Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tigers beat Yankees 2-1 for 3-0 lead in AL Championship Series

DETROIT — Elimination might be kind for these Yankees, because at least it could be over as soon as tonight. The humiliation will exist for much longer.

With Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Justin Verlander, ex-Ray Delmon Young and the rest of the Tigers, the Yankees find themselves on the brink of a colossal fall, down three games to none in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.

And little reason to think they can do much, if anything, about it.

"It's definitely a tough situation that we're in," DH Raul Ibanez said. "What else are you going to do? You have to fight. Fight all the way back."

Staggered by massive offensive failure that has them hitting .200 for the postseason — "Shock, to be honest," general manager Brian Cashman said — the Yankee made major changes to their lineup, benching Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher.

But it didn't change much, as Eduardo Nunez's ninth-inning homer was all that kept them from being shut out for the second straight game (ending a string of 20 zeroes), and they have scored in exactly two of the 30 innings thus far.

"What has happened has happened," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You have to find a way to score runs (tonight)."

Certainly Verlander had something to do with it Tuesday, delivering another dominant though not quite complete game performance, retiring the first 10 Yankees and allowing only a pair of singles (to Ichiro Suzuki) until the ninth. He gave up the homer to Nunez on his 124th pitch — prompting a quick visit from manager Jim Leyland, who asked, simply, if he could get one more out — and after retiring Brett Gardner on his 132nd pitch (one off his career high), he was done, replaced by Phil Coke, who allowed two two-out hits before ending it.

Young, the one-time Rays prodigy who has grown up — and out — in the five years since being dealt for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett, led off the fourth with a solo homer to put the Tigers ahead.

Young, now 27, was primarily the DH for the Tigers this season, hitting .267 with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs, but has come up big for a second straight postseason, the homer his second of this series and a Tigers record seventh overall. "It feels good," Young said. "We all want to help win games in the postseason right now, and everyone is doing what they can."

The Tigers added an unearned run in the fifth, taking advantage of a trio of Yankees defensive miscues.

After winning 88 games during the season — two fewer than the Rays — the Tigers have won six in the playoffs and with one more will be back in the World Series for the second time in seven years.

"It's great to be up 3-0; we have to win one," Verlander said. "But against this lineup, against this team, you never know. … Every game in the postseason is a must-win. You have to keep momentum on your side. Hopefully we can go out (tonight) and shut this down. If it doesn't happen then reset, and go out the next day."

The Yankees, meanwhile, are tasked with trying to become the second team to come back from a 3-0 deficit, joining the 2004 Red Sox, who did it to them in the ALCS. At least they have ace CC Sabathia on the mound tonight.

"You look at this and it could be a number of different things besides 0-3 for us," Girardi said. "We have gotten good pitching all the way throughout the playoffs, and we will need it again (tonight) if we want to live another day."

Tigers beat Yankees 2-1 for 3-0 lead in AL Championship Series 10/16/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose


    UPDATE, 11:06: Here is the Rays lineup, with Sucre catching and Martinez at 2b:

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”