Barry Zito: International Man of Mystery..... also, Game 5 Starter - Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
The Tigers finished their sweep of the Yankees with a decisive, two-hit, 8-1 victory last night. The Cardinals defeated the Giants, leaving them one victory away from a repeat World Series appearance.
ALCS Game 4: Yankees 1, Tigers 8: Wednesday's rainout didn't affect the starting pitchers, but it did affect the bullpen. CC Sabathia struggled early and often, and was pulled in the 4th inning with his team already down 6-0. There would be no miraculous comeback this time. Max Scherzer dominated the Yankees, not allowing a hit until the 6th inning. A triple and a double gave the Yankees their only run - and their only hits. Phil Coke, available because of the aforementioned rainout, worked two innings for the save. He ended things with a flourish, spiking his glove in a manner rivaling our old friend Ted Lilly. Tigers win series 4-0.
NLCS Game 4: San Francisco Giants 3, St. Louis Cardinals 8: The "Let's Put Tim Lincecum Back In The Rotation" experiment did not go as planned. Tim gave up two runs in the 1st and two in the 5th, and that was enough for St. Louis. Giants relievers did no better, in fact they were worse, giving up four more runs in the next two innings. Pablo Sandoval homered in the 9th to give the Giants fans a brief flicker of hope (much like the comet that streaked across our skies the night before), but it was quickly dashed. Cardinals lead series 3-1.
NLCS Game 5: San Francisco Giants (Barry Zito) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Lance Lynn) - 5:07pm on FOX - If the Cardinals win (which, if they're going to do, they should really do it tonight, at home, where their fans can appreciate it), the World Series will not only be a rematch of 2006, but also a match-up of two 88-win teams. As many have pointed out, 10 teams this year finished with a better record than those two...
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NLCS Game 3: San Francisco Giants 1, St. Louis Cardinals 3. Apparently, this was a "Caining". Which apparently means posting an ERA for the day above four, since Matt Cain was charged with all three earned runs in 6.2 innings. The big blow was Matt Carpenter's two-run homer, which turned a 1-0 Cardinals deficit into a 2-1 lead - Carpenter hadn't started the game, but had come in as an early replacement for Carlos Beltran. Beltran strained his knee, but an MRI showed no structural damage, so we'll see how that plays out. A long rain-delay in the bottom of the seventh didn't stop the Cardinals from edging in front for the series.
ALCS Game 4: The scheduled Game 4 between the Tigers and Yankees never got underway. The scheduled off-day on Friday will now be used for Game 5, if necessary. This probably hurts the Yankees more, as C.C. Sabathia won't be able to start Games 4 and 7 (the latter on short rest), as he might have been able to do before the rain-out.