Yankees swept. Tigers are American League Champions

When a series like this is covered on a site devoted to one of the teams contending in the series, it is easy to get wrapped up in the “failures” of the team that is covered. The flip side here is that the Tigers and their pitching in particular were spectacular in the series and did not make a single misstep the entire series. From Jim Leyland to each starting pitcher and the Tigers’ bullpen (outside of Valverde) to the offense, the Tigers dominated the series and outscored the Yankees, nineteen to six. Was it a total failure of the Yankees’ lineup or a total achievement of the Tigers’ pitching staff? Gosh, that depends on which side you are looking from. A metaphor of the entire series happened in the top of the third inning with the Yankees only down by a run at that point.

Eduardo Nunez came up with two outs and hit a spinning top to Prince Fielder. Fielder could not handle the ball and Nunez was safe. He stole second and then Ichiro Suzuki walked. Nick Swisher was up next and got ahead in the count, 2-1. It was then that Scherzer made two absolute perfect pitches. The first one hit inside corner at the bottom of the strike zone. Scherzer then made a perfect strike three pitch on the outside corner snapping that black at 94 MPH. That was the kind of pitching the Tigers performed the entire series. And in a post season series that is a crap shoot to begin with, when a pitching staff can get that hot and execute that completely, the fifth best team in the American League can go to the World Series.

As for the Yankees, they simply were never a factor in this series. From the top of the ninth of the first game when they tied the score at four, they were out-played and could never muster any kind of threat. The one thing they had going for them in the series was pitching and even that fell down today. Sabathia simply did not have his best stuff today. His fastball averaged only 91.44 MPH. When he got to two strikes, he had trouble putting batters away and his breaking ball would not go where he wanted it to go.

One of Sabathia’s runs was unearned as Mark Teixeira uncharacteristically made two errors in the bottom of the third on two ground balls. He was only credited with one error, but the official scorer was generous on one of them. But those four runs in the bottom of the fourth were definitely earned. With one out, Omar Infante singled. Sabathia tried to get his first pitch in to Miguel Cabrera and he did not quite get the pitch quite in enough and Cabrera crushed it. After that homer, Sabathia struck out Prince Fielder but then allowed a single to Delmon Young. Sabathia then hung a curve or something off speed to Jonny Peralta and he too crushed a two-run homer. Derek Lowe and David Robertson also allowed solo homers later in the game, but the fourth inning pretty much ended the Yankees’ season.

Nick Swisher did break his 1-34 with RISP post season streak when he hit a double following a triple by Nunez to score the Yankees’ only run. Those were also the only two hits the Yankees registered.

After this series, there will be all kinds of words written about what went wrong and what needs to happen with the Yankees after this series. But for this night, it is a time to tip the cap to the Detroit Tigers and wish them luck in the World Series. They earned the right to be there by outperforming the Yankees in every aspect of the game. For Yankee fans, it’s time to hope for next year and start the long winter without Yankees baseball.

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

41 thoughts on “Yankees swept. Tigers are American League Champions

  1. Oddly enough, this is already behind me. Maybe I knew deep down that this was a badly flawed team who was lucky to escape the Baltimore series, only to have every tank run dry now.

    On to 2013.

    • it felt over once jeter was hurt. i almost really didnt care at that point. like winning wouldnt be as good or didnt matter w/o the captain. i hope we didnt waste ichiro's time he cant retire w/o a ring. it would be an injustice

  2. I found it amusing that all the so-called baseball pundits were saying today how last night's "rainout" benefited the Tigers. Umm, no, all it did was delay the inevitable. Even as a loyal Yankee fan, I knew there was no way they were going to win 4 games in a row. At least now the pain is over.

  3. Yeah, tonight's loss put us out of our misery. At least now we can dream about A-Rod off the roster.

  4. time to clean house. let's try to move, get rid of, or trade these players….

    • You are in idiot. A bunch of these guys can be good contributors next year. Just a really retarded list.

      • Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  5. I'm saddened… this team had NEVER been swept in the Jeter/Rivera era….

    Sure, they've had some brutal losses along the way, none moreso than 2004… but they had never been SWEPT

    Just a gutless group with no leadership after Jeter went down, but all in all it was a good season!

  6. With all due respect, and not that it matters because the Tigers are moving on and the Yanks are going home, but I think it's kind of ridiculous to say that the Tigers pitching was spectacular. Fister, Sanchez, and even Verlander were all VERY beatable in their starts. We just witnessed a Yankees postseason of absolutely epic offensive ineptitude. But anyway congrats to the Tigers. Hopefully this will usher in some change in the Bronx.

    • Honestly, what evidence do you have to make that claim? "That 99mph fastball on the outside corner looked TOTALLY hittable!".

      • I'm sorry my eyes must have been playing tricks on me I didn't realize every pitch he threw was 99 mph on the black. Even his catcher said he didn't have it. Take a look at the game 3 recap on this blog you'll see pretty much the same opinion. Look I'm not saying their pitching was terrible, just that from where I'm sittin it wasn't even close to as good as the Yanks made it look.

