Tag Archive: Yankees

Thoughts on Game 3 of 162

Power duo: Miguel Cabrera (left) and Brennan Boesch combined to drive in eight runs to power the Tigers to their first victory of the season - a 10-7 win over the New York Yankees. (AP)

Heroes: Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera.

Boesch, batting in the 3 spot in place of Magglio Ordonez, and Cabrera combined to drive in eight of the Tigers’ runs (each had four RBIs). Boesch went 4 for 4 with a home run and four runs scored, while Cabrera hit a two-run homer in each of his first two at-bats.

Boesch, who was hot at the end of spring training, could make it hard for Tigers manager to take him out of the lineup with more performances like Sunday. He has shown a little bit of what made him such a dangerous hitter after he was called up in the first half of the 2010 season. If he can continue to put together good outings the Tigers will have a good problem on their hands and have to get creative of finding ways to play him.

Cabrera’s homers were big because they got the  Tigers going. The first gave them an early lead (the Yankees eventually knotted the score at 2 on a Jorge Posada two-run homer) and the second gave the Tigers a lead they didn’t relinquish.

Unsung hero: Ramon Santiago.

Santiago started in place of Will Rhymes, who went hitless in the first two games of the series, and delivered. Santiago finished 2 for 5 with an RBI and had a double off reliever Bartolo Colon.

Fortunate break/key point: After making a spectacular catch to rob Alex Rodriguez of extra bases in the first inning, Ryan Raburn dropped a liner that nearly came back to haunt the Tigers in the third. The error had Nick Swisher on third and Jorge Posada on second with two outs and Curtis Granderson at the plate. Max Scherzer got Granderson to fly out to right field to end the threat. The Yankees had scored a run earlier in the inning on a solo homer by Mark Teixeira

Worse than it appears: Usually giving up four home runs in an outing isn’t conducive to winning baseball, but Max Scherzer was able to pick up a win. Scherzer, who was tagged for 11 earned runs in 2-plus innings in his final spring start, wasn’t as bad as his final line (5 IP, 9 hits, 6 earned runs, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks).  Two of the four home runs would have stayed in most ballparks and been routine outs.

The not so good: The Tigers gave up nine homers in the three-game series, but part of that can be contributed to the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium as well as the New York lineup, which is as good as any from top to bottom. The normally slow starting Teixeira homered in each game of the series for the Yankees while DH Posada hit two in Sunday’s game.

Notable: Austin Jackson didn’t have a hit but drew two walks and scored two runs.

Up next: Tigers face Baltimore at 3 p.m. today. The contest is the home opener for the Orioles, who opened their season by sweeping Tampa Bay in a three-game series.


Thoughts on Game 2 of 162 for the Tigers

Brad Penny’s first start for the Tigers was definitely not one to savor.

Roughed up: Brad Penny gave up eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in his Tigers debut on Saturday. (AP)

The veteran right-hander who inked a one-year deal with the Tigers in the offseason gave up three runs in each the first and second innings to put Detroit in a hole it never quite recovered from in Saturday’s loss to the Yankees. His defense did help his case in the opening inning with Jhonny Peralta and Will Rhymes not being able to come up with a couple of tough plays. In the second he served up a three-run homer to Mark Teixeira (his second in as many games) to put the Yankees well in control.

Penny’s final line – 4 1/3 innings pitched, seven hits, eight earned runs, four walks and three strikeouts. Penny, who wasn’t terrible during the spring, will definitely need to rebound in his next start against Baltimore on Thursday.

Key stretch: The fifth inning definitely was the key sequence in the contest. The Tigers had showed some fight and had scored two runs in the top half to cut the Yankees lead to 6-3. They had runners on second and third with two outs and Magglio Ordonez at the plate. Yankee starter ended up striking out Ordonez to get out of the inning. Also not to be lost is Will Rhymes was up with the bases loaded prior to Ordonez and grounded out to first base.  In the bottom half of the fifth, Russell Martin clubbed a three-run homer off reliever Brad Thomas to put the Yankees back in control.

