Two great games last night: Game two, Detroit beats New York, 5-4

The shy Jose Valverde

Neither ace was sharp last night, but in the battle of the bullpens it was Detroit who ended up on top, 4-3. The Tigers now lead the series, 2-1.

CC Sabathia struggled all night with his control walking six in 5.1 innings while the Yankees made Justin Verlander throw 120 pitches in eight innings as each starter gave up four runs. But the story of the game was after the Yankees scored twice in the 1st the Tigers kept chipping away at the struggling CC who gave up two in the 3rd and then runs in the 5th and 6th as Detroit held a 4-2 lead. Verlander, after the 1st inning in which the key blow was a triple by former Tiger Curtis Granderson, gave up just a pair of singles that were quickly erased by double plays, through six. In the 7th, fatigue seemed to hit him as following a walk and an HBP, Brett Gardner doubled home the tying runs.

The game stayed tied just two batters into the bottom of the 7th before Delmon Young hit his second homer of the series to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead and ultimately the victory. Verlander struck out 11 to earn the win, Rafael Soriano gave up the homer and took the loss. The Tigers closer, Jose Valverde, who has set up a home on the edge, struck out Derek Jeter, who already had two hits, with two on to end the game. In Game 2, Valverde gave up two runs before he got Robinson Cano to ground out with two on to close out the win in a non-save situation.

Pitching line

IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc Pit
J.Verlander 8.0 6 4 4 3 11 0 62 120
C.Sabathia 5.1 7 4 4 6 3 0 35 106

From our friends at ESPN.com

Justin Verlander and Jose Valverde are the first pair of teammates with the same initials to combine for a postseason win and save since Ron Guidry and Rich Gossage did it on October 20, 1981 in Game 1 of the World Series. Guidry and Gossage also combined on Ocotober 7, 1978 in Game 4 of the ALCS. Verlander/Valverde and Guidry/Gossage are the only teammates with the same initials to ever combine for a postseason win/save.

Notes

  • Ramon Santiago singled, doubled and drove in a pair of runs.
  • During the regular season, Papa Grande (Jose Valverde) produced 49 saves in 49 opportunities.
  • Alex Rodriguez is now is 0-for-10 in this series.
  • Jeter now has 189 postseason hits extending his MLB record.
  • It was the first time all season that Rafael Soriano had pitched more than an inning when he gave up the game winning homer. He retired two batters in relief of Sabathia in the 6th.
  • Sabathia has walked six batters in a game on three other occasions –
Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 2010-04-22 NYY OAK L 2-4 CG 8 ,L 8.0 4 4 3 6 5 1 97 51 59
2 2004-09-11 CLE OAK L 4-5 GS-7 6.2 5 3 3 6 3 0 114 64 49
3 2003-07-09 CLE NYY L 2-6 GS-7 ,L 7.0 5 4 2 6 6 0 120 71 55
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/4/2011.
  • Quote of note:  From the great Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com:

“He’s like a bad accident — you can’t take your eyes off him,” Brandon Inge said of Valverde. “But he’s fun. I never had the privilege to watch Mark Fidrych pitch, but that’s what I feel like it would be. Not only do you get a great performance, but you get a show as well. I love him. It’s a blast playing behind him.”

Red Sox fans can understand

If Yankee fans are walking around today with looks of gloom, despair, anxiety, concern, despondency, depression, melancholia, pessimism, and sorrow please understand that their season is hanging in the balance tonight and their hopes rest upon the arm of A.J. Burnett. The only situation that could be worse is if John Lackey were pitching.