  7. I'll look forward to the cardinals sweeping Detroit because beating the Yankees this time isn't a big deal. They beat an already broken team.

  8. Whatever, the Tigers are not a better team. The Tigers are a fourth place team in the AL East. If they played in any other division in baseball, they probably don't even make the playoffs. (At best they would've been tied for the second WC in the NL, but who knows what their record would have been without all those games against the wretched AL Central).

    And that's not even getting into the horribly lopsided umpiring this series. Who knows what this series looks like without the huge blown calls in games 1 and 2, and without an unfairly called strike zone in game 3.

    The Tigers won, and so they get to advance. But I won't accept that they're actually the better team.

  9. It probably did just delay the inevitable, but my perception (with no research to back it up) is that Sabathia always implodes when given extra rest, at least in the play-offs.

  10. Oh stop being a bunch of babies. Tigers swept them so yes they are the better team. Crying about bad calls is loser talk.

    Did anyone complain in 09 on the Mauer hit called foul? Using the bad call is an excuse. Had this series gone 7 and one of those could have gone either way ok sure perhaps Tigers weren't better, but they swept them and shut them down. Accept it. Stuff like this happens.

  11. The Tigers beat the Yankees over 4 games.
    The Yankees beat the Tigers over 162 games.
    The yankees had far, far better offensive stats,
    In Pitching, we gave up 1 run more every 90 innings (an ERA 0,1 run worse).

    The Tigers had the 11th best record in MLB.
    St. Louis had the 12 best record in MLB.
    The Yankees had the 3rd best record in MLB.
    And the teams with the 1st, 2nd and 4th best records are also done.

    I would have love to win, and win the WS.
    But the PS is still just 3 series.
    The Yankees were the Best team in the AL in 2012. Period.

    • The Tigers beat the Yankees something like 10 out of the last 13 times they met. The Tigers swept the Yankees. News for you, and it's very very simple – Tigers are the best team in the AL in 2012. Period.

      • Not the best team, just the hottest team at the moment. And that's all that matters. That's not a knock. Timing is everything, especially when you're talking about postseason baseball. The Cardinals are going to win the NL pennant. Two teams that won less than 90 games each are going to meet for the World Series. We'll see the two HOTTEST teams at the moment, not the two BEST teams over the course of a 162 game season. But that's the era in which we're playing now.

        • (Assuming the giants are finished) I have to cheer for Detroit in the WS. The idea that the crappy Cardinals would get hot 2 playoffs in a row and win it all is just harder to deal with.

  12. The whole series was like one long stomach punch. I'm glad it's over and we can look forward to next season.

  13. They had the worst week possible at the worst possible time.

    By the way for those "the Tigers were not the better team" folks, here is something to digest. In the wild card era in the five Yankee championship years they were ranked 3, 1, 3, 8, and 1 among the eight playoff teams those seasons. So you can say on three recent occasions the Yankees were not the best team in the playoffs either. It's all about playing well at the right time.

    • Well put. The Tigers were a top heavy, underachieving team until the last two weeks of the regular season when the White Sox suddenly realized who they were and faded into oblivion. That's all this series was, a case of one flawed team getting hot just as one even more flawed team went cold. This is what baseball has morphed into over the years. Don't know whether that's good or not.

  14. The picture above says it all. Ichiro, arod, nunez and tex looking somewhat dejected the series is over, then there is canon all relaxed and blowing bubbles. Is anyone else annoyed with this guys' seemingly "don't give a shit" attitude?

    • he almost reminds me of manny ramirez. all those years for the sox it was "that's just manny being manny", and now for the yanks it's "that's just robbie being robbie". you put up with his shit because when he's on he's one of the best players in baseball, but at some point you gotta wonder if it's worth it.

  15. My god, where did all these hate filled, sour grapes, annoying and completely negative fans come from? This is the site i normally goto for reasonable conversation about my favorite teams, not the verbal equivalent of monkeys throwing their shit.

    • Hear hear, Mike. I'm in a period of mourning now, not just because we lost but because of how we lost. If you have to go out, I'd much rather go out fighting than the meek way the Yanks did. Not sure how much of that was age, talent, or coincidence, but surely something needs to be done to inject some sass into this team.

      Hey, I hear Bobby Valentine is free…

    • I was going to ask that myself. I hope these trolls go back to ESPN and post their nonsense there. I look forward to a intelligent, civil conversation about the Yankees here, not a bunch of immature crap.

  16. As gutty as the Yankees were during the regular season — look at all the injuries and yet they ended up with the best record in the American League — the hitters were that gutless in the post-season, Ibanez aside. I was at work and didn't watch yesterday's game (not that I wanted to), but looking at the play-by-play list and box score says it all. Two hits, twelve strikeouts. In this series, they looked like the Red Sox during the last week of the regular season — they just wanted to get it over with and go home. There's a story in the Daily News today with an unnamed Yankee saying that several members were upset by the booing in Game 2. Aww, poor widdle babies. Except they're not. They are multimillionaire professionals performing for people who are paying over $100 a ticket to see them, and the way the hitters played, they deserved to be booed, notwithstanding their success during the season.