Yankees Tame Tigers in Game Four of ALDS

Big Victory Sets Stage For Do-or-Die Game Five



Yankees superstars Robinson Cano (24) and Derek Jeter combined for four RBIs in game four. (Julian H. Gonzlaez/Detroit Free Press/MCT)


After their crucial win in game four of the American League Division Series (ALDS), the Yankees hopes of their 28th World Series title will come down to game five against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.

Yankees superstars Robinson Cano (24) and Derek Jeter combined for four RBIs in game four. (Julian H. Gonzlaez/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

With their backs against the wall in a must-win game, the Yankees came through, derailing the Tigers 10-1.  The scoring opened in the third inning when Derek Jeter delivered a 2-RBI double, and the Yankees didn’t stop there, tacking on eight more runs including a six-run eighth inning. Yankees started AJ Burnett was effective only allowing one run.

This season, the team was led by the MVP-caliber play of Curtis Granderson, who trailed only Jose Bautista in home runs hit since the All-Star break. Granderson’s RBIs came when it counted for the Yankees, but he’s not the only one who hit well. Robinson Cano hit above  .300, Derek Jeter batted .348 over the last two months of the season, and Mark Teixeira had 39 homers for the Yankees, who won the American League East with a record of 97-65

The Yankees’ pitching might not have been their strong suit, but it’s tough to say it was bad. While pitcher A.J. Burnett has struggled again in 2011, recording eleven losses and a 5.15 ERA, pitching ace CC Sabathia has stayed the course, registering his third straight season in New York with at least 19 wins and fewer than ten losses. His 3.00 ERA lead all New York starters. Rookie starter Ivan Nova was an excellent contributor as well, as he posted a 12-0 record since the 3rd of June. Of course, when you talk about Yankees pitching in October, most people have someone else in mind. Closer Mariano Rivera is lights-out when it counts, and as well-loved as he is in New York, he is well-feared everywhere else. Facing him with a deficit is a near death-sentence, as Rivera picked up his record 602nd save this year.

Despite their faults in the pitching staff, the Yankees have managed to stay afloat in the series thanks to timely hitting and clutch pitching from unlikely candidates. Yankees designated hitter (DH) Jorge Posada, who had a career-low .235 batting average, is batting over .400 this ALDS, and A.J Burnett, who has been inconsistent all season, pitched five and two-thirds innings of one-run ball. If Burnett had faltered, the Yankees season would have ended earlier than they would have wanted.

Instead, the Yankees will return to the Bronx to play game five, the last game of the ALDS. Game five will feature a rematch of game one as Rookie Ivan Nova takes the mound for the Yankees against Doug Fister. In game one, Nova outdueled Fister, pitching six innings and only allowing two earned runs. Fister on the other hand, allowed six runs while pitching less than five innings.

If the Yankees win, they will advance to the American League Championship Series (ALCS) to play the Texas Rangers. Last postseason, the Rangers eliminated the Yankees in the ALCS in six games. However, if the Yankees lose they will begin another long offseason without a World Series title. During the offseason the Yankees will likely address the weakest part of their team, the pitching staff. There will be a few top-of-the-line starting pitchers available, such as the Rangers C.J Wilson, who the Yankees will have an interest in.