Missed Opportunities; Yankees Eliminated After 3-2 Loss
Don't blame the pitching. Don't blame Joe Girardi for his strange pitching moves. The Yankees were eliminated from the post season on Thursday because they failed to deliver with runners in scoring position. Detroit's 3-2 victory means they're heading for Game 1 of the ALCS and the Yankees are going home.
New York left 11 men stranded on base in the decisive Game 5 of their American League Division Series against the Tigers.
Detroit outfielders Don Kelly and Delmon Young hit back-to-back solo homers in the 1st off starter Ivan Nova, who was pulled after just two innings of work. The Tigers got their third run off of C.C. Sabathia who made a rare relief appearance, entering the game in the 5th and allowing a lead-off double, then a two-out RBI to Victor Martinez.
Robinson Cano got New York on the board with solo home run of his own in the bottom of the 5th, to cut the lead to 3-1.
The team's only other run came from a Mark Texiera walk with the bases loaded in the 7th. Nick Swisher followed with a strike out to leave the bases loaded.
The Yankees also left 'em loaded in the 4th. Jorge Posada smacked a rocket single up the middle with two on and one out in the 4th, that was hit too hard to allow Alex Rodriguez to score from the second base. Then, Russell Martin and Bret Gardner both popped out to the end the inning.
Manager Joe Girardi made several odd pitching changes during the game, at times when Detroit wasn't threatening to score. He pulled Nova after two innings in favor of Phil Hughes. Hughes was yanked after 1.1 innings after allowing just a single. Boone Logan finished the inning and then Sabathia was called into pitch an 1.1 innings allowing what turned out to be the game winning run.
Tigers' closer Jose Valverde pitched a one-two-three 9th inning, striking out Alex Rodriguez to end the series. Detroit moves on to Texas where the Rangers will host Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday.