It's clear and a bit on the crisp side - low 50s - in Detroit today for Game 3 of the ALCS, with the primary story line whether the Yankees hitters can warm up and get the team out of the 2-0 hole while facing Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
The Yankees, hitting .192 with four runs in the first two games against Detroit's 3-4 starters, have had some success against Verlander, winning two of the three games he started against them this season and seven of the last 11. Overall in 13 starts, Verlander is 5-4, 3.74 against New York.
Recent history, however, is on Verlander's side. He beat the Yankees Aug. 6 with a strong eight-inning outings, and overall is on a roll, including two dazzling outings in the division series vs. Oakland.
The Yankees postseason hitting woes have been well documented, and there is a possibility manager Joe Girardi will make further changes to his lineup. Thus far in the playoffs, consider these numbers:
Alex Rodriguez, 3-for-23, 12 Ks
Robinson Cano, 2-for-32, including 0-for-his-last-26
Curtis Granderson, 3-for-26, 14 Ks
Nick Swisher, 4-for-26 8 Ks
The Tigers, in a strong position historically with a 2-0 lead (19 of the 22 teams to do so in LCS play advanced), don't have reason to change much.
The circumstance is obvious. As for the pomp: Jack Morris will throw out the first pitch and Rev. Marvin Winans will perform the anthem.