Game 1 (Final score: 3-12, Yankees win)
After a disappointing series loss to the D-Backs, the Tigers square off against the Yankees, a team they’ve had success against the last few years, at the House that Ruth Built. The ’05 edition of the Yanks sports a record similar to the Tigers’ but at a much higher cost per loss. On to actual game commentary, Ledezma and Mussina combined for a quiet first inning before Ledezma started allowing runs in the second.
It was only a solo shot to Alex Rodriguez, but it’s still allowing the other team to score first on the road (0-1). Things were dandy until the fourth rolled around and Ledezma started giving up the long ball again. Gary Sheffield’s leadoff walk was really painful when A. Rodriguez again hit a home run (0-3). Fortunately that meant the bases were clear when Posada came up and hit a home run (0-4). The fourth inning hemorrhaging continued when Jason Giambi scored from third on Robinson Cano’s sac fly, after his double and Bernie Williams’ single (0-5). Ledezma did great during the top of the fifth when he didn’t pitch, but the bottom half didn’t go so well. Sheffield scored Womack (reach on an error) and himself on his homerun and Ledezma was replaced (0-7). Ginter proceeded to give up a double, walk, and three run homer, and a double digit deficit (0-10). After the fifth consecutive batter he faced reached safely, Spurling entered and was greeted by Cano’s RBI double play ball (0-11). Derek Jeter mercifully ended another big Yankees inning with a fly out.
The Tigers’ offense made it to New York to start the eighth inning. Paul Quantrill started things off with a pair of infield singles before getting a double play from the speedster Vance Wilson (out at first and second). Now things became ugly. Quantrill threw behind and then into Jason Smith (why him, I don’t know) before he and Torre were ejected. He took umbrage with German’s beaning of A. Rodriguez in the seventh. His replacement served up a nice fat pitch to Thames, who hit it for four bases and three RBI (3-11). Alas, that was all for the Tigers bats. Cano’s homer off Creek in the bottom half ended the scoring, making the beat down complete (3-12).
Game 2 (Final Score: 2-4, Yankees win)
Maroth versus Wang (I’ll refrain from any jokes here even though this is one of my favorite euphemisms: Yes, I’m eight years old, but it’s funny). Again, the Yankees strike first, this time in the first. Jeter scored from second, after his single and Cano’s sacrifice, on Sheffield’s single and the Tigers were behind again (0-1). Wang cleaned house the first time through the Tigers’ order before allowing two singles to Inge and Guillen and an RBI sacrifice to I. Rodriguez (1-1) in the fourth.
Maroth stayed even with Wang through five before failing to record an out in the sixth. A walk, single, an A. Rodriguez RBI double, and a two RBI Posada single chased him in favor of Jamie Walker (1-4). I’ve noticed that Trammell sends in the relief just past the nick of time quite frequently and I really wonder why. Walker, Maroth’s relief, ended the inning quickly, but not before the damage was done.
The Tigers came right back in the top of the seventh and worked on Wang a little bit. Wang was looking flaccid (Sorry!) when White waklked on one pitch – an HBP – and followed it up by issuing Monroe a one out single. Stanton replaced him and Ramon Martinez replaced Pena in a runners at the corners, one out situation. Martinez delivered one run on a single bringing the Tigers closer, only to see Thames pop out against Tanyon Sturtze for the second out (2-4). Infante was looking really good when Sturtze threw a wild pitch advancing Martinez and Monroe to second and third respectively before he missed strike three. Gordon and Rivera closed the game out without difficulty, earning the Yankees a series victory.
Game 3 (Final Score: 3-4, Yankees win)
Bonderman got the start against Kevin Brown to attempt to avoid the sweep from New York’s Swiffer. The Yankees struck first early, once again in the bottom of the second. ARod drew a one out walk and advanced to third on Tino Martinez’s double. Posada hit the next pitch at Pena, who muffed it, scoring ARod and putting Bonderman into a hole (0-1). After two strikes to Giambi, Bonderman plunked him and faced the intrepid Robinson “Crusoe” Cano. Cano hit into a double play to kill the inning.
The Tigers jumped on Brown in the third with one out when Inge went for extra bases with a double. Martinez hit an 0-2 pitch for a single, Inge scored, and Dmitri Young came up (1-1). Young hit the second double of the inning and made it to third on Jeter’s throwing error, giving the Tigers their first lead of the series (2-1). White hit the next pitch for an infield single only to see IRod hit into an inning ending double play. Bonderman came in to hold the third inning lead and made things interesting. Womack (later caught stealing), Sheffield, and Matsui hit singles but Bonderman stranded them when he got ARod swinging.
In the fourth the Tigers got good lumber on Brown’s pitches. Monroe hit a leadoff single only to go down with Pena on a strike’em out, throw’em out double play. Jason Smith stepped up and hit a triple, scoring on Logan’s single (3-1). The Yankees got to Bonderman in the bottom with some help from the Tigers defense. Martinez and Posada singled, Giambi struck out, and Cano entered the box. He hit a double play ball to short but Ramon Martinez missed the out at second (Yup, no outs this time) giving Jeter the bases loaded. He converted on a fielder’s choice when T. Martinez scored (3-2). Womack jumped on the first pitch and sent it straight to short, ending the inning.
In the fifth is when Bonderman got really unlucky. He started all five batters with strike one but allowed a one out single to Matsui and a two run homer to ARod to give up the lead (3-4). It was nice while it lasted. The rest of the inning went quietly like the rest of the game. Call it a Swiffer for New York.