The Yankees have scored in only one of 30 innings this series, all in the ninth inning. They are hitting just .200 this entire postseason, and unless they go on a barrage tonight, they will finish with the worst batting average in a postseason in franchise history, eclipsing their .207 average in the 1921 World Series.
The only time they ever show signs of life these days is in the ninth inning. This time, they even were able to do it against someone not named Jose Valverde.
Eduardo Nunez, Derek Jeter’s replacement, led off the ninth with a homer on a marvelous eight-pitch at-bat. One batter and one out later, Verlander was gone, and the Tigers had to trust their bullpen.
“I guess you don’t take Secretariat out in the final furlong,’’ Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, “but that was it for him.”
Phil Coke, the Tigers’ new closer, retired Ichiro Suzuki, who had produced the Yankees only two hits until the ninth. But then came Mark Teixeira with a single. Robinson Cano actually got a hit, too, snapping his 29-at-bat hitless skein, the longest in postseason history.
All of a sudden, the Yankees had their first rally in three days, and Comerica Park suddenly went silent. Yet, just when the Yankees looked like this might be one of those magical nights, Coke struck out Raul Ibanez on a curveball—the best he has thrown all season, Leyland said.
Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:18 AM | 32 comment(s)
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