The bright side: Austin Jackson hit a solo homer to left field on a 3-2 pitch to start the Tigers scoring on Saturday. A very good sign, considering the second-year center fielder hit just four homers during his rookie campaign. If someone would have asked you who would be the first Tiger to homer this season, Jackson wouldn’t have been my choice. While he homered, Jackson also did strikeout twice on Saturday and has fanned five times over the first two games.

New addition Victor Martinez also hit a two-run homer and went 2 for 4. Him and Inge were the only Tigers with multiple hits.

Hitting on all cylinders: The starting top four hitters in the Yankees’ lineup (Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez) went a combined 7 for 16 and drove in seven of New York’s 10 runs. Those same slots in the Tigers lineup (Jackson, Rhymes, Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera) went 2 for 15.

Debuts: Besides Penny, Joaquin Benoit (signed as a free agent from Tampa Bay) and rookie Brayan Villarreal each made their Tigers debuts on Saturday. Benoit pitched a scoreless inning of relief while Villarreal pitched the sixth inning and gave up a solo homer to Alex Rodriguez. In his inning of work, Villarreal gave up just the one run and two hits.

Up next: At Yankees, 1 p.m. Sunday in series finale

Thoughts on Game 1 of 162 for the Tigers

Hero: New York’s Curtis Granderson

Former Tiger Curtis Granderson's solo home run in the 7th inning broke a 3-3 tie and lifted the Yankees to a 6-3 win over Detroit in Thursday's season opener (AP)

Granderson was by far today’s most valuable performer. His only hit – a solo homer off reliever Phil Coke – was the one that broke a 3-3 tie and vaulted the Yankees to the opening day win. The former Tiger also made several big plays in the field – ones we were accustomed to seeing in Detroit – that helped the Yankees as well.


First impressions

Justin Verlander carried a strong spring over into the season opener. His first start was a quality one – 6 innings pitched, just the three earned runs on three hits and eight strikeouts. Lone negative was the three-run homer he gave up to Mark Teixeira, the four walks and a 31-pitch opening inning. But the Yankees have a kind of lineup that is going to make you work.

– The bullpen wasn’t so hot today as it went three innings and surrendered three runs to the Yankees. Coke, who is temporarily being used out of the bullpen with the extra off days over the first week and a half, gave up 2 runs (1 earned) and Ryan Perry gave up one, Meanwhile the Yankees bullpen of Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera combined for three scoreless innings and didn’t allow a hit.

– Victor Martinez, one of the Tigers’ big pick ups in the offseason, was 1-for-4 in his Detroit debut. He singled in the second inning.

– Alex Avila looked out of sync at the plate against CC Sabathia and fanned three times today. He also was a little shaky defensively. If Avila gets off to a slow start, you have to wonder how patient the Tigers will be with him. That also could change the lineup drastically with Victor Martinez probably catching more than a 1/3 of the games. That could open some at-bats for Brennan Boesch or Casper Wells as a DH or outfielder. Something to keep an eye on.

With that being said, this is just one game and most of Avila’s at-bats came against one of the best left-handed pitchers in the game. Facing CC wasn’t the best of matchups for him.

– Austin Jackson will need to cut down on the strikeouts. He showed some better pitch recognition this spring but opened the season by striking out three times

– The top three hitters in the Tigers lineup went a combined 1 for 11. Jackson’s single was the lone hit.

– A bright spot was the bottom of the Tigers lineup, which drove in 2 of the 3 runs. Jhonny Peralta had a sacrifice fly and Brandon Inge had a two-out RBI hit. Miguel Cabrera had the other RBI with a sacrifice fly. Ryan Raburn also had a nice diving catch in left field and went 1 for 3 with a walk

Up next: At Yankees, 4 p.m. Saturday