Sabathia got into trouble quickly, walking Austin Jackson to start the bottom of the first. Ramon Santiago hit into a double play, but Sabathia walked Delmon Young and Miguel Cabrera back-to-back. He came back and struck out Victor Martinez to hold the Yankees lead.
Detroit got to Sabathia in the bottom of the third. Brandon Inge led off with a double to center. Jackson worked a walk and Santiago lined a single to left, scoring Inge for the Tigers’ first run of the game. A single by Young loaded the bases. Cabrera grounded into a double play, allowing Jackson to score as Detroit tied the game 2-2.
The Tigers pulled ahead in the bottom of the fifth. Inge lined a single to center and Jackson bunted him to second. A double by Santiago scored Inge as Detroit went up 3-2. Sabathia came back out for the bottom of the sixth and immediately gave up a single to Don Kelly and a RBI double to Jhonny Peralta. Alex Avila laid down a sac bunt to move Peralta to third and Sabathia’s night was done. Rafael Soriano came into the game and got Inge to pop out in foul territory by first base before striking out Jackson to end the inning with Detroit ahead 4-2.
New York started the top of the seventh with two outs, but Jorge Posada drew a walk and Russell Martin was hit by a pitch, as Verlander appeared to be overthrowing. Brett Gardner came through, lining a double to center, tying the game 4-4. Unfortunately, Jeter was unable to keep the rally going, striking out to end the inning.
Soriano returned to the mound for the seventh inning (insert appropriate snide remark about the “seventh inning guy”). He got Santiago to pop out, but his first pitch to Young was right down the middle. Young easily parked the pitch in the stands and the Tigers took a 5-4 lead, which they would hold to the end. The Yankees had a chance in the top of the ninth, as Posada and Gardner both drew walks, but Jeter struck out, ending the Yankees’ threat as the Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the ALDS.
Thoughts on Game 3:
I am not one to complain about umpires, in fact, I generally try to keep it to a minimum, and I try to keep it out of my recaps. I was an athlete through college and generally think that umpires/referees are imperfect and you just have to deal with it. As long as they are consistent with the way they call a game, I don’t mind it too much. That said, it was hard not to notice the inconsistencies in Gerry Davis’ strike zone last night. Brien touched some on this last night. While the Yankees own this loss, there is no doubt this is one of those instances where the umpire had an impact on the game.
Lost in some of the immediate reaction to the game seemed to be the fact that Justin Verlander gave up just as many runs as CC Sabathia. Verlander did look better than CC, lasting deeper into the game and not getting into as much trouble, but it wasn’t his best outing either.
A Few Postgame Quotes:
“I thought Gerry Davis had a consistent strike zone for both sides.” Jim Leyland on the umpiring.
“The zone was a small zone tonight.” Joe Girardi on the umpiring.
“I thought [CC] threw the ball well, I really do.” Joe Girardi on CC.
“The catcher called the pitch and I threw it exactly where he wanted it.” Rafael Soriano laying the blame on Russell Martin for Delmon Young’s homer.
Robinson Cano: He was a part of some crucial double plays, which saved CC on a few occasions, but it was not a good night at the plate for Cano. He went 0-4 with two Ks and two runners left on base.
CC Sabathia: While the strike zone didn’t help, CC struggled last night. He lasted just 5.1 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits and six walks. He struck out just three.
Jorge Posada: Posada got on base for the Yankees on Monday. He was 1-2 with a run scored and two walks.
David Robertson: Robertson did hit Peralta with a pitch, but otherwise he threw a scoreless, hitless inning of baseball.
In The On Deck Circle:
The Yankees season comes down to A.J. Burnett, as he takes the ball for Game 4 on Tuesday. Burnett was 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA against the Tigers this season. Girardi has stated that the temperamental right-hander will be “on a short leash.” 2011 was not a good season for Burnett, but he showed some good stuff towards the end of September. He went 7.2 innings and gave up just two runs on five hits to Boston in his last start. Rick Porcello will take the ball for the Tigers. He ended the season 14-9 with a 4.75 ERA. Opposing hitters are knocking Porcello for a .292 average this season, with lefties hitting .321 off him. First pitch is at 8:37pm in Detroit.