Tigers fans said it was one of the better baseball moments in their lives...it turns out last night's game may have been even better, as the Tigers beat the Bombers 6-0 to take a 2-1 series lead in the ALDS.
Kenny Rogers, whose past troubles against the Yankees and in the playoffs (he had the highest ERA for a pitcher ever with at least 5 postseason starts according to Elias), pitched against Randy Johnson last night in a matchup of veteran lefties. It really was a tossup of what we would get last night, but it was clear to see which one came out on top...Rogers stat line on the night: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 8 K. He was amped the whole time, hitting his spots when he wanted to, leaving a lot of Yankees hitters stunned by a wicked breaking ball and a fastball with pretty good velocity (by "soft tossing lefty" standards). When he left the game in the 8th, I literally felt goosebumps watching the crowd and his reactions on TV.
Kenny going 7.2 innings also gave some of the bullpen a pretty good rest. Obviously Zoom came in, but only faced one batter. Rodney is well rested. Jamie Walker got the night off. This was just such a huge performance by Kenny in more ways than one. His performance last night may also help the Tigs win today.
The lineup put together hits when they needed them. All year it has been said that the Tigers depended on the long ball a little too much, and we even saw several instances where this was true. The timely hitting really fell off in that second half of the season, so we knew that this series would have to be decided by dominant Tigers pitching. Well, it seems that the lineup has done their parts the last two days. Curtis Granderson has been phenomenal, Marcus Thames has done his part, and Sean Casey was very clutch last night.
In regards to the crowd at Comerica, it really did look like the City of Detroit has been desperately wanting playoff baseball for the last 19 years. From start to finish the place was rocking (I could tell watching on TV), and I could only imagine what this place would have been like in person. I really feel like the crowd was a HUGE part of this win last evening, giving Kenny and the hitters plenty to get fired up about. Good job goes out to the Tigers fans last night.
What a game. In best-of-5 series deadlocked at 1, the team who has won game 3 has gone on to win 25 of 33 of the series (Elias once again). One win away, but it obviously is FAR from over. I'm going to call today a must win. The Yankees still have what could be considered a top 3 lineup of all time, and have a very good pitcher waiting in New York if the series goes to a deciding game 5.