- The starting pitching the Yankees have gotten so far has overshadowed it a bit, but the Yankees’ bullpen has been every bit as good in the postseason for the most part. Tonight they were pressed into duty early when Phil Hughes had to leave the game in the fourth with what’s been called a stiff back (though not before giving up a home run to Delmon Young!), but the relief corps managed to pitch five innings of one run ball, and that was without Rafael Soriano or David Robertson getting into the game. The one run came on a Miguel Cabrera double that probably should have been caught, but Curtis Granderson was playing shallow for some reason and the ball sailed over his head for an RBI double.
- Ichiro Suzuki is still hot, going 2-4 on the night with a couple of singles.
- Eduardo Nunez had himself a game. Inserted in the lineup somewhat surprisingly (but correctly), Nunez provided the team’s only run with a home run off of Verlander to lead of the ninth, had solid at bats all night, and even made a great defensive play at short to save a run, though he and Robinson Cano couldn’t complete the double play to end the inning.
“For the love of God, win the damn game!” – Stacey Gotsulias 10/16/12
Verlander vs. the offense:
Believe it or not, the Yankees have actually had some success against Verlander in his career, which isn’t terribly important, but they’ve also done pretty well against him this season as well. They’ve got 25 hits in 20.1 innings off of him, and they’ve won two of the three games he’s started against them in 2012. In those victories they racked up 16 hits and 10 runs, 7 earned, in 12.1 innings, with four home runs (remember kids, good pitchers never give up the long ball!), and striking out just eight times compared to four walks, all of which came on June 3rd. On the other hand, the last time Verlander faced the Yankees he was downright dominant, holding the Yankees to nine hits, a walk, and two unearned runs while matching a career high with 14 strikeouts in eight innings of work.
It’s tempting to try to find a dozen ways to break down a match up like this, but when you boil it down it’s really pretty simple: the outcome will be decided by how in command of his unbelievable stuff Verlander is, and how able the Yankees’ offense is to square the ball up if he makes a mistake.…