Game Thread: ALDS GAME ONE

UPDATE, 10:27 PM: The game has been officially postponed. They’re going to pick it up in the bottom of the second tomorrow; Game Two will now be on Sunday at 3:07. This sucks. A lot.

Just like at Opening Day, we’ve got CC Sabathia and the Yankees hosting Justin Verlander and the Tigers. I can’t believe it’s playoff time. The March to 28 starts in earnest tonight. Here are the lineups:

Detroit Tigers:

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Magglio Ordonez, RF
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Alex Avila, C
7. Ryan Raburn, 2B
8. Jhonny Peralta, SS
9. Brandon Inge, 3B

New York Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Jorge Posada, DH
8. Russell Martin, C
9. Brett Gardner, LF

LET’S GO YANKEES! … Click here to read the rest

2011 ALDS Preview, Part 5 | Keys for the Yankees and Keys for the Tigers


Welcome to the fifth and final installment of TYA’s 2011 ALDS Series Preview (at least, final before the ALDS actually starts), in which we’ll be taking a look at a few specific factors that could influence how the series plays out. If you haven’t already done so, please see TYA’s previous playoff preview posts:

Part 1: The 2011 Yankee Offense, Top to Bottom
Part 2: Head-to-Head Overall Team Numbers
Part 3: ALDS Game 1 Starters: CC Sabathia v. Justin Verlander
Part 4: The Tigers’ Lineup

Keys for the Yankees in the ALDS

1) Get the bullpen a lead. For as pleasant a surprise as the rotation was for much of the year, the 2011 Yankees were also the beneficiaries of the best bullpen in baseball this season, leading the AL in ERA and all of MLB in strand rate, and boasting the third-best FIP and xFIP in the American League (behind only the Red Sox and White Sox). Much of the bullpen’s excellence was due to the emergence of David Robertson as perhaps the best relief pitcher in the game, complementing a just-as-excellent-as-ever Mariano Rivera to form a near-flawless 8th-9th inning endgame for the Yankees.… Click here to read the rest

2011 ALDS Preview, Part 4 | Tigers' Starting Lineup

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

For previous TYA 2011 ALDS Preview pieces, please see the following:

Part 1: The 2011 Yankee Offense, Top to Bottom
Part 2: Head-to-Head Overall Team Numbers
Part 3:  ALDS Game 1 Starters: CC Sabathia v. Justin Verlander

We touched on the Tigers’ offense yesterday and noted how Miguel Cabrera could singlehandedly wreck the Yankees’ postseason aspirations, and now we’ll dive in deeper and look at what I’d expect to be a reasonable approximation of the Tigers’ lineup. Jim Leyland apparently likes to mix and match a bit, and recent lineups show that he’s deployed any one of Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago or Will Rhymes at 2B of late, and has also rotated Wilson Betemit (who just came back this week from a knee tweak), Don Kelly and Brandon Inge at 3B, but for the purposes of this post I’m going with the nine that appear to give the Tigers their most potent offensive attack (I wouldn’t bat Magglio Ordonez seventh, but I imagine Leyland will at some point in this series), assuming everyone’s healthy.… Click here to read the rest

Who fared better in September, the Tigers or the Yankees?

You know what's even scarier? Dude had a .537 wOBA in September!

Earlier this season, I ran a post explaining that the playoff teams that go the farthest in October are the ones that do the best in the second half of the season, not the ones with the best records. From the 2010 Giants to the 2007 Rockies, teams that succeeded down the stretch carried that success into the postseason. With that in mind, I wanted to take a look at how the Yankees and the Tigers both fared in September. If recent history is any indicator, the team that played better in the last month of  the season may have  an advantage in the ALDS.

This is one of a series of recent posts that we’ve run that tie together nicely. For more comparisons of this kind, take a look at Larry’s September wrap up, and his ALDS preview.

The Yankees ran a lot of AAA players onto the field in September, so this post doesn’t examine team level data.… Click here to read the rest