ALCS Game Two preview/lineups

Mental toughness:

I’m usually the last person to put a lot of stock in psychological mumbo-jumbo when it comes to explaining baseball outcomes, but you’d have to be a parody of a spreadsheet loving stats-geek to think there will be no effect on the Yankees after the way last night ended. Losing after the big ninth inning comeback would have been bad enough, but to lose Derek Jeter on top of it, well, at some point you really do start to feel like the baseball gods are just screwing with your emotions, especially after the way the whole season has gone. The Yankees have to find a way to not let them bother them, but they’ll also need someone who hasn’t been hitting to step up and fill the void in production Jeter leaves, and then some.

Be a Hiro:

Hiroki Kuroda has never pitched a game on short res in his MLB career, but today he will. He has to find a way to get outs. It’s that simple. The Yankees could have gone with Derek Lowe or David Phelps, but this is a must win game, which means that your best players need to step up, and Kuroda has been their most dependable starter all season. Call on him is the right move, and now it’s on him and the bullpen to step up. Period.

Kuroda was excellent in Game Three against Baltimore, holding the O’s scoreless with the exception of a couple of home runs that came on get me over breaking balls to Ryan Flaherty and Manny Machado, and he pitched to a 3.38 ERA in two starts against the Tigers this year.

Anibal Sanchez:

The Tigers will be doing the Yankees something of a favor by starting their fourth best starter in today’s game, but unfortunately that’s Anibal Sanchez, who’s certainly no slouch. Sanchez, the former Red Sox prospect who went to Florida in the Josh Beckett trade, has come back from injury to become a very solid big league pitcher, and posted a 3.53 FIP ovr 195.2 innings between the Marlins and Tigers this year. 74.2 of those innings came with Detroit, where he posted a 3.74 ERA. The Yankees faced him one time this season, and touched him up for seven runs in three innings, a performance they’d be well advised to duplicate today.

Bronx Bombers:

Not to sound like a broken record, but, the offense absolutely has to show up today. The ninth inning outburst was great and all, but that obscures the fact that, otherwise, Detroit shut them out for 11 innings, and the Yankees blew several scoring opportunities early. The culprits are basically the same as they have been all postseason, with Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Curtis Granderson functioning as human runs stoppers right now. Something has to be done to change that, but only so much of it can come from manager Joe Girardi. First and foremost, Cano absolutely has to start playing like the Yankees’ best hitter because, well, he is. And it’s really hard to have postseason success when your best player is doing absolutely nothing productive for you, and Cano hasn’t had a hit since the first inning of Game Two in Baltimore.


Here are the full lineups for both teams:


Austin Jackson CF
Quintin Berry LF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Andy Dirks RF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Alex Avila C
Omar Infante 2B

Anibal Sanchez RHP


Ichiro Suzuki LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher RF
Jayson Nix SS

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

22 thoughts on “ALCS Game Two preview/lineups

  1. I like what's happening with the top of the lineup here (basically the same as yesterday, with everybody moved up a spot, and Martin moving into the 5th spot)… but honestly, I'd be starting Gardner instead of Swisher today (probably in left, with Ichiro in right). Joe just said in the press conference that he's got a gut feeling about Swisher; my gut feeling about Swisher is nausea at the moment.

    Here's hoping Kuroda can step up and keep us in this game on 3 days rest. But it's all up to the offense today, really. If we win today, maybe we can also surprise everybody against Verlander on Tuesday.

    • I’m not really against that, but they just aren’t comfortable with Gardner getting regular at bats after missing the whole season, which isn’t crazy. And while I like being aggressive with the hot hand in the playoffs, making that kind of change to your plans would strike me as borderline panic, and true panic moves are never really a good thing.

      • I can definitely see the point about not wanting to give Gardner regular at bats. I think the ship may have already sailed on true panic moves with the various A-Rod machinations, though.

      • Gardner may have not had regular at bats, but Swisher is 3 for 23. Surely, Gardner could bunt his way on with a higher average than .130.

        As far as Joe having a feeling about Swisher, are we talking about the same Joe Girardi that had a feeling about A-Rod the other day? This is probably one of the few times Joe *ought* to consult his binder.

      • I'm sure you're also very OKAY with bunching strike out machines at the bottom together. Yep, definitely better than "panicking".

    • I thought about this last night, and apparently so did the MSM who asked Joe who shot it down faster than Bartolo Colon hitting the buffet line.

  2. Seriously… they miss Jeter a LOT more in the postseason than they do in the regular season

  3. Well I had hoped Kuroda would step up on 3 days rest, and man did he step up… he should have been out of the 7th with the botched DP, and if we can't say Cano should have made the DP (I think he should have), he would have at least been out of the 8th with only the one botched-DP run if not for the 2nd base umpire. But that wouldn't have mattered given our utter inability to push a run across the plate today. The offense really needs to step up against Verlander on Tuesday… I hope A-Rod's single in the 9th is an indication that he's woken up a bit.

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  5. Honestly, at this point if you don't think there's such a thing as clutch and not clutch you're just being stupid. Obama was born in America, get over it.

    • The argument about clutch isn't that players can't be chokers. The argument is that there aren't special players who play a certain level through the season or their career, and then magically find another gear. Miguel Cabrera looks clutch right now, but he's been tremendously successful throughout his career. The Yankees lineup looks full of chokers since October 5th. While its undeniable, it;s probably not predictive. Sure, whatever is leading to this unfathomably inept offensive display may continue, but it's probably not a part of any individual's skill set or that likely to happen next October. See: every player's year to year playoff statline.

      Glad we agree Obama is US-born. It's worth pointing out that there's probably a negative association between doubt in 'clutch play' and doubt in Obama's US-birth.

  6. I don't know. Call me crazy, but I've got a weird feeling that they are going to win Game 3. They've always had good success against Verlander. Maybe this will be like 96 against Atlanta.

    • Hey, I just met you… and this is crazy… but there's his Cy Young…I think we beat him maybe…

      • You never know man. You never know. This year's playoffs have been the craziest I've ever seen.