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ALDS Game 5: Offense Falls to Detroit

The Tigers took advantage early and never looked back as the Tigers took the last game of the 5-game series with a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees, eliminating them from the postseason.


With Ivan Nova on the mound in the must-win Game 5; Don Kelly and Delmon Young jumped on hanging breaking balls with back-to-back home runs to right field and left field to put the Tigers ahead 2-0. Ivan Nova left early with what was later revealed to be tightness in his forearm. Phil Hughes and Boone Logan put together 2 shutout innings following Nova’s early exit. Then CC Sabathia made his first career relief appearance and surrendered what would eventually be seen as the game-winning run on a Victor Martinez single following an intentional walk of Miguel Cabrera in 1.1 innings of work. The pitchers that followed were Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera and they all threw perfect work through 3.2 innings.


The Yankees offense had a hard time with Game 5 starter Doug Fister. The Tigers midseason acquisition went 5 innings escaping jams by allowing just one run on a solo home run by Robinson Cano in Fister’s last inning of work. In the 4th inning, Russell Martin and Brett Gardner came to the plate with the bases loaded and just 1 out but hit two pop outs to lose a big opportunity. Then later in the 7th inning, Robinson Cano hit a soft ground ball to load the bases yet again with just 1 out. Alex Rodriguez proceeded to strikeout and despite a Mark Teixeira walk to put the deficit at 1, Nick Swisher struck out to lose this opportunity too. With the game still at 3-2 in the 8th inning, Brett Gardner reached with a single and 2 outs when Derek Jeter swung at the first pitch with Gardner running that was caught at the warning track, about a foot from the wall and what would have been a home run to put the Yankees ahead. The Yankees were shut down by the perfect Jose Valverde as he finished off the Yankees with a strikeout of Alex Rodriguez to end the game.


The two home runs surrendered early by Ivan Nova were very deflating for the Yankees and the fans but the lead was not insurmountable as the Yankees scratched out two runs. However, the number of opportunities the Yankees had with runners in scoring position, including two innings in which the bases were loaded with less than two outs, were far too frequent to hit 2 for 9. The Yankees inability to get the right type of hit in the advantageous situations cost them this game. The Yankees had enough opportunities to score that they should have had this game well in-hand. Alex Rodriguez’s notable struggles in the postseason became evident yet again. Despite the Tigers batting .228 and having a team ERA of 5.73, the big picture is that the Yankees did not get hits when they needed them the most and that is why the season ends here, an unacceptable exit for a franchise held to a standard of championships, not playoff appearances.


Ryan Nakada


  1. Such a disappointing way to end the season. After all the pitching changes from the 2nd inning on, the pitching staff (except CC) did the job in the whole series.  The offense could not get any clutch hits.  When you think about it, they won the games and scored runs when the games were blowouts.  No clutch hitting on this team.

    I can’t understand why Jeter swung at the first pitch in the 8th with Gardner running. Jeter is not a home run hitter. His job is to get a base hit after Gardner steals 2nd.  That is bad baseball by Jeter, which is very unusual.

    ARod, Teixeira, and Swisher just absolutely killed this team all series. The rest of the lineup did their job.  They were on base a lot and gave opportunities to our “middle of the lineup.”  I fear that this series was a preview of what could be a LONG 6 years of ARod and Teixeira clogging the lineup.

    The only thing that I was happy to see was the way Posada went out, probably in his last game with the Yankees.  I’m glad his last memory will be what his entire career was…coming through when it matters most.

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