Tigers Keep Yanks Down; Bullpen Holds Cardinals to Game 1 Victory

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports - Presswire

The Tigers managed a difficult task - they took the first two games of the ALCS in Yankee Stadium, but not without controversy. The Cardinals earned an NLCS Game 1 victory; can they too sweep their opponent on the road?

ALCS Game 2: Tigers 3, Yankees 0 - Yankees fans all over New York - well, the ones who still manage to care about the Yankees - are wondering where in the world their offense has gone off to. What happened to the "Bronx Bombers" reputation? The Yankees only managed four hits all night. Anibal Sanchez threw seven shutout innings, and replacement closer Phil Coke went two. The loudest cheer from the definitely-not-sold-out crowd was for an A-Rod single in the 9th. Yes, the Tigers benefited from a really bad blown call at second base, which helped the Tigers turn a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 lead, but you don't have much ground to stand on when you can't score any runs regardless. Tigers lead series 2-0.

NLCS Game 1: Cardinals 6, Giants 4: I won't be much help here, since I came home and slept through most of this one. The Cardinals scored all six runs off of starter Madison Bumgarner in the first four innings. Similarly, the Giants scored all four of their runs off of Lance Lynn, and all in bottom of the 4th inning with two outs. The Cardinals bullpen gave up two hits and two walks, whereas the Giants bullpen gave up just one walk. Essentially, nothing interesting happened after the 4th inning. Cardinals lead series 1-0.

NLCS Game 2: St. Louis Cardinals (Chris Carpenter) @ San Francisco Giants (Ryan Voglesong), 5pm on FOX

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ALCS Game 1: What a crazy game. The Tigers gave up 3 different bases loaded situations in the first 5 innings to the Yankees, and somehow managed to not concede any runs. Part of this is due to continued Alex Rodriguez ineptitude, but the Tigers just seem to have luck all night. At least, it seemed like they did until the 9th. The Tigers had a 4-0 lead at this point when they called upon Jose Valverde, that cursed former Arizona closer, wasn't on his game and he gave up a 2 run home run to Ichiro Suzuki of all people. Although not quite as crazy as giving one up to Willie Bloomquist, it still was a strange sight. Then Raul Ibanez stepped up to the plate with one on, and wouldn't you believe he hit another home run to tie the game. That man is on some kind of tear.

It really felt like at that point the Yankees would come back to win, and they had a good chance in the 11th but couldn't cash in. Instead, the Tigers scored 2 in the top of the 12. Even worse for the Yankees, however, is that Derek Jeter fractured his ankle trying to dive for a ball. He's out for the season, and faces a hard rehab.

ALCS Game 2 preview: Anibal Sanchez is starting for the Tigers, and he faces Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees. Can the Yanks bounce back from both the rollercoaster night of Game 1, but also losing their captain? Also troubling for the Bombers is their complete lack of offense. They've scored more runs in the 9th inning on this postseason then they have in innings 1-8.

NLCS Game 1 preview: Lance Lynn takes the mound for the Cardinals, while Madison Bumgarner starts for the Giants. Both teams needed some extra-historical performances to reach this round, with the Giants losing the first 2 home before sweeping the Reds on the road, while the Cardinals scored 4 runs in the 9th against the Nats. Both seem to be playing on borrowed time, but that's going to end for somebody this series.

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The Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants finished their series Thursday. Now, it remained to be seen not only who they would face but where they would play. In fact, the Giants watched the end of the Cards/Nats game on the airplane. So how did the last two Game 5s end?

ALDS Game 5: Baltimore Orioles 1, New York Yankees 3: Baltimore's improbable season came to an end in New York. The Yankees scored one run in each of the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings - a Raul Ibanez single, an Ichiro Suzuki double, and a Curtis Granderson home run. Much like Verlander the night before, CC Sabathia was workin' it, giving up just four hits and two walks all night. The Orioles missed their biggest scoring opportunity in the 8th inning. With one run already in, they loaded the bases with one out, but couldn't score any more. Sabathia pitched a 121-pitch complete-game shutout for the victory. Yankees win series 3-2.

NLDS, Game 5: St. Louis Cardinals 9, Washington Nationals 7: With the Orioles having just lost, would fans in the D.C. area at least have one team to continue to root for? For eight innings tonight, it appeared that they would. Washington scored six runs off of starter Chris Carpenter - three in the 1st and three in the 3rd. Bryce Harper hit a triple and a home run; Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse also added home runs. The game looked over. But much like in Cincinnati's Game 5, the Cardinals slowly picked at that six-run deficit. They had cut it to 6-4 going into the 8th inning, and 7-5 after it. Then came the 9th inning. Drew Storen allowed a leadoff double, but got the first two outs fairly quickly. And then, that third, series-winning out just eluded him. Not only was he an out away, he was a strike away. It started with two walks to load the bases. A single from Daniel Descalso tied the game up. A single from the next batter, Pete Kozma, gave the Cardinals a 9-7 lead. The top of the Nationals order went 1-2-3, and the Cardinals completed the comeback victory. Cardinals win series 3-2.

Well, baseball's most exciting week is over. Now we get only one, maybe two, games a day. Four teams remain. Who will be voted out tonight will advance to the World Series? The journey continues tonight....

ALCS Game 1: Detroit Tigers @ New York Yankees, 5:00pm on TBS

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