I don't think I was alone in having a bad feeling about this game. Take your pick for the reasons: It's on ESPN, where the Tigers play notoriously bad. Twenty-year-old rookie Rick Porcello was making his home debut. And he was doing it as a right-hander, facing a team of hard-hitting lefties and switch hitters. Whatever the reason, the Tigers gave up that one crooked number to the Yankees again and coudln't come back from it.
The Tigers showed some heart in the ninth inning, scoring five runs and forcing the Yankees to bring closer Mariano Rivera into the game, but by that point, it was mostly academic. Entertaining, but academic.
Miguel Cabrera flashed some leather in the first inning, as Porcello took advantage of his defense to make some outs. Joel Zumaya pitched two scoreless innings, allowing a hit. The ninth innning rally was nice, including a 377-foot, 3-run blast by Curtis Granderson off Rivera.
Plenty to make a cat sad. The batters did not get untracked for a second straight game. The young pitchers struggled. Nick Swisher homered from both sides of the plate, and he did it in consecutive innings. The Tigers were held to 3 hits by Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain. He struck out six.
One or two turning points, I guess. The Tigers let Chamberlain off the hook in the bottom of the third inning, where he struggled with his control and walked three. They scored a run, but Cabrera left the bases loaded.
At the top of the fourth, Porcello was struggling as well, pitching too often up in the strike zone. Swisher made him pay with a three-run home run to left field. Porcello still couldn't keep the ball down, and lefty Clay Rapada only made it worse, as the Yankees answered the Tigers with a seven-run inning.
Comment of the night:
I think Densogirl summed it up for all of us when the Yankees took an 8-1 lead and she said:
Kurt of Mack Avenue Tigers is filling in for the next seven days while Ian is in Seattle visiting Ichiro.